Slate: Train in Vain
Mass transit has, according to its fans, a staggering array of benefits. It reduces pollution, improves quality of life, and anchors vibrant walkable communities. It boosts public health and makes people happier. But relatively few transit-boosters understand that existing federal guidelines for assessing which new projects to fund not only exclude those considerations, they make it extremely difficult for newly built transit to meet those objectives. A new proposed rule from the Department of Transportation, now entering its 60-day comment period to let people raise objections, should change all that for the better.
Next American City: An Open Letter to David Axelrod, Re: Urban Politics
Last week, David Axelrod, a senior adviser to President Obama, announced that after the 2012 election season he’ll return to Chicago to run a political institute at the University of Chicago. But this isn’t just some political think tank. Axelrod’s ambition is:
to help encourage young people who are going to be the David Axelrods – and better – in the future so that we’ll have a new generation of people who will be active in politics and public life.
He goes on to say that there’s going to be an urban slant to the whole thing:
Mr. Axelrod, a former journalist, will serve as the institute’s inaugural director and said it would lean toward a focus on urban politics, in part because of the city around it.
Doubly interesting. What should David Axelrod do with this new institute with a leaning towards urban politics? Here are a few ideas:
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