June 30, 2010

Dunsmuir Street Separated Bike Lane
Dunsmuir Street Two-Way Separated Bike Lane in Vancouver, Canada
(Photo courtesy Price Tags)

Highlights

  • Governor Announces Longfellow Bridge Reconstruction (Cambridge Chronicle, Commonwealth Conversations, Boston Globe)
    Cambridge -- The historic Longfellow Bridge may be the greatest “symbol of neglect” under the state’s previous administrations, according to Gov. Deval Patrick. On Monday, Patrick announced that any disregard for the Charles River structure is taking a turn for the better, specifically with a $260 million rehabilitation project. The project, announced at a press conference on the Cambridge side of the bridge, will begin this year with a $20 million early-action contract to include preparatory work, with the full reconstruction expected to begin in fall 2011.
  • Brookline issues new fine for parking cars in bike lanes (Brookline TAB)
    By John Hilliard -- Brookline -- Drivers who park their cars in marked bicycle lanes could face a new $50 fine, after the Transportation Board enacted the penalty earlier this month. The town already charged drivers who parked in bike lanes a $25 double parking fee, but a group of local students proposed a specific fine to town officials in the past year as a way to improve safety for bicycle riders, and encourage bicycling as a transportation option in town. Town officials have said that cars parked in bike lanes pose a hazard for bicyclists, who have to swerve into vehicle travel lanes to avoid a collision.
  • MBTA Bus Route 28 Improvements (Commonwealth Conversations, Boston Herald, Universal Hub)
    As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration’s commitment to strengthening public transit in the Roxbury-Dorchester-Mattapan neighborhoods of Boston, the MBTA today announced transit improvements along the Bus Route 28 corridor from Mattapan Square to Ruggles Station via Dudley. Responding to high ridership and overcrowding on the 5th busiest bus route in the system, the MBTA will roll out 25 new hybrid 60 foot buses on Route 28 beginning Saturday, June 26.  The longer buses are made possible as part of the T’s $30.7 million investment in ARRA stimulus funds to purchase new hybrid buses.
  • City councilor: Might be time for parking meters in West Roxbury (Universal Hub, West Roxbury Transcript)
    City Councilor John Tobin said today he wants a meeting with city transportation officials to look at installing parking meters in the West Roxbury business district along Centre Street. Tobin said he's hearing from a growing number of merchants who want meters as a way of increasing turnover in spaces. In addition to on-street spaces, the city has two small lots off Centre Street, one behind the post office, the other across from the Dapper O'Neil mural. City Transportation Commission Tom Tinlin said he'd be willing to meet, but cautioned the city has generally resisted efforts to put meters in outlying business areas to try to keep from driving would-be customers to suburban malls such as the South Shore Plaza, where parking is free.
  • D.C. opens Pennsylvania bike lanes (Washington Post, USDOT, WashCycle)
    By Ashley Halsey III -- Washington, D.C. -- The latest addition to a network of bike lanes that planners expect to grow eventually to 80 miles of dedicated lanes was officially christened Tuesday with great fanfare on Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Two cyclists -- D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood -- were joined by city officials and members of Congress in inaugurating the lanes.
  • Yes In My Backyard (Mother Jones)
    By Josh Harkinson -- By 2050, the United States can expect to add as many as 200 million people. Demographers predict that they'll require 90 million houses and 140 billion square feet of office and other nonresidential space—the equivalent of replacing all the country's existing buildings. If we keep building in the way we do now, suburbs will gobble up a New Mexico-size amount of open space in the next 40 years. The alternative to this metastasizing, car-dependent sprawl is population density. [...] "The city is inherently energy efficient. Even the greenest household in an outlying location can't match an ordinary household downtown." [...] Yet infill development is often rejected by environmental and sustainability advocates.

"Streets"

Walking

Bicycling

Transit

Cars/Parking

Transportation financing/Government

Parks

Development projects

Land Use/Planning

  • Somerville a work in progress (Boston Globe)
  • Guest commentary: Should Boston Properties rewrite Cambridge zoning? (Cambridge Chronicle: Part 1, Part 2)
  • MA Smart Growth Alliance solicits proposals for innovative program to improve neighborhoods in greater Boston (CLF Scoop)
  • Architects present concepts for S. Boston waterfront (Boston Globe)

Out-of-state

National trends

  • Yes In My Backyard (Mother Jones)
  • Urban planning's black eye (Daily Journal of Commerce)
  • Hoboken and Hertz Launch First City-Wide Car-Sharing Service in America (Hoboken NJ)
  • Slow Down and Spare the Planet (WIRED)
  • Think gas is too pricey? Think again. (Washington Post)
  • What's In Trucking's Future? (National Journal)
  • Counter Cantor -- Support Safe Routes to Schools (LAB)
  • The High Cost of Free Parks (Next American City)
  • New report shows biking and walking gains (USDOT, Boston Globe)
  • LaHood: States Should Spend Faster (Transportation Nation)
  • Teens aren't the worst texting-while-driving culprits, study finds (Mercury News)
  • All aboard: America by Amtrak train (LA Times)
  • Congressional Quarterly highlights Obama administration's livability push (T4A)
  • Transparency: The Rise of Walking and Biking (GOOD)
  • Nimble Cities (Slate)
  • DOT livability goals consistent with AARP mission (USDOT)
  • Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is charging ahead in his political career (Washington Post)

International news

  • 'Love seats' on Copenhagen buses (BBC)
  • VIDEO: Creating a Bike Friendly City (Current)
  • Clogged Rail Lines Slow India's Development (New York Times)
  • Concrete, not paint [Vancouver] (Price Tags)
  • Biking in Europe: A cultural bridge (CNN)
  • The attitude towards cycling infrastructure varies with its quality (A view from the cycle path)
  • Access for All: Rio Street Dwellers Blame Poor Public Transit (The City Fix)
  • BRT for Free in Bangkok (The City Fix)
  • VIDEO: Selling Bike-Ped Infrastructure: Vancouver Shows How It's Done (Streetsblog)
  • Alberta Dedicates $2 Billion to Transit Programs (Transport Politic)
  • Watery Future for the City of Light (New York Times)
  • Ponte Vecchioin in Florence, a Bridge Over the Arno River That Spans Centuries (Wall Street Journal)
  • US tops list of unpaid London traffic toll fees (AP)
  • Velo-City 2010: Copenhagen Bike Parade (Streetfilms)