November 22, 2009

NYC BRT Option
Proposed BRT cross-section for East Side avenues in NYC
(Photo courtesy Streetsblog)


  • State ready to fill in Big Dig's missing links (Boston Globe)
    Bridges to connect city's green spaces
    By Peter DeMarco -- It was touted as the Big Dig’s greatest open-space gift to Boston: a spectacular ribbon of parks, paths, and pedestrian footbridges linking the Esplanade to both the Rose Kennedy Greenway and Boston Harbor. But when the Central Artery/Tunnel Project officially wrapped up two years ago, only half of what was promised had been built. This week, state environmental officials, flush with $30 million from the federal stimulus package and a renewed political will, took a huge step toward addressing that failure.
  • No agreement, no $147m upgrade (Boston Globe)
    State scraps plan to seek $147 million in stimulus money for bus line
    By Meghan E. Irons -- Massachusetts has missed an opportunity to tap into as much as $147 million in grant money available under the federal stimulus package because of a deep disagreement between the Patrick administration and residents of Roxbury and Mattapan. State transportation officials had applied for the grant over the summer to upgrade public transportation from Dudley Square into Mattapan along Blue Hill Avenue, through two of the city’s most impoverished areas, by dedicating a lane of traffic to rapid bus service.
  • Town Meeting legalizes Zipcars in Brookline (Brookline TAB)
    By Neal Simpson -- After two months of hand wringing among Zipcar supporters, the car-sharing organization’s operation in Brookline was legalized by a vote of Town Meeting without a single voice of opposition last night.  Moderator Sandy Gadsby recorded only one vote against Articles 12 and 13, which will allow companies like Zipcar to legally operate by-the-hour car rentals out of residential neighborhoods, with some limitations.
  • World-Class Avenues for the East Side: What Great BRT Looks Like (Streetsblog)
    By Ben Fried -- The biggest sustainable transportation story in New York right now is how DOT and the MTA plan to design Bus Rapid Transit corridors for the East Side of Manhattan. Will we get world-class avenues that attract more riders to the bus, relieve the jam-packed Lexington subway line, make cycling safer, and enhance the pedestrian environment? If so, the city will improve life for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and set a tremendous precedent in sustainable street design. If not, the standard for BRT corridors will be set low as the city starts rolling out up to a dozen more routes.
  • Mass Transit's Reversal of Fortune (InTransition)
    Even As Ridership Surges, Economic Crisis Ravages Agencies’ Budgets
    By Josh Stephens -- Between volatile fuel prices, a sea change in public attitudes towards the environment, and the enormity of the world’s financial collapse, the nation’s transit agencies have appeared more like amusement parks in the past year, riding a roller coaster of increased demand, increased cost and uncertain financial futures. But as the sobriety of 2009 has set in, this wild ride eased into a new reality: deficits, fare increases and cost-cutting strategies that are ushering in a new age of austerity that rivals any crisis that American public transit has ever experienced.
  • Cabinet finalises kilometer tax plan (Dutch News)
    The Netherlands is set to become the first country in Europe to replace road tax with a kilometer charge for all motorists, over 10 years since the idea was first put forward. If the legislation is passed by parliament, motorists will start paying tax on every kilometer they drive, which the government hopes will reduce traffic jams and pollution. On Friday, ministers agreed that the tax will be three cents a kilometer when the charge is introduced in 2012, rising to 6.7 cents by 2018 - for the greenest cars . But if revenues generated by the tax are not in line with expectations, the tax can be adjusted, the transport ministry said.






  • Volvo Safety, 2011 Style: It Brakes for Walkers (New York Times)
  • US slaps Boston's rerouting of trucks (Boston Globe)
  • Hub pols want to curb your enthusiasm for gas-guzzlers (Boston Herald)
  • Town Meeting legalizes Zipcars in Brookline (Brookline TAB)
  • Walpole police chief urges parking meters for downtown (Boston Globe)
  • I-Team: Handicapped Parking Abusers Lose License (WBZ)
  • Age-based road tests make sense (Boston Globe)
  • Taking license with temporary plates: How far is too far? (Boston Globe)

Transportation financing/Government


Development projects

  • Neighbors win round on Charlesview (Boston Globe)
  • Fenway's Landmark plans 8-story building (Boston Herald)
  • Planning Board Puts Off Approval of Church Condo Project in Porter Square (CCTV)


  • New York's hanging gardens (Guardian)
  • Zoning the Sustainable City (New York Observer)
  • DC Bike Lane Beats the Traffic (NBC Washington)
  • Portland's Greenstreets Program a Sterling Best Practice Model (Streetsblog)
  • After decades of waiting, their trains have arrived (Los Angeles Times)
  • Why Portland's Mass Transit Rocks (WIRED)
  • Traffic Agents and Politicians Debate Value of 5-Minute Grace for Drivers (New York Times)
  • Rapid flash beacons coming soon to a crossing near you (BikePortland)
  • Counties diverge on plan to widen the 405 Freeway (Los Angeles Times)
  • World-Class Avenues for the East Side: What Great BRT Looks Like (Streetsblog)

National trends

  • Mass Transit's Reversal of Fortune (InTransition)
  • Proponents Say Transit Should Be a Free Ride (InTransition)
  • Buffett's shrewd recognition of a railroad revival (CommonWealth Unbound)
  • Automobility and Freedom: Conflicts and Resolutions (Planetizen)
  • What Are The Costs And Benefits Of Travel Efficiency Policies (National Journal)
  • New Fed policy would fund more bike [and ped] projects around transit stops (BikePortland)
  • Report, petition call for safer roadway planning (US DOT)
  • America's Best City Parks (Forbes)
  • Getting to green: smaller, denser, walkable living (Boston Globe)
  • Housing bust halts growing suburbs (USA Today)

International news