December 2, 2011

Exhibition Road London
Exhibition Road, London -- Now a shared street
(Photo courtesy of TreeHugger)


  • Overpass replacement choice to be made (Jamaica Plain Gazette)
    FOREST HILLS -- By Rebecca Oliveira -- The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) will decide on which alternative—bridge or at-grade—will replace the current Casey Overpass by Dec. 12. Public comment will be accepted through Dec. 6. The decision will be announced to members of the Working Advisory Group (WAG) on Dec. 12 and to the community at large Dec. 14. According to the design team, both a replacement bridge or a new street network without a bridge would handle projected traffic increases well, and both would improve on the current street network.
    Note: LivableStreets strongly supports the at-grade option and urges our members and readers to let MassDOT know that you support it too! More info here >>>
  • Hubway to branch out next spring (Boston Globe)
    Bikes, stations will debut in Cambridge and Somerville
    By Eric Moskowitz -- After recording 140,000 trips in four months, Boston’s European-style bicycle-sharing system is expanding across the Charles River, with stations planned for Cambridge and Somerville after a winter hiatus. The 60-station, 600-bike Hubway system will shut down Wednesday night and reopen in March, weather permitting, when it will quickly expand - adding 30 stations and roughly 300 bicycles beyond Boston’s borders.
  • Boston parking: A solution in puck form (Boston Globe)
    For years it’s been an urban-planning riddle: The reason many drivers would love to see more parking spaces in downtown Boston is the same reason why many environmentalists don’t. Increasing the number of available spots would ease one of the most stressful parts of driving in the city - motorists circling block after block in search of elusive spaces, snarling traffic in the process. But making parking easier could entice more commuters to forgo public transportation, which would also increase congestion. Now, new technology is offering city officials a way out of this parking paradox.
  • Plan for parking changes worries Houston restaurants, bars (Houston Chronicle)
    By Carol Christian -- HOUSTON -- As Houston considers the first overhaul of its parking ordinance since 1989, those voicing the most concerns are restaurant and bar owners. Owners say proposed requirements for more spaces at new bars and restaurants would be a hardship for small-business entrepreneurs who lack funds to buy or rent more land. The changes are still under discussion and would not affect businesses that are already open, but owners say the proposal sets the wrong tone.
    Former LivableStreets Board Member Zakcq Lockrem quoted: "Zakcq Lockrem, an urban planner and Citizens' Transportation Coalition volunteer, told the Planning Commission that requiring more concrete is not the solution. "We believe we should be encouraging a city where we use walking, biking and transit to get around," Lockrem said."
  • The Value of Transportation Enhancements; Or, Are Walking and Cycling Really Transportation? (Planetizen)
    By Todd Litman -- An important current policy debate concerns whether the next U.S. federal surface transportation reauthorization should require spending on “enhancements,” which finance projects such as walkways, bike paths, highway landscaping and historic preservation. This issue receives considerable attention, despite the fact that enhancements represent less than 2% of total federal surface transportation expenditures, because it raises questions about future transport priorities, particularly the role of walking and cycling. In other words, should non-motorized modes be considered real transportation.
  • Five myths about your gasoline taxes (CNN)
    By Shin-pei Tsay and Deborah Gordon -- Come March 2012, politicians will once again enter into a political debate about funding American mobility. Without a fiscal safety net in place, the Highway Trust Fund will go broke. The Republican majority in Congress won't permit the transfer of federal funds from its general spending account to bolster the Highway Trust Fund. And despite the rationality of a user-fee system, neither party will lead the charge to raise the gasoline tax. In reality, cutting the gas tax exacts a steep cost on the entire economy. The gas tax funds a broad range of economy-bolstering transportation projects across the country and it is already too low to meet current (and future) infrastructure needs. It's time to debunk the myths surrounding the maligned gas tax.




  • Bicycling in Boston --
    • The Otherside Cafe to close Dec. 23 (Boston Globe)
    • Bicyclists look forward to Mass Ave bike lane [Back Bay] (Boston Globe)
  • Hubway --
  • Designing new bicycle lanes [Arlington Center] (Boston Globe)



  • Town Meeting calls on Brookline to fix or retire new parking meters (Boston Globe)
  • Boston parking: A solution in puck form (Boston Globe)
  • Hub drivers can prepay meters (Boston Herald)

Transportation financing/Government


  • Greenway asks city to oust protesters (Boston Globe)
  • Cover Greenway's highway ramps with public art, walkways (Boston Globe)
  • Brewer Fountain plaza re-opens on Boston Common with improvements (Boston Globe)

Development projects

  • 47-story Copley tower gets go-ahead (Boston Globe, Boston Herald, BRA)
  • Mayor Menino Announces 1282 Boylston Approved By BRA Board (BRA, Boston Herald)
  • Mayor Menino Announces 45 Stuard St Approved By BRA Board (BRA)
  • VIDEO: Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone on the Assembly Row development (WGBH)
  • Northeastern students open dialogue about Filene's site (Boston Globe)
  • Berklee breaks ground on 16-story dorm, performance center (Boston Globe)
  • MIT injecting life into Kendall Square (Boston Globe)

Land Use/Planning

  • A frugal answer to zoning pitfalls, needlessly slashed (Boston Globe)


  • New York City --
    • Inspired by High Line, Park Is Envisioned With Sights Set Low (New York Times)
    • Times Square Comes to East New York: Pedestrian Plazas Aren't Just for Midtown (New York Observer)
    • Highway plan driven off road (New York Post)
  • D.C. Planning Chief Urges New York City to Scrap Parking Minimums (Streetsblog)
  • Villaraigosa wants a more livable L.A., with 50 pocket parks (Los Angeles Times)
  • Thinking Outside the Bus (New York Times)
  • Plan for parking changes worries Houston restaurants, bars (Houston Chronicle)
  • For downtown cyclists, this green also means go (Los Angeles Times)
  • Town turns to 'road diets' to slow busy traffic [Harrison, Ark.] (AP)
  • Building San Antonio: The streetcar suburbs of old and new (My San Antonio)
  • Zipcar is testing vans in San Francisco (Boston Globe)

National trends

  • The True Cost of Commuting (LifeHacker)
  • How Biking Can Save Cities Billions of Dollars in Health Expenses (GOOD)
  • Wider, Straighter, Faster Roads Aren't Always Safer (Project for Public Spaces)
  • Operational and Safety Impacts of Restriping Inside Lanes or Urban Multi-lane Curbed Roadways to 11 Feet or Less to Create Wider Outside Curb Lanes for Bicyclist (Transportation Research Board)
  • Air Quality and Exercise-Related Health Benefits from Reduced Car Travel in the Midwestern United States (Environmental Health Perspectives)
  • The Value of Transportation Enhancements; Or, Are Walking and Cycling Really Transportation? (Planetizen)
  • Are Complete Streets Incomplete? (Project for Public Spaces)
  • Sharing time: Tracking the 'sharrow' on city streets (Grist)
  • Five myths about your gasoline taxes (CNN)
  • How a Midwestern town reinvented itself (BBC)
  • The Death of the Fringe Suburb (New York Times)
  • Why are US teenagers driving less? (BBC)
  • The Bike Share Station Sponsorship Dance (The Atlantic Cities)
  • Salon: Dream City --
    • How should we design the cities our dreams? (Salon)
    • The city that floats (Salon)
    • Are freeways doomed? (Salon)

International news