Issue #23 / January 2008
Street Design: Dirty Little Engineering Secrets Revealed
NEW DATE: Wed. Jan. 30, 7 - 9 pm
Jeff Rosenblum, Co-founder and President, LivableStreets Alliance
@ LivableStreets office space, 100 Sidney Street, Central Square, Cambridge [ map... ]
free and open to the public, donations suggested, beer/wine/drinks served
Why do cyclists, pedestrians, and transit riders get short shrift in street design while cars continue to get all the attention? Hear in detail the typical arguments that transportation departments and their consultants make-- and where they've gone wrong. Get in on the secrets! Jeff will also talk about best practice for urban street design showing slides from around the US and world of successful and inspiring streets. In the words of the late European traffic engineer Hans Monderman, "If you want vehicles to behave like they are in a village, build a village."
Jeff Rosenblum, PE, is co-founder and President of LivableStreets Alliance: Rethinking Urban Transportation, a Boston-based transportation urban planning non-profit. He just started working for the City of Cambridge as a Transportation Planner. Rosenblum has a masters degree in Environmental Engineering and Policy from Carnegie Mellon University and holds a Professional Engineering License from the State of Maine.
NEWS: Conservancy's "Car Free Storrow Drive Sunday's" Gains Traction
Boston Globe: A five-mile stretch of Storrow Drive could be closed to car traffic on Sunday mornings beginning this year, opening the riverside roadway to bicycling, walking, in-line skating, and other recreational uses, under a proposal being considered by state officials. The proposal by the Charles River Conservancy would close only the westbound side of Storrow between the Longfellow Bridge and Harvard Stadium, allowing inbound cars to travel into Boston as usual. If the plan is approved by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, which oversees Storrow Drive, the Sunday closures would take place from April to November from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m., when traffic is typically light.
LivableStreets board member Steven Miller said, "It's a fabulous idea that helps jumpstart Boston's effort to be a more livable city." CRC President Renata von Tscharner said, "In a time when we all struggle with obesity, and when we all realize how important exercise is, this is a place where people can both enjoy the river and get vigorous exercise. The time is right for that discussion."
LivableStreets is in full support of this proposal. Congratulations to Charles River Conservancy!
NEWS: Legislators short-sighted on Transportation Bond Bill
Einstein once said, "It is impossible to get out of a problem by using the same type of thinking that it took to get into the problem." Alhough Americans may be the last to get the memo, the future of transportation isn't single-occupancy automobiles! Transit, improved streets for walking, and bicycling is where world-class cities are going. Because transit takes so long to plan and implement, we cannot afford to delay. The crumbling condition of the MBTA resulting from BigDig debt and poor sales tax projections, cannot wait. The Transportation Finance Comission's report said loud and clear that an increase in gas tax is an important part of the puzzle.
Yet, Senator Baddour, co-chair of the Transportation Committee, was quoted by the State House News as saying he would push for "more controversial" proposals to finance road and bridge repairs, he said the notion of a gas tax was "off the table." He requested that the transportation secretariat analyze the effect of a temporary moratorium on major construction projects (meaning no transit or bike investments) unrelated to road and bridge repairs.