March 25, 2009

Orange Line
Orange Line BRT in Los Angeles (Photo courtesy flapsblog)
 

Highlights

  • Gridlock loosens grip on Boston in 2008 (CommonWealth Unbound)
    Like the rest of the US, metropolitan Boston experienced a "startling" decrease in traffic congestion last year, but we still have more than our share of traffic bottlenecks, according to new data from Inrix Traffic Services. In Boston, congestion dropped by 27 percent, a bit below the national average, and we're ranked as the 8th most congested area in the US overall. The worst "bottleneck" in the region was at the Southeast Expressway and Gallivan Boulevard in Dorchester. It ranked 190th in the US in 2007 but rose to 116th last year.
Orange Line
Orange Line BRT in Los Angeles (Photo courtesy flapsblog)
 

Highlights

  • Gridlock loosens grip on Boston in 2008 (CommonWealth Unbound)
    Like the rest of the US, metropolitan Boston experienced a "startling" decrease in traffic congestion last year, but we still have more than our share of traffic bottlenecks, according to new data from Inrix Traffic Services. In Boston, congestion dropped by 27 percent, a bit below the national average, and we're ranked as the 8th most congested area in the US overall. The worst "bottleneck" in the region was at the Southeast Expressway and Gallivan Boulevard in Dorchester. It ranked 190th in the US in 2007 but rose to 116th last year.

     

  • Fury over possible toll hike overshadows concerns about T (Boston Globe, Boston Metro, WCVB)
    By Noah Bierman -- The threat of a Big Gulp size toll increase on the Massachusetts Turnpike took Governor Deval Patrick and legislative leaders to the brink last week, forcing another last-minute delay in the rate hike, followed by a few minutes of smiles and hugs in front of the cameras. The high-profile demonstration of political capital on tolls has public transportation advocates worried. Where, they wonder, is the similar outrage over the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's repeated warnings about deep service cuts and a 30 percent fare hike?

     

  • Reevaluating plans for Harvard-held land (Boston Globe)
    By Andreae Downs -- Now that visions of boulevards with shade trees, outdoor cafes, and lots of foot traffic have vanished with the 12,000-plus point Dow Industrial, residents of North Allston and Brighton are looking around and asking "Where do we go from here?" On Saturday morning last weekend, a dozen neighbors, several members of the Boston chapter of the Planners Network, and three Harvard undergraduates affiliated with the Harvard student group Sustainable Allston walked along Western Avenue and through Brighton Mills to view Harvard University's holdings, and to talk about the near future.

     

  • VIDEO: L.A.'s Orange Line: Bus Rapid Transit (plus bike path!) (Streetfilms)
    Who would have thought that one of the best Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems in the U.S. would be in its most crowded, congested, sprawling city? Well check this out. It's really fabulous. In October 2005, the Los Angeles County Metro Authority (or Metro) debuted a new 14-mile BRT system in the San Fernando Valley using a former rail right-of-way. Unlike many "rapid" bus transit systems in the U.S., the Orange Line is true BRT - it features a dedicated roadway that cars may not enter, has a pre-board payment system so buses load quickly and efficiently, and uses handsome, articulated buses to transport passengers fast - sometimes at speeds approaching 55 mph! The roadway is landscaped so ornately you could almost call it a bus greenway.

     

  • HUD, DOT Teaming Up to Promote Sustainable Communities (Transport Politic, The City Fix, Yglesias)
    HUD and DOT will encourage communities to combine federally-mandated metropolitan area housing and transportation plans
    During the campaign, now-President Barack Obama argued that the federal government could contribute to the planning and development of neighborhoods around the country through a livable communities initiative, arguing that “Our communities will better serve all of their residents if we are able to leave our cars to walk, bicycle and access other transportation alternatives.” Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan testified today on the issue in front of the House Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing (part of the Appropriations Committee).

     

  • Paris Announces Biggest Rapid Transit Investment Since RER (Transport Politic)
    New circular route around city core would improve suburb-to-suburb commuting
    Last night, Christian Blanc, France’s minister of Development in the Capital Region announced that the state would invest 15-20 billion Euros over the next 10 years for the construction of the world’s longest automated rapid transit line, at 130 km and with 60 stations. The minister made the announcement of the state’s commitment at a day-long presentation of proposals by architects for “Le Grand Paris,” an attempt to unite the city and the surrounding suburbs through governmental reforms and infrastructure improvements. The Paris’ city core is currently cut off from its suburbs by a ring road.
     

"Streets"

Walking

Bicycling

Transit

  • Bumpy ride almost over (Boston Globe)
     
  • A maintenance facility by Brickbottom will kill our quality of life, residents say (Somerville News)
     
  • New commuter rail stations will fit neighborhoods to a T (Boston Globe)
     
  • Curious Why Some 'T' Conductors Don't Collect Fare (WBZ)
     

Cars/Parking

Transportation financing/Government

Parks

Development projects

Land Use/Zoning

Out-of-state

National trends

International news