Issue #33 / March 2009
StreetUpdate The new name for our monthly e-bulletin. Same great news and insights of course!
IN THIS ISSUE:
- StreetTalk: Urban health: How shaping our built environment shapes ourselves by Russ Lopez -- LivableStreets office space, Thu, Apr. 2, 7:00 pm >>>
All upcoming spring StreetTalks, save the date!All talks at 7 pm and are held at the LivableStreets Office. More details to come.
- April 2 - Urban health: How shaping our built environment shapes ourselves by Russ Lopez >>>
April 16 - Grand Junction Community Path in Cambridge(POSTPONED)
May 14 - Maggie Cohn, Boston Collaborative for Food & Fitness(POSTPONED to June/July)
- May 28 - Noah Budnick, NYC Transportation Alternatives
- Action E-lert: Support the Gas Tax! >>>
- LivableStreets Alliance recipient of REI/Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) Grant Awards >>>
- Did you see what’s happening in NYC? New vision for Times Square! >>>
- CALENDAR - Click here for our full calendar of regional activities
- Weekly StreetNews: Have you ever wanted to skim the news headlines every week for articles on the subject of livable streets? Now you can! LivableStreets Alliance board member and Director of Advocacy Charlie Denison compiles them weekly. SUBSCRIBE NOW! Either scroll to the very bottom of this email and click "Update Profile/Email Address", or Click Here to sign up and follow instructions to update your profile.
Urban health: How shaping our built environment shapes ourselves.
Thursday April 2, 7:00 - 9:00 pm
by Russ Lopez
@ LivableStreets office space, 100 Sidney Street, Central Square, Cambridge [ map... ]
free and open to the public, donation suggested beer/sodas provided compliments of Harpoon Brewery!
"If there’s a supermarket in your zip code, for example, you’re 10% less likely to be obese. If there are a lot of intersections in your neighborhood - a sign of street connectivity and continuity - you’re less likely to be obese. And, not surprisingly, the more time people spend in their cars, the more likely they are to be obese” says Lopez.
Come hear Russ Lopez speak about how our built environment – from playgrounds to fast food chains – shapes ourselves.
Russ Lopez, a native of California, is an Assistant Professor at the Boston University School of Public Health. Past employment includes working on urban and environmental issues for then Lt. Governor John Kerry. He also worked for ten years in various positions in for the City of Boston on housing, community development and environmental concerns. Dr. Lopez was the first Executive Director of the Environmental Diversity Forum, a coalition of environmentalists and community activists advocating for environmental justice issues throughout New England.
This event is sponsored by LivableStreets Alliance.
LivableStreets Alliance recipient of REI/Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) Grant Award
PRESS RELEASE: Bikes Belong Awards Five REI/BFC Grants
Boulder, CO—March 16, 2009 Bikes Belong, in partnership with the League of American Bicyclists and with generous support from Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI), is pleased to announce five REI/Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) Grant Awards. These grants have been awarded to grassroots groups that are working closely with their city governments to make conditions better for bicycling in aspiring and designated Bicycle Friendly Communities. Applicants for this invitation-only grant program were asked to present their high-priority bicycling projects within the framework of the BFC program's five Es—Engineering, Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, and Evaluation—and explain how they'd execute these initiatives if funding were available. We were thrilled with the responses; advocates are doing innovative and exciting work on the community level.
LivableStreets Alliance—Boston, Massachusetts
LivableStreets Alliance is working with Mayor Menino's Boston Bikes Program on key initiatives that will help the city establish policies for safe street design and expand infrastructure for bicycling. They are providing technical assistance and facilitating community involvement to help Boston develop its Bicycle Network Plan, and working to ensure improved bicycle access on the many bridges over the Charles River that are about to undergo reconstruction. In the short term, LivableStreets is working to ensure that proposed stimulus funding for bike parking at transit stations will be spent quickly and efficiently on secure, well-designed bike storage solutions. These important goals will further LivableStreet's mission of working systematically to help Boston become a Bicycle Friendly Community.
ACTION E-LERT: Support the gas tax
We urge all our readers to contact your state representatives, write letters to the editor of your local newspaper, and submit comments on media issue blogs. If we don’t make our voices heard, the Massachusetts transportation system will continue to move backwards. [ Click here to find out who your elected officials are and how to contact them. ]
Why support the gas tax, part of the Governor’s Transportation plan?
- The proposal balances reform with raising revenues to bring our transportation system into the 21st century.
- The unacceptable alternative is continuous increase in fares and decrease in service for MBTA riders-- the hardest hit will be the working class. If this legislation does not pass, expect an MBTA fare increase to about $2.70 per ride, and about a 50% reduction in service on evenings and weekends starting this summer.
- Increased funding for infrastructure improvements in non-Boston areas is included.
Click here for for a press release from MassPIRG and Conservation Law Foundation signed by 14 organizations. LivableStreets Alliance along with many other organizataions support the increase in the gas tax as the best option to raise the needed revenues.
In the Boston Globe, Bierman reports: "Massachusetts business groups yesterday endorsed a 25-cent increase in the state gas tax, a more aggressive hike than Governor Deval Patrick's 19-cent request, saying that the state needs to move even faster to fix its ailing network of roads and bridges to encourage a strong business climate." [ click here for the entire article ]
Read Bluestone and Pollack's op-ed in the Globe: "Gas tax: Paying cents to save big bucks."
Read State Sen. James Eldridge's article: “Investing in Transportation”
Massachusetts State Website: http://www.youmovemassachusetts.org
Did you see what’s happening in NYC? Transformation of Times Square!
Bloomberg Puts Forward a Bold, Transformative New Vision for Broadway
By Aaron Naparstek -- NEW YORK -- New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan unveiled plans to pedestrianize a large swath of Broadway in Midtown Manhattan at a small briefing in City Hall this morning. Intended to improve motor vehicle traffic flow, enhance safety and provide more and better public space to pedestrians, the plan seeks to solve what Sadik-Khan called a "problem hidden in plain sight for 200 years." As the only Midtown street that pre-dates the 1811 street grid plan, Broadway "creates pinch points and traffic congestion as it traverses Manhattan crossing busy avenues," Sadik-Khan said. Extending from 59th Street at Columbus Circle to 23rd Street at Madison Square with substantial pedestrian-only areas at Times and Herald Squares, Mayor Bloomberg's plan for Broadway is, arguably, the boldest and most transformative street reclamation project since Portland, Oregon decided to tear down Harbor Drive in 1974. (For more details of the plan, see this Streetsblog post.)
More related articles:
Where the Neon Lights Are Bright—And Drivers Are No Longer Welcome (Newsweek) >>>
NYC Making Parts of Broadway into Pedestrian Plaza ( Boston Globe) >>>
Mayor Plans to Close Parts of Broadway to Traffic (NYTimes) >>>
In New York, Broadway as Great Walk Way (NYTimes) >>>
More Regards for Broadway (NYTimes) >>>