July 26, 2009

LINK Light Rail in Seattle
LINK Light Rail in Seattle on Opening Day
(Photo courtesy flick user LeeLeFever)


  • Parkway Predicament (Radio Boston)
    By Adam Ragusea -- Last week, the Boston City Council voted in favor of landmark status for the Charles River Esplanade. That vote will make it all the more difficult for the Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation to enact a controversial proposal to build a temporary bypass over-top a portion of the park while they rebuild the crumbling Storrow Drive Tunnel. [...] On this week’s show, we’ll ponder the future of Storrow Drive and the Esplanade. We’re asking you, dear listener, to weigh-in on which is more important: fast-moving east-west auto traffic through Back Bay, or the Esplanade? Can you imagine Boston’s prized promenade as James Storrow had envisioned it: without a major parallel roadway?
    Related: The Parkway Known As Storrow Drive (WBUR)
  • A lane for bikes coming to A-B [Harvard Ave] (Allston-Brighton TAB)
    By Pat. B. Tarantino -- Allston -- This summer will see the construction of a new bicycle lane along Harvard Avenue in Allston. The proposed half-mile addition will run from Cambridge Street to a pre-existing bicycle lane ending at the Brookline border between Verndale Street and Brainerd Road, and is part of an effort to encourage safe cycling in Boston communities. “These lanes are important because they give riders a safe place on the road and allow cars to pass safely,” said Nicole Freedman, director of bike programs for the city of Boston and head planner for the bike lane initiative.
  • State to Complete Green Line in 2 Phases (Inside Medford, Boston Globe, Boston Globe)
    Economic Crisis Halts Federal Funding for Route 16 Stop by 2014
    By Allison Goldsberry -- Despite announcing just last week that the Green Line extension to Medford and Somerville was on time, the state now says it will have to complete the project in two phases due to a lack of federal funding. [...] In an email to community members, the Executive Office of Transporation (EOT) said “constraints placed on us by federal funding requirements and the economic crisis” have prevented the extension of the Green Line to Route 16/Mystic Valley Parkway by 2014. Instead, the EOT said the project will be completed in two phases. Phase one will be the completion of the legally mandated part of the project, which will extend the Green Line from a relocated Lechmere Station to College Avenue in Medford with a spur to Union Square. Phase two will be the construction of a stop at Route 16.
  • Seattle's Light Rail Opens, Redefining Life in the City (Transport Politic, KING5, Seattle Times)
    14-mile project is the first in a number of planned lines for Seattle
    It’s been a long time since voters approved funding for Seattle’s first light rail line, but the city’s citizens finally got their chance to ride a modern public transportation system this weekend. Sound Transit’s Central Link line, connecting downtown with Tukwila, is the culmination of decades of work intended to make alternative transportation work in the city, and its opening was an exciting event in U.S. transit history.
  • Blumenauer Introduces Bill to Promote Low-Carbon, Low-Cost Commuting Options (MassTransit)
    Washington, DC - Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) today introduced the "Green Routes to Work Act of 2009," which would promote low-carbon transportation options to help commuters save money on gas. The bill provides tax credits for both employers and individuals to use low carbon commuting options. This will help reduce our dependence on oil and output of global warming pollution by encouraging active and environmentally friendly methods of commuting like biking, carpooling, walking, riding public transit, and telecommuting.
  • Suburbs get urban makeover (USA Today)
    By Haya El Nasser -- Gleaming high-rises and dense development in white-picket-fence suburbia? From Anaheim and Fremont in California to Irving, Texas; Queens, N.Y.; and Arlington, Va., development has taken a dramatic turn from cul-de-sacs to city centers that mix residences, businesses and entertainment spots. Suburbs that had not allowed development to rise too high above the single-family homes that have shaped suburbia for decades are beginning to embrace the "urban" in "suburban." The trend reflects the priorities of the times: saving energy, reducing traffic congestion, saving land, and promoting walking and mass transit.





Transportation financing/Government


Development projects

Land Use/Zoning


  • Gov. Rell Signs "Complete Streets" Bill [Connecticut] (Smart Growth News)
  • Regional Rail for New York City (Transport Politic: Part 1, Part 2)
  • VIDEO: "Stop the Pollution, Pick a Solution" (Streetfilms)
  • Plans outlined for high-speed Florida train (Miami Herald)
  • SF Great Streets Project Finds 17th St. Plaza Builds Community (Streetsblog SF)
  • San Jose and Guerrero Plaza Could Mark Triumph Over Deadly Traffic (Streetsblog SF)
  • Ohio eyes highway ads to pay for passenger rail (Forbes)
  • Road project revives hope to link Maine's north, south (Boston Globe)
  • Seattle's Light Rail Opens, Redefining Life in the City (Transport Politic, KING5)
  • SFCTA Completes Exhaustive Parking Study, Supervisors Delay Action (Streetsblog SF)
  • For High Line Visitors, Park Is a Railway Out of Manhattan (New York Times)
  • The Fatal Flaw of Florida High-Speed Rail (Transport Politic)
  • Metro Discovers Problems in Additional Track Circuits (Washington Post)

National trends

International news