Smart Growth News – July 18, 2012

Top Stories:

High-Speed Rail Investment in U.S. Would Result in $26.4 Billion Net Benefits by 2040

Clean Technica – July 17, 2012
The report titled “Opportunity Cost of Inaction: High-Speed Rail and High Performance Passenger Rail Service” was released [last week] at a Congressional briefing by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). It shows that building a high-speed rail program in the U.S. results in $26.4 billion in net benefits over the next 40 years.

Railway projects boost Obama transit push

The Hill – July 9, 2012
Supporters of President Obama’s push to build more railways in the United States are hoping that a pair of high-profile approvals will help get the president’s beleaguered rail effort back on track.

The New Boom Towns: Suburbs Get City Makeovers

The Fiscal Times – July 17, 2012
Not many cities can say they came out of the recession as well off as they went in. Bellevue, a suburb of Seattle, is one of the few.

Agenda 21: Robert Bentley, Alabama Governor, Refuses To Explain Ban Of UN Sustainability Program

Huffington Post – July 17, 2012
The Republican governor of Alabama declined to say why he signed a bill banning the United Nations Agenda 21 sustainability program in his state. “I am not going to answer that,” Gov. Robert Bentley (R) said when The Huffington Post asked about the decision at this weekend’s National Governors Association conference in Williamsburg, Va.

Transport needs of elderly an issue

Atlanta Journal Constitution (GA) – July 18, 2012
With aging baby boomers the fastest-growing group in metro Atlanta, advocates for the elderly are looking at how projects in the July 31 transportation referendum could help seniors, especially when they have to give up their car keys.

Local Stories:

Live-work-play neighborhoods could soon be developed near downtown Springfield

KSPR ABC News (MO) – July 17, 2012
After a year of public input, proposed plans have been revealed on the College Street Corridor revitalization.

New Sewer Service Maps Will Support Responsible Development, Water Protection

New Jersey Future – July 17, 2012
In a win for responsible economic development and clean water, state Department of Environmental Protection representatives have confirmed that that Sewer Service Area (SSA) plans have now been submitted from all 21 counties.

N.Y.U. Expansion Plan Wins Key Council Panel Vote

New York Times – July 17, 2012
After being scaled back some more, New York University’s plan to expand its campus in Greenwich Village over 20 years won crucial approvals from a City Council committee on Tuesday, all but assuring that the city will give the university the go-ahead to proceed with its much-debated development.

Plan envisions decking railroad, adding 4th track in SW DC

Greater Greater Washington (DC) – July 17, 2012
One day, disjointed streets and lifeless blocks around L’Enfant Plaza could become a complete neighborhood with a connected street grid, park space, mixed-use buildings, and an expanded 4-track rail hub connecting MARC and VRE commuter trains to Metro, buses, and the DC Streetcar.

Electric plant to be built at Woodbridge redevelopment site

My Central Jersey – July 18, 2012
A natural gas-fueled electric generation facility will be built by Competitive Power Ventures at the former EPEC Polymers site at the township’s 655-acre Keasbey Redevelopment Zone, Mayor John E. McCormac has announced. The site of the planned energy complex is part of the ongoing remediation, restoration and redevelopment of the Keasbey Redevelopment Zone and Brownfields Development Area.

Dealing with Oak Ridge’s blighted neighborhoods

Oak Ridger (TN) – July 17, 2012
Oak Ridge Community Development Director Kathryn Baldwin recently gave the Oak Ridge City Council an update on the proposed land bank project that could help revitalize blighted neighborhoods.

Sacramento County supervisors OK Walmart in North Highlands smart growth area

Sacramento Bee (CA) – July 18, 2012
Sacramento County supervisors approved a smart growth plan for Watt Avenue in North Highlands, and then allowed a Walmart right in the middle of it.

Council Sends Sales Tax Hike To November Ballot

Memphis Daily Times (TN) – July 18, 2012
Memphis City Council members added a half percent local option sales tax hike proposal to the Nov. 6 ballot in Memphis at their Tuesday, July 17, meeting. And a proposed one-cent gasoline tax with revenue going to the Memphis Area Transit Authority was approved on the second of three readings. If approved on third reading next month, that proposal would also go to Memphis voters on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Opinion and Editorial:

T-SPLOST pros and cons

Atlanta Journal Constitution (GA) – July 17, 2012
The transportation sales tax vote is two weeks away. An advocate of mixed-use, walkable communities explains how voters acting with a regional mindset can kick-start our economy. On the other side, a policy analyst says a sales tax is not the best funding option, and that transit expansion should not come at the expense of fixing our highway network.