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News: BRT For Montgomery County, Toll Lanes For Cobb County, Suburban Skyline, Biking & Walking Stats, Entropy of LEGO

Tracks News - In this section you'll find news from cities around the country as well as interviews and general reporting on issues.  It might be from a newspaper or a blog, but it counts as news. 

National: Teens in No Rush to Get Behind the Wheel

Chicago Tribune (via Streetsblog)

A teenage rite of passage may be losing its allure among young people. According to a study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, teens are in no hurry to get their driver's licenses...

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Maryland: Montgomery Council Switches to BRT

Washington Post

The Montgomery County Council has changed its mind on what kind of transit line to build in the rapidly growing and heavily congested Interstate 270 corridor, voting Tuesday to recommend a busway over the light rail system it endorsed in 2009...

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Atlanta: Cobb County Wants Transit Money for Toll Lanes

Atlanta Journal Consitution

The same Cobb officials who pushed for a controversial transit line in Cobb County are proposing a retreat from that project in favor of funding reversible toll lanes along the I-75/575 corridor...

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Denver: 105 Acre Site Could Give Suburb a Skyline

Denver Post

The Westminster Economic Development Authority Monday night authorized the Westminster City Manager to buy the 7.9-acre property at 5501 W. 88th Ave. which contains a Sears store and automotive center...

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National: Vision for Transportation Struggles

Public Radio International

About this time last year, President Barack Obama was trumpeting his plan to build a high-speed rail network for the country. By the end of the year, rails had faded and it was back to roads and bridges...

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Report: 2012 Biking and Walking Benchmarking

Alliance for Biking and Walking

Bicycling and Walking in the U.S.: 2012 Benchmarking Report is an essential resource and tool for government officials, advocates, and those working to promote bicycling and walking. ..

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Research: Network Structure and Spatial Separation

Planning and Design Journal

This research aims to identify the role of network architecture in influencing individual travel behavior using travel survey data from Minneapolis-Saint Paul and Florida (Fort Lauderdale and Miami)...

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Research: Scenarios for Coastal Risk on Built Env

Planning and Design Journal

Assessments of changing risks in the future often focus on climate change alone, and ignore other relevant drivers such as socioeconomic changes. If other relevant drivers are considered at all, expert judgment is often used to create scenarios and the underlying logic is not always apparent...

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Research: The Entropy of LEGO

Planning and Design Journal

Can the information content of a building be given meaning? Provided it can be modeled as a set of repeating parts the entropy of those parts can be measured. One way to do this is to make a LEGO® model then base the calculation on how many pieces of each type have been used...

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Research: Perception of Virtual 3D Urban Scale

Planning and Design Journal

This paper presents a qualitative study of perception of scale. The study took place in an immersive virtual environment. The participants were asked to navigate in six virtual urban environments which had the same configuration but different properties of scale or proportion...

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Pittsburgh: David Lewis - Urban Legend

Pittsburgh Post Gazette

David Lewis -- fabled urban design pioneer, architect, professor, painter, sculptor, art critic, writer and, perhaps most important, friend to the city of Pittsburgh -- turns 90 today...

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Ann Arbor: Council in No Hurry to Push Transit Exp

Rich Sheridan, CEO of Ann Arbor-based software firm Menlo Innovations, told City Council members Monday night expanded transit will help him recruit talented employees...

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National: Blue State/Red State City Trap


We all know that the cable-news echo chamber, in which we segregate ourselves into fiefdoms of Lord O'Reilly and Lady Maddow, isn't ideal for a functional democracy...

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International: World's Most Exclusive Condominium

New York Times (via GC) 

You are not allowed to visit Pheasant Island, which lies near the Atlantic Ocean terminus of the French-Spanish border. But "it can easily be seen from the Joncaux bank, on the Bay Path," the Web site for the local tourist office [1] suggests, without a hint of irony...

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San Diego: State AG Sues Over Regional Plan

San Diego Union Tribune

As the public agency responsible for planning San Diego's transportation future drafted plans to spend $200 billion on roads, bikeways and public transit over the next 40 years, the state kept watch...

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Oakland: Tech Boom Leaving East Bay Behind

Bay Citizen

On the surface, the East Bay would seem to be an ideal place to start or grow a technology company. It's home to the University of California, Berkeley, a world-class university that churns out computer scientists and electrical engineers; it offers plentiful vacant office space and is easily accessible by both freeway and public transportation...

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DC: Could We Get the Streetcar System for Free?

Washington City Paper

Finally, finally the Office of Planning has released the full results of their streetcar land use study, which details the projected effects on all 37 miles of the system that's been planned so far (I've been asking for it since a short version dropped last May)...

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National: Social Equity Weighed in Transit Funding?


The U.S. Department of Transportation wants to give more weight to factors including affordable-housing policy in deciding which local mass-transit initiatives will get federal money. ..

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Toronto: New Transit Proposal Would Deliver More

Toronto Star

Commuters on Finch Ave. could have a new busway in less than three years and shovels could be in the ground on the Eglinton LRT and Sheppard subway by 2014...

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