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News: GAO Questions NJ Claims, Utah Commuter Line, Federal Transpo Messaging, Tunneling Beneath Alps, Tampa Master Plan, Detroit Gardens

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: GAO Report Disputes NJ Gov Claims on ARC

New York Times

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey exaggerated when he declared that unforeseen costs to the state were forcing him to cancel the new train tunnel planned to relieve congested routes across the Hudson River, according to a long-awaited report by independent Congressional investigators...

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National: UTA to Open New Commuter Line

Progressive Railroading

The Utah Transit Authority's (UTA) new FrontRunner commuter-rail line from Provo to Salt Lake City will open Dec. 10, UTA officials announced late last week...

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National: Transportation's Messaging Problem

Governing Magazine (via T4)

Talk to anyone in the transportation community, and they'll say the ongoing debate about the federal highway and transit bill is the biggest issue -- the only issue -- facing Washington. At stake: hundreds of billions of dollars in spending affecting every state, city and county, not to mention huge American industries...

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National: Debt from Big Dig Hampers Mass Transport

Business Week (via T4)

For nearly a decade, traffic has been zipping through Boston's Big Dig tunnels, the nation's costliest highway project that has also left a gaping financial hole in the state's transportation budget that isn't likely to be filled anytime soon...

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International: HSR Under Alps Gathers Speed

Guardian UK

It is a project of extravagant dimensions and it has been blocked for almost 20 years by a protest of epic tenacity and occasional violence. But this week, Italian plans for a 35-mile rail link under the Alps, four miles longer than the Channel tunnel and linking Turin to Lyons, will move into a new and possibly decisive phase...

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National: Transportation Deductions, Good Idea?

Transportation Nation

With gas prices rising, the economy plodding toward a recovery and tax day nearly upon us, the handful of available transportation-related tax deductions may be looking increasingly appealing to Americans seeking an alternative to the expensive drive to work, as the experts at H&R Block point out...

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Blogosphere: Physical Activity and Successful Aging

European Review of Aging and Physical Activity

With the increasing number of individuals over the age of 65 years worldwide, it is critical for society to recognize the importance of helping seniors maintain their health, physical, and cognitive functioning as well as their engagement with life...

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Tampa: City Begins Work on Downtown Master Plan

Tampa Bay Times

Mayor Bob Buckhorn launched a year-long effort Monday to write a master plan for downtown with the help of residents, neighborhoods and business owners. "This is a plan that's driven from the grass roots up," Buckhorn said. "We're going to go out and talk to people about what they want their future to look like."..

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Detroit: Empty Lots Become Gardens

Detroit Free Press

In the Old Redford neighborhood in northwest Detroit, community gardener Kofi Royal, 64, has been busy planning what to grow this spring. The community plot he tends covers just a couple of vacant lots. But he and John George, the local activist and founder of the Motor City Blight Busters community group..

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National: Great Recession, Slayer of Sprawl

Urban Land Institute

Suburban sprawl, that seemingly inexorable, inevitable spreading of the population to the outer edges of metropolitan areas, may well be over in the United States. If so, this would be one of the few positive results of the recent Great Recession and the housing crash...

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Calgary: A System to Prioritize Growth

Calgary Herald

A new city hall's system for "prioritizing" growth in certain parts of Calgary stands to favour inner-city redevelopment projects over new suburbs, a developer groups warn. As part of the city's long-in-the-works plan to shift the balance away from sprawl-like growth and the public debt it causes..

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Los Angeles: Ordinance to Streamline Approvals

LA Daily News

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today approved changes to the city's development approval processes that are aimed at clearing obstacles for thousands of new restaurants, retail shops and other small businesses to open in Los Angeles...

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Los Angeles: Apartment Developer Buys Panavision Site

Contra Costa Times

A Texas developer has bought a 10-acre site in Warner Center and will build a big apartment complex, officials said Monday. The property, purchased by Houston- based The Dinerstein Companies, at 6219 De Soto Ave. has been home to the movie camera maker Panavision for the past 15 years. ..

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