December 30, 2008


SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: LivableStreets To Host First Annual "Boston Bikes Update Report"
On Thursday, January 29th, LivableStreets Alliance will host the first "Boston Bikes Update Report" by the city's Director of Bicycle Programs, Nicole Freedman.  The public meeting will be held starting at 7 PM in the mezzanine conference room of the main branch of the Boston Public Library.  The focus will be on future steps needed to create the "world class bicycling city" that Mayor Menino has promised.  There will be additional discussion about what could be done to significantly expand the cycling population -- and its political influence -- by attracting "traffic intolerant" bicyclists, by installing low-cost bike-friendly infrastructure in all parts of the city, and by setting up programs to assure that low-income and non-white communities feel included, among other strategies.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: LivableStreets To Host First Annual "Boston Bikes Update Report"
On Thursday, January 29th, LivableStreets Alliance will host the first "Boston Bikes Update Report" by the city's Director of Bicycle Programs, Nicole Freedman.  The public meeting will be held starting at 7 PM in the mezzanine conference room of the main branch of the Boston Public Library.  The focus will be on future steps needed to create the "world class bicycling city" that Mayor Menino has promised.  There will be additional discussion about what could be done to significantly expand the cycling population -- and its political influence -- by attracting "traffic intolerant" bicyclists, by installing low-cost bike-friendly infrastructure in all parts of the city, and by setting up programs to assure that low-income and non-white communities feel included, among other strategies.
Vienna Tram
Vienna's Ringstrasse
(Photo courtesy The Overhead Wire)
 

Highlights

  • Renewed pleas to fix road [Nonantum Road] (Boston Globe)
    Nonantum work stalled, officials say

    By Christine Pazzanese -- The death this month of a 26-year-old Waltham woman whose sport utility vehicle went out of control on Nonantum Road in Newton and crashed into the Charles River has renewed calls to fix a roadway that one lawmaker calls "a public safety hazard." Several political leaders said they were outraged after the state Department of Conservation and Recreation told the Globe last week that a plan underway to improve driver and pedestrian safety along a portion of Nonantum Road had been put "on hold" because of recent state budget cuts.

     

  • City's parking meter replacement underway (Bulletin Newspapers)
    By Joseph Mont -- Last Monday, city transportation officials embarked on an ambitious plan to replace all 7,000 of Boston’s current parking meters with new, state-of-the-art systems. According to Boston’s Transportation Commissioner Thomas Tinlin, it is expected that the meters, many of which are more than 15 years old, will be replaced by mid January. "A lot of them have really gone the way of the Dodo, you can’t even get parts for them any more," Tinlin said of the older meters. In total, 9,500 meters were purchased earlier this year from vendor McKay Meters at a cost of approximately $1.3 million.

     

  • Editorial: Don't derail mass transit (Boston Globe)
    THE PEOPLE are voting with their seats. Americans took 10.3 billion subway, bus, and rail trips in 2008, the most in 50 years, according to the American Public Transportation Association. This trend needs to accelerate in the federal stimulus plan expected early next year. Historically high gasoline prices this summer may have prompted commuters to try buses and rail lines, but they kept coming back even after gas prices began falling. Public transportation experienced a record increase of 6.5 percent in the third quarter of 2008. The shift away from cars is also evident in a new Brookings Institution report that found that vehicle miles traveled by Americans dropped last year for the first time in over a quarter century. Brookings found that in recent months, despite the drop of prices at the pump, overall demand for petroleum is at its lowest since 1999.

     

  • Editorial: The Gas Tax (New York Times)
    President-elect Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress seem to have a clear vision of the auto industry they think the country needs. It must be financially self-sufficient. It also must be capable of producing highly fuel-efficient, next-generation vehicles that can help the nation cope with climate change and finite supplies of oil. Yet for all the conditions attached to it, the multibillion-dollar aid package for Detroit’s carmakers approved by the White House (with Mr. Obama’s support) fails to address one crucial question: Who will buy all the fuel-efficient cars that Detroit carmakers are supposed to make?

     

  • Today's light-rail system opening marks milestone for Valley (Arizona Republic)
    By Glen Creno and Casey Newton -- It has been 60 years since trolleys ran on the streets of Phoenix. Beginning today, rail transit returns to the Valley. Metro light rail, a $1.4 billion system that runs from central Phoenix to west Mesa, opens to the public this morning with a series of events that could draw an estimated 100,000. Metro expects a similar turnout Sunday, even without the parties. The opening of the 20-mile system is a milestone in Valley transportation. It ranks with - some say outranks - such things as completing the final piece of Interstate 10 through the tunnel in downtown Phoenix or the opening of Terminal 4 at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
    Related: Long waits greet riders along stops on light-rail lines (Arizona Republic)

"Streets"

Transit

  • MBTA police ticketing track crossing violators (Boston Herald)
  • Editorial: When it comes to commuting, boats and trains are options, not competitors (Patriot Ledger)
  • Transit cops ticketing more drivers (Boston Herald, Boston Metro)
  • After icy struggle just to get to the T, Red Line users faced long ride home (Boston Globe)
  • Compressed gas leaks from MBTA bus (Boston Globe)
  • Year in Review: 2008 - MBTA drug & alcohol test policy (Boston Examiner)
  • FTA downgrade of Silver Line project draws mixed reaction (South End News)
  • Drawn by cheaper parking (Boston Globe)
  • Editorial: Don't derail mass transit (Boston Globe)
  • Subway fare hackers to partner with transit agency (AP, NECN)
  • By its trolley line to Mattapan, T puts the brakes on tree cutting (Boston Globe)
  • Think T has problems? Look to NYC; Hackers help with security (Boston Globe)
  • Letter: Commuter Rail is on right track (Boston Globe)

Cars/Parking

Transportation financing/Government

Parks

Development projects

Out-of-state

National trends

International news