March 6 – 12, 2010

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

Mobility & Transportation

Could ultra-smart cars leave light rail in the dust? – Denver Post

Slick, slim rail design to unclog city routes –

A Congestion Tax Will not Save the Planet – Tax Blog

New bus line from Rock Hill to N.C. sees dismal ridership – Herald Online, North Carolina

Officials say rail is Va.’s transportation future – Washington Examiner

The 10 Most Expensive Transit Projects of the Decade – Infrastructurist

Public transit trips fall short of 2008 record – Progressive Railroading

Commuter rail line in Portland still suffering growing pains –

U.S. Public Transit Riders Face Bumpy Road of Fare Hikes, Service Cuts – Daily Finance

Milwaukee County bus ridership down more than U.S. total
– Journal-Sentinel

Metro can’t let rail jeopardize its buses – Houston Chronicle

Tampa mayor calls proposed light rail “the big issue of our time” – Creative Loafing

Resurrecting the light rail – Daily Planet, Minnesota

Light-rail alignments divide community – The Columbian, Vancouver

What happened to the light rail alternative to Honolulu’s transit plan? –

Woman hit by Muni light rail vehicle – San Francisco Chronicle

Light Rail Train Collides With Car, Several Hospitalized –

STM accused of racial profiling in metro – Montreal Gazette

Is 2010 the Year for Federal Bike Aid? The Answer: A Big ‘Maybe’ – D.C. StreetsBlog

Housing & Land Use

When Smart Growth Comes to a Small Town – Sam Staley, Reason Foundation

Transit Oriented Development: If Not San Francisco, Where? – Wendell Cox, New Geography

More Momentum Behind Federal Smart Growth Programs – Mobilizing the Region

Most (and least) affordable cities to buy a house
– CNN Money
In this market, new urbanism doesn’t fly – The Cap Times, Wisconsin

Dodd Promises To Promote ‘Smart Growth’ Housing Plans – Hartford Courant

Maryland is making plans for future growth – Baltimore Sun

10 years later, Newport News City Center is still stirring debate – Daily Press, Virginia

Fairfax’s affordable housing plan might not change Tysons – Washington Post

San Jose council agrees to levy fee on affordable housing developers – Mercury News

Developers balk at affordable-unit idea – Toronto Star

Green discord over storm-water deal – Baltimore Sun

Why do you think they call it density? – News Leader, Florida

Demolishing Density in Detroit: Can Farming Save the Motor City? – Fast Company

Avoid land grabs while downsizing Detroit – Marc Scribner, Detroit News

METRO Forces Owner to Close Business – MyFox Houston

Council may initiate eminent domain battle –

The fight over tax-increment financing – News & Tribune, New York

Lawyer cheated south suburb out of $1 million from TIF funds – WBBM-780, Chicago

Freedom & Grassroots

Low-tax Texas beats big-government California – Michael Barone, Washington Examiner

California is in de facto bankruptcy – Steven Greenhut, North County Times

Downsides of Consolidation #2 – Cost Increases & Deferred Problems – Aaron Renn, Ubanophile

What Seneca Falls Can Learn from Toronto – Wendell Cox, New Geography

Brooklyn Bar Wants to Handcuff Eminent Domain Abuse – Huffington Post

Proponents, opponents of Hometown Democracy lay out pros, cons – Naples News, Florida

Biz group urged to fight against Amendment 4 –, Florida

The Church of Sustainability – Sierra Madre Tattler

Parking in Seattle. Evil, or just misguided? – Don Lee, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Three Cheers

Mayor wants to put brakes on rail – ABC-13, Houston

Large tract development creates new town, may ease house prices – NewstalkZB, New Zealand

County Planning Commission Rejects Transit Changes – The Ledger, Florida

Urban Planning: An Academic Who “Gets It” – Hugh Pavletich, Scoop, New Zealand

Not So Sustainable

Fare hikes on trains & buses, schedules reduced as NJ Transit slashes budget –

Light rail proposes cutting hours, train frequency – State Press, Arizona

Measuring transit’s costs and benefits – Baltimore Sun

High Speed Rail

Short-staffed high-speed-rail agency draws fire – USA Today

HSR: A Social Cohesion Strategy for the U.S.? – Brookings Institute

RTC to Las Vegas Monorail: You’re on your own – Las Vegas Sun

Cities not on track with California high-speed rail – Associated Press

Firm offers to link commuter, high-speed rail – Orlando Sentinel

London to Beijing in two days on trans-continental express – Vancouver Sun

Growth Management Globally

Median house price surges past $500,000 – Brisbane Times, Australia

China’s Property: Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble – Time

Can cities be manufactured? – Mumbai Mirror

Across the Tracks

Sprawl! Is Growth of Mega Cities Accelerating the Planet’s Biodiversity Crisis? – Daily Galaxy

Midsize cities, big ideas: 10 takeaways – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Hate Suburban Sprawl? Blame the State – Atlantic Wire

Smart Growth: How Far We Are – Hartford Courant, Connecticut

Chicken v Egg: Does Sprawl Represent the Free Market or Over-Regulation? Neither – TreeHugger

Sustaining Sustainability: It Ain’t Always Easy – Citi Wire

Sprawl In Canada and the U.S.: A Comparison – Planetizen

A Fresh Look at American Sprawl – StreetsBlog

Out of the endless sprawl – True Slant

Hundreds of US cities have inclusionary zoning mandates: Why not here? – Wellesley Institute

I Got 99 Problems, But Eminent Domain Ain’t One – The Awl

Five Things to Know About Smart Growth – Evening Times, New York

Public transportation can work – really; I’m serious –

How Cars Are Killing Us Around the World
– Infrastructurist
Road Transportation Is the Greatest Culprit in Global Warming –

As the Auto Industry Sputters, Is Car Culture Dying? – Politics Daily

Carless and carefree in Washington –

Vibrant Urbanism

How to meet a woman in public transportation (video) – Dating Blog

Ride and win: Freebies for taking the bus – Orlando Sentinel

Federalizing Smart Growth

        “I only have about eight to 10 months. My goal is to see the Livable Communities Act become law before I retire.” U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd, D-Connecticut.

Notable Quotables

        “We know that the cost of living here is extraordinary, and we know there will be more pressure on the rental market. If all of the apartments are [too costly] to rent, we’re going to have the same problem of all of these people commuting in.” Michelle Krocker, on the housing situation in the ‘livable community’ of Tysons Corner.

        “It’s very tranquil.  It puts me in the right frame of mind. I love when someone else is driving.” Felicia Hemphill, on her regular bus commute where she and her two children are often the only passengers.

        “Whether you like rail or not, it is the future.” Thelma Drake of the
Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, perfectly verbalizing the mindset of today’s ‘progressive’ leader.

* Come across a good quote or important news stories and commentary?  Send it to me at  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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