Smart growth news – November 9

Trending: Voters approve smart growth projects

Mixed-use draws strong following in Cocoa Beach
Florida Today, November 9, 2011
Reacting to shuttered storefronts and abandoned buildings, city voters hope that adding apartments or condos will economically rejuvenate their flagging downtown. By a margin of 61 percent to 39 percent (1,774 votes to 1,133 votes), residents approved future mixed-use development — blending residential units with today’s commercial properties — across 24 square blocks in the downtown area.

City voters give thumbs up to renewed downtown
Beaverton Valley Times (Ore.), November 8, 2011
Beaverton voters appeared to be comfortable with a measure to create an urban renewal plan to help revitalize Beaverton’s core business and commercial district.

Streetcar, rail get go-ahead, November 9, 2011
Cincinnati voters narrowly gave a green light Tuesday to the long-debated streetcar project, clearing the way for construction of the Downtown-to-Over-the-Rhine line to begin by early next year.

Voters on board with C-Tran
The Columbian (Wash.), November 8, 2011
A sales tax measure to continue current C-Tran bus service enjoyed a comfortable lead Tuesday night, according to early election results.

National smart growth news

In Loudoun County, GOP appears poised to make gains
Washington Post, November 8, 2011
If a Republican majority is elected to the county board, voters can expect their new leaders to favor “smart growth” and economic development, with a renewed focus on attracting businesses to the fast-growing county, according to Loudoun County Republican Committee Chairman Mark Sell.

With new-home sales weak and financing difficult, local land sales decline
Las Vegas Review-Journal, November 9, 2011
Bid prices for raw land declined in almost every land-use category except multifamily, which averaged $142,151 an acre for high-density residential, or 14-plus units an acre, Sunbelt Development & Realty Partners reported.

Old gas station gets new life as retail, housing on Lansing’s East Side, November 7, 2011
What was once the site of an abandoned, rundown gas station will now feature fast food, retail space and 13 apartments, local economic development officials and city leaders said Monday.

GOP senator sees better chance for road, rail spending in an election year than now
The Hill, November 8, 2011
Congress will be more open to approving an infrastructure bill in an election year than it is now, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) said Tuesday. Kirk, who holds the Senate seat once held by President Obama, said that thinking shaped a $100 billion bill he is pushing to boost public-private partnerships for transportation projects.

Coalition members in the news

Durham OKs new sales taxes
News & Observer (N.C.), November 9, 2011
With 61 of 62 precincts reporting, 60 percent favored a half-cent transit sales tax…”It’s just going to be motivational for Wake citizens to know that Durham has taken the first step,” said Karen Rindge, director of WakeUp Wake County, an advocacy group that supports the regional plan.

Opinion and Editorial

Transportation up, car tabs down: Voters speak sense to power
Seattle P-I, November 8, 2011
Citizens in King County will pay the lion’s share of tolls for our state’s major new transportation projects, but the bell tolled Tuesday night in Washington’s largest county for Tim Eyman’s destructive Initiative 1125.

Downtown Tallahassee is coming back to life
Tallahassee Democrat, November 8, 2011
For a century and a half, downtown was the heartbeat of Tallahassee — just as downtowns were across America. Tallahassee’s downtown was where people lived, shopped, ate, socialized and worked. In the early 1970s, that began to change in Tallahassee — just as it did across America. Tallahassee began deserting its downtown. Malls drew away the stores, and suburbs drew away the residents. For the better part of 30 years, Tallahassee’s downtown was left to the government buildings and offices of attorneys and associations. On most Saturdays, you could have fired a cannon down Monroe Street and been unnoticed. But that is changing. Slowly, but steadily, Tallahassee’s downtown is coming alive.

Minnesotans should keep riding our bikes all the way to the bank
Bemidji Pioneer (Minn.), November 9, 2011
Minnesotans should thank Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken for voting to preserve funding for biking and walking again last week. In recent weeks they voted against two proposed amendments (neither of which passed) that would have gutted Transportation Enhancements, the federal fund that is the source for much of our nation’s bike/walk infrastructure and safety improvements.

Outcome is good news for neighborhoods
Indianapolis Star, November 9, 2011
So I’m optimistic about the next four years. Most of all, for our neighborhoods. Ballard’s greatest accomplishment has been in improving infrastructure. Using money from the sale of the city’s sewer and water utilities to Citizens Energy Group, his administration has repaved roads, fixed potholes, added bike lanes, remedied flooding problems, built sidewalks and started to demolish long-abandoned houses — in all neighborhoods, not just those with money and political pull.

Delaware needs better land-use decisions
The News Journal, November 8, 2011
The recent New Castle County Council vote to rezone Barley Mill to “commercial regional” suggests that the five-year comprehensive land use plan has little relevance to county land use decisions.