SGA News Clips, 5/26/11

Mass transit: A tale of two cities
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 5/24/11
Chris Leinberger and Jim Durrett write, “Metro Atlanta and Washington have much in common. The population is the same (about 5.7 million); each is a capital; each experienced most of its growth in the late 20th century; and each has southern roots, but has experienced population influx from the North. The two metro areas also share a crucial 1970s transportation investment: a federally funded heavy rail system.”

Road Builders: 80 million jobs at stake in transportation bill
The Hill, 5/25/11
“The American Road and Transportation Builders Association is out with a new ad suggesting as many as 80 million jobs could hinge on Congress passing a new transportation bill this year.”

Needed: More, Better, AND Accessible Jobs
The New Republic, 5/25/11
“This recent Per Square Mile post caught my eye (hat tip to my colleague Ben Orr) because it hits on three key issues that affect access to opportunity in our major metro areas: where the poor live, where jobs are, and how transit fits into the picture.”

Antonio Villaraigosa: America Fast Forward on the Fast Track
The Huffington Post, 5/25/11
“Today, thanks to the hard work of Senator Boxer, Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and our leading champion of America Fast Forward, along with Senators Inhofe, Baucus and Vitter we got a first look at the draft legislation to reauthorize our federal transportation programs. And it’s great news for our transportation infrastructure nationwide.”

Revelations from a Humdrum Transit-Fare Statistic
The New York Times, 5/25/11
“A somewhat elusive statistic is not likely to get much attention when the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority convenes Wednesday morning for its monthly session. Nonetheless, it is an intriguing number. It even has a name, if an unwieldy one: farebox operating ratio. In recognizable English, this metric calculates the cost of running a mass transit system and the portion of it that riders pay with their coins and MetroCard swipes.”

Clifton fears that closing town’s only school means end of community’s identity

The Washington Post, 5/25/11
“But even those who think the decision was for the best also acknowledge that closing Clifton has eroded the social bedrock of one of the few rural areas left in Northern Virginia’s most populous suburb. While much of Fairfax has filled up with townhouses and malls, and Tysons Corner is becoming more urbanized, Clifton has kept a touch of country because of conservation laws that protected its open space but now threaten its ability to support a school. The town’s Main Street seems timeless, with a general store, a popular ice cream stand, antiques shops and plenty of charm. But, without a modern community center or public pool, Clifton’s social life has centered around the elementary school.”