Smart Growth News – November 15, 2013

Senate Bill Revives Infrastructure Bank Idea
The Hill – November 14, 2013
The infrastructure funding would be used as leverage to lure private sector investments that could reap as much as $300 billion in new transportation projects, according to Warner’s office.

Feds Confirm Traffic Fatalities on the Rise
WNYC (NY) – November 14, 2013
Fatalities among pedestrians increased for the third consecutive year.

How A Free Bus Shuttle Helped Make A Small Town Take Off
NPR – November 13, 2013
In Emeryville, Calif., 10 miles east of San Francisco, the local businesses helped reinvent the city by providing a free shuttle service as a solution to this last mile problem.


Regional Planning Initiative Stopping by Area Today, Saturday
The Niagara Gazette (NY) – November 14, 2013
One Region Forward, a collaborative, community-based regional planning initiative, is asking citizens of the Niagara and Erie counties about the future of the area at a series of interactive “Community Congress” public workshops.


Smart Growth News – November 14, 2013

New Development Patterns Essential for a New Economy
The Sacramento Bee – November 14, 2013
The question for Sacramento: If you choose to build a 21st century economy, will you offer the market both options? Or stick with the pattern of the last century?

Officials Unveil Transportation Cost Calculator
The Washington Post – November 12, 2013
“By adding transportation to the housing equation, this tool will help families all across the country make better decisions about where to live and work and how to commute.”


Many New Jersey Towns Not Preparing for Rising Sea Levels
WHYY (PA) – November 12, 2013
“The state’s done a great job of focusing on rebuilding after Sandy,” she said. “What we haven’t seen enough of is a comprehensive look at a strategy for making New Jersey ‘smarter than the storm’ going forward.”

Midtown East Rezoning Plan To Die In New York City Council… For Now
New York Daily News – November 12, 2013
Most of the players were on board with the idea of rezoning the area in principle, but negotiations got bogged down in the details.


Virginia Beach, VA aims to attract new businesses and residents with more walkable neighborhoods

Virginia Beach, VA’s Town Center. Photo by Barb Watson via Flickr.

Virginia Beach, VA is already a popular summertime destination. Now, city leaders are working to attract more year-round businesses and residents, and they’re using smart growth strategies to make it happen.

Virginia Beach is beginning to implement its comprehensive plan, beginning with the city’s Central Business District Core. The neighborhood is one of the city’s eight strategic growth areas, and Virginia Beach residents have said they want it to have “a mix of urban uses, great streets, mobility and transit alternatives.”

Complete Streets

More than a year from operation, Kansas City's Streetcar is already driving investment downtown

Kansas City Streetcar
A rendering of Kansas City’s future streetcar. Image via PlanningKC.

In a sign of things to come for downtown Kansas City, MO, a site along the city’s forthcoming streetcar line is being transformed from a parking lot into a mixed-use development. The developer of Crossroads Apartments, who has never built in Kansas City before, told the Kansas City Star that “the streetcar is the big thing that drew us, absolutely.”

The Kansas City Downtown Streetcar Project is comprised of a streetcar loop that will mostly run along Main Street in downtown Kansas City, and will link the city’s main entertainment venues with transit centers and arts districts.


Commissioner Annabelle Jaramillo on supporting cities and protecting open space in Benton County, OR

The view from above Corvallis, Oregon. Photo via prw_silvan on Flickr.
The view from above Corvallis, OR. Photo by Paul Woods via Flickr.

Benton County, OR is a mix of great urban places and rural areas, and smart growth strategies are helping to protect both.

That’s according to Benton County Board of Commissioners Chair Annabelle Jaramillo, who has served on the board since 2000. Jaramillo is a member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, a nonpartisan group of municipal officials who share a passion for building great towns, cities, and communities.

Local Leaders Council

Smart Growth News – November 13, 2013

Tool Calculates Housing, Transportation Costs
San Diego Source – November 12, 2013
“Housing and transportation are intimately linked,” Donovan said, adding that residents need to get to work, young people need to go to school and families need to access critical resources. And it’s “critical that families be able to budget accurately.”


Greater Cleveland RTA is Riding Wave of Momentum
Crain’s Cleveland Business – November 13, 2013
After years of declining ridership — the result of the recession and service cutbacks — ridership is up and RTA is looking to grow even more.

Rosenberg Develops With Smart Growth for Business and Culture
Your Houston News (TX) – November 12, 2013
“Rosenberg’s recent increase in development is the result of cooperative community efforts and regional partnerships to plan for future infrastructure needs and recruit new residents and businesses.”

Report Pushes for More Action on Brownfields
The Sacramento Business Journal – November 11, 2013
Participants also discussed what could be done with existing brownfields, which a Sacramento County study determined numbered in the hundreds.


Smart Growth News – November 12, 2013

Cities Turn to Streetcars to Spur Economic Development
USA Today – November 8, 2013
“They help drive development. They help create a sense of place. They help shape your community… and bring a vitality to your community.”

Is it OK to Kill Cyclists?
The New York Times – November 9, 2013
The social and legal culture of the American road, not to mention the road itself, hasn’t caught up.


Transit is Key to Progress
The Cincinnati Enquirer – November 7, 2013
There is a pent-up market demand for these types of neighborhoods, and Cincinnati has a natural advantage within the region in satisfying it.

TDOT Chief Says $8 Billion Wish List Has Department in Bind
The Tennesseean – November 8, 2013
“Do you have to have every single option available on a car, or are you really just looking for transportation? We’re at the point right now where we’re saying, ‘Let’s provide the transportation.'”


Smart Growth News – November 8, 2013

Urban Politics Shift With Fresh Voices Elected Mayor in America’s Largest Cities
PBS Newshour – November 6, 2013
“[Cities and metros] are the vanguard of policy innovation and this corporate-civic-public partnership that is really powering places forward.”

Bill Shuster Takes on the Tea Party Storm
Politico – November 7, 2013
“User fees are what most conservatives believe in: If you use something, you pay for it,” he said. “That’s the fairest way to collect a fee or tax on someone.”


Zimmerman Retiring from County Board
ARLnow (VA) – November 6, 2013
“Today I feel great satisfaction for what we have achieved,” he said. “Arlington is looked upon with admiration in our region and beyond.”

Cleanups Aim for Jobs
The Columbus Dispatch (OH) – November 6, 2013
Cleaning up brownfields has clear benefits: it removes environmental hazards and allows abandoned eyesores to be transformed into new infill projects in urban areas.


Smart Growth News – November 7, 2013

Chris Zimmerman to Quit Arlington County Board; Special Election to be Set in Spring
The Washington Post – November 6, 2013
He said he was resigning to take a position as a vice president of Smart Growth America, a District-based nonprofit organization that defines itself as a national coalition of advocacy groups working to promote walkable neighborhoods near public transit.

Chris Zimmerman to Step Down from Arlington Board
Washington Business Journal – November 6, 2013
“Arlington, Va. is one of the best examples of smart growth development in the country,” said Geoff Anderson.

For Older Citizens, Lack of Transportation a Daily Struggle
Portland Press Herald (ME) – November 6, 2013
While funding for transportation programs targeting seniors and disabled adults has increased, budget cuts have reduced the department’s ability to coordinate multi-agency programs.

The Love Affair is Over
The Columbia Journalism Review – November 1, 2013
America’s relationship with the automobile is changing. The transportation beat has to catch up.