All the news that’s fit for you (I)

30 10 2009

“Cars could someday find themselves in the same struggle for acceptance as cigarettes”:

“The hop-on, hop-off nature of streetcars increases walkability, allowing you to ditch your car and wine and dine downtown with ease. The good news is that Dallas is pushing ahead with plans for a downtown streetcar network. Just last week, the Transportation and Environment Committee began reviewing a proposed route. ‘This would just be the beginning of a network that would bring neighborhoods together. It would give downtown the vitality you see in Zurich'”:

“With a unique approach Odense Municipality has submitted a masterplan for sustainable transport solutions that are intended to lead the way towards the goal of CO2-neutrality in 2025…The aim is to change habits…Overall the ambition is to have 60% more bike rides and 60% fewer traffic deaths in 2025, to increase the travels by public transport with 200%, to reduce driving in the city with 25%, to have 75% less people burdened by harmful pollution and 90% less burdened by traffic noise. The Plan for Traffic and Mobility is expected to be adopted before the summer 2009”:

“President Obama billed the $8 billion in stimulus funds for high-speed rail as the ‘first step’ toward a nationwide system of European-style bullet trains linking the nation’s largest cities. But now his administration must take the second step: figuring out how and where to spend the cash among more than $50 billion worth of proposals from across the country. It is a tricky endeavor. If Federal Railroad Administration officials pick too many projects, they risk spreading the cash too thin, leaving little tangible evidence to point to when it comes time to ask for the next round of federal investment. Choose only one or two larger projects, and they could alienate needed political allies that hail from states that are overlooked. Any near-term failures — either in moving too slowly or picking the wrong projects — could threaten to derail the larger effort”:

“Rendell argues that a nation-wide high speed rail network is critical and called for a ‘dedicated federal government capital budget’ to fund the program. ‘We have just been nibbling at infrastructure,’ Rendell argued. Rendell sees a dedicated ‘infrastructure bank,’ which would ‘take the politics out of transportation decisions,’ funneling funds to high speed rail, transportation rehabilitation, and transportation improvement projects. Rendell noted that the American Society of Civil Engineers said the U.S. needs to invest $2.2 trillion to ensure the country’s future competitiveness. In addition to strengthening the U.S. competitive position, Rendell argues that high speed rail would help restore the U.S. construction and manufacturing base, and ‘bring millions or tens of millions of jobs and new factories.’ Rendell compared current opposition to a country-wide high speed rail network to the early opposition against the Erie Canal. He noted that the $9 billion investment in the Erie Canal was repaid within nine years, and the investment helped revolutionize the U.S. economy”:

“More than two-thirds of Houstonians are ready for tighter land-use restrictions in the wake of several high-profile conflicts between developers and neighborhoods in recent years, according to a Houston Chronicle poll. Out of 601 people surveyed between Oct. 12 and 15, 71 percent said they strongly or somewhat agree that ‘Houston should enact tougher land use restrictions'”:




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