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News: Gas Tax Options, Private Passenger Rail Service, LA HSR Challenges, HSR To Atlanta, Wetlands & Storm Damage

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: Moving the Dial on the Gas Tax

National Journal

On transportation, President Obama can plan on starting his second term the same way he began his first. Then, as now, the funding crisis for the nation's highways was a few years off but approaching fast. When the highway authority expiration date looms in 2014, no one will be prepared for it...

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Florida: Private Railroad Plans Passenger Service

Tampa Tribune

The prospects of high-speed rail in Florida anytime soon died last year when Gov. Rick Scott turned down $2.4 billion in federal money...

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Twin Cities: Cities at Odds Over Freight Reroute

Minneapolis Star Tribune

Light-rail trains won't be clamoring through Minneapolis and the southwest suburbs for several years, but Minneapolis and St. Louis Park are already sparring about where noisy, heavy freight traffic will end up...

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Dallas: Oak Cliff Streetcar Searches for More Funding

Dallas Morning News

Meanwhile, back to the Houston Street Viaduc. Perhaps you read/heard that the latest city bond program, approved by voters on Tuesday, includes $12.2 million for repairs to the century-old bridge...

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New Orleans: Streetcar Line to Get a Super Bowl Debut

USA Today

With the Super Bowl less than three months away, New Orleans is rushing to lay streetcar tracks through one of its busiest corridors to connect by trolley the Louisiana Superdome and the French Quarter...

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Houston: Metro Referendum a Boon for Buses

Houston Chronicle

With last week's referendum behind them, Metro officials are getting back to work on a transit system recovering from years of declining ridership and light rail-related battles...

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North Carolina: New NC Gov - Infrastructure Needed

McClatchy Tribune

When he was Charlotte's mayor, Pat McCrory helped implement a 25-year plan that set priorities for transit investment to guide the city's growth. Now the governor-elect says that North Carolina needs a 25-year transportation and infrastructure plan "to send a clear signal to the business community of the state's future investment in roads, railroads, bridges, ports, airports and other infrastructure."..

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National: Rep Mica Mulls His Next Move

Transportation Nation

John Mica, the chair of the U.S. House Transportation Committee, joined with Florida Governor Rick Scott and other business leaders and elected officials near Winter Haven Thursday, for the symbolic groundbreaking of a new intermodal rail terminal...

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Los Angeles: Bullet Train Planners Face Challenge

Los Angeles Times

The 141-mile section from Bakersfield to L.A. will travel over two mountain ranges and more than half a dozen earthquake faults. Experts see it as the project of the century...

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Atlanta: Mayor Wants HSR Connection

Atlanta Journal Constitution (via Streetsblog DC)

Back in Atlanta after celebrating President Barack Obama's re-election in Chicago, Mayor Kasim Reed sat down with reporters Thursday to discuss what the next four years could bring in the Washington-Atlanta relationship he has helped nurture...

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National: Walkable Neighborhoods the Future?

Washington Post

Christopher B. Leinberger has been pushing the smart growth ethos nearly his entire professional life. As a private sector developer, a consultant and now a business school professor and smart growth advocate, Leinberger argues that building walkable places is the most efficient, environmentally friendly, socially equitable and valuable way of developing real estate...

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New York: Wetland Destruction Contributed to Disaster

Staten Island Advance

The staggering amount of damage from Superstorm Sandy is still being cleaned up and it will take Staten Island and other parts of the region years to fully recover. But now the question as to what that recovery should look like is being asked...

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International: Utopia on the Thames?

Guardian UK

It is, says Boris Johnson, with his well-known fondness for understatement, "the greatest transformational story in the world's greatest city"...

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International: Wal Mart to Build Smaller Urban Stores

The Globe and Mail

Jim Thompson, chief operating officer of Wal-Mart Canada Corp., has been criss-crossing the country for a ribbon-cutting nearly every day in October and November...

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Portland: Developers Starting to Build Without Parking


There's been a surge in new apartment construction this year, and many of the proposals are targeted at that Portlandia ideal -- ditching the car and walking, biking or taking transit to work...

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International: Five Suburban Hubs Planned for Bangkok

The Nation

People living in the outskirts of Bangkok would no longer have to take hours to travel to work or conduct their business downtown, thanks to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration's new city plan that would decentralise the growth of urban areas by designating five locations around the capital as commercial suburban areas...

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Bay Area: City Rezones for Housing in TOD

San Jose Mercury News

Encouraged by a slowly improving economy and the progress that neighboring cities have shown on similar projects, the Newark City Council joined a re-emerging trend of transit-oriented developments by voting Thursday to rezone a parcel for the construction of 553 residences near a proposed train station...

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