- Libya, Japan Could Hamper Economic Recovery (Politico)
- Census: Detroit’s Population Plummets (CNN)
- New York’s High Line: A Jewel in Manhattan (Nat Geo)
- While the U.S. Dithers, Thailand Invests $5 Billion in High-Speed Rail (Nasdaq)
- Cincinnati Streetcar Plan Starts to Look Shaky (The Transport Politic)
- New England: The Future of American Rail? (National Journal)
- LA Plans Major Boost for Bike Infrastructure (Architect’s Newspaper)
- Meanwhile, Brooklyn Grapples with Bike Lane Nimbys (New York)
- Atlanta Suburb Embraces Smarter Growth (Patch)
- Dems Say Cuts to Commodity Futures Agency Could Boost Gas Prices (The Hill)
- Tear Down That Aging Freeway (NPR)
Posts from the "Streetsblog Capitol Hill" Category
- Defunct Senate Energy Bill Gang Considers Return (The Hill)
- Rep. McCarthy Denounces California’s HSR Plan (McClatchy)
- 11th Annual Bike Summit Kicks Off in Washington (BikePortland)
- Poll: 63 Percent of Young People Admit to Distracted Driving (WaPo)
- Get Ready: $4/Gal. Gas on the Way for California (SFGate)
- Bike Lane Battles Continue in New York City (Transpo Nation)
- New Google Map App Looks to Save Time, Money, Gas (Treehugger)
- Virginia Tea Party Takes Aim at Smart Growth (WaPo)
- Tech Won’t Fix Fundamental Urban Problems Like Sprawl and Traffic (Atlantic)
- New Yorkers: Want to Save $1,200 a Month? Take Transit (Grist)
- Spiking Gas Prices Mean Savings for Transit Riders (Reuters)
- Meanwhile, White House Considers Tapping Strategic Reserves (Bloomberg)
- Rail Dead; Florida Gov. Scott Wants to Dredge Instead (LAT, Transpo Nation)
- New Transpo Chief on Horizon for San Francisco (Chronicle)
- In the Midst of Red Ink, Can America Save Its Infrastructure? (Transport Politic)
- Magazine, DOT Team Up to Fight Distracted Driving (Consumer Reports)
- Different Cities, Same PR Problems for Bicycles (GGW)
- How Basketball Can Save a Neighborhood (HuffPo)
- Is This the End of the Petroleum Age? (Grist)
- Miles Traveled Up, But Americans Aren’t Driving More (TNR)
- The Anti-Transit Argument (Weekly Standard)
- Crude Oil Prices Surge as Middle East Unrest Simmers (NYT)
- Florida State Senators Take Governor to Court for Killing HSR (TBO)
- Gov. Scott’s Response: “My Position Remains Unchanged” (Transpo Nation)
- Meanwhile, Sen. Nelson Calls for More Time (The Hill)
- Nurturing Revolution: Twitter’s Nice But Public Spaces Matter Too (MinnPost)
- Report: Gov. McDonnell’s Transpo Plan Would Create 100,000 Jobs (The Examiner)
- Los Angeles Envisions 1,680 Mile Bikeway Network (LAT)
- What’s Next for Chicago and Its New Mayor? (WBUR)
- The Trouble With Greenbelts (Per Square Mile)
- Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy Goes to Bat for Transit (TSTC)
- Can Buses Fill the High-Speed Rail Void? (KALW)
A pair of bills making their way through Virginia’s House of Delegates threaten to slam the brakes on smart growth and livability efforts in Arlington and throughout Northern Virginia.
House Bills 1998 and 1999, put forward by Delegate Jim LeMunyon (R-Fairfax), have been dubbed the “Anti-Livability” bills by local transportation reformers. HB 1998 seeks to mandate that congestion reduction be used as the primary criterion for evaluating transportation projects. HB 1999 would require that highway construction take priority in all funds flowing from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority.
Dan Malouff, a transportation planner with the Arlington County Department of Transportation, said his organization has been watching the bills with concern, particularly HB 1999, which employs the more hard-line inducement of the purse strings.
“If 1999 passed, we would be very strictly reduced to spending money only on a few key highways,” Malouff said. “It means we can’t think about local growth. It means we can’t think about local streets. It means we can’t think about transit.”
“It essentially forces us to spend money only applying Band-aids instead of addressing real problems.”
Reporting on the progress of HB 1998, David Alpert of Streetsblog Network blog Greater Greater Washington said:
This bill is, in essence, the exact opposite of the USDOT’s “livability” push. That agency has been retooling the formulas for federal transit funding to move away from only favoring projects that move the most people the longest distance.
- Sen. Kerry Calls for Major Transportation Investment (The Hill)
- Report: Northeast Corridor — Not Florida — Most Promising High-Speed Rail Route (NYT)
- Meanwhile, Is California the Right Place to Invest in High-Speed Rail? (WaPo, T4America)
- In a Move That Cuts Cancer-Causing Emissions, LA Buses Go Diesel-Free (LAT)
- Environmental and Bicycling Advocates Grieve Over Giffords Tragedy (LAB, Alttransport)
- Regulators Consider New Rules to Spur Freight Rail Competition (WSJ)
- Are You Facebook Friends With Your Local Transit Agency? (Progressive Railroading)
- Virginia Gov. McDonnell Pitches Transportation Agenda (Patch)
- Mayor Gray’s DDOT Director Job Description Emphasizes Highways (GGW)
- Can Superstreets Keep Roads Thin? (Grist)
This is your chance to decide. The Streetsie awards are a Streetsblog tradition, offering the bests and worsts of the year, determined by Streetsblog readers.
Voting opens now and stays open till December 30. We’ll announce the winners January 3.
Lawmaker Who’ll Be Missed the Most in the 112th
Most Short-Sighted Governor or Governor-Elect
Most Important Action Congress Failed to Take in 2010
- A robust, reform-heavy, six-year transportation reauthorization (46%, 41 Votes)
- Climate legislation with billions of dollars for clean transportation and land use planning (33%, 30 Votes)
- Consensus on a gas tax increase or shift to a VMT fee to finance transportation (19%, 17 Votes)
- Livable Communities bill to formalize agency partnerships on sustainability and fund innovative grants (2%, 2 Votes)
Total Voters: 90
Best TIGER Grant
- St. Paul Union Depot Multi-Modal Transportation Hub to bring Amtrak, intercity and local buses, light rail, taxis, and bikes together in the heart of downtown (32%, 25 Votes)
- Philadelphia Area Pedestrian and Bicycle Network to complete a 128-mile network of bike/ped facilities, including primary commuter routes (29%, 22 Votes)
- New Haven Downtown Crossing to convert Route 34 from a limited access highway to urban boulevards (21%, 16 Votes)
- New Orleans Streetcar-Union Passenger Terminal/Loyola Loop to provide transportation options in the central business district and link to the Amtrak terminal (14%, 11 Votes)
- Tower 55 Multi-Modal Improvement to alleviate a major traffic and rail bottleneck (and improve safety) in Fort Worth, Texas by adding an additional rail track (4%, 3 Votes)
Total Voters: 77
(you can find a PDF with a complete list of TIGER I grantees here and TIGER II grantees here)
Best Moment for Transportation Reform
- LaHood’s "Tabletop Speech" and declaration of “the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of the non-motorized" (39%, 32 Votes)
- TIGER grants released, providing over $2 billion to states for innovative transportation projects (22%, 18 Votes)
- DOT dumps Bush-era practice of evaluating New Starts proposals only on cost; looks at congestion, environmental impacts, economic benefits (19%, 16 Votes)
- Feds begin redefining affordable housing to include transportation costs, illustrating the greater affordability of urban areas despite higher home prices (17%, 14 Votes)
- Centers for Disease Control says transportation reform is health reform, points to myriad connections between health and mobility (3%, 3 Votes)
Total Voters: 83
Best Cause for Optimism
- All young people want are iPhones, not cars (44%, 35 Votes)
- Bike-sharing goes viral: DC launches the nation’s biggest program, New York announces one that makes it look trivial (35%, 28 Votes)
- Dan Maes, who thinks bicycles are a step toward UN control and worldwide socialism, bites it in Colorado governor election (11%, 9 Votes)
- First Lady Michelle Obama recognizes the importance of biking and walking in the fight against childhood obesity (10%, 8 Votes)
Total Voters: 80
You’ll be too busy spreading holiday cheer to read Streetsblog for the next couple weeks, so we figured we’d take some time off too. We won’t be posting much content until Congress comes back and the relaxing holiday break screeches to a halt on January 3.
We will interrupt our break, however, to post nominations for the 2010 Streetsie awards – a time-honored Streetsblog tradition to determine who made this a great year and who tried their best to screw it up.
Check in with us after Christmas to vote on the 2010 Streetsie nominations for the bests and worsts of the year, plus some New Year’s resolutions for 2011. Winners will be posted New Year’s Eve.
Have a great holiday! May your travels be safe and sustainable!
You may have noticed a new byline popping up on Streetsblog lately, and it’s time to finally make it official: We’re pleased to announce the arrival of Tanya Snyder as our new reporter tracking the national transportation policy beat.
Before joining Streetsblog, Tanya covered Congress for Pacifica Radio’s Washington Bureau and for public radio stations around the country. She worked as a reporter and editor for WTOP, the Washington area’s most listened-to radio station, and pioneered some changes to their transportation coverage, weaving in bike and pedestrian issues on the same station bringing readers traffic updates “on the 8′s.” When Tanya first approached me about the national reporter position, she said that livable cities are no abstract issue for her — as a bike commuter who’s never owned a car, her own safety and mobility depend on complete streets.
With the Obama administration finally getting serious about a long-term re-authorization of the national transportation bill, Tanya and Streetsblog’s national team will be covering developments on Capitol Hill and also — this is critical — why reforming the current highway-centric system matters.
In addition to introducing Tanya, a warm welcome is way overdue for Angie Schmitt, who’s been bringing you daily updates from the Streetsblog Network, the national coalition of bloggers and advocates dedicated to sustainable transportation and livable streets that’s now more than 400 members strong. Angie is an urban planner and journalist who reported for the Toledo Blade for three years. She’s also a founder of Network member Rust Wire.
Our ongoing national coverage at Streetsblog Capitol Hill and the Streetsblog Network is possible thanks to a grant from the Surdna Foundation and support from Transportation for America.
In the next few months, we’ll be trying out some new things with Streetsblog’s national beat. We’re going to need your help, so here’s what we’re thinking.
The legislative stories unfolding inside the Beltway have a very real impact on the local fights for transit funding and safer streets that Streetsblog Network members write about every day. But sometimes it can be hard to connect the dots. To bring home what’s at stake in the transportation re-authorization, Streetsblog is going to plumb the ins and outs of local transportation reform stories. Transit funding in Seattle. Smart growth in northeast Ohio. Potential highway teardowns in New Orleans and St. Louis. All over the country, people are fighting for a greener, more equitable transportation system on their home turf. We’ll make state and federal policy more engaging by linking it to these local opportunities for reforming our transportation system.
Add that to the Beltway beat, and it’s a lot of ground for one reporter to cover. We’re plotting out the best way to do it, so stay tuned, but there’s no doubt we’ll be asking Streetsblog readers and Streetsblog Network members to pitch in. For now, if you have a transportation reform story you’d like to see tackled on Streetsblog, drop Tanya a line at tanya [at] streetsblog [dot] org.
You can also get in on the ground floor of Tanya’s Streetsblog Twitter feed: Follow her @StreetsblogDC.
- Amtrak Unveils Next-Gen High-Speed Rail Vision for the East (AP)
- But Will it Happen? First Reactions… (Transport Politic, Yglesias, Scripps)
- LaTourette Backpedals, Makes Support for Complete Streets Clear (LAB)
- Villaraigosa Returns to the Hill for Round Two of Transpo Lobbying (KPCC)
- Health Advocates Call Climate Change A “Serious Public Health Issue” (Hill)
- What “Complete Streets” Mean in Vermont (VPR)
- Chicago Traffic: Not as Bad As It Seems, Study Suggests (Trib)
- Reckless Driver Nearly Hits DC Journo, Minor Kerfuffle Ensues (TBD)
- Obama to Climate Bill Boosters: 2011 is Your Year (Politico)
- Lahood Sees Red Over Claim That Texting Bans Don’t Improve Safety (Transpo Nation, Fastlane)