September 21, 2009

Park(ing) Day at BU
Park(ing) Day 2009 at BU, Before and After
(Photo courtesy BU Bikes)


  • On Two Wheels, Fingers Crossed (BU Today)
    Bicycling in this city can be a scary joy
    By Katie Koch -- Thousands of cars. Hordes of pedestrians. B-line trains and No. 57 buses. Kenmore Square’s Red Sox crowds at one end, double-parked tour buses unloading into the Paradise Rock Club at the other. And, of course, the Bridge. For years, BU’s Charles River Campus has doubled as a cyclist’s worst nightmare. But as city leaders have stepped up efforts to make Boston safer for bikes, Commonwealth Avenue, for all its madness, has become a centerpiece of road reform.
  • Transportation chief pick draws praise (Boston Globe, Boston Business Journal, Commonwealth Conversations, Commonwealth Conversations)
    Must merge several agencies
    By Noah Bierman -- After eight contentious months with James A. Aloisi Jr. as the state’s transportation chief, Governor Deval Patrick chose a less divisive figure yesterday to oversee an unprecedented makeover of the state’s road, bridge, and train system. Jeffrey B. Mullan, who will start Nov. 1, is an insider who knows the key players in the Legislature, the managers who run trains and bridges, and the local officials and advocates who spend their days debating how best to move residents around the state. A Milton resident, he lives down the street from Patrick.
  • That 28X proposal: The beat goes on (Dorchester Reporter)
    By Mike Deehan -- The future of Blue Hill Ave. and the fate of $140 million in federal funds remains unclear after a Monday meeting at which elected officials and community members once again voiced their disapproval of how the neighborhoods along the Blue Hill Ave. corridor have been treated by the Patrick administration’s top transportation officials. A collection of elected officials from the State House and City Hall vowed to oppose Route 28X – a proposed transit line that would run along dedicated bus lanes on portions of the corridor between Mattapan Square and Ruggles Station – unless the Patrick administration offers a commitment granting the community greater input in the ongoing planning process.
    Related: State clarifies its stance on the 28X proposal (Dorchester Reporter)
  • Adams withdraws support for 12-lane CRC: "No toll, no train, no deal." (BikePortland)
    By Elly Blue -- Portland Mayor Sam Adams issued a statement this morning saying that he can no longer support a $4 billion, 12 lane replacement for the freeway bridge over I-5. [...] In tempering his support, Adams cites shortfalls in available funding for the project; the erosion of Vancouver’s political support for tolling the bridge (one of the mayoral candidates in their current election is dead set against tolls); his increased concerns about Vancouver’s support for light rail across the river. Without tolling and light rail, Adams says, the induced demand created by a new, 12 lane bridge would dump untenable amounts of traffic onto Portland’s streets.
  • Why Can't She Walk to School? (New York Times)
    By Jan Hoffman -- TO get to school, the child leaves home by herself, proudly walking down the boulevard in a suburb of a small city in upstate New York. The crossing guard helps her at the intersection. She lives only a block and a half from school. Yet she walks by older children waiting with parents for buses to the same school. She is 7, a second-grader, and her mother, Katie, hears the raised-eyebrow remarks: “ ‘Are you sure you want to be doing this?’ ” Katie said friends ask.
  • Making Suburbia More Livable (Wall Street Journal)
    The nation's sprawling suburbs may have been a good place to grow up, but they're a tough place to grow old. Here's how towns are beginning to 'retrofit' their neighborhoods—and what your community might look like in the future.
    By Glenn Ruffenach -- Sitting in his office in Fayetteville, Ga., Ken Steele, the town's mayor, is poring over a local street map, explaining how this suburb of Atlanta hopes to transform itself into a "lifelong community"—and why neighborhoods across the country need to do the same. "Every small community has the same problem," says Mr. Steele, age 69. "We want residents to be able to age in place, to meet their needs…here, without having to move away."
  • Cyclists will be given green light to ignore one-way signs (Times Online)
    By Ben Webster -- Cyclists will be permitted to ride the wrong way along one-way streets under a change intended to encourage more people to give up their cars or use them less. The Government will announce today that cyclists will be permitted to ignore no-entry signs: a practice already followed by many, including David Cameron, the Conservative leader. The Department for Transport is authorising a trial in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, Mr Cameron’s home authority in West London, in which a small plate saying “Except cyclists” will be attached to poles carrying no-entry signs.


  • Kendall Square is starting to work as home for many (Boston Globe)
  • Cambridge Eyesores: It's Letter, No Ifs, Ands, or Butts (CCTV)
  • Letter: Crosswalk takes parking spaces (Somerville Journal)
  • Starts & Stops: No free trips for users of RMV express branch; Turnpike authority provides context for disparity in crashes among tunnels; Once-ubiquitous safety recording featuring Grabauskas is no more (Boston Globe)





Transportation financing/Government


  • State Resurfaces Part of Charles River Bike Path--Finally! (CCTV)
  • City councilors remain committed to bringing new activity to the Common (Back Bay Sun)
  • Chester Square Park reopens with smiles despite the rain (South End News)
  • Rowing proposal irks Brookline Reservoir park users (Brookline TAB)
  • Mass. park officials reaching out to Blue Hills fans for management plan (Boston Globe)

Development projects

Land Use/Planning


National trends

International news

  • Dubai: Land of the 'dream tram' (Manchester Evening News)
  • Sustainable cities are the solution (Guardian)
  • To Hopeful Makers, the Electric Car's Time Is Here (New York Times)
  • Indian Women Find New Peace In Rail Commute (New York Times)
  • Cyclists will be given green light to ignore one-way signs (Times Online)
  • Montreal and Quebec Leaders Announce "Irreversible" Decision to Expand Metro (Transport Politic)
  • Limiting parking works better than high road tolls (ITS)
  • Fear of Cycling - Essay in five parts by Sociologist Dave Horton (Copenhagenize: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)