Links, links, links!
1. The Washington City Paper has a great expose on street food in DC called “Inside D.C.’s Food-Truck Wars” with the subtitle “How some of Washington’s most powerful interests are trying to curb the city’s most popular new cuisine.”
2. Mary Newsom at the Charlotte Observer thinks it’s a bad thing that Charlotte allowed so much density around its wildly popular new light rail line because it’s driving up property values. The Overhead Wire says that this is natural when land is scarce, and that “if you built all the [proposed] lines at once, that pressure gets relieved five or six ways instead of one way.” This is to some extent true, but another solution to the scarcity of transit-oriented property is to allow more even development around the existing line by loosening zoning and parking rules.
3. Ryan Avent finds research that finds that congestion pricing in Stockholm, where citizens voted on the plan after a seven-month test period, became more popular after they experienced it. Then again, congestion pricing in New York and elsewhere depends not only on people living in the city, but also people living outside of it, who are much less likely to warm up to it. Also, it looks like Stockholm expanded transit (mostly bus) service along with congestion pricing.
4. The pilot private van initiative in NYC that we discussed earlier has been floundering, and Cap’n Transit has been all over it. Literally every post on the front page of his blog is about it. There seem to be many reasons for the vans’ failure, and I might write something on it in the future, but in the meantime read Cap’n Transit if you’re interested.
5. Philadelphia Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron praises recently-fired Philadelphia Housing Authority boss Carl Greene’s successes in razing decrepit high-rise housing projects and replacing them with low-rises, and boasts that “PHA houses cost about the same to build as private houses.” But if that’s true, then what’s the point in owning buildings directly in the first place? If you’re not going to produce at lower prices than the market and you’re tearing down your properties anyway, then why not just sell them off to developers and give the displaced residents vouchers to live where they want?