April 10 – 16, 2010

The American Dream Communicator                          
The most comprehensive digest of news & commentary about urban policy in America


>>
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Mobility & Transportation

Mass Transit’s Real Contribution to Travel – Sam Staley, Reason
Cars that drive themselves (video) – Geoff Wardle, BigThink.com
We can’t reinvent the automobile (video) – Michael Schrage, BigThink.com
Toyota announces first details of U.S. plug-in Prius test program – Autoblog
The case for toll roads – National Post
Golden Gate electronic tolling planned for balanced budget – Toll Road News
Driven to distraction: What will they ban next? – Baltimore Sun
How To Reinvest Carbon Fee Revenue? – National Journal
“Complete Streets” = Complete Nonsense – Free Spokane
SunRail On Track for Cost Overruns – Sunshine News, Florida
HOV project on I-90 will pave the way for light rail to Eastside – Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Drivers say Washington region’s traffic has gone from bad to worse – Washington Post
Three-county rapid bus route endorsed – Detroit News
Maryland Battles between Heavy and Light Rail – Next American City
Denver Transit Agency Nearing Innovative Rail Expansion Deal – Nasdaq.com
Who’s getting taken for a ride here? – L.A. Times
The bus stops here? – The Destin Log
Transportation’s bicycle policy hits potholes – Washington Post
How much traffic would light rail-only lanes displace on 520? – Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Identification made of driver killed in light-rail crossing collision – Sacramento Bee

Housing & Land Use

Power in Los Angeles: The High Price of Going Green – Wendell Cox, Fox & Hounds
Measuring Affordability – The Antiplanner
Homes are cheaper, but not necessarily affordable – Market Watch
Portland and ‘elite cities’: The new model – The Economist
Fire-sale auction for Portland’s unsellable condos – OregonLive.com
The Price for Building a Home in This Town: $300,000 Water Meter – NY Times
Cool Cities being pushed (forget new urbanism, the key is jobs) – Republican Michigander
Florida’s growth management department in peril – Miami Herald
‘Smart growth’ sparks concern – MassLive.com
City holds off on smart growth – St. Albert Gazette, Canada
Neighborhoods of Glass: Living in an Export-Oriented Economy – New Republic
Rents decreased, but affordability concerns remain – Santa Monica Daily Press
Orlando’s Housing Market Jumps 41% in March, Fueled by Distressed Sales – Real Estate Channel
Polk Ranks 5th in U.S. Suburban Poverty – Lakeland Ledger, Florida
TIF-funded Loft project will revitalize downtown, developer says – Rockford Register Star, New York
TIF-backed College Hill project pushes on despite no leases – Topeka Capital-Journal
Rail line stirs bad memories in black neighborhood – Associated Press
Town of Niagara officials may seize land to protect trees – Niagara Gazette

Freedom & Grassroots

The Heartland Will Play a Huge Role in America’s Future – Joel Kotkin, New Geography
15 Mayors Who Must Shred The Budget To Save Their Bankrupt Cities – Business Insider
Tracking Tax Dollar Spending in Florida (video) – PBS Newshour
Tea party members vow to win at election time – Tampa Bay Online
Justice Stevens was no champion of the little guy – San Francisco Examiner
The worst decision of Justice Stevens – The Economist

Not So Sustainable

Tempe transit services face chopping block amid cuts – Arizona Republic
New Jersey Transit Implements Fare Hikes – NJ Today
Urban village developers say they need city investment – El Paso Inc
Fairfax plans to devote millions to affordable housing – Washington Examiner
Smart Growth will close its doors – Idaho Mountain Express

High Speed Rail
Expert: High-speed rail isn’t economic silver bullet – Washington Business Journal
The folly of high-speed rail – Tim Haering, BizTimes.com, Wisconsin
Effort under way to repeal high-speed rail bond measure – Silicon Valley Mercury News
State’s high-speed rail plan is up in the air – San Francisco Chronicle
High-speed rail plan hits the brakes – Orange County Register
Spending Spree At High Speed Rail – CBS-13, Sacramento
Warwickshire’s rural residents still unimpressed by plans for high-speed rail line – The Courier, UK

Growth Management Globally

The impossible dream – The Age, Australia
Don’t bet your house on end of price falls – The Independent, Ireland

Across the Tracks

Yes, Zoning Still Encourages Sprawl – Michael Lewyn, Planetizen
It takes an urban village – Boston Globe
Beyond green growth: why we need a world without economic growth – The Guardian, UK
Texas Sprawl Goes Out With a Bang – Fast Company
More Americans prefer urban living – 2020 Cities
New research shows smart growth is more than a concept – San Francisco Chronicle
Poor development decisions undermining job growth in Prince George’s – Washington Examiner
Suburban living may end up costing you more – NECN, New England
As Our Cities Grow, So Too Must Our Transit System – Autopia
Greens hail passage of transportation bill – Baltimore Sun
The End of the Automobile Era? – Bluegrass reVisions
Light-rail proponents hear from a cheerleader – Tampa Bay Online

For Kicks & Giggles
You Pick – Crack Shack or Mansion in the ‘Livable’ City of Vancouver

Notable Quotables

        “When there are good times, you can certainly subsidize a higher level of transit service … but when times are tough, it is almost inevitable that cities make cuts.” ASU Professor Ram Pendyala, on Tempe transit cuts.

        “I think the committee should come out against this [Smart Growth] overlay to protect the Chicopee Public Schools. I don’t see anything positive about this.” Adam D. Lamontagne, on concerns that increased densities will overwhelm the school district.

        “We look to Amsterdam, Helsinki and Stockholm” for ideas. Portland Mayor Sam Adams, in contrast to hip U.S. mayors who look to Portland for ideas.

* Come across a good quote or news story?  Send it to me at ed@americandreamcoalition.org.  Check for past editions of the ADC Communicator on our website here.  And don’t forget to forward this to your friends and colleagues!

** 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 ***

        Markets, not mandates, for people who are free!


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