→ Governing: Tree Population Falling in Cities
Trees have a tough life in cities. They face heavy stress from storms, insects, air pollution, road salt, low-quality soil and even reckless drivers. Yet the benefits of a healthy tree population are vast, from the numerous environmental qualities to the aesthetic value that comes with a green canopy in a city park or along a busy street.
There’s also the economic value of trees. Real estate experts say trees on residential and commercial properties can increase the value by as much as 23 percent. They can also cut the cost of cooling a home or building, and their ability to absorb and store carbon dioxide makes them a great investment. According to the U.S. Forest Service, that value can average $2,500 per tree in urban areas.
In the gaming industry, it’s always about the next big thing.
But this week’s layoffs at the Mohegan Sun casino — the second wave in two years — are about something else: the permanent downsizing of gambling operations in Connecticut, as major casinos face intensifying competition in neighboring states.
Mitchell G. Etess, chief executive of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, said Friday that the tribe’s future growth in Connecticut is likely to come from other attractions such as dining, shopping, lodging and entertainment.
It took me a while to see what was happening. I think I first noticed that people driving their automobiles were never blocking crosswalks while waiting at a red light. And people on bikes were doing a good job at respecting the crosswalk boundaries, too. I next realized I was doing it, too: waiting behind the crosswalk. I’d do this at intersections with hundreds of pedestrians and intersections with none. I then became aware of where the bike signal was: at the edge of the intersection, before you entered the intersection. And there wasn’t one on the other side.
→ DC Streetsblog: Greater Atlanta Continues to Treat Walking Like a Crime
Last Wednesday, a 35-year-old woman was hospitalized after being struck by a vehicle while attempting to cross a road in northwest Atlanta. A local Fox affiliate reports that the woman suffered injuries and is in “stable” condition. But police have already decided she, not the driver, was at fault. The victim is being charged with “pedestrian in the roadway,” a legal term for “jaywalking.”
Part of the problem is that Georgia has one of the most draconian pedestrian laws in the country. Last year, the Georgia legislature passed a law that made it illegal for pedestrians and runners to use the roadway if there are sidewalks on the road.
“It’s being interpreted by police officers to make it illegal to cross the street,” Flocks said.
→ The Washington Post: ‘We don’t need to build more highways out in the suburbs’
Last night, the Daily Caller unearthed a 2007 speech by Barack Obama in New Hampshire that was deemed a “bombshell.” You can watch the speech here and judge for yourself, but we were struck by one line that the Drudge Report has been highlighting, in which Obama said, “We don’t need to build more highways out in the suburbs…”
It’s not clear exactly what Obama meant by this — in context, he appears to be arguing for a shift to more investment in inner cities. But there’s a policy proposal embedded in here that’s worth a bit more discussion. Many transportation experts, both liberal and conservative, have been arguing against building more highways out into the suburbs for years. The idea is that we should generally focus our dollars on fixing and upgrading existing infrastructure rather than continuing to build sprawling new roads.
PS: We were all about a similar Obama quote years ago.