Smart growth news – June 29, 2012

Conservative groups rev up opposition to highway bill
The Hill – June 29, 2012
Pressure from groups like the Heritage Foundation’s political arm and the anti-tax Club for Growth raises the possibility that conservatives in the House will put up a roadblock to the long-sought bicameral transportation agreement — and in the process put the brakes on a painstakingly negotiated compromise with the Democratically controlled Senate.

Senate adjourns awaiting House vote on highway bill
The Hill – June 28, 2012
The Senate adjourned Thursday evening without voting on three major pieces of legislation with fast approaching deadlines.

Complete Streets Provision Eliminated From Final Transpo Bill
Streetsblog DC – June 28, 2012
Transportation for America, the big-tent coalition for transportation reform, tends to be careful about the statements it puts out. Its folks are diplomatic, since they work with both sides on the Hill and a wide variety of coalition members. Yesterday, as details of the conference report were leaking out, they wanted to read the whole bill before weighing in publicly. Now that they’ve absorbed it all, they’ve come out swinging. “Senate Capitulates to House Demands,” today’s statement reads, “Eliminates Critical Provisions in Transportation Bill.”

Transportation Bill Includes Federal Oversight of Metro Safety
DCist – June 29, 2012
The bill, which is likely to receive final approval today, will allow the Secretary of Transportation to draft minimum safety standards for any transit system—like Metro—that receives federal funding.

How the Feds Are Building More Sustainable Cities
Atlantic Cities – June 28, 2012
Three years ago, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency announced that they were going to coordinate their community assistance programs to make them more effective in helping cities, towns and metropolitan regions position themselves for a more sustainable and resilient future.

Census figures show city population is booming while suburbs shrink
Denver Post (CO) – June 29, 2012
Since the automobile was popularized in the 1920s, America’s suburbs have been growing faster than cities as people fled urban life for quieter, less-crowded expanses. But new Census Bureau data indicate that, in general, cities last year grew faster than suburbs, reflecting an urban renaissance accelerated by the Great Recession.

Coalition members in the news

New York Led Country in Population Growth Since 2010 Census
New York Times’ City Room blog – June 28, 2012
“A number of studies have found that there’s a stronger preference for walkable neighborhoods that are close to transit and the younger population is driving less than they used to,” said Christopher Jones, vice president for research of the Regional Plan Association. “All of that favors cities, and New York City in particular has become a more desirable place to live over the past 15 years because of everything from reduction of crime to improved subway service.

Local stories

Brightwalk plans town center in city’s midst
Charlotte Observer (NC) – June 28, 2012
The new model home evokes images of models in Birkdale or Baxter, two familiar and successful mixed-use developments in Charlotte suburbs.

County Council OKs final land bank piece
West Side Leader (OH) – June 28, 2012
Summit County Council adopted the final piece of legislation for the county’s land bank project during its June 25 meeting.

Englewood mayor ‘overwhelmed’ by turnout at hearing about city’s development
The Record (NJ) – June 28, 2012
Mayor Frank Huttle got his wish for a big turnout for Wednesday night’s discussion of the city’s developing master plan. Nearly 200 people packed the social hall of Community Baptist Church to share their views about the future look of Englewood’s downtown and neighborhoods.

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