Smart Growth News- March 29, 2012

National

Road bill gridlock worries states
Politico- March 28, 2012
The doomsday clock is ticking down on a Sunday expiration of surface transportation programs, and there’s nowhere those bells are tolling as loudly as back home in lawmakers’ districts.

The True Cost of Unwalkable Streets
The Atlantic Cities- March 28, 2012
Perhaps the single most alarming public health trend in the United States today is the dramatic rise in the number of people who are overweight and obese, bringing serious risks of heart disease, diabetes and other consequences leading to life impairment and premature death. This is bad enough as it is, but I contend that it is particularly unfortunate that we do not sufficiently recognize the extent to which these trends are caused by environmental factors, particularly the shape of our built environment.

Public transit holds key to America’s hidden energy reserve
The Hill- March 28, 2012
With gasoline prices barreling upward, policymakers will undoubtedly continue debating the search for new North American oils. But this focus is misplaced. The real debate should be about our future mobility or how Washington can better manage federal transportation and oil investments. Ushering in a low-carbon, integrated transportation system is the key to navigating the pitfalls of global oil markets.

Don’t Count On Millennials To Save The Housing Market
Business Insider- March 28, 2012
The report that got us started on this tangent: Home prices in 20 U.S. metro areas are now as low as they were nine years ago, according to yesterday’s Case-Shiller Home Price Index.

GM and Ford Cozy Up to Millennials
Brand Channel- March 28, 2012
Car brands have become intent upon roping in reluctant consumers from the Millennial generation. That’s why Ford has decided to set up shop, literally, in Silicon Valley, and why General Motors has turned to MTV for advice.

Local

Local officials blast state roads rule as ‘overreach’
Washington Examiner- March 28, 2012
Local government officials and smart-growth advocates are steaming about what they call a new “my way or the highway” state policy that would give the Virginia Department of Transportation the power to rewrite local communities’ plans for their own roads and land use.

Detroit nears deal to avert bankruptcy, but is it a state takeover?
Christian Science Monitor- March 27, 2012
With Detroit now formally in a state of “severe financial emergency,” city and state officials are grappling with the terms of an agreement to resolve the crisis, which both sides say they expect to be signed by week’s end.

Downtown, Midtown Detroit developments are in transition
Detroit Free Press- March 29, 2012
The development story in downtown and Midtown Detroit reminds one of the classic Peanuts comic strip when Charlie Brown, confronted with the poor record of his baseball team, gives the immortal reply, “Tell your statistics to shut up!”

MBTA plan staves off cuts to service, but fare hikes loom
Boston.com- March 28, 2012
Municipal leaders Wednesday expressed relief that most MBTA bus lines will survive this year’s budget process, in which transportation planners must fill a $160 million budget gap.

Reviving Kansas City’s Forgotten Urban Center
This Big City- March 27, 2012
If you ask a local from the Kansas City area where the West Bottoms are located, several would not be able to pinpoint the location, but if you ask where Kemper Arena or the Haunted Houses are located, everyone would be able to point to a low river basin just west of downtown.

Economist: Midtown Crossing attracts the young, other projects
Omaha.com- March 28, 2012
Midtown Crossing is having a good economic impact while also helping to reduce “brain drain” in the state, according to the economist who measured the impact.

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