April 2, 2010

Guangzhou BRT
Bus Rapid Transit in Guangzhou, China
(Photo courtesy ITDP)

Highlights

  • Making Watertown's Mt. Auburn St. two-lane: $9.2 million (Watertown TAB)
    By Jen Thomas -- WATERTOWN -- A proposal to reconfigure Mt. Auburn Street into a two-lane road could cost more than $9 million, though the project could be completed at no cost to the town. Plans are far from concrete, but an agreement that has yet to be signed with a Woburn engineering firm estimates the cost for construction for the 1.8-mile stretch at $9.2 million. Watertown plans to pay for the project — which might see the main thoroughfare whittled down from four lanes to one travel lane in each direction, with room for bike lanes on either side — using state transportation funds, which will save the town from having to use local money.
    Related: Question and Answer: Making over Watertown's Mt. Auburn St (Watertown TAB)
  • Bicyclists Take DC! MassBike Fights For Cycling And You Can Help! (MassBike)
    This year’s National Bike Summit marked a milestone.  Not only was this the 10th summit, with over 700 advocates from around the country, but we saw an unprecedented level of commitment to bicycling from both Congress and the Administration.  Senators and Representatives in Congress are actively supporting pro-bicycling legislation (see details below).  Rather than the cordial but noncommittal reception we usually get in our Congressional meetings, we were greeted with enthusiasm and outright support (as evidenced by the number of MA co-sponsors on the legislation below).  And to top it off, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood chose the occasion to announce sweeping changes to federal policy to support biking and walking.
  • Fans want [Bruce Freeman] rail trail put on front burner (Boston Globe)
    By Jennifer Fenn Lefferts -- FRAMINGHAM -- Supporters of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail are trying to jump start the project in Framingham, where the last phase of the proposed 25-mile recreational path has yet to get off the ground. The Friends of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail is holding its monthly meeting in Framingham tonight with hopes of sparking interest among residents and spurring town officials to commit more fully to the project, said John Stasik, the town’s representative on the group’s board. “Framingham has been an outlier because not much has been going on,’’ Stasik said. “The town, the Board of Selectmen, needs to make it clear to the community that this is a valued project.’’
  • U.S. officials eager to climb aboard Villaraigosa’s L.A. transit plan (Los Angeles Times)
    Even some lawmakers from other states see merit in the Los Angeles mayor's idea for massive federal loans to ease congestion and create jobs.
    By Richard Simon -- Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's bid to secure federal funds for fast-track expansion of the Los Angeles region's transit system is gaining support from Washington officials who say it could serve as a national model for speeding economic recovery and reducing pollution and traffic congestion. The Obama administration and influential members of Congress are exploring ways to aid the car-clogged city with a federal loan, economic stimulus funds or other assistance so it can build 12 transit lines in 10 years instead of 30.
  • New Poll Shows Americans Support Increased Funding for Public Transportation, Safe Walking and Biking (Transportation for America)
    Agreement across political and geographical lines offers guidance for development of next transportation bill
    WASHINGTON D.C. – As a key Senate committee ramps up efforts to draft a new long-term transportation bill, Transportation for America today [March 30] released poll results demonstrating overwhelming American support for increased access to public transportation and safe walking and biking. Read more about the poll findings, including a detailed presentation on the findings at http://t4america.org/resources/2010survey Central to the poll’s findings was strong support for increased transportation options, and accountability for future spending, across both geographic areas and political lines. More than four-in-five voters (82 percent) say that “the United States would benefit from an expanded and improved transportation system,” that includes rail and buses. This view is held by an overwhelming majority of voters in every part of the country.
  • Milton school forces students to walk (Spacing Toronto)
    By Marcus Bowman -- There was a time when kids walked to school, ten miles up hill both ways through the snow of course. Alas, those days are long gone, and today many children are dropped off at school individually by their parents, especially in the suburbs. [...] In light of increasing concern over traffic problems around schools and rising rates of childhood obesity, schools are beginning to pay closer attention to the transportation habits of their students. One Milton school in particular is drawing attention from around North America with a full out ban on parents driving their kids. [...] Costing the board $125,000, the ban on driving is a one year pilot with hopes of expanding to other schools in the community in the coming years.

"Streets"

Walking

Bicycling

  • Bicyclists Take DC! MassBike Fights For Cycling And You Can Help! (MassBike)
  • Minuteman Bikeway Partially Closed For Repairs (MassBike)

Transit

Cars/Parking

  • Snapshot: Drive Me Crazy -- Cars per 1,000 Residents (Boston Globe)
  • Gewirtz: Somerville’s street sweeping and school drop off don’t mesh (Somerville Journal)
  • Boston "No-Tow" alert system adds features, services (Back Bay Sun)
  • Plates may have rich history but it's tough to trace (Boston Globe)

Transportation financing/Government

Parks

Development projects

Land Use/Planning

  • Davis Square Visioning (SomerBlog)
  • Comprehensive Plan & Vision Statement: Somerville’s first vision statement! (SomerBlog)

Out-of-state

  • Cars and the City, Imperfect Together (New York Times)
  • Stimulus Plan for Rail Line Shows System of Weak Links (New York Times)
  • Transit options make District more affordable than suburbs (Washington Post)
  • With development plan approved, the future of White Flint begins to take shape (Washington Post)
  • Transit Agency Approves Cuts, and More Bad News Looms (New York Times)
  • Oklahoma City Readies Modern Streetcar as Centerpiece of Major Redevelopment Plan (Transport
  • Politic)
  • Light Rail Along Road Rights-of-Way: a Cheap Solution to an Expensive Proposition (Transport Politic)
  • Kids traffic safety curriculum goes open source (BikePortland)
  • VIDEO: SFPD Chief Sees Street of San Francisco by Bike (Streetfilms)
  • U.S. officials eager to climb aboard Villaraigosa’s L.A. transit plan (Los Angeles Times)
  • San Francisco First City in the Nation to Count Its Parking Spaces (Streetsblog SF)
  • 2010 LA StreetSummit Presentation (Narrow Streets LA)
  • VIDEO: The Wiggle’s Green Bike Box & Left Turn Lane (Streetfilms)

National trends

  • REPORT: U.S. Parking Policies: An Overview of Management Strategies (ITDP)
  • Traffic Fatalities Drop to Record Low (New York Times)
  • Feds Begin Redefining ‘Affordable Housing’ to include Transport Costs (Streetsblog)
  • Should Bikes And Cars Be Treated Equally? (LAB: Part 1, Part 2)
  • Smart Growth’ Taking Hold in U.S. Cities, Study Says (New York Times)
  • Need to create jobs? Invest in bicycling and walking projects (LAB)
  • Why do some in DC think livability is not a small town value? (Smart Growth America: Part 1, Part 2)
  • Connecting People to Jobs in Far-Flung Metropolitan Areas (Next American City)
  • Freeways Responsible For Emptying Out Cities (World Streets)
  • How Much Does Congestion Matter? (Planetizen)
  • Mixed-Income Transit-Oriented Development Action Guide (Reconnecting America)
  • New Film Series Showcases City Transportation Innovations (The City Fix)
  • New Poll Shows Americans Support Increased Funding for Public Transportation, Safe Walking and Biking (Transportation for America)

International news

  • Guangzhou Opens Asia’s Highest Capacity BRT System (ITDP)
  • Beijingers get back on their bikes (BBC)
  • Jane Jacob’s great ideas have morphed into pettiness (Globe and Mail)
  • EU Commissioners and MEPs race on electric bikes (BBC)
  • Milton school forces students to walk (Spacing Toronto)
  • The Folly of Bicycle Licenses (Copenhagenize.com)
  • Toronto’s Major Transit Ambitions Set Back by Fiscal Reality (Transport Politic)
  • Speed Limit Lottery – Win Cash and Prizes! Fun Theory Winner (Copenhagenize.com)