Smart Growth News – December 6, 2012

Today’s stories:

KC must be a savvy city to prosper
Kansas City Star – December 5, 2012
Plenty of intriguing ideas emerged this week in Kansas City during a national summit focused on how to build successful American cities over the next few decades. But in tight economic times and turbulent job markets, cities must be selective in deciding which dreams they will strongly pursue.

City’s diverse Southeast Redmond neighborhood plan to be updated
Redmond Reporter (WA) – December 4, 2012
“What’s so interesting about this area is that it’s the most diverse in terms of land use,” said Kim Dietz, a senior planner for the city. This diversity will play a large role in Southeast Redmond’s neighborhood plan update, which is currently underway and like the city’s Comprehensive Plan, looks 20 years into the future.

Ilitch seeks downtown Detroit arena district
Detroit News (MI) – December 4, 2012
The Ilitch organization said Tuesday it wants to explore the creation of a proposed $650 million mixed use district in downtown Detroit that would include a multipurpose events center along with retail, office and residential housing space.

Downtown Oklahoma City office market thriving
Milwaukee Business Journal (WI) – December 4, 2012
The downtown Oklahoma City skyline is punctuated by the new, 50-story Devon Tower, but the city’s downtown resurgence has allowed the office space Devon Energy Corp. vacated to be re-occupied.

Metro ridership drops ‘significantly’ below agency’s forecasts
Washington Examiner – December 5, 2012
The ridership drops have translated into $5 million less revenue than expected for the first quarter, according to the memo included in a presentation slated to be given to Metro’s Board of Directors on Thursday. The biggest losses are on Metrorail, which raised $4.1 million less than planned.

California high-speed-rail brawl hits House floor
Politico – December 5, 2012
At stake is a multibillion-dollar, years-in-the-works public works project — but also a governmentwide spending bill that could play into the high-stakes deficit-reduction talks between Congress and the White House.

Metro Detroit regional transit authority derailed in first battle of Michigan right-to-work war
MLive (MI) – December 5, 2012
Michigan Democrats today promised to fight back against what they are calling a “war on workers,” and they made a House Transportation Committee hearing the first battleground.

Minneapolis likes Southwest light rail concept but not the current plan
Minneapolis Post (MN) – December 5, 2012
The City of Minneapolis moved a step closer to endorsing the Southwest Light Rail Line but will not accept a plan that includes freight trains, light rail and the recreational trails running through the relatively narrow strip of land known as the Kenilworth Corridor.

Berkshire Co-op to relocate to Great Barrington brownfields site
Berkshire Eagle (MA) – December 6, 2012
A long-awaited, massive $30 million redevelopment project on a blighted brownfields site near the heart of downtown took a major step forward on Wednesday with the announcement that the Berkshire Co-op Market would anchor the eight-acre, mixed-use commercial, residential and recreational project.

Opinion and editorial:

Think About the Transportation Sector
Huffington Post – December 5, 2012
The U.S. needs a 3-step mass transit program to help our communities thrive, protect our climate, and promote human health.