News Roundup: June 10, 2013

How To Calm The Urban Parking Wars (Slate)
Matt Yglesias notes that one of the most contentious issues with new development is the real or perceived loss of parking for current neighborhood residents, and proposes to solve the problem by granting existing residents parking passes that can then be traded on the open market among all residents, new and old. The theory is that this would placate existing residents by giving them an asset that would actually appreciate as new development brought more drivers into the community.
A new report by the Competitive Enterprise Institute highlights the differences between safety regulations in the U.S. and EU, and how despite our more onerous requirements we actually end up with much less safe trains; this is related to something I've written about in the past.

Benefits of the Grid (Great American Grid)
Spun off from a discussion at this year's conference of the Congress for the New Urbanism in Salt Lake City, Paul Knight explores the the impact of highly ordered, rectangular blocks and the benefits derived from them, including: walkability (when blocks are properly sized), navigability, adaptability, and efficient use of space (sustainability, if you will).

The Power Inversion (New York Times)
In an op-ed piece, conservative columnist David Brooks argues that federal influence is waning while municipal and regional government power is on the rise, and that local governments may be better suited to responding to many of the prominent issues of our time, including education and infrastructure funding.

Federal Gas Tax Passes Another Milestone: What Is The Future? (Forbes)
The federal gas tax turned 81 years old this Thursday (June 6), and Kelly Phillips Erb has an interesting history of its introduction, its growth under various administrations, and the reasons and justifications behind those increases.

Canada to adopt U.S. vehicle emissions standards, 80% cleaner than current ones (Treehugger)
Michael Graham Richard reports on Canada's adoption of the United States' EPA tier 3 vehicle emissions standards--which include requirements for lower particulate emissions and sulfur content--highlighting the impact of the new EPA standards beyond just the changes in the U.S. market.

The New Urbanist Renaissance of Downtown Redwood City (CNU Salons)
Dan Zack recounts the rejuvenation of downtrodden, economically depressed Redwood City over the past decade into a vital, growing city. Zack outlines the three phases of redevelopment that took place in the city, and his role in the renaissance as the city's Downtown Development Coordinator and a proponent of New Urbanist principles.

...and today, some activism:
Petitioning U.S. DOT to Recognize That City Streets Should Prioritize Walking (Streetsblog)
Current Federal Highway Administration standards for road design are split, rather crudely, between "rural" and "urban" designations, but urban includes everything from McMansion-filled outer suburbs to thriving, active downtowns. A team of planners (and anyone with a bit of sense) think this is not just silly, but genuinely damaging to the effort to make cities safer and more walkable for their residents. They've created a petition to try to convince the FHA to improve their standards, which can be signed here.