Mid-Week Links: Empty Inside

© Nathan Kensinger Photography

  • Nathan Kensinger took a fantastic photo essay of one of the Bay Area’s ghost towns: Drawbridge, Santa Clara County.
  • Density doesn’t have to be bad.  Here in Washington, DC, there have been a few particularly beautiful examples of rowhouses hitting the local blogosphere. (DCMud, DCMetrocentric)
  • Well, my Washington ties finally pay off.  The debt debate is all the town can talk about, and at least one outlet asks, What happens to transportation if we can’t borrow?  It turns out, not much.  In the mean time, the FAA still isn’t reauthorized. (Transportation Issues, Washington Post)
  • It looks like the Marin County Planning Commission is going to look at some zoning changes.  On the table: density and mixed use, among other things. (MCPC)
  • Some neighbors are filing suit against a planned expansion of Edna Maguire Elementary in Mill Valley over slightly more traffic and slightly more height. (IJ)
  • Fairfax could get some more night life, although a bit off the beaten track.  South downtown’s abandoned gas station might become a music venue.  Rockin’. (Patch)
  • For once, the IJ was full of constructive examination of SMART this week.  A veteran transportation planner takes a look at the SMART train and asks naysayers, “Can’t we now get on with this project?” while Dick Spotswood thinks it will be too successful for its rolling stock, which have a maximum capacity of 498 seats.  Personally I think his analysis is oversimplistic, as SMART’s corridor is hardly similar to CalTrain’s.
  • Just when you thought it was over, ABAG’s affordable housing saga rolls on, this time to Sausalito.  They’re just getting started, but so far the debate sounds rather more civil than Novato’s contentious debate.
  • Speaking of Novato, opinion on the new affordable housing plan keeps rolling in.  SUNN panned the site selections for being insufficient, the IJ editorial board congratulated the city for how far it has come since the start of the debate, Brad Breithaupt decryed the whole process, and the city itself, in an uncharacteristic bout of practicality, started to look at how to make  better use of the market to meet its affordable housing needs through second units. (Pacific Sun, IJ, Patch)
  • Late Edition: It’s been a long time coming, but the San Francisco bike share project marches forward by announcing next year’s pilot plans.  Other cities along the CalTrain corridor will also be part of the system which, in the Bay Area’s Balkanized transit system, is most welcome. (San Francycle, HuffPo)
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Mid-Week Links: On Tenterhooks

NETWORK_LA transit has a wonderful video about moving LA from cars to transit.

Unlike LA, Marin might be stepping back towards the car if the Transportation Authority of Marin reverses last week’s vote to transfer $8 million to the SMART project at today’s meeting. (Marin IJ, Press Democrat)

The San Rafael mayoral race is already under way.  We’ll be watching this. (San Rafael Patch)

Limiting a parking lot to just the store’s customers is hugely inefficient.  Not only does it encourage people to drive fractions of a mile from lot to lot, but it creates redundant parking spaces, wasting land. (Reinventing Parking)

SMART will be a boon to downtown San Rafael, and that’s good for everyone in Marin. (San Rafael Patch)

Greater Greater Washington found that sometimes, people just don’t realize that bicycles are used for things other than recreation. (Greater Greater Washington)

Mid-Week Links: Coming to Earth

Paved paradise...

Good Earth and a parking lot

San Anselmo-Fairfax Patch reports that the Fairfax Council has approved Good Earth’s plans to move to the abandoned supermarket at the east end of town. It’s a great use of a dilapidated space, but couldn’t they have done something about that sea of parking? (Patch)

The IJ reports on the bizarre Transportation Authority of Marin meeting that first rejected, then accepted, the SMART fund bailout. Given that the public went home thinking the proposal failed, TAM will hold the meeting again and take a revote.  (Marin IJ)

The Washington, DC, Metrorail system is looking at expansion.  Local blog Greater Greater Washington argues that it should stay in the core.  BART, meanwhile, continues to push out into the suburbs. (Greater Greater Washington)

While Novato stews over its affordable housing mandates, the County is looking for affordable housing locations in its unincorporated areas.  A shame transit access and mixed-use development doesn’t play into much of the discussions. (Novato Advance, Marin IJ)

Be prepared: most of Marin’s first responders live hours from the County, meaning that, in the event of a major disaster, Marinites will be without aid for three to seven days.  Better be ready to hunker down for a while after the Big One. (Pacific Sun)

In a blast from the past, Fortune republished an article from 1958 detailing the politics and looming problems of the then-under-construction Interstate Highway System.  Most of the problems we deal with now were foreseen even then. (CNN/Forbes)