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City & Local Reform

There are almost 90,000 local governments in America, with an average of one new local government born every day. Many are unaccountable to taxpayers and special interest-driven, and the Goldwater Institute’s “New Charter for American Cities” gives citizens the tools they need to fight City Hall and hold their local governments accountable.

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  • How Urban Density Intensifies Traffic Congestion and Air Pollution

    Posted on October 01, 2000 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Wendell Cox

    Residents and public officials in urban areas around the world are concerned about traffic congestion and air pollution. Of the two problems, traffic congestion is the more intractable, because improved vehicle technologies are already having a dramatic effect on improving air quality.

  • Grand Canyon Transportation Planning: The Railroading of Visitors

    Posted on October 15, 1999 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Dennis Foster

    The National Park Service (NPS) has spent years designing and redesigning transportation plans for Grand Canyon National Park. The current state of these plans calls for a light rail system to be used to shuttle visitors into and out of the park. The stated goal of the transit system is "to provide more convenient access to the park than is now experienced." The premise is that the quality of the visitors' experience is currently being degraded not only by increasing congestion, but by the mere presence of the internal combustion engine.

  • A Tale of Two Cities: Phoenix, Portland, Growth and Growth Control

    Posted on October 01, 1998 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Robert J. Franciosi

    Steve McQueen, the actor, once said that he would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth. This is a typically American attitude toward cities. This distaste of the city environment, the cramped spaces, the crowds, the pollution and the noise goes all the way back to Thomas Jefferson who dreamt of a nation founded on yeomen farmers. Although there aren't many farmers today, the dream lives on in many families who wish to live in their own, single, detached home.

  • Garbage In, Garbage Out -- An Examination of Private/Public Competition by the City of Phoenix

    Posted on January 01, 1998 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Robert J. Franciosi

    Over the past twenty years, governments all over the world have transferred the responsibility for providing services out of their hands and into the private sector. One of the pioneers in this movement has been the city of Phoenix, Arizona. However, instead of dismantling the public agency providing the service and hiring a private contractor, the city allows the public agency to bid for the contract as well. Phoenix estimates the competitive process has saved it over $30 million since 1979.

  • Infill: The Cure for Sprawl?

    Posted on August 01, 1997 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Tara Ellman

    The modern metropolis, as critics see it, sends irregular tentacles of low density development snaking through pristine areas, leaving behind large amounts of unused land and under-used infrastructure. To many, the Phoenix metropolitan area epitomizes the problem. Policies to encourage more infill-that is, to locate more development within the urbanized area rather than on its fringes-are advocated as a route to more efficient use of land and existing infrastructure, preservation of open-space, decreased cost of public services, and improved economic and social conditions, as well as to alleviate the general atmosphere of disorder.

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