Smart growth news- June 15, 2012

Top Stories

States, Congress Hampering Recovery in Cities, U.S. Mayors Say
Bloomberg Businessweek- June 15, 2012
U.S. cities recovering from the worst recession since the 1930s are hampered by partisan bickering in Washington, D.C., and pressure from state lawmakers to fill budget shortfalls, U.S. mayors say.

Why Housing Affordability Is a Mirage
The Wall Street Journal- June 14, 2012
Home prices and mortgage rates have made monthly mortgage payments lower than at any time in the past decade. But housing isn’t any more affordable than it was five years ago, during the go-go lending days, after factoring in down payment requirements and other financing terms, according to a new paper.

As Charlotte Expands, A Neighborhood Asks How Best to Urbanize
Next American City- June 14, 2012
More than a half-century after Park Road Shopping Center sprouted at what was then the southern edge of Charlotte, N.C., the Park Road-Woodlawn Road area has held up remarkably well.

Arlington, Alexandria compromise on streetcar line
Washington Post- June 14, 2012
The Arlington County and Alexandria city governments, divided over how best to pay for a streetcar line through the congested corridor between Pentagon City and Potomac Yards, have crafted a compromise aimed funding the project and addressing the expected growth and density in the area.

Coalition members in the news

Why Smart Growth?
SF Public Press- June 14, 2012
Sprawl is commonplace in the Bay Area — from places like Antioch and Brentwood on the outskirts of Contra Costa County to parts of Santa Clara and Sonoma counties.

Local News

Fremont gets encouragement for plan to develop area around Warm Springs-South Fremont BART
Mercury News- June 14, 2012
Fremont officials received an encouraging report Wednesday from a national education and research group as the city moves toward transforming an area near the future Warm Springs-South Fremont BART station into a 21st century workplace.

RNC traffic, security concerns may empty downtown Tampa
Tampa Bay Online- June 13, 2012
Charlotte Baker has heard enough about the Republican National Convention coming in August to close up her downtown office that week and head for the hills.

Loss of Kerr-McGee, other scares failed to stop downtown Oklahoma City’s momentum
The Oklahoman- June 15, 2012
The loss of Kerr-McGee as a corporate anchor once would have cratered development of downtown Oklahoma City. But the momentum created by the original Metropolitan Area Projects started in 1993 couldn’t be stopped a dozen years later.

County breaks ground for new transportation hub
Citrus Daily (FL)- June 14, 2012
The ground on which old “Building 22” once stood is bare, and now it has a new purpose – as the future site of a transportation hub for Citrus County.

ULI Panel: Transportation Investments Should Focus on Needs, Not Wants
D Magazine (TX)- June 14, 2012
A high-speed rail line that’s on the drawing board could cut the commute from Dallas to Fort Worth to under 20 minutes. Gary Fickes, Tarrant County commissioner and secretary of the Texas High Speed Rail & Transportation Corp., said the rail lines would move at about 200 miles per hour. The goal is to have the system up and running by 2020.

Editorial & Opinion

Young workers can’t afford homes in the state June 14, 2012
Many people in Massachusetts are talking about the need to attract and retain young workers, but we are hardly sending out the welcome wagon. As the Globe reported recently, the Census Bureau estimates that the number of Massachusetts homeowners between ages 25 and 34 dropped by nearly 32,000 — or 19 percent — between 2005 and 2010. This massive decline reminds us that, despite our abundance of colleges, the Commonwealth remains inhospitable to young talent. I agree with those who would like less regulation of nightclubs and food trucks, but the larger problem is over-regulation of new housing, especially in suburbs near the urban core.

My Wish List for Detroit Transit
The Huffington Post- June 14, 2012
Reserve your excitement — this wish list is decidedly modest. Rest assured, I have another wish list chock full of sleek rail lines, fast and frequent buses and bustling mixed-use urban spaces. But first things first.