Blogs

Toronto's Greenbelt: Pushing up Congestion, Local Air Pollution and House Prices

I had the pleasure of participating on Jerry Agar's program on Newstalk 1010 in Toronto, with host Tasha Kheiriddin on August 15. The subject was a new report by the David Suzuki Foundation lauding the benefits of Toronto's greenbelt greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction role as a carbon sink.  read more »

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Could a Las Vegas Train Produce Losses 10 Times More Than Solyndra? (Report Announcement)

The Reason Foundation has released our "Xpress West" (formerly "DesertXpress") analysis. This high speed rail train would run from Victorville (90 miles from downtown Los Angeles) to Las Vegas. Promoters predict high ridership and profits. They are seeking a subsidized federal loan of more than $5.5 billion, which is within the discretionary authority of the US Department of Transportation to fund.

Our analysis concludes the following:  read more »

New Chicago Machine Scam In the Works: Eminent Domain Seizure of ‘Underwater’ Mortgages

With property values down 40% since 2006 in Chicago, the Chicago Democrat Machine has a new scam brewing. The Chicago Sun-Times reports:

Should Chicago use its sweeping condemnation powers to help stem the foreclosure epidemic — paving the way for underwater mortgages to be written down and repackaged under terms more affordable to struggling homeowners?  read more »

A New Brand for Houston

"We've probably spent in excess of $75 million in the past 30 years on image campaigns, and we keep coming back and saying, 'Well, that didn't work.'"

 - Former GHCVB CEO Jordy Tollett in the Houston Business Journal  read more »

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Avoiding Expensive Municipal Mergers

An article in The Wall Street Journal discussed attempts to merge local governments in Michigan. While efforts such as these gain wide support because of the belief that they will save money, there evidence shows the opposite.  read more »

Atlanta Resoundingly Rejects Transit Tax

Atlanta area voters said "no" to a proposed $7 billion transportation tax that was promoted as a solution to the metropolitan area's legendary traffic congestion, despite a campaign in which supporters outspent opponents by more than 500 to one.  read more »

China Personal Vehicles Now More than US

China Web quotes the nation's Ministry of Public Security to the effect that China's personal vehicle fleet (automobiles and motorcycles) reached 217 million at the end of June. This would place China ahead of the United States, which had approximately 200 million personal vehicles in 2010 and led the world for perhaps for most, if not all of the last century.  read more »

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Houston's Walled Garden

My friend Neal and I were in a tall building recently looking out over the city, and noted that there is an interesting phenomenon in Houston.  There are now enough tall buildings to almost outline a new zone.  read more »

Transportation for Tomorrow: Driverless Cars

Economist Clifford Winston of the Brookings Institution outlines the surface transportation system of the future in a Wall Street Journal commentary, "Paving the Way for Diverless Cars." Winston notes "a much better technological solution is on the horizon" than high speed rail "as an effective way to reduce highway congestion" as the Obama administration in Washington and the Brown administration in Sacramento contend.  read more »

Will New York’s Economy Strangle Itself With Success?

Big cities have been on a bit of a roll in recent years. But sometimes you can have too much success, as we may be seeing in the case of New York. This week the New York Times reported that finance firms are moving mid-level jobs away from Wall Street to places like Salt Lake City and Charlotte.  read more »