Smart growth news- June 26, 2012

Top stories

U.S. Highway Talks 97 Percent Done, Boxer Says as Deadline Looms
Bloomberg- June 25, 2012
U.S. House and Senate negotiators have completed 97 percent of their work on a bill that would set highway and transportation policy into next year, Senator Barbara Boxer said.

Calif.’s Stockton faces mediation deadline, weighs becoming biggest US city in bankruptcy
Washington Post- June 26, 2012
Stockton officials continued to grapple with the city’s financial plight, struggling to restructure millions of dollars of debt threatening to turn the city with the nation’s second-highest foreclosure rate into the largest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy.

US DOT Doles Out $500 Million to Transportation Projects Around U.S.
Transportation Nation- June 22, 2012
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is on a conference call right now talking to reporters about the latest round of TIGER grants. Here’s a press release describing some of them. Click here to see a map of their distribution around the country.

Streamlining the process for people-oriented streets
NRDC Blog- June 26, 2012
The city of San Francisco has launched a new website to help residents take advantage of city resources and programs for neighborhood-scaled street improvements such as parklets, bike parking, plantings, art installations, sidewalk fixtures, green infrastructure, and permits for car-free events. The site is co-sponsored by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and the city’s Planning Department, Department of Public Works, and Public Utilities Commission.

Your Ad Here, on a Fire Truck? Broke Cities Sell Naming Rights
The New York Times- June 24, 2012
BALTIMORE — Should this city’s red fire trucks be transformed into rolling billboards?

Local news

Hohbach’s ‘Park Plaza’ project wins approval
Palo Alto Online- June 25, 2012
After years of litigation, appeals, revisions and public hearings, developer Harold Hohbach finally claimed on Monday the prize that has long eluded him — the city’s permission to build a three-story development on Page Mill Road.

N.Y. gives regional group $1M for ‘smart growth’ plan
Star Gazette- June 25, 2012
A coalition representing eight area counties has received $1 million from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to create the Cleaner Greener Southern Tier Plan — a comprehensive smart growth plan for regional sustainability.

$4M River Run plan triggers optimism
Dayton Daily News- June 25, 2012
The project to remove the Monument Avenue low dam and engineer the Great Miami River into a watercraft recreation draw is happening as other major developments raise expectations for downtown Dayton higher than they have been in some time. The reasons, say officials, real estate investors and business owners, are basic economics, big public investments, and the trickle of encouraging projects.

Ever-Changing Population Predictions Frustrate Bay Area Smart-Growth Planning
SF Public Press- June 25, 2012
State and regional planning agencies have produced differing predictions of how many people will migrate to the Bay Area in coming decades. The disagreement is frustrating efforts to forge a consensus on how many hundreds of thousands of new homes to build across the region, and where.

Occupancy, residents on the rise downtown
Florida Times-Union- June 24, 2012
Downtown Vision met with residents last week and talked about some interesting numbers for downtown living: As of the end of 2011, 91 percent of downtown’s 651 residential rentals were occupied. That’s the highest figure since 2004 when 99 percent of the 139 units were full.

Towns consider sharing local rides
The Boston Globe- June 24, 2012
Five area towns will outfit their public transportation vehicles with GPS devices next month to gather information on routes and riders, with the goal of using the data to merge services next year.

Has downtown Rockford reached a renaissance this year?
Rockford Register Star (IL)- June 23, 2012
A tipping point, according to author Malcolm Gladwell, is when a series of small events erupt into rapid, epidemic change. It may take months, or years, to see if downtown Rockford hit a tipping point, also the name of Gladwell’s book, on June 2.