Smart Growth News – November 19, 2012

Top stories:

Walkability increasingly drives developers and real estate market
Washington Post – November 16, 2012
“Walkable” is a feature sparking sales and energizing future development and redevelopment, according to a recent report by a George Washington University professor that calls the Washington area a national model for compact urban areas where residents can live and work without cars.

Franklin expands community revitalization plan
The Tennessean – November 19, 2012
In Franklin, where new development has been a watchword for decades, expansion of a plan focusing on the city’s oldest and poorest areas might eventually stoke revitalization and reinvestment in the city’s core.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard on mass transit: ‘Now is the time’
Indianapolis Star (IN) – November 15, 2012
“Now is the time for Indianapolis to invest in a first-class transit system,” Ballard said. “I ask our legislators to give us the tools we need to make this investment in our transit system. And to all the residents of Indianapolis, I encourage you to call your state legislators and urge them to pass Indy Connect Now.”

Patrick poised to call for transportation tax hike
The Boston Globe (MA) – November 16, 2012
Nearly six years after a bipartisan commission sounded the alarm about a transportation system in a crisis so severe that it carried a shortfall of nearly $1 billion a year, Governor Deval Patrick will ask lawmakers to solve the problem with a plan that includes higher taxes.

Atlanta BeltLine receives $3 million donation from Woodruff Foundation
East Atlanta Patch – November 19, 2012
The Atlanta BeltLine Partnership announced Friday it will receive a generous grant from the Woodruff Foundation to support the Atlanta BeltLine project’s expansion, specifically the development of the Gateway connecting the Eastside Trail to Historic Fourth Ward Park.

Local news:

TechTown trying to revitalize Detroit’s neighborhood businesses
Detroit Free Press (MI) – November 19, 2012
Eight years after it opened its doors to help entrepreneurs, Detroit’s TechTown has embarked on a new challenge: revitalizing one of the city’s hardest-hit neighborhoods.

NJ Transit investigating its preparations for Hurricane Sandy after numerous trains damaged in storm
New York Post – November 17, 2012
NJ Transit has launched an internal probe into its preparations for Sandy, including its disastrous decision to store trains in areas slammed by storm surges, a transportation official told The Post.

Objections aired at forum on no-parking apartments, but parking minimum seems unlikely
The Oregonian – November 13, 2012
Like a car parked persistently at the curb, no-parking apartments in Portland aren’t going anywhere soon.

Arlington Unveils New Long-Range Planning Effort for Rosslyn
Arlington Patch (VA) – November 18, 2012
Arlington County unveiled Realize Rosslyn on Saturday, an effort to fine-tune the long-range plan for the bustling urban village.

In California’s Central Valley, farmers fight in their fields and court to block high-speed rail
San Jose Mercury News (CA) – November 15, 2012
While Central Valley construction workers are eager for the high-speed train to come to town, a vocal anti-bullet train sentiment has spread across the farmlands of small, conservative Madera County, which now stands as the last barrier in the path of a groundbreaking next summer.

Opinion and editorial:

New DOT chief could set tone for transportation
Tampa Bay Online (FL) – November 18, 2012
As President Barack Obama selects his second-term Cabinet, all eyes are on the big departments — State, Treasury, Defense and Justice. Yet he can set the tone for his new term with changes in a less-likely place: the Department of Transportation.