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News: Transpo Funding Bill, Urban Bike Guerrillas, TIGER IV, Milwaukee & Kansas City Streetcar Plans, California Housing Funds

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.  The Chatter, commentary and opposition articles will be found towards the bottom.

National: GOP Goes On Offensive with Transport Bill

The Hill

House Republicans teed up an election-year battle over jobs Tuesday, unveiling a $260 billion transportation bill designed to put Democrats on the defensive...

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National: House Rolls Out Transpo Bill

Transportation Nation

House Republicans rolled out parts of a $260 billion transportation infrastructure bill Tuesday, casting the legislation as a major vehicle for job creation and energy production...

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National: Bill Throws a Bone to the GOP Base


House Republicans on Tuesday introduced a giant new surface transportation bill loaded with goodies for the GOP base. No earmarks, drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, cutting Amtrak's budget, forcing approval of the Keystone XL pipeline and ending mandatory spending on bicycle and pedestrian paths - what's a diehard Republican not to like?..

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International: The Urban Bike Guerrillas

New York Times Latitude (via AB)

Start with one of the world's highest murder rates, add in a mountain setting and some of the cheapest gasoline anywhere, then sprinkle liberally with a hostile and chaotic car culture and you get Caracas, perhaps one of the least bike-friendly cities anywhere...

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National: LaHood Announces TIGER IV

Smart Growth America

Today, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the availability of funding for transportation projects under a fourth round of the popular TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Discretionary Grant program...

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Vancouver: City Fires Top Planner

Globe and Mail (via @MarketUrbanism)

The Vision city council is terminating the contract of former mayor Sam Sullivan's most high-profile hire, planning director Brent Toderian. According to sources, Mr. Toderian was told last week that his contract is being ended "without cause."..

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Kenosha: Streetcars Electrify Kenosha Tourism

On Milwaukee

The Downtown Milwaukee streetcar cleared yet another hurdle last week as the city received approval to spend $54.9 million in federal grant money to continue its planning...

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Kansas City: Smaller Window for Getting Fed Dollars

Kansas City Business Journal

Kansas City officials' already ambitious goal to apply this year for federal grants to help build a downtown streetcar system just ratcheted up a few notches...

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Sacramento: Cities Can Spend Redev Money on Housing

Sacramento Bee

Cities that had community redevelopment agencies eliminated by the Legislature would be able to spend the money they had set aside for affordable housing under a bill that passed the state Senate on Tuesday...

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Oakland: Ballpark Plan Victim of Redevelopment Death

San Jose Mercury News

The state take-back of redevelopment money has forced the city to abandon plans for a waterfront ballpark -- the linchpin of efforts to keep the A's in Oakland. "We are no longer advocating for Victory Court," Gregory Hunter, head of the soon-to-be-dissolved Oakland Redevelopment Agency, said Monday during a meeting of the Alameda County supervisors. ..

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Tampa: Pinellas County Adopts LRT Proposal

Tampa Bay Business Journal

The Pinellas County Project Advisory Committee on Monday formally adopted a proposal to build 24 miles of light rail transit connections between St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Pinellas Park and Gateway...

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International: Bee Behavior Could Help Rural Planning

Guardian UK (via Per Square Mile)

It would be quite difficult to follow a bee on foot for more than a few metres. Up, down, a quick buzz into the hedgerow, out the other side - hmm, same bee? It's hard to be sure. A quick wriggle down inside a flower to suck a bit of nectar, then it's off again across the farmland...

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San Antonio: Anti-Streetcar Coalition Threatens Lawsuit

San Antonio Express News

Opponents of a planned downtown streetcar system said Tuesday that county officials broke a promise with voters when they agreed to use advanced transportation district funds to partially fund the project...

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Los Angeles: Claire Bowin Answers TOD, Aff Housing Qs

LA Streetsblog

Over the past couple of years, the name "Claire Bowin" has been attached to many of the most important projects that Streetsblog regularly covers. For that reason, we decided to feature a reader question and answer with Bowin so readers could both get to know her and learn a little more about how the city operates...

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Dallas: The Urgency for Urban Retail

Real Points

Carol Coletta, a dynamic and knowledgeable expert on urban trends, spoke on Jan. 24 to the most highly attended annual meeting of Downtown Dallas Inc. ever. She spoke about the evolution of downtowns, urban redevelopment trends, and the infamous "walkability" that has become the battle cry of mixed-use urban developers and planners...

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Research: Jinan BRT Corridor Context & Walk Access


This paper examines BRT station walk access patterns in rapidly urbanizing China and the relationship between bus rapid transit (BRT) station context and corridor type and the distance people will walk to access the system (i.e., catchment area)...

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Research: History, Institutions, and Cities

Journal of Regional Science

Every nation, formally or informally, defines and establishes the lines of political and fiscal authority among its national, regional, and local governments. Historically, centralized governments tend to restrict the power and autonomy of provincial and local governments...

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Research: Regional Pop-Emp Dynamics

Journal of Regional Science

An important subset of the literature on agglomeration externalities hypothesizes that intrasectoral and intersectoral relations are endogenously determined in models of local and regional economic growth. ..

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Research: Sources of Urban Development

Journal of Regional Science

This paper asks whether worker utility levels-composed of wages, rents, and amenities-are being equalized among American cities. Using microdata on U.S. urban workers in 1980 and 2000, little evidence of equalization is found...

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Research: Case for Regional Development Intervention

Journal of Regional Science

The paper examines the debates regarding place-neutral versus place-based policies for economic development. The analysis is set in the context of how development policy thinking on the part of both scholars and international organizations has evolved over several decades...

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Texas: Land Trusts Help Protect Landscape

Pegasus News

We've all got an urban sprawl story. For years, you've driven by a picturesque pasture or stand of trees, only to find it gone one day, replaced by a row of houses or a shopping center...

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Austin: What Will Club Soundproofing Do Downtown?

KUT News

How much sound mitigation can you buy for $40,000? That a question the Austin City Council is poised to consider this week, as they consider a resolution that would enact a sound mitigation case study at a music venue downtown...

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