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New Jersey Residents: “More Smart Growth, Please”

9:16 AM PDT on October 12, 2011

Highlights from around the Streetsblog Network today:

New Jersey Residents Support Smart Growth and Transit: To hear some people tell it, most of us in the United States don’t appreciate transit, which benefits only “others.” And smart growth — policies that help us live closer to where we work and play — that’s antithetical to what it means to be American.

But a public opinion survey from New Jersey shows these policies are more widely supported than a vocal minority would suggest. The Tri-State Transportation Campaign recently commissioned the poll, conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute, seeking opinions on transit, smart growth and road repairs. The findings show that 66 percent of New Jersey residents support more planning to support livable communities, 76 percent favor greater emphasis on road repair, while 54 percent think transit should be expanded. Meanwhile, only 36 percent of the public said they think building new roads should be a high priority.

“This new data further supports our stand that investing in public transportation and road and bridge repairs will prevent suburban sprawl and enhance our sustainability,” TSTC Executive Director Kate Slevin said in a release. “It also has an added benefit of offering some economic relief throughout the state.”

The Drug War’s High Cost to Cities: The way people feel about America’s ongoing drug war is closely tied to where they live, says Stephen Smith of Market Urbanism in a blog post for Forbes. Cities are the front line in America’s often-violent criminal enforcement of drug laws. Meanwhile, the group that is most supportive of the country’s punitive approach to this problem are people that live in small towns and rural places, he writes.

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