May 9, 2010

Urban Revolutions at MIT
LivableStreets Director Jackie Douglas (center) with David Byrne (left) and Director of Boston Bikes Nicole Freedman (right) discuss the changing role of bicycling in the world's cities Wed April 28 at 'Urban Revolutions' at MIT
(Photo courtesy Albina Colden)

Highlights

  • Pedestrians push for safety in South End (Boston Globe, South End News)
    By Meghan E. Irons -- A coalition of pedestrians is demanding safer conditions at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Albany Street in the South End, a well-known trouble spot that has long been the source of traffic complaints from students and residents. Members of the Coalition of Fed Up Pedestrians released a survey earlier this week of hundreds who frequently use the intersection. Of the 325 people who responded to the poll conducted last month, 149 said they did not feel safe there, 145 reported having near misses with vehicles -- and 11 reported being hit by a car.
  • Bike lanes, 'sharrows' coming to Centre/South (Jamaica Plain Gazette, Boston Cyclists' Union)
    By John Ruch -- Bicycle lanes and shared-lane markings are coming to all of Centre and South streets through Jamaica Plain by next spring, the city announced at a Centre/South Action Plan meeting last night. JP’s huge bicycling community had been debating whether bike lanes or shared-lane markings, known as “sharrows,” are safer for Centre/South. The city’s plan now involves both, including long stretches with a bike lane on one side of the road and a sharrow on the other. Dozens of bike advocates responded positively to the plan at the meeting at the Agassiz Elementary School.
  • Boston makes way for on-street motorcycle, scooter parking (Boston Globe)
    By Peter DeMarco -- As many as a dozen metered parking spaces across the Back Bay will be partitioned into motorcycle and scooter parking slots this summer, the city’s first attempt to carve out spaces for scooter owners caught in last August’s moped parking debate. Newbury and Boylston streets will be among the first to receive the slots, designated with lines painted within existing spaces to allow bikes to be parked perpendicular to the sidewalk, each with its own meter. The city intends to create parking for 25 to 50 bikes.
  • Bring on the Bikes! Cycling Rises 28% in New York City (Infrastructurist, LAB)
    By Melissa Lafsky -- We’ve addressed New York City’s increasing focus on cycling on the policy side. And man has it worked. As Gothamist reports, biking and public transit advocacy group Transportation Alternatives has released an annual estimate on bike ridership using DOT data. They found that the number of cyclists in New York City has increased a whopping 28% in the past year. According to the report:
       * 236,000 New Yorkers are riding bikes every day.
       * 51,000 New Yorkers started biking in the just last year alone.
       * One out of every 24 vehicles in motion on city streets is a bicycle.
       * New Yorkers travel 1.8 million miles by bicycle every day.
       * Bicycling is New York City’s fastest-growing mode of transportation.
  • DOT announces $775 million to upgrade America's bus systems (US DOT)
    Last Sunday, Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff addressed the American Public Transportation Association's 2010 Bus & Paratransit Conference. He brought good news with him: DOT has made available $775 million to transit agencies to upgrade their bus systems. Bringing the nation's transit services into the state of good repair Americans deserve is a challenge FTA is facing head-on. And these discretionary bus and bus facility awards are a good start.
  • Vancouver pushes $25-million plan for more bike lanes (Vancouver Sun)
    Council to consider 55 km of new routes in 10-year master cycling plan
    By Gerry Kahrmann -- Vancouver is proposing to invest $25 million in additional bike paths over the next two years as part of the city's ambitious goal to become the world's greenest city by 2020. A city report on a proposed 10-year Cycling Master Plan, which will go to council Thursday, calls for another 55 kilometres of bike lanes and routes around Vancouver. This includes the long-awaited Comox–Helmcken Greenway project to connect the seawall, the West End and downtown Vancouver to the Central Valley Greenway, which stretches all the way to New Westminster.

"Streets"

  • A new green to center Quincy (Boston Globe)
  • Guest commentary: Walking and biking radical forms of transportation? (Arlington Advocate)
  • Marblehead Project Boosts Pedestrian Safety (Commonwealth Conversations)
  • Fixing a road: Selectmen approve construction of a roundabout (Sandwich Broadsider)
  • Walk and Bicycle to School Day (Commonwealth Conversations)
  • A Longfellow Bridge for the 21st Century (WalkBoston)
  • Stop signs are costly, roundabouts rock (Newton Streets and Sidewalks)
  • Brookline to remove Coolidge Corner parking spots in hopes of calming traffic (Brookline TAB)
  • Big, tall, and much like the current one, design for the new Fore River Bridge dismays many (Boston Globe)
  • Starts & Stops: Trying to make the Celtics game, and deadline -- if traffic cooperates; Bids for Longfellow Bridge project suggest someone’s math could be off; Tuning in to Rail Radio (Boston Globe)

Walking

Bicycling

Transit

Cars/Parking

Transportation financing/Government

  • City wants to ring in new era of satisfaction (Boston Globe)
  • MassDOT: Capital Spending Public Meetings (Commonwealth Conversations)
  • What the heck are rescissions, and what do we do about them (LAB)
  • Why Bicycle and Pedestrian Staff? (LAB)

Parks

Development projects

Land Use/Planning

Out-of-state

National trends

  • Paved with Good Intentions: Fiscal Politics, Freeways and the 20th Century America City (UCTC)
  • Why Progressive Transportation Policies Are Good For Gearheads (WIRED)
  • A National Network Of Bike Trails? It Could Happen (NPR)
  • Amtrak trials first cow-powered train (Guardian)
  • What we know about bike infrastructure: people want it (US DOT)
  • U.S. DOT Releases Rules for 'TIGER II' Grants, Bringing HUD on Board (Streetsblog DC)
  • VIDEO: Tom Vanderbilt Talks "Traffic" (Streetfilms)
  • Merging Transportation and Land Use Planning at the Federal Level (Transport Politic)
  • Who's to Blame for Our Crumbling Roads & Bridges? Democracy, For One (Infrastructurist, T4America)
  • Distracted Driving: A Deadly Epidemic (Huffington Post, Boston Globe)
  • LEED for Neighborhood Development formally launches to promote smart, sustainable land use (NRDC)
  • New online video series promotes an "American Makeover" (Smart Growth America)
  • Amtrak: The romance is gone, and the future is tardy (Cape Cod Online)
  • DOT announces $775 million to upgrade America's bus systems (US DOT)
  • Parking rates go up, cities make bucks (Marketplace)
  • Urban parks take over national freeways (USA Today)
  • Thinking Outside Rails and Runways, and Taking the Bus (New York Times)

International news