Beware of Smart Growth Utopias

To be a smart voter, you need to become conversant in the fuzzy newspeak of your elected officials. This article is a must read.

The same federal agency that brought us monumental failures like public housing wants to play a bigger role in fostering so-called regional “smart growth.” HUD secretary Shaun Donovan recently traveled to Portland, Oregon to announce the Obama administration’s new Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities. This new bureaucracy will distribute $140 million in grants for regional “smart growth” planning… (more at the link above)

Never forget that if it has to be subsidized, it isn’t really sustainable. This naked vote-buying attempt is counting on us not being wise enough to figure out that we are actually taking on long term obligations to counter-productive development for years to come; kinda like that zero-down mortgage so many Americans bought into.

A Great Article on Mass Transit

Former Gainesville City Commissioner Ed Braddy recently had this article published at New Geography. All local voters should read this to get the other side of the mass transit fantasy that many of our local officials have.

Essentially, policymakers need to see transit as a service with an important but limited role to play in most urban regions. With jobs and more activities spreading to the suburbs and exurbs – a process often accelerated by economically disruptive urban policies, cities should focus transit on a limited number of central core commuters as well as those people who cannot drive. Unfortunately, such goals are too modest for planners who envision transit as the catalyst for large scale social engineering and who have little concern for their regions’ economic bottom line.

Recently, county commissioner Mike Byerly shocked residents when they read this in the Gainesville Sun:

Byerly said that he believed too many road-widening projects intended to ease congestion remained in the county’s plans, and the only thing that could make the planned bus rapid transit system work was if traffic gridlock on area roads drove people out of their cars and onto buses.

Voters must be aware that our own local elected officials are trying to reduce our choices and funnel us into their hopes and dreams with OUR tax dollars. Read it here.