Smart growth news – July 7, 2011

Key Senate Dem: Two-year transportation bill coming
The Hill, July 6, 2011
A leading Senate Democrat said Wednesday that the chamber will likely move forward with a two-year measure funding roads and public transportation – not a six-year bill, as originally planned. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), the chairwoman of Environment and Public Works Committee, also told reporters that lawmakers would have to fill a roughly $12 billion shortfall for those two years, and that her committee would mark up the $109 billion legislation in the next few weeks.

Bank plan would help build bridges, boost jobs
MSNBC, July 6, 2011
American has fallen to 23rd in infrastructure quality globally, according to the World Economic Forum. It will take about $2 trillion over the next five years to restore the country’s infrastructure, says the American Society of Civil Engineers. Given America’s weak economy and rising national debt, the government can’t promise anything close to an amount that dwarfs most countries’ total economies. But a national infrastructure bank could help.

UN environmental initiative is the Tea Party’s new nightmare
The Daily Caller, July 6, 2011
Tea Partiers aware of the initiative are eager to get the word out and stop what they see as an encroachment of an international agenda, manifest in local planning programs such as smart growth, land use policies, and green building codes.

Five Bay State projects will create housing and boost transit
New Urban Network, June 30, 2011
Five projects in eastern Massachusetts — the majority of them along mass transit lines — have been chosen by the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance to receive a total of $1.5 million in aid from the Barr Foundation and the New York-based Ford Foundation. They are the first projects to be selected in the Alliance’s Great Neighborhoods program, which promotes development not dependent on the automobile.

Friends of Midcoast Maine gives three smart growth awards
Herald Gazette (Maine) July 6, 2011
Three Midcoast businesses and initiatives received recognition from Friends of Midcoast Maine at its annual meeting in June. The annual Smart Growth Awards were given to Lyman Morse for the proposed mixed use of a five-story building in downtown Rockland, to The Village Bakery and Café in downtown Waldoboro and to the 15 Gateway 1 communities in Midcoast Maine for continuing their collaboration in planning in transportation issues.

EIB increases ‘smart growth’ support for Turkey
New Europe, July 6, 2011
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has increased its support for ‘smart’ growth in Turkey, with a €445 million financing package for climate change. The contracts were signed on the 4 July in a public ceremony by EIB Vice-President Matthias Kollatz-Ahnen and several other officials. Kollatz-Ahnen said: “Supporting smart growth is the quintessence of our financing policy in Turkey. Today’s signatures in support of climate action and entrepreneurship are a decisive step forward not only for ‘smart’, but also for sustainable growth.”

Montgomery Co. creates land bank to transform blighted neighborhoods
Dayton Daily News (Ohio), July 6, 2011
Rocked as hard as any county in Ohio by foreclosed properties, vacant structures and neighborhood deterioration, Montgomery County took a small step Tuesday toward cleaning up blighted neighborhoods. The County Commission approved creation of the Montgomery County Land Reutilization Corporation, a land bank, which should hasten the return of vacant and abandoned properties to productive uses.

State budget cuts transit funding, but it could have been worse
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Wis.), July 6, 2011
Less bus service. Higher fares. No more regional transit authorities. No more planning for new commuter rail lines. And dim prospects for new public transit funding. That’s what the new state budget could mean for transit systems across Wisconsin.

City expert says downtown STL on upswing
St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Mo.), June 28, 2011
Thriving downtowns have talented workers and residents who are drawn to convenient, walkable, and vibrant areas that feature entertainment, local stores and, if fortunate, a special amenity, such as the Arch. That’s the broadbrush description Carol Coletta gave today to downtown St. Louis, or at least the downtown St. Louis boosters say they are building.


Good transportation network vital to state’s economy
The Edmond Sun (Okla.), July 5, 2011
As Oklahoma has grown and flourished during the years, so too has our transportation infrastructure. Imagine the gravel and dirt roads of 100 years ago and note where we are today with a modern, comprehensive statewide transportation network of highways, waterways and railways. Having that modern infrastructure encourages trade and commerce, improves our quality of life and creates jobs.

Transportation: Boomers stranded in the suburbs
The Florida Times-Union (Fla.), July 6, 2011
Scores of baby boomers are retiring, but most are staying put. That means that by 2015, many of them will be growing old in suburbs and in other places where they have to depend on a car to get around. Which means that if they can no longer drive, they’ll be stuck.

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