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News: California HSR, Oversized Passengers, Spanish HSR Lessons, Federal Infrastructure Bank, Lost Bus Lanes, China Air Pollution

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.

California: Bumpy Ride for CAHSR Effort

Reuters


California Governor Jerry Brown wants to move forward with building a statewide high-speed rail system seen costing nearly $100 billion, but lawmakers are nervous about approving bonds needed to lock in federal funds to get the project under way...

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New York: Big Americans Pose Challenges for Transit

New York Times


It was called the "First All-American Tush Tally," an informal test to measure the behinds of two dozen New Yorkers to see if they could fit into the prescribed space in new subway cars made by Kawasaki...

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California: Spanish Lessons for HSR

Fresno Bee


It's 8 a.m. at the Puerto de Atocha train station in central Madrid. Business travelers armed with cellphones and laptops, and pleasure travelers toting cameras and carry-on bags, make their way through security to board the high-speed trains that connect Spain's capital to cities across the nation...

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National: Gillibrand - Infrastructure Not Political

Transportation Nation


Nothing startling here, but U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand gave her most extensive remarks that I'm aware of on a national infrastructure bank today...

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Research: Environmentally Influenced Urbanisation

Journal of Urban Studies


Over the past 30 years, urbanisation has been a prominent phenomenon and various drivers have been proposed to explain it. Very few have suggested that the degradation of the rural environment was one of them...

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Research: Death and Its Rituals in Urban Asia

Journal of Urban Studies


In many land-scarce Asian cities, planning agencies have sought to reduce space for the dead to release land for the living, encouraging conversion from burial to cremation over several decades...

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Albany: Giving Up on Bus Lanes as Planned

Times Union (via JP)


Q: Whatever happened to the dedicated bus lanes that were supposed to part of the BusPlus line? I read the original planning documents a few years ago, and they called for a couple of miles of bus-only lanes...

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Virginia: Three Parcels Up for Sale in Tyson's

Washington Post


AEW Capital Management, following the lead of other Tysons Corner landowners recently, has decided to put three sites zoned for high-rise apartment buildings up for sale to interested developers...

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Maryland: BRT Could be on a Roll in Montgomery County

Maryland Gazette


Since its adoption in 1931, Montgomery County's Master Plan of Highways has been altered to include some of the area's most ambitious transportation projects, such as the Purple Line and the Corridor Cities Transitway...

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New York: Transit Would Add Two Years to Tappan Zee

LoHud.com


Adding mass transit to the $5.2 billion replacement for the Tappan Zee Bridge would delay the project at least two years, state Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald said Wednesday...

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International: Chinese Air Pollution, Cleaning?

The Economist


IT WAS China's former leader, Deng Xiaoping, who urged his countrymen to "seek truth from facts". But for the many in China who distrust government data, that sage advice can be hard to follow...

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Birmingham: First Long Term Plan in 50 Years

The Birmingham News


Hundreds of interested residents, urban planners and Birmingham officials are gathering to draft the city's first long-term plan for development in 50 years, an effort that seeks to combat decades of steady population loss and deal smartly with its consequences...

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Milwaukee: Housing Moves in on Industrial Areas

Journal Sentinel


Law Tanning Co. had operated for nearly 60 years on Milwaukee's south side when the firm left its changing neighborhood. Law moved about a mile west to 1616 W. Pierce St. That was in 1993, when Law's former home and other industrial properties at S. 6th and W. Virginia streets were being converted into an office park...

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Austin: Regional Leaders Hadn't Heard of Walk Score

Austin American Statesman


For Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell, and pretty much everyone else in the room, it was a "huh?" moment. The Transit Working Group, a civic concoction that is spending a few months considering what sort of rail lines might make sense for this area, was batting around the merits and deficits of an Austin streetcar line in mid-December...

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Portland: Lake Oswego to Overhaul Foothills Dev

Oregonian


With streetcar plans shelved, Lake Oswego has 60 days to come up with a financially viable plan B to redevelop its 107-acre Foothills district or risk losing the project's manager...

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Calgary: Suburban Redevelopment is Largest Hurdle

Calgary Herald


The biggest hurdle to smarter growth in Calgary is not the desire to keep building outward, it's the public resistance to build "up" in existing communities, says the retiring head of the city's planning department...

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Milwaukee: Amtrak Expansions Between Wisco & Minn

Journal Sentinel


Wisconsin, Minnesota and Amtrak officials have started talks that could lead to expanding the current passenger train service between Chicago, Milwaukee and Minneapolis-St. Paul...

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Calgary: Residents Envision Thier Communities

Calgary Herald


Over the last few months, we've learned so much about Calgary neighbourhoods-what works and what could work better-as a result of the Project Calgary series. My hope is that, a generation from now, Calgary will be a city of sustainable, walkable, livable, lovable, complete communities...

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Twin Cities: Development on the North Star Line

Minneapolis Star Tribune


When Indianapolis developer David Flaherty proposed his housing project in Ramsey, he looked beyond the city's mostly vacant 400-acre development area and focused on the railroad tracks in the distance...

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St. Petersburg: Pinellas Proceeds with LRT Cautiously

Tampa Bay Times


Those pushing for light rail in Pinellas County closely watched how voters rejected a penny sales tax for transit in Hillsborough County - and took notes...

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National: Transpo Bills Abound as Congress Returns

Politico


The House returns Tuesday to a mountain of unresolved transportation issues with little room for error and little time to get up to speed. There will be immediate urgency for both chambers (the Senate reconvenes Jan. 23) to address the Federal Aviation Administration, as its funding expires Jan. 31...

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