Rail, bikes, IAH, Texas, infrastructure, and more
Sorry for the late post this week - busy holidays, you know. Got some smaller misc items to pass along:
"There's no better thing I've seen in any airport, and I've been everywhere," said Flood, 48. "In this economy, there is nothing better than seeing smiles like this. It shouldn't just be for Christmas."
"Rather than dictating uses for neighbourhoods, as almost all American cities do—apartments here, light industry over there—Mesa’s planners will determine the appearance of buildings. They want to encourage a mixture of uses in one street, and allow for change (so a warehouse might eventually be converted into apartments). They hope that, by putting many of the essentials of life in a small area, people will walk around. Mesa’s scorching summers might be a problem here."
Good thing we don't have that problem here, eh?
"Spending on upkeep of transit systems in older centralized cities such as New York, Washington and Chicago also seems logical. But with few exceptions -- the heavily traveled corridor between downtown Houston and the Texas Medical Center, for instance -- ridership on most new rail systems outside the traditional cities has remained paltry, accounting for barely 1 or 2 percent of all commuters. Such projects are almost absurdly expensive on a per-capita basis."
A big part of the problem, IMHO, is that politicians can't cut ribbons and get big PR for basic maintenance.
- Texas did well in a recent ranking of The Best State Business Climates:
"While it has been a tough year for state economies across the US, that hasn’t changed the positive views of corporate site selectors when it comes to doing business in North Carolina. The state took the top slot for the fourth straight year in Site Selection magazine’s 2008 Top State Business Climate rankings. North Carolina’s strong education system has been the real difference maker, but other important factors include the state’s aggressive economic development programs and lower cost of living. Other top performers in the rankings include (in rank order): Tennessee, Alabama, Texas and Indiana. A separate poll of business executives produced a slightly different list of the most “business friendly” states with Texas topping that poll, followed by North Carolina and Georgia. When asked to identify the key factors in a favorable business climate, the top three, according to corporate real estate executives, were ease of permitting and licensing, transportation infrastructure, and workforce skills.
Access the article, “Pedal to the Medal,” by Mark Arend (also appears in the November 2008 issue of Site Selection).
Hat tip to Peter.
Not sure how much blogging I'll get done over the holidays. Hope you and yours enjoy them.
Labels: commuter rail, infrastructure, land-use regulation, Metro, mixed-use, new urbanism, rail, rankings