News we found interested in the week before Christmas.

  • This week I filled up my car once for $1.53 per gallon.  Even with gas prices returning to values not seen since my college days, people (at least in Minnesota) are still driving less.  It is amazing how the changes we discussed earlier this weekseem to have some permanency.
  • I have driven through parts of Europe (even those where you drive on the right, er....wrong, side of the road), which makes this article seem a little comical.  Those crazy Europeans, always doin' things so darn backward.  I've driven the highways of Carver County and experienced the congestion, which made this analysis my favorite line of the article:

 "Others have objecting to placing the roundabouts on a busy state highway where motorists are accustomed to traveling at speeds of 55 miles per hour."

  • While this article could be written about many professions, the aging population typical of most small towns makes this particular problem more acute.
  • It would probably surprise people who are not involved with government just how little communication or comparing-of-notes there is amongst the different jurisdictions.  Can't imagine this happening in the private sector (where, ironically, compensation is not generally public knowledge as it is in government).
  • Almost makes it sound respectable.
  • This article on prisons goes on a little too long, but it is good to note how all economic development is not created equal.
  • We absolutely love the work of Andres Duany, a small example of placemaking which can be seen here.
  • The Economist has provided a great analysis of the dangers we face in the chosen "solution" to the dangers we face. 
  • This”, he said, “is the highlight of our lives.”  Do you ever get the impression the rest of the world is having a good laugh at our expense?
  • We've talked in prior posts about using the current economic crisis and the stimulus being prepared as a way to "double down" on our current development pattern.  Others are in agreement that this is not the wisest thing to do.

"The federal government is not good at discriminating between infrastructure schemes. Too much cash has gone into encouraging sprawl or keeping senators from small states happy with showy projects; too little into building things that are harder to get approved but encourage economic growth or control congestion, such as light railways or road-rail freight systems."

  • Finally, congratulations to Friend of, Jon Commers of Donjek, who announced this week that he will be blogging occasionally for the Star Tribune.  If you only follow one link on this page, check out his brilliant first entry here.