Smart Growth News- March 22, 2012

National

House, Senate on Collision Course on Transportation Bill
Roll Call- March 21, 2012
House Republicans and Senate Democrats are nearing a standoff over a short-term extension to keep money flowing to surface transportation programs beyond the end of the month, when federal authorization expires.

What U.S. Population Trends From the 2000s Tell Us About the Future
The Atlantic Cities- March 20, 2012
Urban populations in U.S. cities boomed in the 1960s, but then declined throughout the ’70s and rose only slightly in the ’80s. The 1990s then saw a huge increase in metropolitan population, especially in the Sun Belt. Both suburban areas and large cities experienced major increases in population throughout this decade, which seemed to lay the groundwork for continued urban growth in the 2000s. But as a new report from demographer William Frey at the Brookings Institution shows, the trend didn’t continue as expected.

Global Cities Initiative Launches in Los Angeles
Market Watch- March 21, 2012
The Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program and JPMorgan Chase today kicked off the Global Cities Initiative, a $10 million, five-year project aimed at helping leaders in metropolitan areas across the nation create more and better jobs and reorient their economies towards greater engagement in world markets.

Cross-state trip to highlight Michigan transit issues
The Detroit News- March 21, 2012
Detroit —Starting at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, five transportation activists launched a three-day tour of Michigan by public transit to highlight what’s working and what’s not working in the state’s system.

Insight:The Wall Street gold rush in foreclosed homes
Reuters- March 21, 2012
Dan Magder recently gave up a top job with private equity firm Lone Star Funds to strike out on his own and become a landlord.

Local

Judge adds new hurdle for Detroit consent deal
Detroit Free Press- March 21, 2012
LANSING — With a deadline fast approaching, a judge’s ruling Tuesday won’t stop Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration from trying to reach a consent agreement with Detroit to help the financially strapped city avoid bankruptcy.

Patio, Parking or ‘Parklet?’ Council Considers Urban Spot Conversions
NPR- March 20, 2012
Among the items on the Austin City Council’s work session this morning was a pilot program allowing Royal Blue Grocery to convert two parking spaces outside its doors on Congress Avenue into a patio.

GBC News – Smart Growth Expert: More State Involvement Needed
Baltimore City Biz List- March 21, 2012
Especially in these tough economic times, barriers to development and economic growth are vast. But priority funding areas (PFAs) shouldn’t be one of them, a national agent on smart growth said.

Trainspotting: The Economic, Political And Racial Implications Of Public Transit In Atlanta
Think Progress- March 21, 2012
Here’s the $8.5 billion question: Can suburbanites be convinced to care about cities again?

El Paso’s Northwest plan ready for Smart Growth
El Paso Times- March 21, 2012
Land surrounding the western reach of Trans Mountain Road — an area some West Side residents want preserved — will be developed using Smart Growth techniques.

Prince George’s joins region in pedestrian-safety campaign
Washington Examiner- March 21, 2012
Prince George’s County has struggled with some of the highest pedestrian fatality rates in Maryland, prompting it to finally join the Washington region’s Street Smart campaign this year, county officials announced Wednesday.

S.F. transit agency’s plan to speed Muni service
San Francisco Chronicle- March 21, 2012
A plan to speed Muni buses will bring all-door boarding this summer, synchronized traffic lights within two years and specially colored bus lanes and relocated stops by 2017.

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