Blogs

Contrived Sustainability

The draft reauthorization of the federal surface transportation program (highway and transit) in the House of Representatives is filled with initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, often by seeking to encourage compact development (smart growth) policies. Dr. Ronald D. Utt of the Heritage Foundation discovered an interesting definition in the draft: “sustainable modes of transportation” means public transit, walking, and bicycling” (Section 333(P)7, page 219, accessed November 18, 2009).  read more »

Long Beach Freeway Saga

The Los Angeles Times reports progress toward completion of the Long Beach Freeway (I-710) gap between Valley Boulevard in East Los Angeles and Pasadena, with a geologic study finding a tunnel alignment to be feasible. Real progress is overdue. My great aunt and great uncle were forced out of their house in the early 1960s in South Pasadena by the California Highway Department, in anticipation of building the freeway. I suspect the house is still there.  read more »

China’s Love Affair with Mobility

China Daily reports that car (light vehicle) sales reached 10.9 million units in the first 10 months of 2009, surpassing sales in the United States by 2.2 million. This was a 38% increase over the same period last year. Part of the increase is attributed to government programs to stimulate automobile sales.  read more »

Texas Dominates Milken's New Best Performing Cities Index

Texas metropolitan regions hold down four of the top five and nine of the top 16 places in Milken's new Best Performing Cities Index, released this morning. The rankings were authored by previous New Geography Contributor Ross DeVol, director of Regional Economics at Milken.  read more »

High Speed Rail: Not One Big Happy Family

California High Speed Rail Commission member Rod Diridon is chafing at all of the competition that has been created by the billions committed by the federal government to high speed rail.  read more »

Urban Youth Deserve Chance to Hear About Service Academies

Here’s a disturbing thought as Veterans Day approaches: Some teachers and administrators of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) refuse to allow visits to high school campuses by representatives of the service academies that train young officers.  read more »

Forgetting Middle Skill Jobs

A new report from Skills2Compete attempts to address a national problem which continues to diminish our country’s competitive edge in the global economy. The loss of middle-skill jobs and the lack of qualified workers to fill the remaining jobs are major barriers, not only to our economic recovery, but also to our ability to sustain a high quality of life for succeeding generations.  read more »

Unemployment Rate Nowhere Near White House Predictions

Check out this chart from geoff at Innocent Bystanders plotting the actual recent unemployment rates against the predicted stimulus-reduced rate from Obama's recovery team:  read more »

The Fog of Stimulus

The news is full of stories about the the impact of the ARRA on job creation, including this one from the The Wall Street Journal about a shoe store owner who created or saved nine jobs with less than $900.  read more »

Smart Growth Places 3rd in Houston Mayor's Race

Houston city councilman Peter Brown, unique as a devotee of smart growth (compact development) in this city of light land use regulation, placed third in the mayoral election yesterday. Brown had long advocated Portland-style smart growth land use and development policies for the city of Houston and looked likely to garner the most votes in the four-way race. Brown, an architect and urban planner, spent more than $3 million of his own money in the election.  read more »