SGA News Clips, 6/2/11

Repair Priorities Coverage

Report: States should spend more on repairing existing roads

The Hill, 6/1/11
“However, the report, which was sponsored by Washington, D.C.-based Smart Growth America and Taxpayers for Common Sense, also notes that new construction only accounts for 1 percent of state transportation projects. ‘Federal taxpayers have an enormous stake in seeing that our roads are kept in good condition,’ Taxpayers for Common Sense policy analyst Erich Zimmermann said in a statement… Smart Growth America’s director of land use and transportation, Roger Millar, agreed.”

Existing Roads Slide Into Decrepitude as States Splurge on Highway Expansion
DC Streetsblog, 6/1/11
“A new report from Smart Growth America finds that states spent 57 percent of their highway funds building new roads between 2004 and 2008. As a result, 23,300 new lane miles were constructed — a 1.3 percent expansion. Meanwhile, the existing 1.9 million lane miles deteriorated under a regime that prioritizes expansion of the system over its maintenance.”

If We Can’t Afford to Fix Roads, Can We Afford to Build Roads?
Transportation Nation, 6/1/11
“Expanding the system while deferring maintenance is not just a Wisconsin thing. According to another report, released today by Taxpayers for Common Sense and Smart Growth America, this is a nationwide habit. The two groups found that between 2004 and 2008, while bridges crumbled and roads deteriorated, states spent 57 percent of their highway budgets on road widening and new road construction.”

Daily News Clips

Farm boom missing Main Street
USA Today, 5/31/11
“Most farmers no longer buy cars, clothes and farm equipment in towns near them, local bankers and rural economists say. Most young people who leave for college don’t move back. Like most small towns across the Midwest, Guthrie Center’s population — 1,569 according to Census figures — is shrinking and getting older. ‘The rural economy is very good right now, and that’s certainly helpful, but it is still extremely difficult up and down Main Street,’ said Barry Monaghan, president of Guthrie County State Bank and father of two college-educated children who live elsewhere.”

What The Debt Ceiling Vote Means For Transportation
DC Streetsblog, 6/1/11
“House Budget Chair Paul Ryan’s proposed 2012 budget calls for cutting the transportation budget by about a third. That budget is the GOP’s starting point for the delicate negotiations ongoing between the two parties in an attempt to come to some kind of compromise on spending cuts that will convince Republicans (and those 82 holdout Democrats) to vote to raise the debt ceiling. In other words, transportation policies could become bargaining chips in the larger battle over the debt ceiling.”

Housing secretary praising Utah growth vision
The Salt Lake Tribune, 6/1/11
“He didn’t focus on the grime or smell as he stood in front of an abandoned warehouse at 200 South and 600 West in Salt Lake City. Shaun Donovan, U.S. secretary of housing and urban development, was too busy envisioning the future there with local leaders. They talked about how the area could soon have shops, offices and apartments attracted by the easy transit connections next door at the intermodal transportation hub. They pointed at the shiny Gateway development a few blocks away, and figured the run-down area might look pristine like that soon.”

What makes a city lovable?, 6/1/11
“That kind of devotion can be created by simply building attractive places, some city planners believe. Install a farmers market, plant some flowers, erect a row of decorative streetlights, et voilà: True love!”

Plan for Hokoken’s public housing complex wins ‘smart growth’ award, 5/31/11
“The Hoboken Housing Authority and Marchetto Higgins Stieve Architects and Planners have won a New Jersey Future 2011 Smart Growth Award. The authority won for its Vision 20/20 plan that would transform the area around Hoboken’s public housing complex.”

Making St. Louis more livable
St. Louis Beacon, 6/1/11
“Making the St. Louis area more livable includes improving the quality of life and job creation among other things, says Trailnet spokesman Phil Valko. An example of making a community more livable would be helping more senior citizens to live independently, especially as the baby boomers age, Valko adds. ‘Places that are livable are places that have healthy foods, kids have access to parks (and) kids can walk to school,’ he says.”