August 20, 2011

Kids riding with parents on Highland Avenue
"Kidical Mass" ride at SomerStreets
(Photo courtesy of Amanda Casey/Somerville Patch)


  • Green Line extension put off until 2018 at earliest (Boston Globe, Boston Globe editorial, Universal Hub, Conservation Law Foundation, Somerville Journal, Somerville News, Medford Patch, Cambridge Day)
    By Matt Byrne -- The long-anticipated extension of the Green Line has been delayed an additional three years, state planners said yesterday, with service to T riders in Somerville and Medford slated to begin in fall 2018 at the earliest.
    Much more coverage below...
  • MBTA chief to become new transportation secretary (WBUR, Boston Metro, CommonWealth Magazine, Cambridge Chronicle)
    By Kimberly Adams -- Come Sept. 1, there will be a new boss at the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. MBTA General Manager Richard Davey will take over from the current MassDOT secretary, Jeffrey Mullan. In his new post, Davey will be responsible for Massachusetts highways, public transportation and airports.
    More coverage below...
  • Cambridge bike sharing program moving closer to reality (Cambridge Chronicle)
    By Scott Wachtler -- The Hubway Bicycle Sharing program that launched in Boston last week came a step closer to coming to Cambridge Monday night. City councilors unanimously voted to approve several items related to the program that will pave the way to its implementation in the fall. One item will allow for the zoning of the bicycle racks, while another item urges the governor, the Cambridge legislative delegation and the Registrar of Motor Vehicles to back up police officers who write tickets to bicyclists who commit violations.
    Related: Salem set to launch free bike-share program (Boston Globe)
  • The federal gas tax is likely safe for now: And that's the problem (Washington Post, CNN Money, Infrastructurist)
    By Ezra Klein -- Despite recent rumors to the contrary, Congress is likely to extend the gas tax this fall. And that could end up being precisely the problem. [Last] week, Politico’s Ben Smith and Byron Tau raised the possibility that Republicans could try to thwart an extension of the federal gas tax when it (largely) expires Sept. 30.
    Related: Massachusetts gas tax debate (CommonWealth Magazine, CommonWealth Magazine)
  • Poll: Bicycle helmets should not be compulsory (The Telegraph, British Medical Journal)
    By Raf Sanchez -- If people are forced to wear helmets they may give up cycling altogether and lose the health benefits of regular exercise, doctors warned. More than two thirds of the respected journal's readers said they opposed compulsory helmets for adults. One respondent in the poll of 1,427 people said: "It gives out the message that cycling is dangerous, which it is not...
    . Cycling is a healthy activity and cyclists live longer on average than non-cyclists."
    Related: Bike rental schemes 'saving lives in cities' (The Independent, Boston Globe)



  • Parks Officials Propose More Paths from T Stops to Historic Sites (Charlestown Patch)




Transportation financing/Government


Development projects

  • IKEA to break ground in Somerville's Assembly Square by 2012 (Somerville Journal)
  • Apartment, retail complex planned near TD Garden (Boston Globe)
  • Demolition of Cambridge nightclub set for end of summer (Boston Metro)
  • Weston Avenue site in Somerville turns a commercial shop to condos (Somerville Journal)
  • Demolition crews hit Somerville Assembly Square (Somerville News)
  • MaxPac site now Maxwell’s Green (Somerville News)
  • Chiofaro and the BRA's Meade are Talking (CommonWealth Magazine)
  • Northeastern Rejects Alternative Sites for YMCA Dorm Project (South End Patch)
  • Quincy Center redevelopment project clears hurdle (Patriot Ledger)
  • Editorial: Three big-ticket developments -- Copley Place, Government Center Garage, Boston Herald site -- would speed Boston’s recovery (Boston Globe)
    • Letter: One project that deserved critical attention (Boston Globe)
    • Letter: Keep keen eye on affordable housing at Copley tower (Boston Globe)
    • Letter: City's made special by its streetscape, not big buildings (Boston Globe)
  • Newton alderman O.K. shopping/office development on Route 9 in Chestnut Hill (Brookline TAB)
  • Waterfront in bloom (Boston Globe)
  • New developer pitches apartments on Stuart St. (Boston Globe)
  • No bidders on MBTA parcel (JP Gazette)
  • Building plans bring shadow of a doubt (Boston Herald)
  • B&N vs. Borders: A tale of two bookstore sites (Boston Herald)

Land Use/Planning


National trends

  • Study: Who Is Riding Curbside Buses, And Should Amtrak Worry? (Transportation Nation)
  • The diverging diamond interchange: A new kind of intersection eliminates dangerous, time-wasting left turns completely (Slate)
  • Drunken-driving penalties could depend on your location (USA Today)
  • Cities see another side to old tracks (New York Times)
  • America's top public transportation cities (Forbes)
  • Mapping The Real State of America: How much we're driving and what we're eating (Fast Company)
  • Obama announces fuel standards for big vehicles (AP)
  • Editorial: Smart growth can curb traffic deaths (Seattle Times)

International news