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PBS Doc Examines Development In Denver, Portland, and NYC

Three cities - three directions on how their transportation infrastructure was shaped by national transportation and housing legislation, and the role of influential leaders like CO Gov. Lamm, OR representative Earl Blumenauer, and NY's Robert Moses.
May 26, 2009, 7am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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The video begins with Miles O'Brien, the host, in the visibly aging NYC subway and then goes to suburban Highland Ranch outside Denver, then to Portland's bike-friendly and modern streetcar scenes. Back to NY and the expressway-divided South Bronx to see the effects of Robert Moses. Finally, all roads lead to DC where the new transportation legislation will determine the path the country takes.

"Focusing in on three cities, New York, Denver (and environs) and Portland, it features interviews with a whole host of interesting subjects including NYC DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, Portland Mayor Sam Adams, BikePortland blog maestro Jonathan Maus and Columbia University's Owen Gutfreund, author of "20th Century Sprawl."

Denver Post:
"Fast-forward to the 1970s, the beginnings of Highlands Ranch and its counterpoint. Then-Gov. Dick Lamm threatened to "drive a silver stake" through the Interstate 470 beltway. Lamm succeeded in delaying the beltway, but the wrath of real estate interests and the press transformed his stake into a boomerang, thoroughly marginalizing the young governor.

While Lamm was left licking his wounds, Portland was being tempted by the same siren's song: big federal dollars to build the Mount Hood Freeway. But then-City Councilman Earl Blumenauer (now a congressman) rallied local activists to oppose speculators who were determined to demolish miles of historic urban fabric to build an eight-lane freeway through the heart of southeast Portland.

Blueprint America is more than a tutorial on urban planning and its consequences. It is a thoughtful and provocative study of human nature and political courage."

Thanks to Leonard Conly

Full Story:
Published on Wednesday, May 20, 2009 in PBS
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