Tuesday, 30 of September of 2014

Category » Freedom

What’s New in Urban & Suburban News?

The latest edition of the ADC Communicator is available here.


Brilliant

Simply brilliant.


So Much for Letting the People Decide

For two years citizen-activists have been gathering signatures to force the Vancouver City Council to put on the ballot a public vote on light rail.  The proposed rail line would extend TriMet’s MAX line from Portland to Vancouver.  They apparently had the signatures, turning in a certified petition with the names of 5,479 city residents, seven more than were required.

But the county’s supervisor of elections, Tim Likness, has invalidated the petition “because of a technicality, according to the Vancouver Columbian.  Apparently, 94 signatures were set aside because they didn’t have a tally total at the bottom of the page.

This is obviously an example to the wedge rail transit creates in a community … not between blacks and whites or the haves and the have-nots or any other division we typically see on political matters.  This division is between those with elite visions of transforming our communities and those who foot the bills in the communities we already have and kind of like the communities as they are.  And the elites must not allow the little people to vote on their extravagant visions!


The Universality of Property Rights

Even in communist China, people understand they should have a right to private property.


Transit & the Surveillance Society

In Baltimore, transit officials have authorized the recording of private conversations in an effort to

Winning the Presidency … in the Suburbs

NPR’s Morning Edition reports that presidential candidate Mitt Romney has a substantial lead over President Barack Obama.  We already know that President Obama will win by a sizable margin in major cities.  That leaves the suburbs, which urban historian Joel Kotkin calls America’s last politically contested territory.


Not Surprising

Despite all the talk about how people are anxious to get out of their cars and ride transit (or bike) to work, the numbers are in (and updated) and we are still an auto-oriented nation.  Wendell Cox at New Geography breaks down the market shares.

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MARKET SHARE        2000         2010         2011
Drive Alone 75.70% 76.57% 76.40%
Car/Van Pool 12.19% 9.69% 9.68%
Transit 4.57% 4.94% 5.03%
Bicycle 0.38% 0.53% 0.56%
Walk 2.93% 2.77% 2.81%
Motorcyle, Taxi & Other 0.97% 1.17% 1.18%
Work at Home 3.26% 4.33% 4.34%
Total 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%
       
Sources: 2000, 2010 Census &  2011 American Community Survey

Another example of Big Government in Your Backyard

Oregon Man Sentenced to 30 Days in Jail — for Collecting Rainwater on His Property

Gary Harrington had three reservoirs on his property to collect and use rainwater.  Interestingly, the concern for water supply is growing in states like Florida, Georgia and elsewhere, and private reservoirs should be seen as a possible solution to the problem of overuse of a public resource.  From the government’s view, it’s a threat.


Best City to Live? Depends On What You’re Looking For

Time magazine has produced a list of the world’s best cities.  It’s number one city is Hong Kong, based on an index called the Spatially Adjusted Liveability Index that measures seven characteristics – “green space, urban sprawl (or lack thereof), access to nature, availability of world-class cultural assets (measured by counting the number of U.N. World Heritage Sites nearby), connectivity (how easy it is to reach the rest of the world), isolation (measured by the number of other large cities nearby) and pollution.”

An architect, Filippo Lovato, created the index and if you want to know how the measures skew his opening line gives the game away: “Hong Kong, the winner, is a very compact city….”

If that matters to you, then maybe Hong Kong – population density is 25,900 people per square mile – is the place to live.  For other people, the best city may be some place that has a lot of amenities but is also one where the dollar stretches the furthest.  If that’s the case, then Joel Kotkin recommends Houston, Texas: “What puts Houston at the top of the list is the region’s relatively low cost of living, which includes such things as consumer prices and services, utilities and transportation costs and, most importantly, housing prices.”

“Adjusted for cost of living, the average Houston wage of $59,838 is worth $66,933, tops in the nation.”

With a population density of just 4,644 people per square mile, Houston won’t make many lists that put high priority on crowding and congestion.  But if I had to chose, I’d easily pick Houston over Hong Kong.  Plus, the barbeque is better in Texas anyway.


Happy Birthday, U.S.A.!