CNT in the News

The Mythology of HOT Lanes

Streetsblog USA | September 29, 2016

In July Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe stood on the platform of a train station in Alexandria to announce that the U.S. Department of Transportation had granted $165 million for the Atlantic Gateway project.

While this is a multimodal project featuring rail, bus, and highway improvements, it was clearly the latter that most enthused the governor. At one point during his remarks, he declared that because of the road projects, “Today, the congestion is going to end!”

The primary focus of the highway improvements will be an extension of the HOT (high occupancy toll) lanes on I-95 and I-395. The only other speaker after the governor was a representative from Transurban, thecontroversial company that will operate the extended toll lanes.

View Story

Getting to RainReady

ASCE Game Changers | September 26, 2016

Plagued by chronic flooding, the town of Midlothian, Illinois lacks the financial resources necessary to provide comprehensive flood protection and mitigation. The Chicago-based Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) stepped in to develop a multi-pronged flood plan called RainReady Midlothian, with additional help from partners including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD). The initiative calls upon residents, municipal leaders, and business owners to work together to protect the community from dangerous flooding. The RainReady plan includes adding a detention pond, widening culverts, clearing the creek of sewer-blocking debris, and adding water-absorbent plant life.

View Story

Why Sprawl Is Not the Only Choice

The American Conservative | September 26, 2016

Everyone who follows debates about urban planning already knows that sprawling cities build more housing and have lower housing costs. Yet last week Issi Romem, an economic analyst at BuildZoom, a company that helps people find and hire contractors, published an analysis of this phenomenon that sent urbanists reeling. It should not have done so. Romem’s data was not new and his analysis was flawed and misleading.

View Story

Rain Barrels to Fight Flooding Distributed to Underserved Areas

Chicago Tonight - WTTW | August 29, 2016

Free barrels for collecting rainwater are being distributed to South and West Side communities prone to flash flooding.

Since July, the faith-based environmental organization Faith in Place has held events at six different churches where residents can pick up free rain barrels donated by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. Gardens, which help absorb rainwater, have also been planted at four of the churches.

View Story

Time Is Now for Carbon Pollution Standard for Transportation

NRDC Expert Blog | August 29, 2016

Approaching the finish line last week, a record number of comments flooded in about the Federal Highway Administration’s proposal to measure congestion, and adopt new standards for tracking and ultimately reducing carbon pollution from transportation plans. About 5,000 of these opposed the set of congestion metrics included in the proposed rule, which would put a thumb on the scale in favor of cars as opposed to humans who drive them. And a whopping 80,000 were filed in support of the Administration moving forward with a carbon pollution standard in the final rule.

View Story

How Cities Like Long Beach Can Cut Poverty by 25 Percent

Next City | August 11, 2016

Even though national unemployment has dropped 4.5 percentage points since 2010, poverty continues its stubborn rise across the United States, and the city of Long Beach, California, is a case of this disconnect. It’s the second-biggest city in Los Angeles County, an economic region that’s currently at full employment and grew by $50 billionbetween 2009 and 2014, yet nearly 1 out of every 5 of its residents is living under the federal poverty line.

Civic stakeholders in the poverty issue have long cried for federal and state policies that wipe out employment barriers faced by low-income communities, more subsistence support from the federal government, redrawing zoning laws — all changes that have been vetted by urban researchers. But a new proposal from the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT), called theUrban Opportunity Agenda (UOA), suggests that on top of these pillars, cities should also be investing in local strategies that help households learn how to rein in their monthly spending.

View Story