Smart growth news – August 24

Muskegon County bus system proposing expanded routes as ridership grows
Muskegon Chronicle (Mich.), August 24, 2011
A consultant is set to review, at no cost to the county, the transportation options in the county and identify barriers to further coordination that could improve cost efficiency and services. The review and possible changes involving the regulatory barriers for transportation funding is being called a “case study for the country” by Smart Growth America, a coalition of national and state organizations that advocates for smart-growth strategies.

California Among the Toughest States for Motorcyclists
U.S. Politics Today, August 24, 2011
Roads in California are rough, and according to a report released by Smart Growth America, only 30 percent of the state’s highways are in good shape. For bikers around the state, this is no surprise: Everyday, motorcycle riders must navigate around obstructions like potholes and problems with the roads’ poorly maintained pavement.

Creating a ‘City For All Ages’
San Ramon Patch (Calif.), August 24, 2011
By 2030, 25 percent of the Bay Area’s population will be 65 and older, according to the California Department of Finance. So what does that mean for San Ramon? According to Don Weden – one of those experts warning folks to prepare for an aging population – that means the city needs to start planning future development to accommodate the over-65 crowd.

Rosemount Councilman Kearney Advises on Financial Challenges
Rosemount Patch (Minn.), August 22, 2011
Kearney has specific goals to accomplish this year while serving on the City Council, including managing smart growth in the city, regardless of the tough economy and suburb competition. To reach these goals, according to Kearney, it will involve making smart decisions with the city’s 2012 budget, as well as creating strong economic development plans that bring more business and employment to Rosemount while keeping the “small town” feel.

Ferguson is on a roll in promoting healthy living
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 24, 2011
Live Well’s loftiest goals lie ahead of it, though. They include helping shape policies to make the city more walkable and bikeable. So far, they’ve completed a bicycle and pedestrian master plan that would connect schools, businesses and workplaces with trails and bike lanes. And they’ve adopted the Complete Streets Act, which requires transportation agencies to design and operate streets in a way that enables pedestrians, cyclists, older people, children and people with disabilities to safely share streets with vehicles when new roads are built or old ones reconstructed.

Downtown extends welcome as Pinnacle employees fill new headquarters
The Commercial Appeal (Tenn.), August 23, 2011
They were part of the third wave of employees to move to Pinnacle’s new Downtown digs from Nonconnah Corporate Center since the first scouts arrived Aug. 8.

Opinion

Counties cry wolf over development restrictions
The Baltimore Sun, August 23, 2011
Maryland needs new approach to stop harmful sprawl, protect the quality of life and save state taxpayers billions of dollars.

Columbia residents want improvements in public transit
Columbia Missourian, August 22, 2011
Instead of cutting service, the city should be developing a long-term plan for transit expansion. By providing a more extensive and frequent service including evenings and weekends, ridership would increase substantially. People who currently drive would choose to ride the bus, reducing inefficient automobile journeys and ensuring the road surfaces last longer and save the city money. Columbia residents have very clearly signaled their desire to see an expansion of bus service — both through the annual increases in ridership every year since 2007 and the city’s 2011 DirectionFinder Survey.

Creating great neighborhoods
Indianapolis Star, August 23, 2011
Over the weekend, I caught a piece on National Public Radio about “big box” stores like Best Buy and Borders keeping neighborhoods afloat — and what it means now that many of them are closing down certain locations or filing for bankruptcy. The real estate expert being interviewed discussed the notion that the hardest-hit retail spots will be suburban strip malls because we’re in the middle of a structural shift away from sprawl and back toward walkable urban and inner-suburban places.

Riding out of a recession: Bicycle commuters can power the economy
The Oregonian, August 24, 2011
We know Portland’s 324 miles of bikeways contribute to a great quality of life and that the city’s position as the U.S. leader in bike commuters per capita is a boon for public health and traffic congestion. But a new report on one of the world’s leading bike commuting cities shows that the same trails and lanes created for enjoyment create significant employment, too.

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