Smart growth news- June 29, 2011

After 55 Years, Where Are We on Highways?
National Journal, June 27, 2011
How far have we come since this first highway bill? Is the highway system now true to Eisenhower’s vision of a workable, free, transcontinental roadway? Are there new technological or demographic changes since 1955 that should be incorporated into the surface-transportation goals? If Eisenhower was alive now, what would you tell him about his proudest domestic accomplishment?

If baby boomers stay in suburbia, analysts predict cultural shift
Washington Post, June 28, 2011
The nation’s suburbs are home to a rapidly growing number of older people who are changing the image and priorities of a suburbia formed around the needs of young families with children, an analysis of census data shows. Although the entire United States is graying, the 2010 Census showed how much faster the suburbs are growing older when compared with the cities. Thanks largely to the baby-boom generation, four in 10 suburban residents are 45 or older, up from 34 percent just a decade ago. Thirty-five percent of city residents are in that age group, an increase from 31 percent in the last census.

Green Transportation Research Bill Introduced in the House
AltTransport, June 28, 2011
While a lot of attention is being paid to new surface transportation authorizations from the House and Senate, Representative David Wu (D-Oregon) introduced another transportation-related bill Monday that aims to fund research on alternative transportation.

California: Mission Bay Prepares for Makeover
The Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2011
San Francisco’s effort to transform an abandoned rail yard on its eastern shore in Mission Bay into an urban center is poised for a serious boost from plans by Salesforce.com Inc. to build a sprawling corporate campus in the area. Urban-planning experts say the arrival of Salesforce will provide a vital stimulus for a once-neglected part of the city. But the bold design for the campus is just beginning a monthslong approval process, and Chief Executive Marc Benioff is leaving open the possibility that the company could simply pick a different location for its new headquarters.

Maryland: Baltimore adds Vacants to Value incentives
Baltimore Business Journal (Md.), June 28, 2011
City officials on Tuesday continued an initiative to reduce the number of vacant homes in Baltimore by demolishing six east-side properties and rolling out new incentives to entice developers to participate in the program.

Wisconsin: Access a struggle for Metro bus riders
Wausau Daily Herald (Wisc.), June 28, 2011
Keith Draheim is used to planning his day around the public transit schedule. When he can run errands — and where — usually is determined by the bus schedule. But there’s another factor that Draheim and other bus riders have no control over that leaves gaps in the public transit system covering the Wausau area: the way in which the metro area’s roads, sidewalks and shopping areas are built.

Michigan: Council set to approve downtown project
The State News (Mich.), June 27, 2011
The East Lansing City Council is slated to make a significant stride in a pair of development projects that will add to the downtown skyline. The council is set to approve the first of two mixed-use development agreements that would authorize construction of an eight-story, mixed-use building near the Ann Street Plaza, on the corner of Grove Street and Albert Avenue.

North Carolina: Towns consider move to ‘smart growth’ models
Cary News (N.C.), June 28, 2011
For developers, this means a smoother path from site plan submission to construction approval, and for property owners, these code changes could mean improved appearance and changes to property uses, town planning officials said.
Towns had to move quickly during the housing and commercial boom years ago. Now during the economic lull, they are taking the time to make revisions to ensure growth and redevelopment reflects their vision.

New York: Grant to aid downtown Albany apartment, restaurant development
The Business Review (N.Y.), June 28, 2011
A $60,000 grant will go toward renovating a building in downtown Albany, New York, into a restaurant, catering facility and 11 to 16 apartments. The Downtown Albany Business Improvement District received the $60,000 grant from National Grid through the utility’s Main Street program.

Virginia: Downtown Waynesboro project gets CDBG funds
Augusta Free Press (Va.), June 28, 2011
A Downtown Waynesboro revitalization project is among 12 in Virginia to receive Community Development Block Grant funding, Gov. Bob McDonnell announced today. The Waynesboro Downtown Revitalization Project will receive $770,000 in CDBG funds.

Pennsylvania: Full cycle: Bike museum ready to roll on Saturday
Pittsburgh Post Gazette (Penn.), June 29, 2011
Look up when you enter Bicycle Heaven. Even the sky is filled with bicycles.
The new North Side museum and bike shop, set to open Saturday, is dedicated to all things two-wheeled, from 1860s “boneshakers” — handcrafted wooden bikes — to rare fiberglass Bowden Spacelanders and the ultimate 1960s pedal-driven dream: the Schwinn Sting-Ray Krate.

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