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News: FTA New Starts Streamlining, Peace Dividend For Transit, California HSR, Central Indiana Transit Funding

Tracks News - In this section you'll find news from cities around the country as well as interviews and general reporting on issues.  It might be from a newspaper or a blog, but it counts as news.  

National: LaHood Announces Major Transit Streamlining


During his State of the Union Address on Tuesday night, President Obama called on federal agencies to cut red tape in construction projects. Accepting that challenge, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today proposed a significant change in the way major transit projects compete for federal funds by streamlining the process and making decisions more responsive to local needs. ..

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National: Obama Calls to Use War Savings on Transport

Business Week

President Barack Obama's call to rebuild U.S. infrastructure with money saved by bringing troops home may not resolve Congress's struggles to set aside more money for roads and bridges, two analysts said...

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California: Jerry Brown's Faith in Battered HSR

Christian Science Monitor

A new report by the state auditor concludes that California's proposed $98.5 billion bullet train is "increasingly risky" and has inadequate oversight, adding to a growing pile of formal assessments that raise major concerns about the project...

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Twin Cities: Final Bottineau Route Expected in May

Twin Cities Finance and Commerce

By May, people living along the proposed Bottineau Transitway should know exactly where a new transit system will run through their cities if construction begins as planned in 2016. ..

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National: LaHood - No Bill This Year

Transportation Nation

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood doesn't think there's much chance Congress will pass a surface transportation spending bill this year. The bill is on its way to being three years late - it was supposed to be reauthorized in September, 2009...

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National: LaHood - HSR Still in the Works

Transportation Nation

The U.S. Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, still wants to connect 80 percent of Americans to high speed rail by 2036. That's the goal that President Barack Obama laid out in last year's state of the union...

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Portland: Lake O Will Keep ROW Ownership

Portland Oregonian

Two weeks after a proposed streetcar lost majority support among Lake Oswego officials, the city council unanimously voted to officially suspend the transit proposal but work to do "whatever it takes" to retain ownership of the railway planned to be converted for its use...

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Indianapolis: Transit Bill Picks Up Steam

Indianapolis Star

Just one day after the future of a bill that would beef up mass transit in Central Indiana looked dim, the legislation picked up a key and perhaps unlikely supporter...

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National: Mica Promises Bill Next Week

The Hill

Criticizing President Obama's call for spending savings from defense cuts on transportation projects in the State of the Union, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) said the House would unveil its version of a new federal highway bill next week. ..

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National: A Highway Bill w No Earmarks?


Mention earmarks and what springs to mind? The Bridge to Nowhere? Coconut Road? The Big Dig? John Murtha's airport? The practice, notorious for embodying Washington's pay-to-play culture, nonetheless got lawmakers enthusiastic about the less-than-sexy process of funding the country's highway and transit systems...

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National: Time for Congress to Act on Infrastructure

National Journal

It's not high-speed rail. It's not a stimulus program to fill potholes. It's not an infrastructure bank. President Obama is shedding several of his failed White House efforts on infrastructure and instead daring Congress to pass a six-year surface transportation bill...

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St. Paul: City Sued Over Site Along Central Corridor

Pioneer Press

Near the future route of the Central Corridor light rail in St. Paul, city efforts to keep parking behind buildings and require new construction be built to the street line have rubbed an industrial developer the wrong way. ..

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Bay Area: Council Sets Course for Major Redev

San Jose Mercury News

It took almost six years, but the city Tuesday night finalized its vision for what the Concord Naval Weapons Station will look like for future generations. By approving the area plan and incorporating it into Concord's 30-year general plan, the council laid a blueprint for a wide swath of land that will add more than 12,000 housing units, 28,000 people and 3,500 acres of open space to the city...

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National: American Consumers Stay Single

Fortune Magazine (via Bill S)

In 1957, University of Michigan psychology professors Joseph Veroff, Elizabeth Douvan, and Richard Kulka released a survey that examined American attitudes to being single. The findings were stark: 80% of those surveyed believed that people who preferred being unmarried were "sick," "immoral," or "neurotic."..

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Bay Area: Windsor Approves Station Area Plan

Press Democrat

Windsor's train station doesn't have passenger rail service yet, but it's already dictating how the town will grow over the next 20 to 25 years...

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Twin Cities: State Help Gives SW Corridor a Push

Minnesota Daily

Plans to build the Southwest Corridor light-rail transit line, which would connect Minneapolis with Eden Prairie, are gaining momentum. Gov. Mark Dayton recently recommended $25 million of his $775 million proposed bonding bill for construction of the 15-mile line...

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Cleveland: 3 Out of 4 Suburbs Saw Poverty Increase

Cleveland Plain Dealer

Three out of four Cleveland suburbs saw a dramatic increase in poverty in the last decade, and not one reported a significant decrease in the number of poor...

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National: Using Skyscrapers As a Big Screen

New York Times

THERE is a commercial building at the intersection of Canal Street and West Broadway with a whitewashed and windowless side that most people would consider an eyesore...

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Vancouver BC: City Eyes High Tech Parking

Vancouver Sun

Vancouver is carefully watching two ambitious high-tech pilot projects in San Francisco and Los Angeles where on-street parking rates are varied monthly depending upon demand...

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