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News: LA Tax Extension, Vancouver Anti-LRT, CAHSR Funding, House Transpo Bill, Seattle Monorail Tax, Bike Sharing Economics

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.

Los Angeles: Mayor V Wants to Extend Sales Tax

Los Angeles Times

Faced with a congressional stalemate over transportation funding, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa wants county voters to approve an indefinite extension of a half-cent sales tax used for transit projects...

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Vancouver: Anti-LRT Petitioners Fall Short


The Clark County Auditor's office has declared more than two-thirds of signatures turned in by light rail opponents seeking a vote to be invalid. A group of Vancouver residents submitted 9,039 signatures to a petition calling for a vote to create an ordinance that would prohibit any city resources from being used to extend TriMet's MAX line into Vancouver...

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California: HSR Chief - Projects Often Lack Sure Funds

Sacramento Bee

After the state's fiscal analyst criticized California high-speed rail for facing "highly speculative" financial prospects, California High-Speed Rail Authority Chairman Dan Richard defended the $68 billion program this morning by suggesting major transportation projects often lack funding certainty...

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National: House Defies Obama Veto Threat

DC Streetsblog

In a brazen but expected display of defiance - both of the President and of bipartisan efforts in the Senate - the House voted today to extend transportation policy through the end of September with several contentious policy changes attached...

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Detroit: LaHood Delays Decision on M1 Project

Detroit News

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is postponing a decision on the proposed M-1 light rail project up Woodward Avenue for at least another month. In January, LaHood gave backers of the project 90 days to show that the light-rail is feasible...

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San Francisco: HSR Would Be Valuable to SFO

San Francisco Examiner (via Streetsblog SF)

While the state's high-speed rail project is expected to redefine how people travel on trains, local officials are banking on the plan having an equally important impact in the skies...

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Dallas: Another Downtown Highway is Pointless

Dallas Morning News (via

"Do you proudly wear the label 'wild-eyed idealist'? " I asked Dallas City Council member Scott Griggs after a 30-minute conversation on the future of the Trinity River parkway...

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National: LaHood Sees No Hope for Bill

The Hill

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Wednesday morning that Congress would not pass a multi-year highway bill before the election in November...

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National: Seattle Monorail Tax Could Be Revived

My Northwest

Remember the car tab tax you had to pay in Seattle to cover the proposed monorail expansion? It could be coming back to help fund light rail, even though light rail funding isn't allowed under the tax...

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National: Bike Sharing Popular, Not Profitable

US News and World Report

To look around Washington, D.C., you'd think that Capital Bikeshare must be making a killing. The bike sharing system's 1,200 sturdy, fire-engine-red bikes have become ubiquitous, weaving between cars at rush hour and carrying tourists up, down and around the National Mall...

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Florida: Does South FL Want Lexus Lanes Everywhere?

Sun Sentinel

Great, just what South Florida doesn't need: more tolls and road construction. That was my first reaction to an influential think tank's proposal to blanket South Florida roads with more tolled express lanes on highways and new tolled overpasses/underpasses at 79 intersections on major surface streets. ..

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California: Lawmakers in No Rush on HSR


California lawmakers said on Wednesday they won't rush a decision on whether to approve a bond sale to begin building a high-speed rail system, adding they could sideline the issue until after they conclude state budget talks...

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Seattle: Transit Cage Match

Public Cola

Monorail proponent Elizabeth Campbell-in the news most recently for her opposition to the deep-bore tunnel, and for her short-lived candidacy for mayor-is accusing another transit proponent, Seattle Subway founder Ben Schiendelman, of stealing her ideas for rail transit on the west side of Seattle...

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Tampa: Streetcar Board Could Dissolve

Tampa Tribune

Local officials created a three-headed partnership a decade ago to operate Tampa's streetcar, whose start was contentious and whose history has been enveloped in fiscal controversy ever since...

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National: Food Desert's Obesity Role Challenged

New York Times

It has become an article of faith among some policy makers and advocates, including Michelle Obama, that poor urban neighborhoods are food deserts, bereft of fresh fruits and vegetables...

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Vancouver BC: Canada Line Reaping $4B Development  

The Province

The Canada Line is proving to be a boon to Richmond, with a $4-billion-dollar development bonanza riding the rapid transit corridor through its city centre...

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National: HUD Swears In Maurice Jones as Deputy Sec

National Mortgage Professional

Maurice Jones has been sworn in as the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). Jones was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 29, 2012...

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National: DC Real Estate World Still Supports Peck

Washington Post (via GGW)

In the wake of the General Services Administration spending scandal, Capitol Hill lawmakers scrambled to issue caustic news releases and line up hearings. But in the other Washington - particularly among the city's real estate, development and architecture companies - the news got a different reaction..

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Gulfport MS: City Repeals Smart Code

Sun Herald

In another matter, the council unanimously repealed SmartCode land-use regulations for most areas. SmartCode remains in force for West Gulfport and Florence Gardens, a development north of Interstate 10. But SmartCode is out for downtown, Mississippi City and Handsboro...

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Chicago: HUD Touts Pullman Redevelopment

Chicago Tribune

Standing in a community room on Chicago's Far South Side on Tuesday, Shaun Donovan, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, promised to return to cut the ribbon when the renovation of Pullman Wheelworks Apartments is compete...

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National: Housing Costs, Zoning,Access to Schools

Brookings Institute

As the nation grapples with the growing gap between rich and poor and an economy increasingly reliant on formal education, public policies should address housing market regulations that prohibit all but the very affluent from enrolling their children in high-scoring public schools in order to promote individual social mobility and broader economic security...

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