Issue #20 / October 2007
In this issue:
- Boston announces "Bike Summit": Monday Oct. 22 - Wednesday Oct. 24
- Massachusetts Bike/Ped Conference "Moving Together": Wed. Oct. 17
- Boston Bike Film Fest: Oct. 18-20
- NEWS: State eyes extensive bike trail expansion, Parks agency (DCR) plans an $82m network.
- Fri. Oct. 12 @ 8 am -- MOVEMass: "Building a Sustainable Transportation Financing System"
- State Transportation Reform: Transportation Secretary Bernard Cohen releases letter to staff
- Legislature kills MBTA "Debt Relief" Bill
- ARTICLE -- Safe streets: Not pedaling can kill you.
- LivableStreets STREET TALK: "Design for a Livable City: Pedestrian and Bicycle Planning in Cambridge," Cara Seiderman, Mon. Oct. 29, 7 pm
BOSTON ANNOUNCES BIKE SUMMIT: Monday Oct. 22 - Wednesday Oct. 24
What is the Boston Bikes Summit? A team of experts from around the country and the local area will descend on Boston City Hall for an intensive three day program. In addition to events open to the public, the team will hold a variety of focused technical workshops and planning sessions with Boston City Hall officials and staff on all aspects of bicycle-friendly communities. The input and feedback gathered from the public meetings and technical sessions will be distilled into a set of short-term recommendations for improving bicycling in Boston.
Also, the Massachusetts Bike/Ped Conference "Moving Together" is Wed. Oct. 17 at the Marriott Boston Courtyard Hotel, Boston. more...
NEWS: State eyes extensive bike trail expansion, Parks agency (DCR) plans an $82m network. "The state's parks agency, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, has mapped out a dream plan of $82 million in trails that it says would one day allow riders to bike 120 miles from Lowell to Westfield, or up the Ware River Valley almost to New Hampshire, or along the Mystic River to the beaches of Lynn..." more...
FRI. OCT. 12 @ 8 am -- MOVEMass: "Building a Sustainable Transportation Financing System"
(yes, thats "8 am" as in the morning...). Stephen J. Silveira, Chairman of the Commonwealth's Transportation Finance Commission, will speak about the recently released report and findings. Click here for a copy of the findings (Sep. 2007). Click here for the original report (March, 2007). Brown Rudnick Berlack Israels, 1 Financial Center (18th Floor), Boston (across from South Station), photo ID required.
NEWS: Legislature kills "MBTA Debt Relief Bill" for this session. The bill to has been sent to a "study" by the Transportation Committee, which in state house lingo means the bill is dead for this session. While it is better than getting an "unfavorable" recommendation, it means the bill will not move forward. So I guess it's more like "heavily stunned" than "killed". Click here for more information.
STATE TRANSPORTATION REFORM: Transportation Secretary Bernard Cohen releases letter to staff
"... Last year, the fractured nature of our transportation agencies was exposed when the Turnpike Authority proposed to remove tolls on the Western Turnpike at the same time that the MBTA was preparing for a record fare increase. And as you all know, the Transportation Finance Commission's report found a $15-19 billion gap in transportation funding over the next twenty years, not including the cost of important new projects that will spur economic development...
"...Our draft framework goes beyond the Mobility Compact and builds on the changes in the Commonwealth's transportation organization that were initiated by the Legislature in 2004. It proposes the creation of a new public authority, to oversee surface transportation state-wide and to administer a dedicated transportation trust fund. Ideas we are currently working with include the merger of some agencies and the transfer of existing transportation assets. Existing regional transit authorities and the MBTA would be financed by the new authority. We will also be initiating the development of a strategic transportation plan to set forth a strategy for new transportation investments.
Also, Globe Editorial: "...As Patrick and Cohen seek to coordinate transportation policy, they should be looking to a reliable, equitable revenue source. The gasoline tax hasn't been increased since 1991 for transportation purposes. Raising the gas tax isn't the governor's first choice, but it is the only sure way to prevent exorbitant toll increases, spread the cost of highway maintenance to all motorists in Massachusetts, and fix the state's crumbling roads and bridges."Click here for the entire Globe editorial. (Oct 10, 2007)
Also, " Tolling the open road: Massachusetts considers charging by the mile for highway drivers." Click here for the entire Globe article. (Oct 7, 2007)
ARTICLE: Safe streets: Not pedaling can kill you.
By Alan During, Oct. 2007, Grist Magazine. "My youngest son had a bike wreck this summer: a driver cut him off on a steep downhill. Peter managed to avoid the car by tumbling over the curb, but the fall inflicted some nasty road rash. It also inspired me to dig into the question of bicycle safety more rigorously than before: Is it safe for Peter to be biking so much?
Here's what I learned: Biking is safer than it used to be. It's safer than you might think. It does incur the risk of collision, but its other health benefits massively outweigh these risks. And it can be made much safer. What's more, making streets truly safe for cyclists may be the best way to reverse Bicycle Neglect: it may be among communities' best options for countering obesity, climate disruption, rising economic inequality, and oil addiction..."
LivableStreets STREET TALK: "Design for a Livable City: Pedestrian and Bicycle Planning in Cambridge"
Mon. Oct. 29, 7 pm. At our office space, 100 Sidney Street, Cambridge. Beer/wine/juice served! Click here for more information and directions.
Speaker Biosketch: Cara Seiderman is Transportation Program Manager for Cambridge, overseeing street redesign projects and managing the Bicycle and Pedestrian Mobility Program. Cara frequently gives presentations and workshops on pedestrian and bicycle facility planning, traffic calming, and livable city design. She previously worked in Denmark, focusing on the design of pedestrian streets. She holds masters degrees in City and Regional Planning and Landscape Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley, a bachelors degree in environmental policy from Harvard University, and was a Fulbright Scholar at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen.