Smart Growth News – August 17, 2012

Top Stories:

The Economic Secret of Vacant City Spaces
Forbes – August 16, 2012
Most of us feel attached to our neighborhoods, but can this emotional connection help fuel local economies? According to a multi-year study by Gallup and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the answer is yes: Communities with high levels of attachment actually have higher local GDP growth.

White House offering states nearly half-billion dollars for transportation projects
Washington Post (DC) – August 17, 2012
The Obama administration will make nearly half a billion dollars in unspent highway funds available to states that promise to use the money to create jobs and improve transportation.

Green Streets Cut Pollution More Than Previously Thought
The Dirt (ASLA blog) – August 15, 2012
A new research study by Professor Thomas Pugh at Lancaster University and other scientists in the UK has found that adding trees, bushes, innovative systems like green walls, or even ivy or other creeping vines, can cut street-level nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and microscopic particulate matter (PM), two of the worst forms of pollution, by eight times more than previously thought.

Rep. Steve LaTourette Leaving Congress, Cites Disgust Over Transpo Bill
Streetsblog – August 16, 2012
LaTourette is one of a disappearing breed of moderate Republicans in Congress — and urban ones, at that.

Local News:

Q Poll: 74 Percent of New Yorkers Think Bike-Share Is a Good Idea
Streetsblog – August 16, 2012
A Quinnipiac poll released today shows support for a network of public bicycles at 74 percent citywide, the highest positives yet for an idea that has consistently scored very well in public opinion.

CDOT seeks details on high-speed transit tech
San Francisco Chronicle (CA) – August 17, 2012
Colorado is getting ready to collect information from high-speed transit technology providers, as it studies whether adding high-speed transit on Interstate 70 is doable.

San Jose opens bike lanes, offers plans for bicycle, pedestrian safe downtown
Mercury News (CA) – August 16, 2012
About 12 cyclists officially inaugurated a portion of San Jose’s new downtown bike lanes on Aug. 9. The 7.6 miles of newly designed lanes will allow cyclists a segregated and safer ride through downtown streets.

Bloomberg: Citi Bike Launch Pushed to Next Spring
Streetsblog – August 17, 2012
Making his weekly appearance on WOR with John Gambling this morning, Mayor Bloomberg announced that the software problems affecting Citi Bike equipment won’t be resolved in time to launch the bike-share system this year.

Opinion and Editorial:

Acela defies California’s bullet-train naysayers
LA Times (CA) – August 16, 2012
If the cynics fail to kill the train and more visionary leaders succeed in drumming up the funding needed to complete it, the line could become the most successful transportation project in the country.