Smart Growth News – December 3, 2013

Bill Would Nearly Double Federal Gasoline Tax
The Hill – December 2, 2013
The last transportation bill that was passed by Congress included approximately $54 billion in funding per year, which transportation advocates said was barely enough to cover the repair needs of the current U.S. infrastructure system.

LaHood: Washington ‘Afraid’ to Invest in Infrastructure
The Hill – December 2, 2013
“It’s going to be up to Congress, it’s going to be up to the administration, and the people to decide that they are sick and tired of driving on crumbling roads, bad and dangerous bridges, and riding on 50-year-old transit systems.”

Local

St. Louis County Wrestling with Complete Streets Legislation
The St. Louis Beacon – December 3, 2013
When the county’s transportation department starts new road projects, “it’ll be inclusive with the input of these other groups and other agencies.”

Intercounty Connector Toll Revenue Falls Short of Early Forecasts
The Washington Post – November 30, 2013
“When you merge onto the ICC, it doesn’t feel like a highway. It feels like an airport runway.”

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Smart Growth News – December 2, 2013

In Downtown LA, a Housing Revival
The Wall Street Journal – November 26, 2013
Six parking lots in downtown Los Angeles recently sold for $82 million. But the buyers aren’t interested in the parking business: They want to build 1,500 rental apartments on the properties.

Mass Transit Benefit Will Drop In 2014
Government Executive – November 27, 2013
The value of a mass transit subsidy directly correlates to the reliability and availability of public transportation in a particular area.

Local

‘Narrow Pathway’ May Lead to Passage of $10B Transit Bill
Yakima Herald (WA) – December 1, 2013
Negotiators still — after almost a year of talks — have not overcome a partisan divide over issues including stormwater treatment, sales taxes collected from transportation projects, and funding for public transit.

10,000 Friends Of PA Salutes New Transportation Funding Bill
NorthCentralPA (dot) com – November 27, 2013
“Roughly 23 percent of all funding in this bill – $2.2 billion over the next five years – goes to much-needed transit projects. In addition, the bill makes a large commitment of approximately $700 million over the next five years in a first-ever Multi-Modal Fund.

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Smart Growth News – November 27, 2013

Production in the City: Making Space for DC’s Creators
Elevation DC – November 26, 2013
On Dec. 5, Production in the City will bring these creators and consumers together to discuss how the city can support — and create space for — products that are made here.

Walkable Cities are Good News for Small Business
Good – November 26, 2013
Among the top 20 cities where small businesses saw the most growth in 2012, at least half feature significant pedestrian infrastructure.

Local

St. Louis County Council Puts Complete Streets Legislation on Hold
St.Louis Post-Dispatch – November 26, 2013
Faced with funding questions from highway department officials, the St. Louis County Council on Tuesday held off on a vote that could ultimately improve access for bicyclists and pedestrians along county roads.

South Dakota Must Pursue Revitalization of ‘Brownfields’
Argus Leader (SD) – November 25, 2013
It would be in the economic interest of property owners, the communities in which such properties are located, and the state.

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Smart Growth News – November 26, 2013

We Neglect Infrastructure at our Own Risk
NorthJersey (dot) com – November 25, 2013
With the current federal Highway Bill set to expire in less than a year, we won’t be able to afford all the urgently needed investments without Congress doing their part.

Local

St. Louis County is Poised to Approve Measure for Bike and Pedestrian-friendly Roads
St. Louis Post-Dispatch – November 24, 2013
Advocates for more bike-friendly and pedestrian-friendly St. Louis County roads are urging the County Council to pass comprehensive “Complete Streets” legislation similar to ordinances in the city of St. Louis, Ferguson and other cities around the state and country.

Planning 3.0 Revs Up San Diego Hoods
U-T San Diego – November 25, 2013
Its formal moniker, “Department of Planning, Neighborhoods and Economic Development,” connotes the shift from creating master-planned communities in farflung greenfields in the suburbs to freshening up and densifying urban neighborhoods to handle expected growth in the decades ahead.

Who’s Bringing 100 Jobs to Downtown Chicago?
Crain’s Chicago Business – November 25, 2013
Looking for better transportation options and a pool of potential new workers, a senior housing company is moving its headquarters and about 100 jobs from suburban Milwaukee to Chicago, with plans to hire more here.

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Smart Growth News – November 25, 2013

Driving the Economy Forward with Infrastructure Investment
The Washington Post – November 21, 2013
My bill would create an American Infrastructure Fund (AIF), a large-scale financing capability that could act like a bond insurer or bank for state and local governments to build transportation, energy, water, communication and educational infrastructure.

Local

Low-Wage Workers Need Transit Options
Star-Tribune (MN) – November 24, 2013
Among the findings are that transitways significantly improve mobility and that development is occurring among new and emerging transit corridors.

Creating a Sense of Community with Smart Growth
The Worcester Telegraph (MA) – November 24, 2013
The style of development planned for Grant Road — compact homes in a walkable layout — follows a national trend in home construction that is occurring as both baby boomers and millenials look for new homes, according to André Leroux, executive director of the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance.

Birmingham Tackles Complete Streets
Observer & Eccentric (MI) – November 21, 2013
The city has a MultiModal Transportation plan that’s going before the Birmingham City Commission for approval on Monday. It considers improvements such as improved crosswalks, traffic islands, bike lanes and other features meant to create a more walkable community.

Long, Strange Trip for Road Bill
The Philadelphia Inquirer – November 24, 2013
The [Pennsylvania] bill includes trailblazing funding for bike and pedestrian projects and street improvements, such as safer routes to schools.

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Smart Growth News – November 22, 2013

The Future of Cities, as Gabe Klein Sees It
Chicago Magazine – November 21, 2013
“[If] we are smart about our growth, we lure more companies to the city, and have more people live, work and play in place in the city, I think Chicago will be very successful.”

Local

Planning Urged to Prepare for LA’s Chemical Boom
The Advocate (LA) – November 21, 2013
“We know that Louisiana is full of unique places,” Thomas said. “We want to preserve the communities that we already have and what sets us apart.”

Building a Walkable Suburban Neighborhood
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution – November 21, 2013
Walton Communities shares the dedication of the Atlanta Regional Commission to developing communities that will positively impact residents and communities while ensuring long term sustainability.

Downtown Group Receives 75,000 Grant for Douglas Railroad Underpass
The Wichita Eagle (KS) – November 21, 2013
Grant money will jump-start plans to renovate the dingy walking paths under the Douglas Avenue railroad bridge, a central spot for walkers headed to Old Town or Intrust Bank Arena.

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Smart Growth News – November 21, 2013

Earl Blumenauer’s ‘Bike-partisanship’
Politico – November 21, 2013
As with other transportation bills this year both big and small, Blumenauer hopes that a good bipartisan showing will help his measure cut through Congress’s usual legislative gridlock and partisan warfare.

Local

Local, State Officials Cheer Benefits of Transit-oriented Development
NJBiz (dot) com – November 20, 2013
Gallagher and borough director of economic development Colin Driver said a 10-year process to redevelop Somerville as a transit hub has seen hundreds of millions in investment, a rise in downtown property values and increased interest from the development community.

BR-New Orleans Rail Service Study Due by Year’s End
The Advocate (LA) – November 20, 2013
New Orleans Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer, also a panelist in the discussion, said by improving the transportation system, it will provide an economic boost to people in Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

San Diego: Resiliency Central?
San Diego Union-Tribune – November 20, 2013
“Most cities have one big threat – a severe storm in New York, a flood in New Orleans, an earthquake in San Francisco. We must deal with many threats all at once and figure out how to increase our resiliency on all of them.”

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Smart Growth News – November 20, 2013

Utah a Model for New Federal Transportation Lobbying
The Salt Lake Tribune – November 19, 2013
Transportation leaders from around the country launched an effort Tuesday to persuade Congress to raise an extra $30 billion a year for highways and mass transit — and said a partial model for their lobbying is how Utah leaders have been building support for transportation funding in the Beehive State.

Shuster Shuffles House Transit Committee Staff
The Hill – November 19, 2013
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) is shuffling the staff of the panel’s Highways and Transit subcommittee.

Local

Ranson Shares Successes and Future Plans
The Shepherdstown Chronicle (WV) – November 18, 2013
Blake explained that the city has been the recipient of three EOA Hazardous Brownfields Assessment grants and has aggressively pursued grant funding and implementation of smart growth development strategies.

Housing, Commuting Top Topics from Sustainable Communities Initiative in Jackson County
SunHerald (MS) – November 19, 2013
Jackson County supervisors heard the Gulf Regional Planning Commission’s presentation Monday on sustainable communities and expressed a particular interest in ideas to help workers commute to their jobs.

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Smart Growth News – November 19, 2013

With Braves Set to Move, a Broader Look at Atlanta
The New York Times – November 17, 2013
The Cobb County site is actually more in line with a new ethos of urbanism that rewards smaller, walkable communities, said Chris Leinberger.

Matching Space to Needs of Firms
The Wall Street Journal – November 17, 2013
Many growing tech firms want office space in older buildings.

Long Commutes are Making Americans More Politically Apathetic
The Washington Post – November 19, 2013
The authors argue that commuting depletes our psychological resources in unique ways.

Local

Pascagoula Has $400,000 in Grants to Help Turn Around Vacant Properties
SunHerald (MS) – November 17, 2013
“You get these properties that just sit vacant, no one will develop them,” she said. “But we’re blocked off on all sides. We need to fill in all these properties around town.”

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Smart Growth News – November 18, 2013

Coble Co-Sponsors Bipartisan Bicycle Safety & Pedestrian Safety Act
Burlington News-Times (VT) – November 15, 2013
The legislation encourages states to make roadways safer without diverting funds from other safety needs. States could set their own safety targets and choose the best methods to meet them.

Think Local First DC to Host Shop Local Week
The Washington Informer (DC) – November 11, 2013
In conjunction with Smart Growth America’s “Production in the City,” Think Local First will also host a pop-up event – “Made in D.C. Marketplace” – on Thursday, Dec. 5 at at the new IdeaSpace building at the Washington Navy Yard.

Local

Waterloo Touts Benefits of Brownfields Program
WCF Courier (IA) – November 17, 2013
“It’s a great economic development tool for us,” said Chris Western, a city planner and brownfields coordinator. “We are assessing sites left and right now.”

Lawmakers Face Decision on Transportation Spending
The Williamsport Sun-Gazette (PA) – November 17, 2013
Both plans would establish a new “multi-modal” fund, eventually reaching $144 million, to fund rail freight, Amtrak, ports, pedestrian and bicycle projects, and other needs that fall outside roads, bridges or mass transit.

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