May 15 – 21, 2010

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

>>  September 23-25, 2010 <<

Join us for the 8th Annual Preserving the American Dream Conference in Orlando, Florida.  Please mark the date change and make your plans to attend now!

Mobility & Transportation

DOT ‘strategic plan’ is incoherent sloganeering for green agenda – Peter Samuel, TOLLROADSnews
FTA Chief Criticizes Rail Transit – The Antiplanner
Transportation interests oppose new climate bill – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Smart Track: How high tech highways will take you where you’re going – Sun-Sentinel, Florida
7 amazing advances in new car technology –
Gasoline Prices Likely to Edge Lower – Wall Street Journal
The Taxpayers’ Tab for the D.C. Trolley – Eileen Norcross, Mercatus Center
State DOTs’ Prescription for American Cities: More Highways – D.C. Streetsblog
Metro ‘dedicated funding’ comes with strings – Washington Examiner
Funding remains flat for Virginia transportation projects – Richmond Times-Dispatch
Contra Costa poll finds narrow support for $10 car fee – Silicon Valley Mercury News
Seattle’s long and winding road toward light rail – Seattle Times
Penny tax to support light rail will go on November ballot – Tampa Bay Business Journal
Tampa rail planners struggle with downtown plan – Tampa Tribune
Light rail, popular and a boondoggle – Mike Meyers, Minneapolis Star Tribune
Portland, TriMet, and the Bus/Rail Debate – Dead Horse Times
City plans commuter rail TOD – Community Impact News, Houston
City yanking calming islands – Wyoming News

Housing & Land Use

The Real State of Metropolitan America – Wendell Cox, New Geography
Virginia Gov’s new policy could hobble housing market – Ron Utt, Tertium Quids
Houston: Model City – Joel Kotkin, Forbes
Houston – a World-class City and Economic Powerhouse – PitchMag
Charlotte – a Smart Growth mecca? – Naked City
Megacities of the world: a glimpse of how we’ll live tomorrow – Christian Science Monitor
Smart Growth-obsessed Montgomery County loses again – Frederick News-Post
Washington area’s housing problem is even bigger than you think – Washington Post
How cities grow – up is in – Globe & Mail, Canada
Old has become the new sustainability – Star-Press, Indiana
New Urbanist Town Center in foreclosure – Coastal Florida Real Estate
Residents begin grappling with vision of future – Register-Guard, Oregon
Renovation of apartments points toward U.S. trend – La Junta Tribune Democrat
Towns praise, advocates criticize plan to alter affordable housing law – Press of Atlantic City
Mortgage delinquencies drag on economic recovery – Associated Press
City antes up for new Hampton Inn hotel – Columbus Dispatch, Ohio
The trouble with Edgewater TIF and squatting – Daily Page, Wisconsin
Rockford’s TIF report card: Negative balances draining public funds – Rock River Times, Illinois
City to close out TID No. 1 – Washburn County Register, Wisconsin
Salt Lake City Faces Lawsuit Over Billboard Seizure – KCPW, Utah
Density key to rezoning case – Leaf Chronicle, Kentucky
Council votes to acquire VFW through eminent domain –
Eminent Domaining the Canadian Border – Reason Foundation
Citizens show fears on eminent domain – Desert Dispatch, California

Freedom & Grassroots

People drive their cars because it’s better than transit – Adrian MacNair, National Post
Fisking Andres Duany – Ted Rosenbaum, Chicago Now
Who’s better for the poor: Charity or Bureaucracy? – Max Borders, Washington Examiner
Montgomery revenue off, budget officials rethink values – Washington Post
New Jersey Governor swiftly vetoes ‘millionaires tax,’ property tax rebate bills –
Smart Growth sees controversy – Picayune Item, Mississippi
A Teacher’s Fight To Open Up Chicago’s TIF Budget – Progress Illinois
BRT, Activism, Densification, and Quality of Life – Berkeley Daily Planet
Car Companies’ Scenic Drives – Wall Street Journal

Not So Sustainable

Nearly NJ Transit’s ‘Biggest Loser’: the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail – Jersey Journal
Virginia weighs cuts in transportation improvement – Reuters
Metro light rail cuts hours, hikes waits – Arizona Republic
D.C. taxpayers to pay 70 percent of streetcars costs – Washington Examiner

High Speed Rail

Will the Newly Approved Tampa to Orlando HSR be a Boon or a Bust? – Bradenton Times
Little high-speed rail cash coming to Bay Area transit – Palo Alto Daily News
HSR could be end of BHS as we know it – Bakersfield Californian
California high speed rail: an uphill battle – Understanding Government
$18.8 billion study of high-speed rail urged – Boston Globe
Train crash brings attention to speeds – ABC-11, North Carolina
High-speed rail tunnel ‘will destroy value of our homes’ – This Is London
What’s not to like about high-speed rail? The case simply hasn’t been made – The Guardian, UK

Growth Management Globally

The Cities Where We Study Abroad – Atlantic Monthly
Housing affordability plunges but RBA slams bubble talk – NineMSN, Australia
Why can’t the U.S. have public transportation like Europe does? – Connect to Change
Sydney May Close Downtown Streets to Traffic, Opt for Light Rail Expansion – Transport Politic
Mr. Rudd’s unproductive ideas on urban productivity – New City Journal

Across the Tracks

The Man Who Reinvented the City – The Atlantic
Living up to our ‘livable’ reputation – Andres Duany,
White House On Developing America’s Sustainable Future – GovMonitor
HUD Announces End of Urban Sprawl as We Know It, New Urbanists Feel Fine – Fast Company
Smart growth will make R.I. happy, U.S. official says – Providence Journal
A shocking development – Business Report, Louisiana
Growth gets another dose of reality – Bend or Bust, Oregon
New Urbanism Tour highlights ideas in city living – Montgomery Advertiser, Alabama
Why the term ‘Green Homes’ is fuzzy & ‘LEED for homes’ is Greek – GrafikDotCom Blog
Transit as a Development Tool, but in Whose Interest? – American City
Addressing Transportation Inequity to Keep America Moving – Huffington Post
Rails seen as relief for congested roads – News Observer, North Carolina
Driving can be hazardous to your homeownership – The Californian
America’s Auto Asphyxiation: We Put the Loco in Locomotion – Huffington Post
Did you know that many states have 3.5x more parking spaces than cars? –

Vibrant Urbanism

Commuters travel to work on the Tube NAKED – Daily Mail, UK
Woman Stabs Another Woman On Light Rail – The Denver Channel, Colorado
Man who died was on train almost 5 hours – Washington Post

Notable Quotables

        “We are going to change the way our urban and rural areas are linked and function and grow. They will grow smart. President Obama has said it’s going to be a smart America, it is going to be a smart-growth America, and that’s going to be the politics of this administration.” Ron Sims, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

        “Supporters of public transit must be willing to share some simple truths that folks don’t want to hear. One is this – paint is cheap, rails systems are extremely expensive. Yes, transit riders often want to go by rail. But it turns out you can entice even diehard rail riders onto a bus, if you call it a ’special’ bus and just paint it a different color than the rest of the fleet.” Peter Rogoff, head of the Federal Transit Administration.

        “You have to apply for planning permission to sneeze in this village and we haven’t been told anything about HS2 at all.” Gillian Anderson Price, on the prospect of a HSR tunnel under the businesses and homes of Primrose Hill.

        “That concept looked great on paper but in reality it doesn’t work, particularly in South Florida.  It’s too hot (for people to walk).” Rebel Cook, on the failure of another New Urbanist development.

* Come across a good quote or news story?  Send it to me at  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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