- Bike4Life Ride
Issue #19 / October 2007
SUNDAY OCT. 7 @ NOON -- JOIN THE PARADE! Honk Festival parade: Reclaim the Streets for Horns, Bikes, Feet
Davis Square (Somerville) to Harvard Square (via Elm, Beech, Mass Ave). Walkers, strollers, bicyclists, rollers, wheelchairs, pedicabs, skateboarders, dancers, kids, adults, teenagers, and geezers will honk, roll, strut, and stroll with 20 marching bands from around the world, led by CarTalk's Click & Clack (in pedicab) and Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone! Dogs (on leashes) welcome! A great lineup of bands, organizations, and fun! Parade finishes at 2pm at Harvard Square Oktoberfest. Click here for more information.
Consider joining the LivableStreets section of the parade! We will have lots of extra signs / banners for you to wave around. Wear orange if you have it. We are toward the front of the parade lineup just behind the banner "Reclaim the Streets". Meet at 11:45 in Davis Square, or join us along the way!
Bogota's urban happiness movement: A radical campaign to return streets from cars to people.
From living hell to living well: A radical campaign to return streets from cars to people in Colombia's largest city is now a model for the world. “A city can be friendly to people or it can be friendly to cars, but it can't be both,” says former Bogota (Colombia) Mayor Enrique Peñalosa. "Car Free Day is just one of the ways that Mr. Peñalosa helped to transform a city once infamous for narco-terrorism, pollution and chaos into a globally lauded model of livability and urban renewal. His ideas are being adopted in cities across the developing world. They are also being championed by planners and politicians in North America, where Mr. Peñalosa has reinvigorated the debate about public space once championed by Jane Jacobs." Click here to read the entire article. (GlobeAndMail, June 2007).
LivableStreets Alliance advocating for pedestrian access to Longfellow Bridge.
So why isn't there a proper sidewalk from the Boston side onto the Longfellow Bridge? Is it really acceptable for people in wheelchairs, runners, or parents with strollers to have to use the roadway? Why has it been this way for decades? Those are questions that LivableStreets Alliance (in collaboration with WalkBoston and Adaptive Environments) has been asking since last fall when then DCR Commissioner Stephen Burrington invited us to facilitate the identification of bike/ped problematic "hot spots" (click here for our November 2006 newsletter article.) If you don't believe how bad it is, check it out for your self: click here and select movie #2.
This past spring, the MBTA opened the new Charles/MGH station meant to provide access to those with disabilities (globe article). Wouldn't this have been a good time to have fixed the bridge access problems? MBTA General Manager Daniel Grabauskas has taken our concerns seriously, and repeatedly indicated he is ready to take action. Unfortunately, the Commissioner's office at the DCR has been unwilling to return my calls or reply to our letters (click here for our Sept. 2007 letter, or click here for our initial March 2007 letter). And it is, after all, their property. Who to call? DCR Commissioner Richard Sullivan (email@example.com), (617) 626-1250.
Governor Patrick to reorganize transportation agencies.
The Globe reported on Oct. 2, "Governor Deval Patrick's administration is quietly floating plans with key legislators to merge several of the state's transportation bureaucracies, in hope of saving money and creating a more efficient system...The main plan would merge the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority with the state Highway Department and create a board that would also oversee the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority...Such a combination would put the state's most significant roads, its subway system, and its commuter rail system under a single board, giving the governor more authority to set transportation policy." (Click here for entire article.)
Transportation Finance Commission releases report-- transit needs attention.
The following are recommendations that impact the MBTA and transit: "(1) The rate of growth of MBTA fringe benefits costs should be reduced; (2) The unnecessary constraints on MBTA management should be removed; (3) The MBTA needs to fully fund its state of good repair program. This goal can and should be achieved by the Commonwealth assuming the debt from Central Artery/Tunnel transit commitments; (4) The Commonwealth should pay for all MBTA capital expansions, and before committing to a project, the MBTA should demonstrate that adequate revenues are in place to operate and maintain the expansions; (5) Fares should remain a meaningful source of revenue for the MBTA, through regular and predictable increases to keep pace with inflation." Click here for all the recommendations. Want to get involved? Contact Eric Bourassa at MassPIRG, firstname.lastname@example.org, (click here for more information ).