Transportation headlines, Tuesday, Dec. 13

Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by us and the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the library’s blog.

Has the sun set on suburban sprawl in California? (Natural Resources Defense Council Switchboard Blog)

A new study by the Urban Land Institute confirms what many of us already know — that city sprawl is passe. The study finds that Generations X and Y, which will dominate market demand in the coming decades, don’t want to live in far flung housing developments that require a car and long commutes to work. Where do they want to live? Near transit. (We like this study.) For personal thoughts on this very topic, take a look at the newest Metro Motion. It contains interviews with twentysomethings who have abandoned their cars in favor of what they consider to be a more interesting urban lifestyle … without a car and with mass transit. 

Driving frequency is dropping. But why? (New Republic)

Americans have sustained annualized driving drops for six consecutive months, the longest sustained drop since 2008 when gas prices first launched over $4 a gallon. This also comes at a time when the country is showing some positive economic growth — two percent annualized growth in the third quarter — and a string of positive, private sector job reports. Can consistently high oil prices be blamed, or is something more systemic and complex at work?

How is driving rewarded over taking the bus? (New York Times)

Due to a fear of making anything permanent or convenient in the tax code, a parking vs. taking mass transit parity of the last couple of years is scheduled to evaporate Dec. 31. After that, unless legislators manage to patch the rules once more, parkers will get to set aside $240 a month in 2012, while mass transit riders will be allowed just $125. Need we point out that this would not be very supportive of efforts to discourage use of fossil fuels for the good of the environment. Nor does it discourage our country’s dependence on foreign oil.