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I don't think the issue is really recognition. The problem, as others point out, is that appealing "ideas" that have been tested and failed get repeated over and over again. The other problem is that reporters are often being manipulated by a much better informed source with an agenda who is fully aware of past examples. So you end up with a story about "innovative" jitney services from someone whose an advocate for a jitney service.
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While I agree with your overall points, I think it is important not to let misstatements of density go unchallenged. According to Wikipedia, the city of Los Angeles has a density of 8,205/sq mile while the city of New York has a density of 27,532/sq mile. In other words, New York residential density is over three times as dense as Los Angeles. That is just what most people would expect. The second thing is that I think employment density is at least as important as residential density for successful transit. The difficulties associated with getting people working in low density suburban office parks to use transit are far greater than getting people who live in sprawling development to use transit.
Toggle Commented Sep 27, 2010 on the perils of average density at Human Transit
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Sep 26, 2010