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The Other Side of the Tracks

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This list of transit-oriented development news from mainstream media and the blogosphere is part of a larger article distributed by email to members of Reconnecting America by Jeff Wood, a Program Associate and GIS Specialist at Reconnecting America. If you would like to join Jeff's mailing list, visit our Get Connected page.


Honolulu: State Seeks to Raid Transit Funds
Honolulu Advertiser

City officials were not pleased yesterday with the suggestion that a tax dedicated to Honolulu's $5.3 billion commuter rail project be diverted temporarily to help balance the state budget.

Pittsburgh: Roads or Rails, Tough Choices
Pittsburgh Post Gazette

People are beginning to get that we can't have it all. A week ago, I asked Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato whether his transportation priority would be a light-rail link between Downtown and Oakland or completion of the Mon-Fayette to Pittsburgh and Monroeville, and he answered, "I think we need 'em both." That won't do with a president who says we need to make hard choices. Yesterday, he said if he had to pick, he'd opt for the light-rail extension in Pittsburgh. That should be an easier sell in Harrisburg and Washington. Mr. Biehler said, "I don't know where $5 billion comes from" to complete the Mon-Fayette. There had been talk of innovative public-private partnerships, but those proposals were made in the hallucinogenic easy-credit days of the recent past. Mr. Biehler doesn't foresee enough volume on this road to provide the toll money to pay for itself.

Blogosphere: Call the Whambulance
Greater Greater Washington

The Town of Chevy Chase's official comments (large PDF) on the Purple Line DEIS take up about 50 pages plus 90 pages of attachments. Citing many sources and statutes, it appears written by lawyers. Presumably that's the work of their pro bono attorneys from nationally prominent law firm Sidley Austin, whose policy of helping needy organizations seems to extend to DC's richest towns. The comments basically attack (or should we say, declare war on) Maryland MTA's analysis.

Blogosphere: Oberstar Says Rail Took Back Seat to Tax Cuts

Elana Schor's got the quotes from Representative Jim Oberstar (D-MN) that indicate that the reason rail got so little funding in the stimulus proposal is that they were cut to make room for more tax cuts

Blogosphere: Clean Air and Lifespan
Orphan Road

Cleaner air over the past two decades has allowed Americans to live an average of 21 weeks longer. In areas such as New York that have dramatically changed air quality this has gone up to 43 weeks longer. Of course, we also know the cancer rates along freeways and highways are dramatically worse than elsewhere in Seattle.