Smart Growth News – November 28, 2012

Today’s stories:

Local officials “thumbing nose” at Maryland growth limits, group says
Baltimore Sun (MD) – November 27, 2012
A conservation group is warning that many of Maryland’s counties are skirting a new state law requiring them to rein in development of rural lands. 1000 Friends of Maryland says that more than a third of the state’s 23 counties have done little or nothing so far to comply with the Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act of 2012, which aims to restrict new housing on septic systems in rural areas.

City may cut parking spots in Downtown Brooklyn
New York Daily News – November 26, 2012
The City Council is considering a plan that would ease the amount of parking developers are required to build at the residential buildings that are sprouting up in the neighborhood which is bounded by Tillary St., Flatbush and Atlantic Aves., and Clinton and Court Sts.

Mayor Reed: High-speed rail to Savannah would create “trail of prosperity”
Atlanta Business Chronicle (GA) – November 27, 2012
In the past several weeks, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has been floating a grand new vision for Georgia — connecting Atlanta and Savannah with high-speed rail, reports Maria Saporta of “We can create a trail of prosperity between those two regions,” Reed said last week during a talk at The Commerce Club.

State DOT to review alternatives to Skyway
Buffalo News (NY) – November 26, 2012
The state Department of Transportation appears ready to support the removal of a nearly 1.5-mile elevated highway, which was built in the middle of the last century and is now considered functionally obsolete, structurally deficient and potentially susceptible to fractures. The removal is seen by advocates as a catalyst for economic development and rebirth.

Survey Says: After Hurricane Sandy, Cyclists Were NYC’s Commuter Kings
Gothamist – November 27, 2012
The real commuting winners post-Sandy, especially in terms of self-reported frustration levels, were the walkers and the bikers who, in the days after the storm, “had the fewest delays in their commutes, as they were only 9 minutes longer than their usual commute.”

Black commuters face longer trips to work
Boston Globe (MA) – November 25, 2012
Among Greater Boston workers, white commuters who drive have the shortest trips to work — averaging less than 27 minutes each way — and black bus riders the longest, exceeding 46 minutes each way. But a gap exists even among those who take the same mode, with shorter commutes for white workers whether they drive or ride mass transit.

Mich. Senate passes transit bills, fee on car registrations to fund plan
Detroit News (MI) – November 27, 2012
The Michigan Senate approved a five-bill package Tuesday establishing a regional transit authority for Metro Detroit and allowing public transportation projects to be funded with a voter-approved registration fee on car owners.

Mass transit, riverfront underpin Tampa’s master plan for urban core
Tampa Bay Online (FL) – November 27, 2012
Mayor Bob Buckhorn wants to see today’s downtown become the foundation for a future built on more full-time residents, better mass transit and a more welcoming Hillsborough River. Those goals are baked into the InVision Tampa project, a long-term plan for reinventing Tampa as a more livable city that will lure young, creative types to its sunny shores.

Commuter rail plan is chugging along in North Texas
Fort Worth Star-Telegram (TX) – November 24, 2012
The TEX Rail/Cotton Belt project is no longer just an obscure line on a map. It’s a multibillion-dollar commuter rail project that is moving quickly toward construction — and a line that, if planners can hurdle funding and other obstacles, could open for business as soon as 2016.