Open to the public. Suggested $5-$10 donation. Beverages served.
How would you describe the spirit and rhythm of your street? In a city where each neighborhood and street has its own character and history behind it, what story would your street tell?
Join Mel King's discussion on what role streets play in community development. Mel's book Streets, creatively illustrates how streets are a vital ingredient in the community building process. King explains the street's importance in community building using Boston's South End neighborhood, where King grew up. Streets explains why we need to create livable streetscapes which encourage people to be outside interacting with their neighbors in order to build a strong sense of community and place.
Mel King is a social activist, community developer, author and past politician and MIT professor. He has been a vital part of Boston's development over the past fifty years. Author of Chain of Change: Struggles for Black Community Development, King wrote about the struggles of Boston's Black community during urban renewal and the fight for Tent City. He also created the Community Fellows Program in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT and founded the South End Technology Center, a computer youth program which keeps participants on the front end of emerging technology.
with Vineet Gupta, Transportation Planning Director, City of Boston
Tonight, 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! ...
We have grown from a volunteer-led organization to a staff-led organization with substantial influence in just five short years. Now we're ready to grow to the next level!
Seeking smart, enthusiastic, resourceful people who have organizational development experience in one or more of the following areas: strategic planning, business development and sponsorship, grant writing and fundraising, marketing and PR, membership development, treasurer, certified accountant, and law. Responsibilities include:
Provide organizational governance, strategy, and decision making
Inform and be responsible for budget, vision, and operations
Participate in a project or working subcommittee
Promote and advocate for LivableStreets mission and programs
Fundraising and a Board donation required
Attendance at monthly Board meetings, annual board retreat and special events.
Deadline to apply: on-going
Target Start Date: April 17, 2011
Board terms are one year, with the opportunity to stay on for multiple terms. People of all ages, races, and professions are encouraged to apply.
A new study from UMass found that "pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure projects create 11-14 jobs per $1 million of spending while road projects create approximately 7."
The main reason for this difference is the labor intensity of each type of project. "Projects such as footway repairs and bike lane signing and painting are labor intensive - they use a high ratio of labor to materials in comparison to projects such as road repairs, which spend a greater proportion of their total project budget on materials." As a result, in proportionally material-heavy projects, fewer of the dollars spent go to construction workers.
A similar effect is also present in the cost of engineering for a project. Engineering involves low material costs when compared to construction, so projects that have a high ratio of engineering costs to construction costs will spend more of their total budget on salaries rather than materials. Since the percentage of the total budget paid to engineers is larger in bicycle and pedestrian projects than in road infrastructure projects, the former produce more jobs.
Attend the summit. Join the ride. Sign the pledge.
March is approaching, and you know what that means? The National Bike Summit in Washington DC! For three days, hundreds of people from across the country will gather to meet, learn about what's happening, and ask Congress to make strategic transportation investments that foster healthy people and healthy communities. Keynote speakers include US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and NYC Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan.
Attend the National Bike Summit March 8-11 with LivableStreets and other Massachusetts delegates. For more information and to register, click here >>>
This year, ride your bike to DC! Cyclo-cross superstar Tim Johnson, bike advocate and premier cycling announcer Richard Fries, and several other leaders of the bike industry will brave the cold on a five day, 500 mile ride from Boston to the National Bike Summit in Washington, DC. Their goal is to raise $100,000 for Bikes Belong, a national non-profit that manages to convert every dollar it receives into $1,800 in government funding for bike paths, bike lanes, bike programs and bike facilities.
Join the Tim Johnson's Ride On Washington for any distance during the trip March 4-8 to DC, and attend one of the evening receptions along the way. For more information, to register, and to follow the ride, click here >>>
Cannot make it to DC or on the ride? At the very least, sign the Peopleforbikes.org pledge! Bikes Belong is collecting 1 million names in support of better biking. Every day, millions of Americans ride for their health, for the environment, for their communities, and for the pure joy of bicycling. But until now, only a fraction of riders have stood up to help improve bicycling in America.
LivableStreets Alliance was a recipient of a Bikes Belong REI/Bicycle Friendly Community Grant Award in 2009 to support our work on key initiatives with the City of Boston's Bikes Program, which is helping the city establish policies for safe street design and expand bicycling infrastructure.
Parking Parking Parking
European parking U-turn reaps rewards
European cities are leading the way in using innovative parking policies as a tool to promote more sustainable transportation options, reduce car use, lower air pollution, and increase the quality of urban life, as reported by the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy. Here are two examples we find particularly relevant to the Boston region:
Parking policies adjust when near public transit. The Dutch use an "A, B, C" policy, which requires that new developments close to transit (at A locations) are required to minimize parking spaces, while those with no access to transit (at C locations) are encouraged to build more parking.
Some cities earmark revenue from increased parking charges to be spent specifically on sustainable transportation projects. In Barcelona, 100% of parking revenue is used to finance Bicing, the city's bike sharing program. This kind of policy can also be an effective way to get political support for parking charges. The public is able to see the connection between the charges and the use of those funds.
San Francisco is on the verge on implementing a new system that will make it easier to find parking and reduce traffic congestion. Currently, 30% of the city's traffic congestion comes from cars circling to find parking. Wireless parking sensors will assess whether a space is occupied, and this information will be made available to drivers in real time via a free smartphone application. Integrated signage throughout the city will also indicate to drivers where to find parking. Hopefully, these measures will allow the city to be less congested with cars and allow the public buses to run smoother.
Here in Boston
In most US cities, parking policy is an underutilized tool that can be used to revitalize our cities and make our communities healthier and more sustainable. Charlie Denison, LivableStreets advocacy chair and board member, wrote a letter to the editor of the Boston Herald, explaining that the main benefit of raised parking meter rates in Boston is that it incentivizes drivers to leave their cars parked for less time thereby making parking more readily available for other drivers. To view the letter, click here >>>
Boston Bicycle Network Advisory Working Group
Boston bike map
The City of Boston Bikes program has launched this group made up of citizen's, advocates and institutions; including, LivableStreets Director and Boston resident Jackie Douglas. The group will meet several times over the next year to discuss, give feedback, and evaluate the City's plans. The long-term goal of the network plan is to improve safety of existing facilities and install facilities that encourage new riders. In one year, the City plans to publish a network plan map with information about facilities, implementation timing, cost, design alternatives for complex locations, and resource guide for the plan. Toole Design Group is consulting for the City on this project.
This is an exciting opportunity to connect existing, and create new, bicycle routes to create safer conditions and encourage more people to bicycle. Separated bicycle lanes, connections to major transit nodes, and consistent signs, are among the many LivableStreets recommendations for creating a world-class transportation network.
According to a City survey, roughly 2% of resident trips are made by bicycle. The goal is to increase that to 10-20%. Stay tuned for updates, and be sure to come to an open house that the City is hosting to give your feedback!
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On November 17, 2010, The Institute for Human Centered Design and the Royal College of Art's Helen Hamlyn Centre hosted the first 24 Hour Inclusive Design Challenge in North America. Five multi-disciplinary design teams were matched with a "design partner" (person with disability) and given the task of navigating between a subway station and the Faneuil Hall Rotunda. Each team had 24 hours to identify a challenge they experienced and design a solution that solved this issue. The solutions needed to use Universal Design principles, appeal to a broad section of the population, and promote social interaction.
The winning team was Team Haymarket, which included - front: Barbara Holecek [Design partner], back L to R: Colin Kleeman, Thomas Svenson [videographer], Nina Garfinkle [Garfinkle Design and LivableStreets board member], team leader Nick Jehlen [The Action Mill], Elizabeth LeBlanc and Kevin Young.
The team started out as Team Park Street and was tasked with getting from Park Street Station to the Rotunda. But even after requesting a less challenging route, they were unable to reach the Rotunda. While Barbara was more than willing to try to navigate the city streets and subways, the distances between places to rest, and obstacles in her way, were too great.
The solution we designed took advantage of something that by regulation already exists at regular intervals, is on every city street, and is cleared of snow directly after snow storms: fire hydrants. By altering the design of the cap, the hydrants could fit a behavior they observed with Barbara: when there was nowhere to sit, she leaned on a hydrant for a short break.
The design, visually reminiscent of a flower, is called the Petal, and it turns hydrants into short-term seating or package resting spots. [Not] Team Haymarket is now looking for grants, funds and expertise to make this a reality. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help make it happen!