Smart growth news – November 7

Sprawl’s spread speeds up
Sacramento Bee, November 7, 2011
Goodbye, farm. Hello, subdivision. Despite talk of smart growth, urban Sacramento didn’t check its sprawl in the past 10 years, but ballooned instead, spreading out at a faster pace than in decades past, according to a Bee analysis of new census figures.

U.S. House Likely to Address Infrastructure Bill by Year-End, Boehner Says
Bloomberg, November 6, 2011
“You’re going to see the House move, I think, before the end of the year on an infrastructure bill,” Boehner, an Ohio Republican, said on ABC’s “This Week.” Boehner said last week the House will consider legislation to finance infrastructure construction, in part, by expanding energy production.

Dan Gilbert’s development blueprint for Cleveland looks similar to Detroit’s
Detroit Free Press, November 6, 2011
If you think Quicken Loans founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert is having an impact on downtown Detroit, you ought to see what he’s doing in Cleveland. Since Gilbert bought the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team in 2005, he has renovated Cleveland’s renamed Quicken Loans Arena (The Q), opened a mortgage banking center that now employs 300, built a $25-million practice facility for the Cavs, and is deep into construction for a $350-million Phase I of his future Horseshoe Casino in a former department store downtown, with a 16-acre new casino to follow in a few years. Gilbert’s investments in and around downtown Cleveland will total close to $1 billion.

The best cities to live car-free in America
MSNBC, November 6, 2011
Several factors make a city easy to live in without a car. The most important one is a widely available and efficient public transportation system. Another is having daily amenities, such as groceries, shopping, schools and entertainment, nearby and within easy reach on foot or by bicycling. The best cities have both features and 24/7 Wall St. has identified the ten best ones to live without a car.

Study: Pay for Public Transit or Roads?
Palos Verdes Patch (Calif.), November 4, 2011
Southern California voters across six counties prefer investment in rail, bus, bicycle, and pedestrian transit projects over building new roads, according to a survey released Wednesday. The survey provided a showing of support for transit, with four of five voters saying they support investing in public transportation, and 51 percent said they “strongly” support these investments.

Conover dedicates transportation center in renovated industrial site
Charlotte Observer (N.C.), November 3, 2011
Conover has transformed one of its most blighted parts of town with an ambitious project that focuses on jobs, education and transportation. The town recently dedicated the Conover Multimodal Center, known locally as Conover Station.

Pendleton leaders brace for growth, plan town’s course
Anderson Independent Mail (S.C.), November 4, 2011
Dean Hybl, executive director of Ten at the Top, said Pendleton residents should be ready for double-digit growth rates in Anderson County over the next decade and beyond. Ten at the Top is an organization that assists the 10 Upstate counties with growth and sustainability ideas. A 2010 survey of Upstate residents found their No. 1 concern going forward was traffic and congestion.

Madison’s economic future lies along I-94, to Waukesha and Milwaukee
The Daily Page (Wis.), November 3, 2011
Who knows, but just maybe Madison’s future can be found on the first floor of the historic American Exchange Bank on the Capitol Square. Nine info-tech start-ups — focused on everything from gaming to fashion to medical care — are housed in a business incubator run by an investment group known as 94Labs.

Budget handling expected to decide Newport race
Jacksonville Daily News (Fla.), November 6, 2011
Town Manager Dick Casey said every penny counted as Newport pursued expanding its water and sewer infrastructure and investing in other projects. “Right now, we’re concerned about smart growth, and without smart growth, there will be no growth,” he said.

Coalition members in the news

State blocks controversial Charles Co highway
The Baltimore Sun, November 4, 2011
Environmentalists welcomed the denial, with the Sierra Club’s Bonnie Bick calling it a “victory for Smart Growth.” In a press release, Terry Cummings of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation said: “If we are going to save the Bay, we must save her rivers and streams.”

Proposed D.C. speed limit of 15 mph provokes debate
Washington Examiner, November 3, 2011
Bowser and others pointed to research showing that pedestrians are far less likely to die if hit by a car going 20 mph instead of 40 mph. “She’s certainly on the right track here, and there’s evidence to back it up,” said Stewart Schwartz, president of the Coalition for Smarter Growth, adding that streets will need to be narrowed to really slow down cars.

Opinion and Editorial

Transportation key to new jobs
The Register-Guard (Ore.), November 6, 2011
At a time when everyone’s attention is focused on jobs — both keeping those we have and getting more — it’s important to understand the factors that give us the best chance to accomplish both of these goals. Whether it’s recruiting new businesses or helping existing businesses grow and expand, we consistently find that next to the work force, the single biggest consideration for most businesses is transportation.

The Dark Side of the ‘Green’ City
New York Times, November 6, 2011
The struggle to slow global warming will be won or lost in cities, which emit 80 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases. So “greening” the city is all the rage now. But if policy makers end up focusing only on those who can afford the low-carbon technologies associated with the new environmental conscientiousness, the movement for sustainability may end up exacerbating climate change rather than ameliorating it.

Save downtowns with ‘mixed-use’ development
Florida Today, November 4, 2011
Residents there will cast the fate of their downtown in a ballot referendum on whether to allow new “mixed use” development that would still conform to the city’s existing density restrictions and 45-foot height limit. They should vote “yes.” It would enable the same type of economic growth and cultural activity that has gravitated to similar mixed-use development throughout the United States since the mid-1990s.