Smart Growth News – November 12, 2012

Today’s stories:

Are walkable neighborhoods the future?
Washington Post – November 11, 2012
Christopher B. Leinberger has been pushing the smart growth ethos nearly his entire professional life. As a private sector developer, a consultant and now a business school professor and smart growth advocate, Leinberger argues that building walkable places is the most efficient, environmentally friendly, socially equitable and valuable way of developing real estate.

Wisconsin considering taxing miles traveled
The Badger-Herald (WI) – November 12, 2012
The Wisconsin Transportation Finance Commission is now exploring options to cover a decrease in revenue for its transportation budget, according to a report by the commission.

Atlanta mayor wants high-speed rail from city to Savannah
WSB TV (GA) – November 9, 2012
Plans are under way for a high-speed train that would take residents from Atlanta to the state’s coast faster than you can drive from one end of metro Atlanta to the other end.

Fishers planning a new downtown
WISH TV (IN) – November 12, 2012
Tom Dickey, the Director of Community Development in Fishers, says “probably over the last 25 years, citizens have been talking about a new downtown in Fishers or a redeveloped downtown.” The people in Town Hall now have finally found the right circumstances to pull that together. They’ve chosen Flaherty & Collins Properties to develop a $33 million mixed-use development.

Officials consider tax on mileage for electric and efficient vehicles
Bend Bulletin (OR) – November 11, 2012
More fuel-efficient cars are siphoning off gas-tax revenues that support highway maintenance in Oregon. As a result, state transportation officials are considering a mileage tax on vehicles that average 55 miles or better on a gallon of gasoline.

Plenty of D.C.-Neighborhoods Have Efficient Public Transit, but Many Workers Can’t Afford the Cost of Housing
DCist – November 9, 2012
About 90 percent of residents in the Washington region have ready access to public transportation that can ferry them to and from work in 90 minutes or less, according to a new study by the Brookings Institution. But those neighborhoods with the most efficient transit are also the most expensive, keeping many low- and moderate-income workers more distant from their workplaces.

Green Girl to Create Indoor Vertical Farm
Memphis Daily News (TN) – November 7, 2012
A group of food professionals is working toward supplying restaurants with local produce while improving the health of Memphians and fighting urban blight.

Ventura looks at suspending downtown mandate for affordable housing
Ventura County Star (CA) – November 10, 2012
The council voted 4-2 last week — with Councilman Jim Monahan absent — to direct $22,000 to study the impact of suspending the city’s “downtown inclusionary housing ordinance.” The law requires that 15 percent of a downtown project’s units be set aside for affordable housing.

New Pennsylvania law helps communities to overcome blight
Pittsburgh Tribune (PA) – November 10, 2012
A new Pennsylvania law allows local governments to take control of blighted properties and cancel tax liens and bank foreclosures so the land can be sold to responsible owners or developers willing to improve hard-luck neighborhoods.