Smart Growth News – November 9, 2012

Top stories:

Aging drivers present new transportation challenge
Associated Press via Boston Globe – November 9, 2012
Baby boomers started driving at a young age and became more mobile than any generation before or since. They practically invented the two-car family and escalated traffic congestion when women began commuting to work. Now, 8,000 of them are turning 65 every day, and those retirements could once again reshape the nation’s transportation.

Obama’s Next Transportation Chief Faces Highway-Funding Quandary
Business Week – November 9, 2012
The next U.S. Transportation secretary — whether it’s Ray LaHood or someone else — will confront a highway system starved for cash and financed by a gasoline tax almost no one wants to raise. How President Barack Obama and his DOT leader respond may set U.S. transportation’s course for decades.

Ex-Md. gov. discusses superstorm, climate change
San Francisco Chronicle (CA) – November 8, 2012
Superstorm Sandy and this summer’s derecho that knocked out power to many Marylanders are prompting a resurgence in discussions about global climate change, former Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening said Thursday.

The Evolution of Urban Planning in 10 Diagrams
The Atlantic Cities – November 9, 2012
Ten diagrams from the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association’s new exhibition, “Grand Reductions: Ten diagrams that changed urban planning.”

Local news:

State transit funding reform proposed
Virginia Daily Press – November 8, 2012
The department wants to reform the system by introducing a performance-based component, applied within peer groups of similar systems, that is based on standard transit industry performance measures.

End of Road for County Transit Effort?
The Ann Arbor Chronicle (MI) – November 8, 2012
At its Nov. 8 meeting, the Ann Arbor city council is now scheduled to vote on the question of opting out of a newly incorporated countywide transit authority – an initiative that the city of Ann Arbor had been expected to help lead. With Ann Arbor’s withdrawal, this particular approach to expanding

Congress wants study on D.C. building height limits
Washington Post – November 8, 2012
Two key members of Congress have requested an official study of the limits on building heights in the District, another small step toward a possible change in the law.

Promotion of Conn. bus-only corridor faulted
Associated Press via San Francisco Chronicle – November 8, 2012
Connecticut’s transportation boss is facing some criticism that the state’s $567 million bus-only corridor has not been sold to the public.

Newly appointed planner says county’s future will depend on smart growth
The Batavian (NY) – November 8, 2012
Unlike places such as Clarence and Williamsville, which has already been through periods of sprawling growth, Genesee County has an opportunity to manage its growth in a way that better preserves resources and promotes community. “If we grow in a smart way, don’t waste space, treat it like we should, we’ll be a successful county,” Oltramari said.

Clarke proposal on parking would change new zoning code
Philadelphia Inquirer (PA) – November 8, 2012
Council President Darrell Clarke says his proposal would attack a serious problem: the shortage of parking spaces in neighborhoods including Fishtown and Fairmount. Critics argue that it’s too soon to change the new zoning code and that it was revamped to keep projects from needlessly stalling.

Opinion and editorial:

Keeping it easy: A plan for transforming downtown Mobile
Mobile Press-Register (AL) – November 8, 2012
Urban designer Andres Duany and members of his team recently spent time in Mobile to create a plan for downtown’s renewal. Here are excerpts of remarks he made Oct. 29th, when he rolled out a preliminary draft of the plan at a gathering at the Temple.