SGA News Clips, 5/31/11

People depend on their cars too much amid a lack of transportation choices, AAA says
Winston-Salem Journal, 5/28/11
“AAA also analyzed six studies on North Carolina’s transportation system, finding that local and state residents depend too much on their vehicles because the region and the state have limited public transportation options. The trend will continue, AAA officials said, as the state’s population continues to grow, causing even more urban sprawl.”

Awesome little video on the case for smart growth
NRDC Switchboard, 5/27/11
Kaid Benfield writes, “This is a terrific production.”

Guest opinion: City-school district planning will benefit entire community
Billings Gazette, 5/28/11
“In the recent infill policy workshop hosted by the city, attendees learned that the key to successful cities of the future will be in their ability to achieve “place making.” The younger generations tend to select the places they want to live, then move there and find a job. The places they find desirable will have great public transportation options, affordable housing, good schools, neighborhoods where kids and families can walk and bike, and vibrant, healthy downtown centers that offer options for the young, old, and everyone in between. If we all work together, Billings can be such a place.”

Panasonic reaps benefits of mass transit tax credit
Marketplace Morning Report, 5/27/11
“By relocating closer to mass transit, the company will be able to stand by its green values, as well as enjoy $100 million worth of tax credit.”

Columbia dodged development bullet with proximity to D.C., expert says
The Baltimore Sun, 5/26/11
“If Washington had been located 20 miles farther south of Columbia, the master-planned community would have failed, as land-use strategist Chris Leinberger tells it. ‘America’s City,’ as it was called in its earliest years, violates nearly every successful planning model across the country by being located southwest of its nearest metropolitan area — the city of Baltimore — instead of north of it, where the upper middle class prefers to live, he says. Having a second metro area nearby — and that city being our nation’s capital, no less — is what saved Columbia from what Leinberger considers a certain collapse, as it managed to skim growth from both Baltimore and Washington.”

In Gwinnett, light rail a ‘polarizing project’
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 5/30/11
“As elected officials try to assemble a regional list of transportation projects to entice voters to approve a 1-cent sales tax next year, pleasing a majority of metro residents will be difficult. With major light rail projects in the mix, pleasing all of Gwinnett’s 386,419 registered voters — 17 percent of the 10-county region’s 2.27 million voters — will be impossible.”

Housing Index Is Expected To Show a New Low in Prices
The New York Times, 5/30/11
“The desire to own your own home, long a bedrock of the American Dream, is fast becoming a casualty of the worst housing downturn since the Great Depression. Even as the economy began to fitfully recover in the last year, the percentage of homeowners dropped sharply, to 66.4 percent, from a peak of 69.2 percent in 2004. The ownership rate is now back to the level of 1998, and some housing experts say it could decline to the level of the 1980s or even earlier.”

Your Commute Is Killing You
Slate, 5/26/11
“This week, researchers at Umea University in Sweden released a startling finding: Couples in which one partner commutes for longer than 45 minutes are 40 percent likelier to divorce.”

Why Detroit’s revitalization is important to Ann Arbor (and how Ann Arbor can help), 5/29/11
“But perhaps the most important element to sparking a turnaround in Detroit is regional collaboration. And a key catalyst in that turnaround is Ann Arbor — its business community, its nonprofit leaders and, yes, the University of Michigan.”

30-year transportation plan approved for Wasatch Front
The Salt Lake Tribune, 5/27/11
“Two new freeways, several new streetcars and TRAX lines, and hundreds of miles of new “bus rapid transit” — where express buses have their own highway lanes — are included in the official transportation plan for the next 30 years adopted Thursday by the Wasatch Front Regional Council.”