SGA News Clips, 6/3/11

Repair Priorities Coverage

The Problem With Potholes: Neglected Road Repair Poses Huge Liabilities For Many States
The Huffington Post, 6/2/11
Geoff Anderson says, “According to a new report by Smart Growth America and Taxpayers for Common Sense, states would collectively need to spend $43 billion every year for 20 years to bring the country’s roads currently in poor condition up to good condition and then keep them that way.”

Study: Delayed Road Repairs ‘Ticking Time Bomb’, 6/1/11
“Decades of spending on new road construction, instead of regular repair, have left many states’ roads in poor condition, and the cost of pushing back repairs is growing at an alarming rate each year, according to a new report from Smart Growth America and Taxpayers for Common Sense that examines road conditions and spending priorities in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia.”

Report: Focus on road repair, not expansion
Finance & Commerce, 6/2/11
Smart Growth America and Taxpayers for Common Sense say only about 21 percent of Minnesota’s highway spending from 2004 to 2008 went to repair and maintenance of roads.”

Report: States misusing road funds
Fleet Owner, 6/2/11
“According to a new report issued by Smart Growth America and Taxpayers for Common Sense, most states are spending too much money on new road construction and road expansion and not enough on preserving the condition of the current infrastructure.”

The road building/repair/congestion money sink
Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space, 6/2/11
Smart Growth America came out with a report, Repair Priorities: Transportation spending strategies to save taxpayer dollars and improve roads, which makes the point that the cost of maintaining roads is rising faster than the cost of building them.”

Daily News Clips

A Not So Suburban Suburbia: Possibilities for Our Urban Future
National Geographic NewsWatch, 6/3/11
“There are other ways that the classic image of suburban life is out of step with the reality. A panel featuring Dunham-Jones, Emil Frankel of the Bipartisan Policy Institute, Geoff Anderson of Smart Growth America, and Amy Fraenkel of the United Nations Environment Programme pointed out some surprising characteristics of the modern American suburb. While the suburbs are traditionally invoked as a place to raise your kids, about two-thirds of suburban households do not have children and that number is getting closer to three-quarters of households.”

Great places: smart density as part of economic flourishing
Grist, 5/31/11
“Here’s the basic idea: When smart, skilled people start to gather in a place, the process becomes self-perpetuating. More smart, skilled people show up to be near the others. And the more smart, skilled people you get close together, the more you reduce transaction costs and increase ‘knowledge spillover,’ which leads to commerce and innovation.”

Why aren’t we more rational about commuting?
The Washington Post, 6/2/11
Ezra Klein says, “As Chris Leinberger of Brookings once told me, some 30 to 50 percent of residents in U.S. metropolitan areas want to live in walkable urban environments — a trend fueled by the growing numbers of single and childless couples, who will constitute 88 percent of household growth through 2040. But there are only enough truly walkable neighborhoods in the country to satisfy about 5 to 10 percent of metro residents.”

Dream City: A Tale of Three Cities
Columbia Patch, 6/2/11
“Land use strategist Chris Leinberger, a Brookings Institution visiting fellow, recently told the Baltimore Sun that Columbia has managed to “skim growth from both Baltimore and Washington,” despite the city’s near fatal flaw of locating southwest of a major metropolitan area (Baltimore), rather than north of it, the more common model.”

Development of rural areas challenges advocates, planners
The Baltimore Sun, 6/2/11
“Such battles over rural land have been fought in every suburban county in the Baltimore area, and this year the spotlight is on Anne Arundel, which is considering proposals in its once-in-a-decade rezoning. In addition to the Crandall Cove project, developers are seeking permission to increase density of homes two-fold in a single-family home neighborhood.”

Planners advise bike lanes, resist sprawl in West Brattleboro
Brattleboro Reformer, 6/3/11
“Implementing such changes could allow Brattleboro to utilize the newly passed legislation called ‘Complete Streets,’ which designs a consideration policy to ensure all users of the Vermont transportation system are considered and accommodated in the planning, development and construction phases of any state or locally managed project.”

Infographic: Light Rail Transit for Dummies
The Atlantic, 6/2/11
“The data presented in this graphic are focused around Waterloo, a small city in Ontario, Canada, where Snapsort, the company responsible for the graphic’s construction, is based. While not all of the numbers can be applied to any region where light rail is being considered, they do provide a clear look at how trains can alter the transportation options in an urban environment.”

An App That Organizes Your City by Travel Time
GOOD Magazine, 6/2/11
“Mapnificent is a Google Maps application that provides a brilliant new way of looking at your local geography. Rather than letting you specify a start point and end point and then giving you directions and travel time, as most map applications normally do, Mapnificent allows you to specify a starting location and then see all the places you can reach by public transportation within a certain amount of time.”

Letter: Take it from sixth-grader; Vero Beach needs more bike lanes
TCPalm, 6/2/11
“As a sixth-grader at Gifford Middle School, I would like to address one thing that Vero Beach should address: the lack of bike lanes. When I look out the car window, I rarely see bike lanes. There are a few, but overall there aren’t many lanes for people to cruise with bikes. Some bike lanes are hazardous… I think new bike lanes would be a spectacular investment for the city, especially given the high gas prices.”