Smart growth news – July 18, 2011

Carmageddon: Public transit ridership up, officials say
Los Angeles Times, July 16, 2011
Ridership on at least a few Metrolink lines has increased today compared to a normal summer Saturday afternoon, spokeswoman Sherita Coffelt said. Coffelt said that last Saturday there were 127 riders on the first train from Oceanside to Union Station and that today there were 257 riders. In the opposite direction, there were 102 riders from Union Station to Oceanside last week and there were 154 today.

Planner: Foot traffic key to smarter, healthier towns
Burlington Free Press (Vt.), July 17, 2011
What’s been the most significant development in transportation for the 21st century? The Segway? How about electric-assisted bicycles? Levitating trains? Renowned British Columbian author and planner Todd Litman nixed those candidates before a stymied audience last week at Main Street Landing in Burlington.

The State of Metropolitan America: Suburbs and the 2010 Census
Brookings Institution, July 14, 2011
The research that my colleagues at the Brookings Metro Program have conducted with respect to the 2010 census results thus far has focused on three of these subject areas: population, race and ethnicity, and age. In each of these areas, amid dynamic national demographic shifts, we see continued or increasing similarities between cities and suburbs.

More Roads May Pave The Way To More Traffic
National Public Radio, July 9, 2011
For decades, urban areas across the country have been adding lanes and building roads to fight congestion, but a recent study by University of Toronto researchers finds that widening and building more roads actually creates more traffic.

Lower Manhattan poised to be vibrant community
Crain’s New York Business, July 17, 2011
Missing the city’s energy and the creative types who made up their social circle, the family is moving back to the neighborhood. Now a lively stretch filled with eclectic restaurants, Stone Street is transformed but no less appealing.

Opinion

In lieu of practical public transit, Los Angeles resorts to flying during Carmageddon
Next American City, July 15, 2011
Even though JetBlue’s offer is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, the fact that it exists at all points out the startling dearth of transportation alternatives in Los Angeles. If the Queens Midtown Expressway in New York City shut down, would people fly from La Guardia to Newark? Or if the 495 Beltway outside Washington D.C. closed, would people fly from National Airport to Dulles? In both cases, the answer is almost certainly no. Not because people drive less in either of those places but simply because there are other ways to get around.

More Carmageddons could be in our future
Bakersfield Californian, July 16, 2011
Urban America has become so reliant on the automobile, and our roads so stressed by nonstop use, one might wonder if it’s possible to adequately sustain and maintain our transportation infrastructure over the long term. Evidence? That 10-mile stretch of Interstate 405 in Los Angeles where a 53-hour closure for a road-widening bridge demolition brought half of Southern California to a near-standstill.

New Massport boss must help fix broader transport system
Boston Globe, July 17, 2011
IT HAS been five months since Massport Director Tom Kinton resigned, and the board is still seeking a replacement. Whoever is chosen must understand the challenges of running airports and seaports. But the next director’s success should be measured in the context of a statewide transportation infrastructure, many pieces of which are in far worse shape than Massport.

Citizens want efficient public transit
Tri-City Herald (Wash.), July 17, 2011
Public transit is an important service in the Tri-Cities and in a recent study, Washington Policy Center found that Ben Franklin Transit (BFT) officials could do more to improve its efficiency.

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