April 24 – 30, 2010

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

>>  WE’VE MOVED! <<

The conference date for the The 8th Annual Preserving the American Dream Conference, Orlando, Florida has been moved to September 23-25. We’re integrating a major growth & development element (Florida’s Amendment 4) into the schedule with both state and national implications, making this year’s conference one you cannot afford to miss! Please mark the date change and make your plans to attend now!

Mobility & Transportation

New way to guide a car: With your eyes, not hands – Associated Press
An exploration of buses, trolleys and automobiles – Matt Salwasser, Daily Aztec
Road pricing must benefit motorists for acceptance – Toll Road News
Drive or walk, you’re paying for our roads – Twin Cities Daily Planet
Does D.C. have an anti-car bias? – WTOP.com, Washington, D.C.
Confronting the Mire on 34th Street – New York Times
TOD versus vehicle technology….again – Lisa Schweitzer, Sustainable Cities & Transport
Metro ridership falling below expectations, despite strong March – Washington Examiner
As Tampa Bay area rail projects move forward, confusion reigns – St. Petersburg Times
Leaders Look To Link Rail Lines – cfNews-13, Florida
Proposed commuter rail line scaled back, delayed – Detroit Free Press
Norfolk Mayor says light rail cost overruns his biggest mistake
– WVEC.com, Virginia
Why America still needs Amtrak – Chicago Tribune
Amtrak ridership is up, but passengers grouse about frequent delays – Washington Post
Bureaucrats want light rail stops every 700m – passengers or not – Sydney Morning Herald
Girl hit by light rail at Othello station – Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Light rail train hits, injures man in Folsom – News-10, California
Car broadsided by light rail train in Downtown Jersey City – NJ.com
Marylanders pay more in vehicle operating costs, due to rough roads – Baltimore Sun

Housing & Land Use

The Worst Cities For Jobs – Joel Kotkin, Forbes
Finding the Good in This Bad Time – Michael Shires, New Geography
Lying with statistics – The Antiplanner
Drew Carey & John Stossel Tell Cleveland to Learn From Houston – Tory Gattis, Houston Strategies
Is Houston ready to ditch sprawl for more urbanity? – Houston Chronicle
Detroit Considers Downsizing to Survive – NPR Radio, Michigan
Portland sprawls, not Los Angeles – Raphaël Fischler, Montreal Gazette
Does Gainesville need a new look at design? – Gainesville Sun, Florida
Developer fights city project, eminent domain process – Orange County Register
How Tough Times May Lead to Better Architecture – Richard Reep, New Geography
County looks for smart growth with zoning requests – Asheville Citizen-Times
Fearing Smart Growth (or Embracing it?) – Rethink College Park, Maryland
Council rejects smart growth – St. Albert Gazette, Canada
Bend officials still pushing UGB growth – Bend Bulletin, Oregon
UTA professor studies transit-oriented development – Ft. Worth Business Press, Texas
Developer of failed projects secures $500,000 from Congress – St. Petersburg Times, Florida
Eliminate Oak Park’s mismanaged TIF funds – Wednesday Journal, Illinois
City wants TIF to help Hunterstown – The Telegraph, Illinois
Blight designation discourages private investment – Standard.net, Virginia
City looks to secure eminent domain rights for transitway – Stamford Advocate, Connecticut
San Diego Supervisors Wield Eminent Domain Laws – KPBS.org
Delaware man wins his battle against eminent domain – Tulsa Beacon
Utah uses eminent domain to seize land of … Uncle Sam – Christian Science Monitor

Freedom & Grassroots

Get in line, and take a number – Steven Greenhut, Orange County Register
Sustainability: The latest indoctrination – Katherine Kersten, Minneapolis Star Tribune
Inconvenient Truths About Transportation 2040 – Bob Benze, Kitsap Sun, Washington
Take the time to do light rail right in Bellevue – Lee Maxwell, Bellevue Reporter, Washington
PlaniTulsa threatens American freedoms – Tulsa Beacon
The Politics of Propositions: When Every Scheme Sounds Like a Winner – A2Politico.com
Five myths about green energy – Robert Bryce, Washington Post
America the Ideal – Globe & Mail

Not So Sustainable

Metro, national transit workers rally on Capitol hill for more federal funding – Washington Post
NJ Transit Fares Go Up Saturday – New Jersey Today
Sound Transit approves fare increase – MyNorthwest.com, Washington
Alberta opening its wallet for public transportation – 660 News, Canada
$900 million federal funding for Metro light rail in doubt? – Houston Chronicle
Money woes mean Dallas transit agency must cut jobs, rail plans – Dallas Morning News
City makes teachers eligible for Olympic village housing – Vancouver Sun

High Speed Rail

Build High-Speed Rail – Paul Nesbitt-Larking, Canada.com
State audit: HSR zooming toward disaster without major changes – Silicon Valley Mercury News
Inadequate planning & weak oversight put HSR system at risk – California State Auditor
Some question if Caltrain’s claims valid – Silicon Valley Mercury News
High-speed rail plan gains traction – The Republican, Massachusetts
Detroit-Ann Arbor train plan derailed – Detroit News

Growth Management Globally

Housing shortfall doubles in year – The Age, Australia
State’s growing housing crisis blamed on government bureaucracy – Courier Mail, Australia
Australia Tightens Foreign Property Ownership Rules – Bloomberg Business Week
New Zealand urged to follow Australia’s lead on housing – National Business Review

Across the Tracks

What is smart growth and how does it help the environment? – NHPR.org
Housing market strengthens for smart growth: new data from D.C. – Kaid Benfield, NRDC
New Urbanism & a vision for post-sprawl America – American Makeover
Smart growth incorporates lessons from planning mistakes – Washington Post
How Urban Planning Can Improve Public Health – Miller-McCune.com
Does a big grocery store kill new urbanism? – The Cap Times
Familiar ring to urban plan – Memphis Commercial Appeal
Different Sprawl Patterns in the U.S. Cities – Suite 101
Waiting for a miracle – Michael Lewyn, Planetizen
Are more roads really the answer? – Rockwall Herald Banner
’Complete Streets’ Gains Momentum in Albany – Mobilizing the Region
How Transit-Oriented Development Will Put More New Yorkers in Cars – NY Subway News
The “freedom” of car dependency – Auckland Transport Blog
Highway Dependence Begets Auto-Dependence, What’s the Cost? – Walkable Dallas-Ft. Worth

Vibrant Urbanism

Youth shot at Rancho Cordova light rail station – News-10, California
Teen Arrested For Vandalizing SF Muni Train – CBS-5, San Francisco

Notable Quotables

        “Someone got hit by another train.”
Comment by an Amtrak passenger, on the reason for yet another delay on its Northeast Regional route.

        “Failure to address these considerable issues will have dire outcomes for the cost of housing for both those purchasing homes and those who remain in the rental market.”
Graham Wolfe, on the affordability crisis in Australia where it takes between 6 and 15 years to turn vacant land in Australia into a home in a newly developed suburb.

        “In this country, people are awake. They are seeing the encroachment of the federal government more than ever. [The new law] gives us the opportunity as a state to tell the federal government that this is ours and we know how to control it. We can take some of these public lands and put them back to work for us.”
Amber Harrison, on Utah’s new eminent domain law allowing the state to seize federal lands.

* 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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