November 8, 2009

Advisory Bike Lanes
Advisory Bike Lanes
(Photo courtesy BikePortland)

Highlights

  • Despite increased risk, jaywalkers abound on Boston's busy streets (Boston Globe)
    By David Filipov -- Shortly after 11 a.m. on a sunny Thursday, a most astounding thing happened on the busy intersection of the Boston University Bridge and Commonwealth Avenue. Alexandra Slender, a BU sophomore, stopped at a crosswalk, waited for the white gleam of the “Walk’’ sign, and crossed. It was a rare act of civil obedience for a pedestrian in Boston, repeated by almost no one else on this day at this intersection. Throngs of iPod-wearing, cellphone-texting walkers blew through the red “Don’t walk’’ signs, barely acknowledging the flustered drivers who slammed on the brakes and banged on their dashboards in futility.
  • VIDEO: North Shore to Boston: Impossible Journey (Boston Biker)
    This amazing journey was completed by one brave soul John Bonner, with tongue firmly in cheek he takes us on this epic quest to bicycle into Boston from the north. I have often been amazed at how fun some of the places north and east of Boston can be to ride around in, and horrified at how hard it is to get there by bike. Lets hope that the new bike friendly city includes ways to get into and out of it.
    Note: LivableStreets has recently worked with our partner advocacy organizations and with MassHighway (now MassDOT) to address the need for bicyclists (and pedestrians) to have a safe, comfortable route into and out of Boston along Route 99. Due to our advocacy and to MassHighway's willingness to address these needs, a reconstructed Route 99 will have a 5' bike lane in each direction!
  • New MassDOT Super-Agency Opens Doors, With Few Changes (WBUR)
    By Meghna Chakrabarti -- The new Massachusetts Department of Transportation opened its doors Sunday. It is widely hailed as one of the largest governmental reorganizations undertaken by the state in the past 50 years. The transportation super-agency fuses the now-defunct Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, the MBTA and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. It is now responsible for almost all roads, bridges and tunnels in the state. However, immediate changes to the state transportation system will remain largely invisible to commuters and transit riders. MassDOT, as the agency is also known, features a new Web site and Twitter feed.
  • Stop Means Stop (Slate)
    How do we get bikers to obey traffic laws?
    By Christopher Beam -- Heading home from work yesterday, I ran five red lights and three stop signs, went the wrong way down a one-way street, and took a left across two lanes of oncoming traffic. My excuse: I was on a bike. I'm far from the only menace on two wheels. A colleague was recently slapped with a moving violation after breezing through a stop sign. My roommate was pulled over 30 feet from our house for the same infraction. And driving around Washington, D.C., recently, I saw a cop scribbling out a ticket to a bewildered biker.
  • In Defense of Jaywalking (Slate)
    Banning the practice won't make pedestrians safer.
    By Tom Vanderbilt -- Looking at any number of big-city dailies over the last few weeks, one might reasonably surmise that we are in the middle of a new public-health epidemic with an old name: jaywalking. [...] These accounts—which are typically combined with grim statistics on pedestrian deaths and injuries, but no deeper analysis—could well leave casual readers with the impression that jaywalking is the single greatest risk to the urban pedestrian, that pedestrians wantonly solicit injuries and death with their depraved behavior, and that properly corralling pedestrians could solve all our traffic safety problems.
  • Trolleybuses set to return to Britain after 40 years (Telegraph)
    By David Millward -- Leeds city council and Metro are to submit proposals to the Department for Transport for a 14-mile network, costing nearly £280 million, which would see a new generation of vehicles being introduced in the city in 2015. The first trolleybus is believed to be that which ran in Berlin in 1882. They arrived in Britain in 1909, when a trial was held in Hendon and first entered public service in Leeds and Bradford two years later. For much of the 20th century they were a common feature of the British urban landscape, although by the 1960s many trolleybuses had disappeared. They were last seen in Bradford in March 1972. They were phased out because conventional buses were seen as more flexible.

"Streets"

  • State grants allow police to focus anew on bicycle, pedestrian safety (Boston Globe)
  • TROMP: The responsible Cambridge traveler of the week (Cambridge Chronicle)
  • Brookline officials looking to balance parking, traffic in Coolidge Corner (Brookline TAB)
  • 'Smart' intersections, smoother traffic flow for Allston-Brighton (Allston-Brighton TAB)

Walking

  • Despite increased risk, jaywalkers abound on Boston's busy streets (Boston Globe)
  • Editorial: Make footbridge accessible to people with disabilities (Brookline TAB)

Bicycling

Transit

Cars/Parking

Transportation financing/Government

Parks

  • More than 200 people attend Somerville's Albion Park reopening (Somerville Journal)
  • Highlights from 2009 At-Large City Council Candidates Debate on Parks and Open Space (Universal Hub)
  • Planning officials envision the Mystic River as a major recreational area in the near future (Somerville News)

Development projects

Land Use/Planning

Out-of-state

National trends

  • How Traffic Jams Help the Environment (Wall Street Journal)
  • Cities offer freedom from cars, green living (TODAY)
  • Conservatives and Mass Transit: All Aboard? (Politics Daily)
  • Bicycle injuries in the U.S. becoming more severe (Reuters, LAB)
  • Stop Means Stop: How do we get bikers to obey traffic laws? (Slate)
  • Launching A Livable Communities Task Force In Congress (Infrastructurist)
  • Federal Investments in Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects Reaches New High (LAB)
  • As Hybrid Buses Get Cheaper, Cities Fill Their Fleets (New York Times)
  • Is Happiness Still That New Car Smell? (New York Times)
  • Fiscal Blood on the Tracks (New York Times)
  • In Defense of Jaywalking (Slate)

International news