Government / Politics

Blog post
August 6, 2008, 1pm PDT

As gas prices keep rising, the public demand for buses and trains keeps growing. Yet in some cities, government is actually cutting back transit service, because rising gas prices make transit vehicles more expensive to operate.(1) But as a matter of substantive policy, service reductions are not only less desirable than service increases, but also less desirable than fare increases. As a bus rider, I’d rather pay $1.50 and know that my service is safe from fiscal crises than pay $1 and worry that my service might be reduced or canceled next month. Moreover, if fairness means spreading pain equally throughout the population, it is fairer to have everyone pay a little more than to have some neighborhoods be left without service.

Michael Lewyn
August 6, 2008, 11am PDT
<p>This commentary from <em>Reason</em> looks at the prospect of a national infrastructure bank and argues that much more needs to be done.</p>
August 6, 2008, 6am PDT
<p>San Francisco has passed some of the strictest green building requirements in the nation, for new construction and renovations.</p>
The San Francisco Chronicle
August 4, 2008, 11am PDT
<p>Citizens in Weston, Massachusetts, one of America's toniest suburbs, continue to block a local college's effort to build senior housing, raise its endowment and provide scholarships for low-income students.</p>
The Boston Globe
August 4, 2008, 8am PDT
<p>For China, the Olympics represent a struggle between letting people in and controlling what they see and do. This is a problem, writes Andrew Yang, that implicates the Olympics-related architecture in a bad way.</p>
The Architect's Newspaper
August 4, 2008, 5am PDT
<p>In this op-ed, a builders association representative argues that proposals for inclusionary zoning laws in Minnesota that require a certain percentage of affordable housing do not achieve the goals they aim for.</p>
The Pioneer Press
August 2, 2008, 1pm PDT
<p>Architect Robert Adam likens modern architecture to modern democracy, where decisions made on high supposedly represent the will of the people.</p>
August 2, 2008, 5am PDT
<p>San Francisco's latest attempt to mandate employers to provide benefits to their workers is to provide economic incentives to use public transit or vanpools. However, unlike prior mandates, e.g. health care, the business sector appears OK with it.</p>
The San Francisco Chronicle
August 1, 2008, 2pm PDT
<p>This just in from The Onion.</p>
The Onion
July 31, 2008, 1pm PDT
<p>Keep gas and diesel taxes stable and add new road tolls and private investment, and the road funding deficit will be solved, according to the new Bush transportation plan released July 30.</p>
The Wall Street Journal
July 31, 2008, 11am PDT
<p>Author Bill Bishop discusses the "big sort" that's resulting in increasingly homogeneous voting patterns in the segment on Comedy Central's <em>Daily Show</em>.</p>
The Daily Show
July 31, 2008, 10am PDT
<p>In a last-minute effort to beautify the city before the start of the 2008 Summer Olympics, officials in Beijing have put up walls and screens to hide unsightly neighborhoods from the eyes of visitors. Those behind the walls are not happy.</p>
The New York Times
July 31, 2008, 5am PDT
<p>The Bay Area's transportation agency, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, approved a comprehensive plan for regional High Occupancy Toll lanes, mostly from conversions of existing and already-planned carpool lanes, totaling almost 800 miles.</p>
The San Francisco Chronicle
July 30, 2008, 1pm PDT
<p>Last year, Sierra Madre voters passed Measure V, which placed strict limits on the size of downtown developments, effectively killing a specific plan that was in process. Now, the city council is fighting over releasing the plan's unfinished EIR.</p>
Pasadena Star-News
July 30, 2008, 9am PDT
<p>President George W. Bush signed into law a package of housing legislation intended to ease the burden on thousands of borrowers who face losing their homes. The legislation will also bail out major mortgage financiers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.</p>
The New York Times
July 29, 2008, 1pm PDT
<p>As the worst recycler amongst the 30 largest American cities, Houston has a lot of trash on its hands. But many obstacles stand in the way of the city closing the loop.</p>
The New York Times
July 29, 2008, 10am PDT
<p>Officials in Fort Worth, Texas weigh regulations for natural gas compression stations arising from a boom in drilling shale for natural gas.</p>
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
July 29, 2008, 8am PDT
<p>With increasing amounts of data collected and held by governments, there's a lot of opportunity to make use of it for the betterment of communities, according to this column from Neal Peirce.</p>
July 28, 2008, 2pm PDT
<p>Friends of the Earth president Brent Blackwelder and journalist James S. Henry believe that the federal bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac needs to come with some very green strings attached.</p>
The Nation
Blog post
July 28, 2008, 10am PDT

As a grassroots North American organization for “people involved in planning,” Planners Network (PN) attracts not just professionals and academics but laypersons and activists as well. This year’s PN conference was a dramatic debut for the Winnipeg chapter of PN, which was only formed in January of 2006. The conference title, “Flat not Boring” was an amusing reference to southern Manitoba’s notoriously unvarying geography.

Michael Dudley