Smart Growth News – December 18, 2012

Today’s stories:

Train travel makes a comeback
MSN Money – December 17, 2012
But given high gas prices, worsening traffic conditions, airline industry cuts and government pledges to renew the nation’s infrastructure, it appears passenger train service is quietly making a comeback across the country.

Public transportation use on the rise in D.C. region
Washington Examiner – December 16, 2012
About 37.5 percent of D.C. residents use public transportation to get to work, compared with 42 percent who drive, according to the 2007-2011 average released by the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. In 1999, 33.2 percent took public transit and 49.4 percent drove.

M@dison Building, D:hive, coffee shops dominate start-up news in 2012
Model D – December 18, 2012
Small business news in 2012 wasn’t dominated by individual start-ups as much as it was the places that let them grow. Here are the Top 5 enablers of Detroit’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

D.C. aims to create sustainable ‘living building’
Washington Post – December 13, 2012
Seeking to further distinguish the District as a national leader in urban sustainability, officials plan to create the city’s first “living building,” joining a green certification program that promotes the highest level of architectural sustainability.

Earl Blumenauer pushes national VMT fee for drivers as federal gas-tax revenue evaporates
Oregonian – December 14, 2012
U.S. Rep Earl Blumenauer wants to take Oregon’s experiment with a tax on vehicles-miles traveled on the road nationally. The Portland Democrat has introduced a bill, H.R. 6662, to direct the U.S. Department of the Treasury to study alternatives to raising federal highway funds via the existing gas-tax system, including taxing drivers for each mile on the road.

Ambitious cycling plan would put Chicago in forefront of active transportation
WBEZ Radio (IL) – December 14, 2012
On Friday, City Hall released their comprehensive plan for cycling while celebrating the opening of around 30 miles of protected lanes. Even more significant, the Mayor’s office and the Chicago Department of Transportation released their comprehensive Streets for Cycling Plan 2020.

City Council Votes To Bring Bike Sharing To Portland
Oregon Public Broadcasting – December 12, 2012
Shared bicycles are on their way to Portland following a vote at city council on Wednesday. Customers could rent any of 750 bikes at 75 stations across the city.

Little Rock unveils ‘Creative Corridor’ plan
Arkansas Times – December 12, 2012
Two architects unveiled the city of Little Rock’s master plan for a cultural corridor on Main Street today. Fayetteville’s Marlon Blackwell, private architect and department head of the Fay Jones School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas, and Steve Luoni, director of the University of Arkansas Community Design Center, presented The Creative Corridor: A Main Street Revitalization to the public for the first time today at The Rep. The city retained Blackwell and Luoni to create the plan thanks to a $150,000 Our Town Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Aging America: The Cities That Are Graying The Fastest
Forbes – December 14, 2012
Today roughly 18.5% of the U.S. population is over 60, compared to 16.3% a decade ago; by 2020 that percentage is expected to rise to 22.2%, and by 2050 to a full 25%. Yet the graying of America is not uniform across the country — some places are considerably older than others.

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