February 20 – 26, 2010

The American Dream Communicator                   
The most comprehensive digest of 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

Panel Discussion: Gridlock: Why We’re Stuck in Traffic & What to Do About It BookTV.org (Video)

Mobility & Transportation

U.S. driving decline is in reverse – USA Today

America’s Most Congested Highways – ABCNews.go.com

The Siren Song of Light Rail – Neil Williamson, Free Enterprise Forum

Only hope for I-95 may be tollbooths
– NewsObserver.com, North Carolina
Good news for the economy? Portland gridlock got worse in 2009 – OregonLive.com

Transportation chief says bikes, buses are way to go in D.C. – Washington Post

Public transit is an inefficient way to cut greenhouse gases – Montreal Gazette

Dallas street theatre: A Streetcar Named Disaster – Examiner.com

Light rail’s new promised price tag: $338.3 million – HamptonRoads.com, Virginia

Metro service slips, from trains to escalators
– Washington Examiner
Expert: What Metro really needs is some competition – Washington Examiner

DART ridership and revenue fall; complaints rise – Dallas Morning News

Safety, Budget Woes Threaten DC Metro – Sweetness & Light

Muni: Bus blunders or plain bad luck?
– San Francisco Examiner
Sound Transit light rail steel fabricator dodges bigger fine – Puget Sound Business Journal

51-year-old woman killed by LA light rail train – Silicon Valley Mercury News

Double shooting near light rail station – 6abc.com, New Jersey

3 injured when car collides with SF light rail – Associated Press, San Francisco

Pedestrian killed by light rail train – 9News.com, Denver

No injuries after Beechview light-rail transit accident – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Housing & Land Use

Blame Urban Planning – Randal O’Toole, Cato@Liberty

Obama Throws Life-Line to Smart Growth Areas – Wendell Cox, New Geography

Eminent Domain as Central Planning – Nicole Gelinas, City Journal

Debating smart growth: Is urban or suburban living better? – SmartPlanet.com

Indianapolis area tops housing affordability index – ActiveRain.com

Metro designates 28,000 acres for future urban growth – TigardTimes.com, Oregon

County commissioners naysay city’s comp plan – Siuslaw News, Oregon

Detroit begins crafting plan to downsize – DetNews.com

Developers say costs are prohibitive – Post Independent, Colorado

Court stays suspension of affordable-housing laws – Philly.com

City Converting Hotels Into Affordable Housing – 10News.com, San Diego

Decaying apartments symptom of housing crisis – San Francisco Chronicle

To some, urban sprawl is a stretch – Montreal Gazette, Canada

How ’eminent domain’ makes blight – New York Post

6 property owners face eminent domain for city’s “Transitway” – Stamford Advocate, Connecticut

Holdouts fold in fight against RTD & eminent domain – Denver Post

Canada beats the U.S. (in protection of property rights, not hockey) – Western Standard, Canada

Freedom & Grassroots

Welcome To Ecotopia – Joel Kotkin, Forbes.com

Paved with Good Intentions: Fiscal Politics, Freeways & the American City – Urban Transport

Commissioners spar over including ‘rail’ on transit tax ballot – Tampa Tribune

They’re homing in on our houses, but social meddling adds costs – Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun

Not So Sustainable

Despite Bad News, Subway Chief Hopes to Hold Line on Fare – New York Times

Roads v. transit? Transit dollars pulling ahead – Seattle Times

NYC transit agency to cut more than 1,000 jobs – Bloomberg Business Week

Layoffs and cuts hammer transit – Sacramento Bee

High Speed Rail

High-speed rail is taking Californians for a ride – Contra Costa Times

California’s high speed rail dream – CNN Money

High-speed rail meeting gets heated – iStockAnalyst.com

Despite Governor’s opposition, business leaders want HSR – Nola.com, Louisiana

Monorail Accused of Shady Dealings in Court – Las Vegas Now

High-speed rail would drain passengers from Bay Area airports – Silicon Valley Mercury News

The not-so-fast track for high-speed rail – Stateline.org

Growth Management Globally

Families priced out of housing market – Swindon Advertiser, UK

Home, sweet home: a nice place if you can get it – Sydney Morning Herald

Home truths dash hopes of first-timers – The Age

Australian houses ‘world’s least affordable’ – Aussie Blog

Across the Tracks

The tragedy of suburbia – James Howard Kunstler, Hostoke.com

Obama’s Partnership for Sustainable Communities puts feds’ weight behind smart growth – Grist.org

Politics aside, denser growth really is smart – Redding.com, California

Transportation Victory for Social Equity – Planetizen

More traffic equals smarter growth
– Morgan Hill Times, California
U.S. car fever waning after a century of growth – GreenRightNow.com

Critics of Hillsborough transit plan have nothing to offer – St. Petersburg Times, Florida

Rail is a sensible stretch – TBO.com, Florida

Critics of Hillsborough transit plan have nothing to offer – TampaBay.com

What criteria should we use to define smart growth locations? – Sustainable Cities Collective

Portland livability: mixing our heritage with sustainability – OregonLive.com

Raise My Taxes, Please! Financing Public Transit Saves Me Money – Planetizen

Vibrant Urbanism

The Epic Beard Man video: violence, race & public transit – ChicagoNow.com

Security guards now trained to stop fights in downtown transit tunnel – Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Man shot near south Seattle light rail station – Seattle Times

What women want: Public transit stops that feel safe – Green LA Girl

Too True To Be Good

Via train jumps tracks, smashes into Quebec home – TheStar.com, Canada

Message to Mike: Run the City, Not the World’s Biggest Charrette – PubliCola, Seattle

Notable Quotables

“There’s an overly antagonistic attitude toward motorists right now.” Lon Anderson of AAA, on Washington, D.C.’s approach to transportation planning.

        “What it does is it prompts developers to sell more expensive homes, not less.  And, as we’ve seen in Aspen, it drives a huge gulch between the rich and the poor. There’s a danger of crushing the middle sector.” Robert Macgregor, on the impact of inclusionary zoning mandates.

        “It was never about FasTracks.  It was about our property rights.” A tearful Kim Snyder, who is losing her business to eminent domain to make way for a parking lot for light rail commuters.

“But what has really struck me lately has been the extent and the frequency of these problems.  It seems like every single day, there is a major screw-up on Muni.” Greg Dewar, on the increasing number of accidents by San Francisco’s transit agency.

* Come across a good quote?  Send it to me at ed@americandreamcoalition.org.  Check for past quotations in our Communicators on our website here.

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

        Markets, not mandates, for people who are free!

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