January 19, 2009

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.

Code enforcement officer
 
Code enforcement officer creating a ticket for an unshoveled sidewalk
(Photo courtesy Boston Globe)
 

Highlights

  • Enforcers of shoveling newly armed (Boston Globe)
    Hub goes high-tech for sidewalk law
    By Andrew Ryan -- The black-and-white thumbnails can be grainy, but the city hopes that the pictures of ice-crusted, snow-packed sidewalks send a clear message: Weaseling out of a $50 fine for not shoveling has gotten a lot harder. Code inspectors have taken to the streets this winter with a new weapon, palm-size computers with touch screens that snap photographs of treacherous patches of ice, snow, and slush. Thumbnail images are stamped on tickets and printed instantly with a wireless 32-ounce printer slung over an officer's shoulder like a purse.

     

  • What The New Bicycle Law Means For You: A Practical Guide (MassBike)
    Yes, it’s true: the Bicyclist Safety Bill is law after 8 years and 4 legislative sessions — perseverance and grassroots support paid off in the end! MassBike played a central role throughout the history of the bill, from drafting the language, to lobbying for its passage, to the successful 2006 effort that ended in a veto, and now to a law! MassBike thanks our many supporters in the House and Senate for their persistence, and thanks Governor Patrick for recognizing that this law will help make Massachusetts a healthier, greener, more sustainable state.

     

  • Patrick considers raising gas tax (Boston Globe, Boston Herald)
    By Matt Viser -- Governor Deval Patrick said yesterday that raising the gas tax could be a "serious alternative" to increasing tolls on the Massachusetts Turnpike and Boston Harbor Tunnels, marking another step in the governor's developing views on the topic. "I hate the proposed toll increase, like everybody else," Patrick wrote during an online chat on boston.com, where he fielded six questions from the public. ". . .The gas tax could be a serious alternative." Several weeks ago, Patrick had deflected any suggestion of a gas tax increase.

     

  • A Bicycle Evangelist With the Wind Now at His Back (New York Times)
    By Cornelia Dean -- PORTLAND, OR -- For years, Earl Blumenauer has been on a mission, and now his work is paying off. He can tell by the way some things are deteriorating around here. “People are flying through stop signs on bikes,” Mr. Blumenauer said. “We are seeing in Portland bike congestion. You’ll see people biking across the river on a pedestrian bridge. They are just chock-a-block.” Mr. Blumenauer, a passionate advocate of cycling as a remedy for everything from climate change to obesity, represents most of Portland in Congress, where he is the founder and proprietor of the 180 (plus or minus)-member Congressional Bicycle Caucus. Long regarded in some quarters as quixotic, the caucus has come into its own as hard times, climate concerns, gyrating gas prices and worries about fitness turn people away from their cars and toward their bikes.

     

  • Transportation Aid Levels Decried (Wall Street Journal)
    By Christopher Conkey -- Some Democrats and interest groups protested that the economic-stimulus proposal unveiled by the House Tuesday doesn't allocate enough funding for transportation projects, setting the stage for a heated debate in the weeks ahead. The House bill would provide about $43 billion for roads, transit and airport projects, well below the $53 billion recommended by House Transportation Committee Chairman James Oberstar (D., Minn.). Many House members had figured the transportation component of the bill would exceed $85 billion, as the price tag of the overall package swelled to $825 billion in recent weeks.

     

  • Automakers talk of stabilizing price of gas (MSNBC)
    DETROIT -- Deep inside the research centers of General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC, the companies are spending billions to develop plug-in electric cars at a time when gasoline has dropped below $2 per gallon. If their fears come true, gas prices will be so low when they start rolling out the cars next year that people won’t buy them and all the high-priced research will have gone to waste. At GM and Chrysler, which have nearly run out of cash and are surviving on government loans, the companies can’t afford to make mistakes in spending limited research and development dollars, but they can’t predict the future, either.

"Streets"

Walking

Bicycling

  • What The New Bicycle Law Means For You: A Practical Guide (Boston Biker)
     
  • Bike Parking (Chic Cyclist)
     
  • Superb Idea: Bike Lane That Travels With You (GOOD)
     

Transit

Cars/Parking

Transportation financing/Government

Parks

Development projects

Out-of-state

National trends

International news