Smart growth news- June 7, 2012

Top Stories

U.S. highway bill talks skid into critical month
Reuters- June 5, 2012
With a deadline approaching for a massive U.S. spending bill for roads, bridges and rail projects, Senate and House negotiators have not yet addressed the 1,700-mile-long elephant in the room – whether to fast-track the Keystone oil pipeline as part of the plan.

City wants to turn streets, alleys, plazas into outdoor fun spots
Chicago Sun-Times- June 6, 2012
Designated Chicago streets, alleys, plazas and parking lanes may soon be painted blue with campy white footprints and filled with public seating, music, farmer’s markets and other seasonal activities.

Zipcar Brings Car Sharing to DC Housing Authority
Market Watch- June 7, 2012
Mayor Vincent Gray, the DC Housing Authority (DCHA) and Zipcar today announced that Zipcar, the world’s leading car sharing network, is expanding car sharing availability to DCHA public housing sites across the District to provide alternative transportation options for local residents.

ADOT presented with State Leadership Award for transit programs
San Tan Valley Today (AZ)- June 6, 2012
The Arizona Department of Transportation’s Multimodal Planning Division was recently honored with the 2012 State Leadership Award by the Community Transportation Association of America at its annual conference in Baltimore. The award recognizes one state DOT for its service to transit riders, while providing innovative technical assistance, initiating responsive training, and pushing for timely advocacy at the state and local levels.

NYU Tries to Move Ahead With Expansion
The Wall Street Journal- June 5, 2012
A huge new performance space in the heart of Greenwich Village. Forty new classrooms. Seven new auditoriums. A thousand new student dorm beds.

Virginia seeks input on public-private partnerships to fund transportation projects
The Associated Press via The Washington Post- June 5, 2012
Virginia is seeking public comment on using private-public partnerships to fund transportation projects throughout the state.

Coalition members in the news

What’s at Risk: Stopping Sprawl by Mapping Land
The Huffington Post- June 6, 2012
Traveling Route 4 west through Eastern Contra Costa is a lesson in abundance — you pass U-pick cherry groves and citrus orchards and fields of seedlings. And then the two-lane rural road sprouts a sound wall. The freeway’s lanes multiply and sandwich-slice houses crowd the fields of corn. The best agricultural land is at risk of becoming bedroom communities 50 miles away from any jobs.

Town Center Changes in Works
Winchester Patch (MA)- June 6, 2012
The Planning Board along with Town officials are working to boost the economy and housing situation of the Town Center. The objective is to enable economic development, preserve the existing and natural environment and update the rules and regulations for development in the Town Center.

Editorial & Opinion

Boomers Will Buy Down, But Will Millennials Buy Up blog- June 5, 2012
When boomers want to sell their homes, will there be a new generation to buy them?

The Conservatism of Smart Growth
Next American City- June 6, 2012
In Forefront this week, Thomas Wheatley highlights many of the political barriers to smart-growth development presented by Republican politicians and Tea Party activists. Wheatley cites attacks on a Florida law requiring localities to submit a community plan annually, Tampa voters rejecting a sales tax hike that would have funded transit, and an attempt to ax transit funding in Charlotte, N.C.

Local news

Urban parks look to be a priority for Montgomery County (MD)- June 6, 2012
Smaller parks in denser communities likely will be a priority in Montgomery County’s next parks plan.

Possible 5-mile trolley route approved by El Paso city council
El Paso Times (TX)- June 5, 2012
The El Paso City Council on Tuesday approved the potential 5.2 mile route for the construction of a trolley system from Downtown to the area near the Glory Road Transfer Center.

Orange County calls transit-tax referendum
The Herald-Sun (NC)- June 6, 2012
Orange County Commissioners on a divided, 5-2 vote agreed this week to call a November referendum on whether their community should have a half-percent sales-tax surcharge to support public transit.