Smart Growth News – November 29, 2012

Today’s stories:

Six Transportation Policy Questions as 2013 Approaches
Governing – November 28, 2012
The transportation community is trying to figure out what, exactly, this month’s election means. MAP-21, the highway and transit bill Congress passed this summer, isn’t set to expire until 2014. But state and local transportation officials, along with other stakeholders and advocates, continue to stress that they’re already looking at how to make their case for a robust bill.

Some say add fee to energy production
Politico – November 28, 2012
With pencils being sharpened on a debt deal, all eyes are on the gas tax as a possible savior for transportation spending. But another option that may cause lawmakers less heartburn is being obscured by the gas tax dust: linking energy production with infrastructure spending.

Amtrak defends plan to get back on track
USA Today – November 28, 2012
Amtrak continues to rely on government subsidies but served more travelers in the past year than ever before and posted record ticket revenues, its leader told lawmakers Wednesday.

Home, squeezed home: Living in a 200-square-foot space
Washington Post – November 27, 2012
Step into an alleyway in the Northeast Washington neighborhood known as Stronghold, and you will see a vegetable patch, a campfire, a view of the Capitol and a cluster of what neighbors call “those tiny people, building their tiny houses.”

S.F. called model for affordable housing
San Francisco Chronicle (CA) – November 27, 2012
Nearly 50 years of protests, lawsuits and ballot battles over low-income housing have made San Francisco a nationwide model for efforts to keep urban America from becoming home to only the very rich or the very poor, according to a paper released Wednesday.

Playa Vista ‘Fills’ Up
Wall Street Journal – November 27, 2012
More buildings are set to rise in Playa Vista, one of the largest undeveloped areas left in Los Angeles, as developers turn their focus from the exurbs to the “infill.”

VTA light-rail extension to Los Gatos: $175 million for 200 new riders
San Jose Mercury News (CA) – November 28, 2012
The new projections come from the Valley Transportation Authority’s updated forecast for a long-envisioned light-rail extension. Still years from reality, the Los Gatos line would be one of the least-used light-rail extensions planned in the nation — and would reduce South Bay vehicle traffic by a mere 0.01 percent.

City Council sends New Orleans planners back to square one on neighborhood involvement
The Times-Picayune (LA) – November 27, 2012
New Orleans officials and interested citizens for the past year have debated how best to make sure that ordinary people have a chance to make their voices heard on issues affecting their neighborhoods. The City Council recently put at least a temporary end to the whole discussion, voting 4-3 to reject a proposed amendment to the city’s master plan that would have weakened the plan’s call for establishing an unspecified number of “district councils” to help individual neighborhood organizations make their voices heard.

Troy To Get On The High Speed Train With New Mass Transit Center
Huffington Post – November 27, 2012
High-speed rail came a step closer to properly connecting Metro Detroit and Chicago today, as well as a did regional mass transit, with the groundbreaking of a new $6.2 million dollar multi-modal transit facility in Troy.