January 9 – 15, 2010

The American Dream Communicator
News & commentary about urban policy in America’s cities


Save the Date

June 10-12, 2010
– the 8th Annual Preserving the American Dream Conference, Orlando, Florida

Mobility & Transportation

A $40 million crisis Metro can’t afford to waste – Sam Staley, Washington Post

A Future That Doesn’t Guzzle – New York Times

Cheap car from India could cost $8,000 in US – Associated Press

Evidence-Based Public Policy Takes Back Seat in Transportation Policy – Sam Staley, Reason

New Transit-Funding Rules Make Streetcars More Desirable – Wall Street Journal

Commuters leave mass transit for cars, with reason – Silicon Valley Mercury News

Rough road ahead for public transit – Contra Costa Times

Norfolk mayor says Light Rail is $40 million over budget – WTKR.com, Virginia

Norfolk leaders want audit of light rail project – DelmarvaNow.com, Virginia

Seattle Mayor McGinn deserves praise for light-rail parking decision – Seattle Times

Light rail misses 2009 ridership target by wide margin – Michael Ennis, Washington Policy Blog

City Council will consider changing light-rail routes – Bellevue Reporter, Washington

Las Vegas Monorail files for bankruptcy protection – Las Vegas Sun

It’s Governor vs Mayor on Honolulu Rail Project – The Transport Politic

Muni light rail stabbing suspect found competent – San Jose Mercury News

Amtrak ‘Train From Hell’ Delayed Almost 24 Hours – NBC Chicago

3 women trapped in out-of-service Metro train – Washington Post

Traffic plans will interfere with fire safety – San Diego Union-Tribune

Bike ridership down in 2009 – Portland Business Journal

Driving, Transit, Cycling Down – The Antiplanner


Housing & Land Use

Congress, White House Take Aim at Local Democracy – Wendell Cox, Heartland Institute

Adapt planning to people instead of jamming people into plans – Patrick McIlheran, TwinCities.com

Beyond Neo-Victorianism: A Call for Design Diversity – Richard Reep, New Geography

New study shows links between land use and violent crime rates – IU News Room, Indiana

When even ‘good’ neighborhoods aren’t safe – Baltimore Sun

State adopts greenest building codes in U.S. – San Francisco Chronicle

Montgomery considers new plan for high-density developments – Washington Examiner

County weighs suspending impact fees – Orlando Sentinel

What’s next for Portland’s Pearl District? – The Oregonian

City wants new urbanism, but developer says it won’t sell – Madison.com, Wisconsin

New zoning would protect views of iconic buildings – Baltimore Sun

One city discovered pitfalls of growth controls – Bradenton.com, Florida

Mountain View braces for lawsuit over affordable housing policies – Silicon Valley Mercury News

Mill One plan prompts fear of eminent domain, tax increases – Times of Trenton, New Jersey

Panel declares Durham neighborhood ‘blighted’ – News-Observer, North Carolina


Three Cheers!

City Of SeaTac Reconsidering Eminent Domain Decision – B-Town Blog, Washington


Freedom & Grassroots

Accessibility Vs. Mobility Redux – Sam Staley, Planetizen

New Study Highlights Eminent Domain Abuses in Washington State – WPC Policy Blog

Municipal Budget Mess – Matthew Leiphon, New Geography

A Void in the Plan – The Architect’s Newspaper

Stafford: last vestige of our rural legacy – OregonLive.com


Not So Sustainable

Eco-friendly development asks city for TIF district – Press-Citizen.com, Iowa

Is Bay Area transit failing? – San Francisco Chronicle

Golden State Off the Rails As Mass Transit Ridership Plummets – Hit & Run Blog, Reason

Possible cutbacks for Valley public transit – Arizona Republic

Opposition mounts to bus cuts – YourNabe.com, New York

VTA reduces bus and light-rail service – Milpitas Post, California


High Speed Rail

HSR: Toward Least Worst Projections – Wendell Cox, New Geography

Hong Kongers protest high-speed rail link to China – Washington Post

Opponents to high-speed rail route through Rose Canyon stand firm – San Diego News Network

Crazy Train Funding – Hartford Advocate, Connecticut

California analyst knocks bullet train plan – San Francisco Business Times


Growth Management Globally

How cold is Europe? Even Norway’s buses can’t take it – Yahoo News

Sprawl needs change of direction – Adelaide Now, Australia

Green wedges lost in the woods – Sydney Morning Herald, Australia

Scottish government right to buy laws unveiled – BBC News, UK


Across the Tracks

Obama Administration: Cost-effectiveness Out, ‘Livability’ In – US DOT Announcement

Big Transit News: Bush-Era Rule Tossed, Enviro Benefits on the Table – D.C. StreetsBlog

Architect’s urban living guide doesn’t include cars – Miami Herald

Moving ahead or stuck in traffic – Weekly Staff, Alabama

‘Enough is enough’ proposal would help fix Florida’s broken system – Jacksonville.com, Florida

It’s Official: Governor’s Budget Shorts Public Transit Once Again – San Francisco StreetsBlog

Are Passenger-Miles a Valid Measure of Anything? – Michael Lewyn

San Francisco Sees A Transit Center Revitalizing Downtown – NicerNews.com

Redrawing the American city – Mother Nature Network

Light Rail is Supposed to Get People Out of Their Cars – PubliCola.net

The only thing we have to fear is fear of traffic – Greater Greater Washington


Vibrant Urbanism

Board to consider ban on smoking, spitting & sex in parks – Seattle Times

A chance to drop your pants on Portland public transportation – OregonLive.com


Now You Know

Why Cities Build Rail – Simpson’s Song (1993)

The Ruse of the Creative Class
– American Prospect
Richard Florida’s Monorail – Next American City

Will Facebook Kill Off the Automobile? – New Republic


Quote of the Year Nominees*

“Giving up public transportation has meant a significant boost to my income. I can literally make my car payment with the savings.” Bay area resident Craig Watson, on his decision to abandon BART for the single occupancy automobile.

“The time savings is worth more than any costs.” Bay area resident David Ross, on discovering the multiple benefits of shedding his transit-dependency.

“Please help us. A tragedy is just waiting to happen unless something is done.” Baltimore resident Robyn Webb-Williams, who is having second thoughts about moving from the suburbs to the ‘vibrant,’ higher density city.

“Instead of diverting money from the PTA, the proposal would remove the funding stream that is supposed to flow into the PTA in the first place, effectively eliminating state funding for transit.” California Transit Association press release, complaining of tax diversions to non-transit uses … and failing to acknowledge its ‘funding stream’ comes from tax diversions from motorists.

* Submit your nominees for Quote of the Year by emailing me at ed@americandreamcoalition.org.  Check for past nominees on our website here.


** Check out Interviews with the Experts for the latest commentary on trends taking place in cities all across America. **


*** This Communicator sponsored by Happy Smart Growth ***


Be sure to visit our ADC News Blog and our main website for our latest publications.  Share this ADC Communicator with your friends and colleagues, and please consider joining the ADC and help us spread the word about freedom at the local level!


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