Smart growth news – July 20, 2011

The road to budget priorities is full of potholes
The Daily Astorian (Ore.), July 19, 2011
A coalition of citizens groups is working to shed light on this problem, including 1000 Friends of Oregon, Smart Growth America and Taxpayers for Common Sense. According to a coalition report, 43 percent of Oregon’s roads are not in good condition, and the cost of bringing these roads up to snuff increases every year.

California’s rough roads tough on motorcyclists
San Jose Mercury (Calif.), July 19, 2011
Although numerous paving projects are under way or soon to begin in the Bay Area, the hope for smoother roads is bleak. A report last week by Smart Growth America found that only 30 percent of California’s state-owned highways were in good shape.

Smart-growth principles can deflate congestion, drive economic growth
Sun Sentinel (Fla.), July 17, 2011
We all want our region to be competitive in the global marketplace. It’s how we make this happen that is the crux of this discussion. Transit and transportation choices are the bones of a sustainable, competitive Florida.

Does US-style planning and smart growth work elsewhere?
NRDC, July 19, 2011
Do American ideas of sustainable communities, smart growth and urbanism work elsewhere? Here are a couple of leading architectural thinkers discussing the challenges.

Wyandotte County Sues GSA Over EPA Move
KMBC (Kan.), July 19, 2011
Unified Government officials claim the GSA violated federal government regulations when it announced the move of the Environmental Protection Agency Region 7 headquarters out of downtown Kansas City, Kan., to a suburban business park in Lenexa. […] The lawsuit claims the move to the Lenexa location, at 11201 Renner Road, violates an executive order signed by President Jimmy Carter in 1978. The lawsuit quotes part of the executive order saying preference should be given to placing federal offices in downtown areas.

Zipcar’s Impact On How People Use Cars Is Enormous
Fast Company, July 19, 2011
After a year of Zipcar availability in Baltimore, a survey finds that Zipcar membership means less driving, more public transportation, more exercise, and better quality of life for everyone.

Beef up transit share on sales tax list, advocacy group says
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, July 19, 2011
Transit advocates aren’t happy with a suggestion to cut the first leg of an Atlanta-to-Macon rail line out of the project list for next year’s transportation sales tax referendum. With less than a month to go before a roundtable of mayors and county commissioners takes its first crack at paring a wish list for the 10-county Atlanta region, the Fair Share for Transit campaign has asked metro leaders to rethink leaving out both the commuter rail line through Clayton County, envisioned as eventually linking to Macon, and a light-rail light reaching Gwinnett Place.

Communities get creative to get rid of vacant land
WTOL (Ohio), July 19, 2011
In Lucas County, there’s another way for neighbors to take ownership of one of the thousands of vacant properties. Neighbors can purchase tax delinquent properties for as little as $100 through the Lucas County Land Bank. The Land Bank is able to take ownership of the properties through tax foreclosure.