→ The Future of the Strip: Downhill [CitiWire]
From 1960 to 2000 there was an almost 10-fold increase in U.S. retail space, from four to 38 square feet per person. For many years retail space was growing five to six times faster than retail sales. Most of this space came in the form of discount superstores on the suburban strip.
The recession proved that we have too much retail. Strip centers are now littered with vacant stores. By some estimates, there is currently over 1 billion square feet of vacant retail space, much of which has to be re-purposed or demolished.
→ V.P. Biden Announces $53 Billion Commitment to High-Speed Rail [America 2050]
Today, Vice President Joe Biden announced the Obama Administration’s plan to dedicate $53 billion over the next six years to help promote the construction of a national, high-speed, intercity passenger rail network. Biden, a long-time rail advocate and Amtrak rider, was joined by USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood on Tuesday morning at Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station where he outlined the plan.
See also: → The White House Stakes Its Political Capital on a Massive Intercity Rail Plan [The TransportPolitic]
→ Town centers are the new death panels [Grist]
Oh, those Teabaggers — always smacking you in the face with something unpleasant. This time it’s self-righteous outrage at the socialist erosion of our Freedom Sprawl. Because in the real America, you get in the car just to go to your kitchen.
→ CA Rep. Hunter: Roads Constitutionally Mandated, Transit Must Pay For Itself [DC.Streetsblog]
Streetsblog: I was just in an EPW Committee hearing and there was some talk about the fact that some small amount of money in the reauthorization historically gets used for things like bike trails. Some people think that’s waste; some people think biking is a mode of transportation. What do you think?
Duncan Hunter: I don’t think biking should fall under the federal purview of what the Transportation Committee is there for. If a state wants to do it, or local municipality, they can do whatever they want to. But no, because then you have us mandating bike paths, which you don’t want either.
SB: But you’re OK with mandating highways?
DH: Absolutely, yeah. Because that’s in the constitution. I don’t see riding a bike the same as driving a car or flying an airplane.
The Congressman refers to Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution where it says that Congress shall have the power to “establish Post Offices and post Roads.” Further, he interprets the Interstate highway system as a form of military spending, which is also in the Constitution.
The Congressman presumably thinks that the mail cannot and is not transported by any manner other than road, and that the military cannot and will not use any mode of transportation other than the interstate highway system.
→ How Cars Won the Early Battle for the Streets Streetsblog
Judging by the recent media backlash against a few bike lanes in New York City, you would think that roads have been the exclusive domain of cars since time immemorial.
Not so, as Peter D. Norton recounts in his book, “Fighting Traffic Ã¢â‚¬â€ The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City.” When cars first entered cities in a big way in the early 20th Century, a lot of people were not happy about it Ã¢â‚¬â€ like angry-mob not happy.