Smart Growth News – July 25, 2012

Top Stories:

APA Poll Indicates Citizens’ Desire to Be Involved in Planning Process

Engaging Cities – July 25, 2012
A recent poll conducted by the American Planning Association (APA) indicates that community planning is widely supported by the public in our country.

Business behind sales tax push

Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) – July 24, 2012
Georgia companies have poured millions of dollars into a campaign for a sales tax increase to fund transportation improvements, with hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions flowing from road builders and others in the construction industry who could see their business boom if the measure is approved.

Downtown Minneapolis is seen as drowning in a sea of parking lots

Minneapolis Star Tribune (MN) – July 25, 2012
In Minneapolis and around the country, he said, land values downtown are increasing as more people move in, and “a lot of these surface lots are in kind of a holding pattern as land prices go up and demand increases.”

How State DOTs Got Congress to Grant Their Wish List

Streetsblog – July 24, 2012
For Americans who want federal policy to support safe streets, sustainable transportation, and livable neighborhoods, there were few bright spots in the transportation bill Congress passed last month. But state transportation departments are celebrating.

25-year-old entrepreneur drives Detroit Bus Company toward building mass transit in the Motor City

Bridge Magazine via MLive (MI) – July 24, 2012
At a time when many of his peers are finishing college to find a still-depressed job market, Andy Didorosi isn’t waiting for anyone to offer him a slot. At 25, the college dropout describes himself as a “social entrepreneur” and is currently at work on his latest start-up — the Detroit Bus Company, founded with the idea that even the Motor City can use a little more mass transit, especially if it’s targeted to the right people.

Local Stories:

Updated growth plan in Forsyth County gets public hearing

Winston-Salem Journal (NC) – July 24, 2012
An updated plan offering recommendations to guide development in Forsyth County over the next 20 years is in its final stages, and a major feature of the plan is that it encourages higher density in urban areas to make the best use of available land.

Town of Ithaca’s new comprehensive plan focuses on sustainability

Ithaca Times (NY) – July 25, 2012
After an explanation of the town’s setting and the history of its 1993 Comprehensive Plan, the new plan quickly sets the tone, noting that it “focuses on creating a sustainable community.” With the town’s future and prosperity reliant on its resources in its educational institutions, tourism and agriculture, the introduction states that choices about use of its natural, social and economic resources need to be made carefully.

In Queens, An Artistic Alteration

Wall Street Journal – July 23, 2012
Imagine an urban-design competition where some higher power with a peculiar sense of humor—that would be the New York City Planning Commission—said, “We’re going to give you a 16-lane roadway so dangerous pedestrians get hit by cars and an elevated subway track that creates so much noise you can’t hear yourself think; now go turn it into a life-affirming oasis.” Remarkably, they succeeded, doing so by creating a lush strip of green plantings, benches and a two-way bicycle path.

Chattanooga Bike-Share Goes Live With Same Software as NYC

Streetsblog – July 24, 2012
In a good sign for the deployment of Citi Bike in New York City, Chattanooga went live with its bike-share system last night.

T-SPLOST Supporters rally in Smyrna

Marietta Daily Journal (GA) – July 25, 2012
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed predicted close passage of the TSPLOST in a joint appearance with former Gov. Roy Barnes and other mostly Democratic elected officials Tuesday at the Smyrna Community Center. “I believe on Tuesday that we’re going to pass this thing, and it may be by just one vote,” Reed told a roomful of TSPLOST supporters, media and even a few opponents of the tax increase.

Partnership for Sustainable Communities in the news:

LaHood touts $787 million in public transit grants

The Hill – July 24, 2012
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Tuesday that $787 million in grants for public transportation announced this week by the Department of Transportation “will go a long way toward helping transit agencies across the nation modernize and repair their buses and related facilities to bring these systems into a state of good repair.”

Federal Grants To Fund Maryland Bus System Upgrades

WAMU (DC) – July 24, 2012
Bus systems in Maryland are getting an upgrade, thanks to funding that’s part of a $787 million package to repair and modernize transit infrastructure nationwide.

Opinion and Editorial:

Brookings misses transit mark

Salt Lake Tribune (UT) – July 24, 2012
The Brookings Institution study on job accessibility by transit which came up with the ranking is but one measure of a transit provider.