May 30, 2010

Mass Ave Bike Lanes Announcement
City of Boston and MassDOT announce Mass Ave bicycle lanes at Mayor Menino's Bike Friday Festival!
Left to right: MassDOT Highway Administrator Luisa Paiewonsky, MassDOT Secretary of Transportation Jeff Mullan, Boston Transportation Commissioner Tom Tinlin, Boston Chief of Policy & Planning Michael Kineavy, LivableStreets Director Jackie Douglas

Highlights

  • Mass Ave bike lane additions inspire excitement, uncertainty (South End News, Boston Globe, Commonwealth Conversations, Boston Biker, Boston Cyclists Union)
    By Kate Vander Wiede -- With Boston consistently ranked by Bicycling Magazine as one of the worst cities to bike in, Mayor Thomas Menino seems to be out to change that. On May 21, during the second annual Boston Bike Festival, Menino announced that Mass. Ave. will soon become the home to bike lanes. With only two percent of Boston streets (17 out of 782 miles) currently featuring bike lanes, the construction between St. Botolph Street and Albany Street will add almost another mile to the total.

  • VIDEO: Boston Rising: Boston Bikes' Nicole Freedman (Streetfilms)
    The Boston metro area has always had plenty of cyclists.  But other than some fantastic greenways like the Minuteman Trail, riding along the Charles, and some ahead-of-its-time traffic calming & bike lanes in Cambridge, cyclists have had very little to crow about.  In fact, it wasn't uncommon to hear murmurs that Boston was the worst cycling city in the U.S.  But that's all slowly changing. Boston's Mayor Thomas Menino hired Nicole Freedman - a former U.S. National Champion and 2000 Olympian - as his "bike czar" to head up Boston Bikes in late 2007. Though there is still quite a ways to go, Boston is rising from decades of bike rust and planning to make its city more bike-friendly.
  • Somerville and state finally on same Green Line train of thought (Somerville Journal, Boston Globe, Somerville News)
    By Auditi Guha -- After months of debate about the Green Line Extension Project, the city and Massachusetts Department of Transportation are in agreement: the maintenance facility will be located in the Inner Belt area known as Option L. The MassDOT, Mayor Joseph Curtatone and Congressman Mike Capuano, D-8th, announced the decision May 17. This site makes possible the future redevelopment of the areas closest to the Green Line Extension corridor and the creation of long-term transportation connections between the Inner Belt and Brickbottom neighborhoods.
  • The Man Who Could Unsnarl Manhattan Traffic (WIRED)
    By Felix Salmon -- New York -- The walk to Charles Komanoff’s favorite lunch spot, a patisserie two blocks from his office in Manhattan’s Financial District, usually takes a couple of minutes. But on this December afternoon, Komanoff has spotted a truck from the grocery-delivery service FreshDirect. His eyes widen and his steps quicken as he approaches the orange and green refrigerated vehicle. Within seconds, he’s peppering the driver—politely but insistently—with questions. What route did you take to get here? How many deliveries do you make per trip? How often do you double-park? Do you leave the engine running?
  • American Public Health Association outlines hidden health costs of transportation (T4 America, NARP)
    By Sean Barry -- The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed by President Obama earlier this year was a step toward expanding health coverage while lowering costs. But there’s far more to be done. A truly comprehensive approach to health must account for transportation’s role in our levels of physical activity. The American Public Health Association tackles that in a new report titled “The Hidden Health Costs of Transportation.”
  • Just how safe are Dutch cyclists and Dutch cycle paths? (A view from the cycle path)
    By David Hembrow -- I've pointed out before that the Netherlands has the safest roads in the world, and that cycle paths have also lead to this country having the safest cyclists in the world. However, for some this evidence simply isn't enough. In the English speaking world in particular, "experts" continue to insist on the ludicrous idea that cyclists are safer in the proximity of cars than without them. However, these countries also continue to have a stunningly low cycling rate. Now the Germans have joined in too!
    Related: German cycle paths vs Dutch cycle paths (A view from the cycle path)

"Streets"

  • Inconvenienced by construction (Boston Metro)
  • Somerville homes near I-93 are targeted for pollution study (Boston Globe, Somerville News)
  • Road hazards (Boston Globe)
  • Starts & Stops: Improvement creates problem on Storrow; Boston isn't the only metropolis combating mass transit troubles; Happier medium reached on Green Line extension beyond Lechmere (Boston Globe)
  • City Hall looming, the fruit guy fights back (Boston Globe)
  • State says highway trees had to go (Boston Globe)
  • Charles River bridge letter by Allston & Cambridge neighborhood groups (Allston Brighton Community Blog)
  • Communities fear economic effect of replacing I-95 bridge (Boston Globe)
  • Breathing new life into Somerville's squares: Part 1 (Somerville News)

Walking

Bicycling

Transit

Cars/Parking

Parks

Development projects

Land Use/Planning

Out-of-state

  • On-Street Bicycle Parking on Valencia Street is Now a Reality (Streetsblog SF)
  • City to double its marked bike lanes (Philadelphia Inquirer)
  • VIDEO: BikeUMentary: A UCLA Transportation Documentary (Commute by Bike)
  • Portland company will operate largest bike-share system in U.S. (BikePortland)
  • Dallas' bike plan may chart a new course (Dallas News)
  • The Man Who Could Unsnarl Manhattan Traffic (WIRED)
  • East Side doesn't roll with car culture, new N.Y.U. survey says (The Villager)
  • Two wheels at work -- New Yorkers are finding the bike path at increasing speed (Manhattan Times)
  • Study: Portland businesses believe in bike parking benefits (BikePortland)
  • New Report Examines the Media's Role in the Gas Tax Debate (Streetsblog)
  • More Mahnattan in New Subway Map (New York Times)
  • New pay system opens parking spots in Raleigh (News Observer)
  • VIDEO: NYC's First Bike-to-School-Day Celebration (Streetfilms)

National trends

  • What Does 'Livability' Mean to the U.S. Government (Infrastructurist)
  • POLITICO Interview: Ray LaHood (POLITICO)
  • $78b needed to transit systems (CommonWealth Magazine)
  • Driving Makes You Fat, Urban Sprawl Bankrupts You, Other Life-Saving New Urbanist Epiphanies (Fast Company)
  • FRA Accepts Applications for State High-Speed Rail Planning (Transport Politic)
  • Govt: About 45 million Americans don't buckle up (Boston Globe)
  • What Do You Think Of DOT's Draft Strategic Plan? (National Journal)
  • American Public Health Association outlines hidden health costs of transportation (T4 America, NARP)
  • Federal government promotes bike commuting (LAB)
  • Shaky economy still keeping Americans off the road (USA Today)
  • Stop! Is it possible to design a better stop sign? (Slate)
  • LaHood Envisions The Future Of Transportation (NPR)
  • Is the Low Gas Tax Costing You More Money on Car Repairs? (Intrastructurist)
  • T4 America's rural and small town partners take their transportation message to Capitol Hill (T4 America)
  • Americans need crash course in driving (CNN)
  • Extreme Makeover: Reinventing the Parking Lot (TIME)

International news