Friday, June 20th, 2008

More Good Reading and News Briefs

Here is another slew of reading material for you.

First is this sure to be hyper-controversial article from the Atlantic Monthly. Called “America’s Murder Mystery” it argues that the increase in crime in many previously “safe” neighborhoods is largely attributable to the federal government’s program to redistribute public housing residents from projects to scattered site housing.

I previously noted a Wired article that explored Dutch traffic engineer Hans Monderman’s theory that by making roads appear safer through extensive signage, etc., we actually encourage people to drive more recklessly. The Atlantic also carries an article in that same vein this month.

Lastly from the Atlantic, coverage of GM’s attempt to put the electric Chevy Volt in production by 2010.

This INRIX consultancy just released a national congestion study, complete with city and bottleneck rankings.

An interesting commentary called “The Second Great Depression” in Detroit. The overtly racist comments posted in response are surely indicative of the type of problems that city faces.

Here’s a great op-ed from the head of Cincinnati’s MPO bemoaning the federal red tape that causes 10-20 delays for major transportation projects.

Chicago. Metra is being forced to pack in riders like sardines because of increased ridership, up one million trips just in the first four months of the year.

What it’s like to be a CTA motorman.

A sneak peak inside the Renzo Piano designed contemporary art wing at the Art Institute.

Citizens opposing the move of the Chicago Children’s Museum to Grant Park filed a lawsuit to stop it.

Columbus. The city is planning to issue $1.6 billion bonds, primarily for sewer upgrades to comply with the Clean Water Act.

A columnist suggests that Columbus should try to brand itself the Pabst Blue Ribbon of cities. I’m not sure how seriously we’re intended to take that, but I personally think it is a creative idea worth exploring.

And there’s a $75 million hole in the city’s budget.

Planners are warning that high gas prices won’t stop sprawl.

Detroit. Indicted mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is threatening to lay off 1,300 employees unless the city council agrees to his $65 million plan to sell the Detroit-Winsdor tunnel.

A quarter of the state’s roads are in poor shape, and that will increase to half if current trends continued.

Indianapolis. A nice article on the cool downtown steam and chilled water loop.

Indiana University and Purdue University are teaming up on life sciences.

Bloomington Hospital is merging with Clarian Health. Hopefully this heralds a new era of cooperation between Bloomington and Indianapolis.

The city unveiled a green home program.

Carmel won a climate change award for its roundabout program.

Louisville. The city won an award as America’s most livable city.

A group working on regional economic development.

The Museum Plaza developers are spending $14 million more of their own money to start utility relocation in order to comply with their city agreement mandating a start to the project by July 1. There is still no construction financing in place.

Minneapolis. The state is getting $135 million in extra federal funding for congestion relief projects on I-35W.

5 Comments


5 Responses to “More Good Reading and News Briefs”

  1. thundermutt says:

    (insert tongue in cheek)

    Your negative comments about Museum Plaza are obviously affecting their possibility for obtaining construction and permanent financing!

    (remove tongue from cheek)

    :-)

  2. The Urbanophile says:

    I for one hope it goes through. I think it is an architecturally better project than every current project in Indianapolis put together.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I was intrigued by the Atlantic article. I can actually see it happening right here as well. I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the article as well.

  4. Gary says:

    Yes I agree…Museum Plaza is a fine idea. It is wonderful to look at on paper, but I have serious question on many fronts about the what and why’s of it. I also agree it looks better on paper than anyting currently underway in Indy (brings a painful memory of not having the intercontenital built). But, I never really thought it would get built (sadly)

  5. Da Ville says:

    Gary:

    “I have serious question on many fronts about the what and why’s of it”

    So what are your serious questions on many fronts?

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