How is Boston completing its streets? Thurs, Feb 17
with Vineet Gupta, Transportation Planning Director, City of Boston
Thurs, Feb 17, 7:00-9:00 pm (postponed from Wed, Jan 12)
@ LivableStreets office, 100 Sidney St, Cambridge [map... ]
Open to the public. $5-$10 suggested donation.
Mayor Menino has told us, "The car is no longer king in Boston." Is a new wave of urban planning upon us? Boston is ready to put pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users on equal footing with drivers and promote a vision of streets which are safe, attractive and conducive to healthy, active transportation. What would you do to make Boston's streets more livable, safe and accessible?
In 2003, a coalition of national advocates coined the phrase "Complete Streets" as a way to better communicate the inclusion of bicycles in everyday transportation planning to government officials and the general public. Today, the movement has grown more powerful than just the accommodation of bicycles and has been adopted in more than 200 Complete Streets policies across the U.S, including Boston!
Under leadership of Vineet Gupta, Transportation Planning Director, Boston recently embarked on the development of "Complete Streets" guidelines to equitably plan for all modes of travel including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, transit riders and persons with disabilities in the redesign and retrofit of city streets. The initiative is organized around three themes: Multimodal, Green, and Smart. Toole Design Group and Utile Inc. are on the consulting team for the city, providing national best practices to the initiative. The guidelines are expected to be completed by spring 2011.
Please join us in learning about this exciting new initiative from Mr. Gupta and engage in the discussion of what "Complete Streets" means for Boston.
Vineet Gupta has led the City in the publication of Access Boston, a city-modal plan that includes Boston's first bicycle plan, was active in the street designs along the Greenway, formalized pollution-reducing parking polices, installed bus-priority lanes and designed the streets and sidewalks along the Greenway.
Make sustainable transportation funding a priority
As the beginning of the new state legislative session approaches we have a unique opportunity to set the agenda around transportation issues, and there is no better time than now to do so! It's each person's job to get in touch with their re-elected or newly elected state representatives and senators and let them know what needs their attention.
Please contact your elected officials today and tell them we need to fund a progressive transportation future in order to create livable communities and protect against the threat of climate change, one in which cycling, public transit and pedestrian projects no longer take a back seat to highway, road expansion, and car-centric projects.
To find out who your state representatives and senators are, go to http://wheredoivotema.com and type in your address. Pick up the phone, and call.
with Nicole Freedman, Director of Boston Bikes, City of Boston
Thurs, Jan 27, 6:30-8:30 pm (doors open at 6)
@ Rabb Lecture Hall, 700 Boylston St, Boston Public Library, Copley
Hosted by LivableStreets Alliance
Free and open to the public
Mayor Tom Menino has explained his dream of a city that is "safe and inviting" for bicyclists. With over a dozen miles of lanes and cycle tracks added in 2010, as well as new bike racks and a great deal of design in review, is Boston becoming a more bike friendly city?
For the third year in a row, LivableStreets Alliance will host the annual Boston Bikes Report event. Nicole Freedman, Director of the Boston Bikes Program, will present her third report on past achievements, challenges, and future goals of the Mayor's effort to create a "world class bicycling city." Ms. Freedman will discuss plans for the city's bike sharing program, bike lanes and off-road networks, parking facilities, youth programs, festivals, and more.
Join us at this public forum on bicycle planning in Boston.
Want to read more about what's happening around Boston and the world? Is this newsletter not enough? Want a quick and easy way to share fun facts and articles with your friends? Join LivableStreets on Facebook to do all that!
EALS Coalition simulation of the proposed improvements
Massachusetts Avenue in Arlington between Pond Road and the Cambridge City Line is currently being redesigned. Through an extensive community process, the current design has reached 25% and we expect MassDOT to hold a public meeting within the next few months. In lieu of this, a coalition of advocates lead by LivableStreets, including WalkBoston, MassBike, and the Institute for Human-Centered Design, recently submitted a letter in support of the planned improvements.
Sidewalks will be widened in key locations to better serve pedestrians and to create new space for sidewalk cafes. Curb extensions, crosswalks, and refuge islands will be added to increase pedestrian safety and comfort. A more clearly defined roadway cross-section will include continuous bike lanes while preserving appropriate traffic capacity for current and future traffic volumes. All existing on-street parking is preserved, and new on-street spaces may even be added nearby. This project is an excellent example of a well designed complete street, and the Town of Arlington and MassDOT should be applauded for their efforts to make broad improvements for all modes of transportation.
> For more information about getting involved locally, check out the East Arlington Livable Streets (EALS) Coalition website and e mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The changing streets of NYC
up to 14% increases in business when the cafés were installed.
Cities across the country and world are transforming their streets to create communities that are safe, environmentally friendly, and support local business. You don't have to go far to see these changes. In New York City, Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-khan, along with Mayor Bloomberg and their staff, are making changes that are lowering speeds, moving more cars more efficiently, and decreasing crashes. How? A strategic combination of visioning, planning, design, and experimenting, has led to the pedestrianization of Times Square, pop up parks, reconfiguration of streets, bus priority lanes, and more!
Here are some fun facts and stats:
Revenues from businesses in Times Square have risen 71%. (1)
Injuries to motorists and passengers in Times Square project area are down 63%, pedestrian injuries are down 35%, and 80% fewer pedestrians are walking in the roadway. (2)
Pop up parks increased business up to 14% at locations in 2010. (3)
A Prospect Park West went from three traffic lanes and no bike path to two traffic lanes and a two-way protected bike path. As a results, average vehicle speeds lowered (only 1 in 7 vehicles exceeded speed limit afterwards, compared to 3 out of every 4 before), cycling increased 211%, and vehicle counts increased!(4) (5) (6)
Make No Little Plans
Boston Society of Architects lecture series
Wednesday, January 19, 6:00 pm
@ Blount Auditorium, Wentworth Institute of Technology, 550 Park St, Boston
Free and open to the public
Film director Judith Paine McBrien moderates a discussion among architects, developers and planners, including LivableStreets Alliance, following the screening of her film Make No Little Plans: Daniel Burnham and the American City. In the late 19th century, Burnham's controversial ideas provided a compelling framework for people to make sense of the world around them. Before the profession of urban planning existed, Burnham shaped the modern city by preparing plans for major cities in America and abroad.
Bike sharing is a cost-effective approach to solving what is commonly known as the "last mile" problem of public transportation. Relative to public infrastructure, transit or other transportation demand management (TDM) tools, bike sharing can provide higher mode shifts, emissions reductions and financial returns. This webinar will include an overview of bike sharing in the U.S. and other countries, with case studies from Minneapolis and San Antonio and a detailed discussion of the implementation process. Attendees will learn to identify the planning and implementation steps necessary to launch a bike share system; the different financial models and methodologies used to pay for bike sharing; and the implications of an exponential increase in bicycle traffic for public infrastructure.
Presenters: - Alison Cohen is the Program Manager of Alta Bicycle Share. Her current projects include Melbourne Bike Share in Australia, and Capital Bikeshare in Washington, D.C., which is the largest bike share system in the U.S. - Julia Diana is a sustainable transportation analyst for the City of San Antonio's Office of Environmental Policy. - Bill Dossett is the founder and Executive Director of Nice Ride Minnesota, and has published the first publicly available bike sharing business plan.
Transportation, health, and livable communities Recent blog posts by LivableStreets Alliance board member Steve Miller
One of the great things about LivableStreets Alliance is that it deliberately integrates perspectives of public health, environmental protection, and urban planning into transportation planning - while always seeking to translate those ideas into effective action that creates a better world for all while reducing discriminatory disparities.
This holistic perspective on what makes for a livable community shapes the first post on the list below ("Three Legs of a Healthy Built Environment"). The next two posts apply this way of thinking directly to transportation issues ("Efficiency & Equity in Transportation Planning" and "What Should Bike Advocacy Be Fighting For"). The second of those posts, along with the following "Car-Free Sundays" suggests ways to create an infrastructure that will help "normal people" feel that bicycling is a safe and attractive option. Bike culture idiosyncrasy is the topic in "Night Light Follies" and the following "Staying Together" piece. Finally, as a former actor, TV commentator, magazine editor, and author as well as a life-long community organizer, I am endlessly fascinated by the inter-relationship of power and culture - so I will occasionally venture into organizational development ("Institutional Memory in Small Groups") and the somewhat didactic analyses in the last two items ("Thanksgiving and the Nature of Power" and "Art, Culture, and Progressive Change").
Happy New Year! Feedback and comments on all the above and below are welcome on the blog.
Kara joined LivableStreets in November and quickly began helping plan the November StreetTalk. As Event Coordinator Intern, Kara is organizing future StreetTalks and the 3rd Annual Boston Bike Report. She is also working with volunteers to build a media site for the LivableStreets webpage. Kara is in her second year in the Master of City Planning Program at Boston University. She obtained a B.A in Environmental Studies from Ithaca College. While living in Madrid, Spain, Kara marveled at Madrid's subway, of one the most extensive, inexpensive and fast subway systems in the world, and walked through countless plazas which have kept their pedestrian focus. In her time abroad, she saw the transportation possibilities for cities. Kara hopes to contribute to Boston becoming a world leader in transportation planning.
Daniel Wolf, Membership Intern
Daniel is a senior at Tufts University, majoring in Psychology. His interest in urban planning came from his semester abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, where active transport is a cultural norm, reflected in the built environment and transportation infrastructure. After this experience, Daniel returned to Boston with a new perspective on the way Bostonians get around, and with a desire to make the region better support healthier forms of transportation. Taking urban policy and planning courses at Tufts, Daniel is preparing for a career in urban and transportation planning. Daniel enjoys exploring city neighborhoods, in person and via Google Maps, and learning about their distinctive history, architecture, and cultures. During his time with LivableStreets, Daniel hopes to share his belief that sustainability can be about improving our quality of life, instead of sacrificing it.