April 5, 2012

Floating Olympic Lanes
Proposed floating roadway on Thames River for London Olympics
(Photo courtesy of DeZeen)


  • The Inner Belt: When Boston Said 'No' To New Highways (WBUR)
    By Adam Ragusea -- Earlier this month state transportation officials announced they will tear down the aging Casey Overpass in Jamaica Plain and replace it with an at-grade interchange, conducive to walking and biking. The hulking elevated mini-highway is a lingering vestige of an era in which the car was king in Boston. Back then the mantra was, build it up and build it wide, with multiple lanes. Consider I-695, also known as the Inner Belt. It was a proposed eight-lane superhighway that would have cut through Roxbury, the Fenway, across the river and then straight through Cambridgeport, Central Square and Somerville on its way to I-93. Where the Middle East nightclub and restaurant is now, there would have been a highway the size of the Mass. Pike.
  • Brookline article takes on 'wrong-way' bike lanes (Brookline TAB)
    By Teddy Applebaum -- A group of Brookline residents are sick of going with the contraflow. The residents are proposing a warrant article that would require town meeting approval for the creation of so-called contraflow bicycle lanes — lanes where bikes are allowed to travel in the opposite direction of one-way streets. Proponents argue that while the lanes might be convenient for bicyclists, they’re dangerous for everybody else.
    Related: Column: Anti-contraflow bike lane warrant article the 'wrong way to go' (Brookline TAB)
  • It's Official: The MBTA Votes 4-1 in Approval of a 23% Fare Hike, To Be Implemented July 1 (BostInno, Boston Globe, Somerville Journal)
    By Lisa DeCanio -- Today, the MBTA voted to approve a modified version of fare hikes and service cuts in advice of its budget decision deadline on April 15, 2012. The MBTA’s five board members spent time this afternoon hearing final public reactions to the proposals as well as giving their final remarks on the state of the T. They voted four to one to pass the proposal. The approved proposal calls for a 23 percent fare increase. Specifically, the price of a bus ride for Charlie Card users will increase from $1.25 to $1.50, and the price of a subway ride with a Charlie Card increases from $1.70 to $2. Monthly T passes will rise from $59 to $70. The plan also looks at cutting $15 million in service
  • Parking change will add spaces in Union Square (Boston Globe, USMS)
    By Matt Byrne -- In the constant battle to squelch congestion and ease parking shortages in Somerville, sometimes backing up is the only way forward. That's the idea behind a pilot program on Bow Street in traffic-riddled Union Square, where traditional end-to-end spaces will be replaced with angled, back-in style parking. The change begins in May and when completed, will add 22 spaces, nearly double the number available before, the city said in a statement. Traffic and Parking Director Matthew Dias said the reconfigured layout is safer for drivers, who need not parallel park, and also for bicyclists, who will be more visible to drivers coming and going.
  • Parking Minimums Create Too Many Parking Spots (Atlantic Cities)
    By Eric Jaffe -- The problems with parking minimums are both numerous and obvious. First and foremost, the convenience of off-street parking spaces promotes driving, even in cities with efficient and expansive transit systems. The more spaces developers must build, the less space they have for actual residential units, which raises rents; meanwhile, mandatory parking spaces can displace ground-level retailers. And last, if you're not into the whole sustainability or economics thing, off-street parking facilities just aren't very attractive.
    Related: Parking demand declines at new buildings [Chicago] (Crains)
    Related: Parking mandates stymy development in Cincinnati's urban neighborhoods (Urban Cincy)
  • Downtown is for People [1958] (Fortune Classic)
    If the downtown of tomorrow looks like most of the redevelopment projects being planned for it today, it will end up a monumental bore. But downtown could be made lively and exciting -- and it's not too hard to find out how.
    By Jane Jacobs -- This year is going to be a critical one for the future of the city. All over the country civic leaders and planners are preparing a series of redevelopment projects that will set the character of the center of our cities for generations to come. Great tracts, many blocks wide, are being razed; only a few cities have their new downtown projects already under construction; but almost every big city is getting ready to build, and the plans will soon be set.



  • Cambridge and Boston on list of 25 best cities for walking (TODAY)
  • Crumbling Forest Hills bridge torn down overnight (Universal Hub)




Transportation financing/Government


Development projects

Land Use/Planning


  • New York City --
  • Washington DC --
    • D.C. struggles to keep pace as bike-riding population grows (Washington Post)
    • Capital Bikeshare Both Replaces and Promotes Transit Trips (Streetsblog)
    • D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray plans to 'cover the entire city' with traffic cameras (Washington Post)
    • A closed street can be a living street (WashCycle)
  • City: Nickerson Street safer since road diet (Seattle PI)
  • L.A.'s Westside Subway is Practically Ready for Construction, But Its Completion Could be 25 Years Off (Transport Politic)
  • Parking demand declines at new buildings [Chicago] (Crains)
  • Can a 100% Private Passenger Rail Line Turn a Profit? (Streetsblog DC)
  • Parking mandates stymy development in Cincinnati's urban neighborhoods (Urban Cincy)
  • Advocates Defend New Haven's "Downtown Crossing" Highway Removal Plan (Streetsblog DC)
  • Google's self-driving car takes blind man to Taco Bell (USA TODAY)
  • People on bikes get "pre-green" at new signal on NE Broadway (BikePortland)
  • Traffic Light Along New Maryland Toll Road (Transportation Nation)
  • New sidewalk lane for texting and walking (Boston Metro)
  • New plan for bullet train could cut cost by $30 billion (Los Angeles Times)
  • If Washington Can't Commit, Chicago is Ready to Go It Alone (Transport Politic)
  • Seattle Restaurants See More Revenue After Parking Rates Increase (Streetsblog DC)
  • Sunday parking meters may drive away sales (San Francisco Examiner)
  • Dynamic Tolling Coming To Virginia Express Lanes (Transportation Nation)
  • CicLAvia Rules! How Bicyclists Made L.A. a Better Place (LA Weekly)

National trends

International news

  • VIDEO: From the Netherlands to America: Translating the World's Best Bikeway Designs (Streetfilms)
  • Cycling fines a big moneymaker in coordinated crackdown (Copenhagen Post)
  • Bicycle master plan to help prevent deaths on Dubai roads (Gulf News)
  • How Mexico City Fought and Cajoled to Reclaim Streets for Pedestrians (Streetsblog)
  • Why Are People Rioting Over Bogota's Public Transit System? (Atlantic Cities)
  • The future of cycling: Vancouver vs Copenhagen (Vancouver Sun)
  • Urban Highways Offer Cities New Opportunities for Revitalization (The City Fix)
  • Separated cycleways save cyclists: Study (Sydney Central)
  • The explosive growth of cycling in Amsterdam (A View from the Cycle Path)
  • Injuries have dropped since mandatory [helmet] rule came in, but fatalities remain the same [British Columbia] (Daily News)
  • Travel at the speed of light in Aalborg (Cycling Embassy of Denmark)
  • 'Walkable' city linked to health benefits (Toronto Star)
  • Copenhagen's bicycle mayor: Give back the space to the cyclists (Cycling Embassy of Denmark)
  • One mile on a bike is a $.42 economic gain to society, one mile driving is a $.20 loss (Grist)
  • London Mayoral Candidates Vie to Be the Most Bike-Friendly (Streetsblog)
  • Floating Olympic Lanes by Dowling Jones (DeZeen)
  • 100% segregation of bikes and cars (A view from the cycle path)
  • Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Bus Rapid Transit (Atlantic Cities)
  • VIDEO: A Single Day On the Moscow Subway, in 2 Minutes (Atlantic Cities)
  • Medellin: Columbia's Sustainable Transport Capital (Streetfilms)
  • A walking street that spans the ages (Better Cities and Towns)