Because for the first time since May, I have a hump day. Which is why all you get is a list.
1. Traditionally, the NYC-dominated New York State Assembly’s whacky rent control impulses have been tempered by the suburban/upstate-dominated Senate, but the NYT says that they may have struck a deal, with the Assembly winning the following:
About one million apartments in the city’s five boroughs, roughly half of all rental units, are covered by the existing laws, which sharply limit landlords’ ability to raise rents and keep many apartments, particularly in Manhattan, renting at well below market value. Currently, apartments become deregulated when the rent reaches $2,000 and total household income of the tenants is at least $175,000 annually for two years.
[Assembly speaker Sheldon] Silver said he would like not only to preserve those protections, but also to expand them, by raising the income and rent thresholds.
“You want to preserve people making $210,000, $225,000 a year, living where they’re living,” Mr. Silver said.
Uh, maybe you want to preserve that…
2. A good article from the NYT about Brooklyn’s new skyline. I’m impressed that they held off until the last page to quote a naysaying politician:
Robert Perris, the district manager of Community Board 2, which represents the area, said the benefits of residences along Flatbush Avenue were clear. But, he added, so are the benefits of a strong commercial district — and strengthening the commercial district was one of the chief goals of the rezoning. When residential buildings are erected in commercial zones, he said, their lots are lost for commercial purposes.
It also would have been nice to have a sentence or two more more detail in this fairly long article about the 2004 “rezoning,” though.
3. This study found that parking adds 10% to the average car’s emissions (something which can’t be dealt with by electric cars). This doesn’t really sound that significant to me, but it reminds me of this working paper that a reader sent in but I forgot to blog (if someone reads over it, maybe they could summarize it in the comments?). It’s been a while since I read it, but I remember being surprised at how much of sprawl’s emissions are due not to the direct effect of cars, but rather the indirect effect of heating and cooling bigger houses that leak energy from all five exposed sides.
4. The Twin Cities move to reign in highway spending and institute congestion pricing on existing highways. But being Minnesota, it’s all relative – they’re still adding highway lane miles. The dumbest quote in the Streetsblog article goes to Myron Orfield, director of the “Institute on Race and Poverty” (where else?) at the U of M:
Though the traditionally progressive Twin Cities benefit from having very strong land use statutes, they haven’t been aggressive enough in enforcing those standards, he said.