June 5, 2011

Brookline Bikes Beacon
Bicyclists participate in Brookline Bikes Beacon event
(Photo courtesy Brookline Patch)


  • Capuano hears concerns about Rutherford Ave rehabilitation (Boston Globe, Charlestown Patch, Somerville Patch)
    By Sara Brown -- Nearly 200 Charlestown residents came to a Wednesday night meeting with Representative Michael Capuano to air opposing views of an old issue: the best plan for improvements for the Rutherford Avenue/Sullivan Square area. Some residents argued for a "surface option" that would remove the Rutherford Avenue underpasses, with others arguing that losing the underpasses would clog Charlestown traffic. Capuano said he hopes to find some kind of neighborhood consensus before embarking on the project.
  • Boston ranked as safest for walkers among US cities (Boston Globe, Boston Globe, WBZ)
    By Eric Moskowitz -- America's safest city for pedestrians? Boston? Tell that to anyone who has ever hopped from island to island at Kenmore, forded four lanes of traffic and two lanes of trolleys on Huntington Avenue, or slammed on the brakes to avoid the legions crossing against the light. And yet, the Hub came out best today on a ranking from a national advocacy coalition. Among the 52 metropolitan areas with at least 1 million residents, Florida claimed four of the five worst spots in the "Dangerous by Design 2011" report from Transportation for America, which advocates for more transportation spending, emphasizing walking, biking, and mass transit.
  • Three Cities Selected as "Bicycle Friendly" [Boston, Somerville, and Northampton] (MassDOT Blog, Boston Biker, LAB, Somerville Journal, Somerville News, City of Somerville)
    MassDOT congratulates Boston, Northampton and Somerville, which have been selected as the first cities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to be recognized as Bicycle Friendly Communities by the League of American Bicyclists! Boston gained a Silver designation, while Northampton and Somerville each garnered Bronze designations. 
  • MBTA expands bicycle access in Blue Line (Boston Globe, Boston Biker, MassBike)
    By Jeremy C. Fox -- For the next six months, Blue Line riders will have several extra hours each day when they can bring bicycles onto the train, a move intended to promote urban cycling and ease the transition for those headed to downtown Boston from East Boston and Revere. The formal announcement of the change came Wednesday at an event inside Maverick Station, where MBTA General Manager Richard A. Davey gathered with community activists and cycling advocates to mark the occasion. The ceremony was part of a series of events celebrating Bay State Bike Week, which runs May 14-20.
  • NYC Drivers Who Speed Will See Skeletons (Transportation Nation)
    By Jim O'Grady -- NEW YORK, NY -- New York City is warning drivers that speeding could mean death. Drivers who exceed the speed limit in two city neighborhoods will soon see the words “SLOW DOWN” and the image of a skeleton flashed on electronic signs by the side of the road. As long as a driver obeys the city’s 30 mph speed limit, no skeleton will appear. The signs have been placed along stretches of Bruckner Boulevard in the Bronx and Richmond Avenue in Staten Island – roads that, respectively, were shown by a DOT study to have 96 percent and 66 percent of motorists speeding.
  • Study: Building Roads to Cure Congestion Is an Exercise in Futility (Streetsblog DC)
    By Tanya Snider -- We hear it all the time: The road lobby insists that the only way to reduce mind-numbing traffic congestion on the roads they built is to build new roads. Federal funding gives huge blank checks to state DOTs, which tend to prioritize road building over transit, bridge maintenance or anything else. But mounting evidence suggests that building new roads won’t do anything to alleviate congestion. In a paper to be published soon in the American Economic Review, two University of Toronto professors have added to the body of evidence showing that highway and road expansion increases traffic by increasing demand. On the flip side, they show that transit expansion doesn’t help cure congestion either.
  • Priority for cyclists on roundabouts in the Netherlands (A view from the cycle path)
    In the Netherlands cyclists have priority over motorized traffic on most roundabouts in built up (urban) areas even when they are on the ring shaped separate cycle path around the roundabout. Cyclists generally have no priority on roundabouts outside built up (in rural) areas.






Transportation financing/Government


Development projects

Land Use/Planning

  • Kenmore vs. Kendall --
    • Menino's top-down vision gives Kenmore a boost (Boston Globe)
    • In Cambridge, hands-off stance keeps Kendall vibrant (Boston Globe)
  • BRA Proposes Incentives, Lower Base Heights for Developers in Harrison/Albany Corridor (South End Patch)
  • MIT Plans Questions (Cambridge Chronicle)
  • Editorial: With shadow ban, Beacon Hill would block too much progress (Boston Globe)
    • Letter: Push for flexibility in zoning takes us back decades (Boston Globe)
  • Firm excited for Kendall, Central planning (Cambridge Chronicle)
  • 495/MetroWest Public Forums Set (MassDOT Blog)
  • Zoning Blueprint Pushed For South Pleasant Street (Belmont Patch)
  • Hyde Park strategic plan moves forward (Boston Globe)
  • Improving Porter Square: Residents Consider Development Concepts (Somerville Patch)
  • Editorial: A new face for Kendall Square (Boston Globe)


National trends

  • The evolution of Amtrak, 1971-2011 (Greater Greater Washington)
  • Do We Need More Highways? (National Journal)
  • NACTO Releases Reader-Friendly Design Guide for Bike-Friendly Streets (Streetsblog DC)
  • 'Cycle tracks' in cities could save bicyclists lives (New Urban Network)
  • Mayors Rebel Against State-Controlled Highway Expansion, Fight For Transit (Streetsblog DC)
  • President Obama's Transportation Bill Prioritizes Livability, High-Speed Rail (Streetsblog DC)
  • With gas nearing $4, Americans opt for small cars (Bloomberg Businessweek)
  • Pedestrian Perfection: The 11 Most Walk-Friendly U.S. Cities (The Atlantic)
  • Roundabouts cause rifts between cities and drivers (Marketplace)
  • Obama administration floats draft plan to tax cars by the mile (The Hill)
  • Federal 'Complete Streets' legislation introduced (New Urban Network, AltTransport)
  • The Ineluctable Politics of Transport Funding (Transport Politic)
  • US DOT Announces $2 Billion For High Speed Rail (Transportation Nation, Transport Politic)
  • Bike, scooter sales pick up speed (USA TODAY)
  • Cities roll out bike-sharing programs (USA TODAY)
  • Ray LaHood 'Concerned' About Bike Safety Of Urban Bikers, Unsure If He's A Hipster (Huffington Post)
  • FHWA Announces $422 Million in Grant Opportunities (ABW)
  • Knowing Is Half the Battle: States Lack Data to Make Good Transpo Decisions (Streetsblog DC)
  • Commuter Relief Act would increase bike commuter benefits and flexibility (LAB)
  • A Strategic Investment: Getting Americans to Their Jobs (Huffington Post)
  • Gas prices push commuters to the train (CNN)
  • Driving Is Why You're Fat (Fast Company, Streetsblog DC, Slate)
  • Does Destroying Highways Solve Traffic Congestion? (Freakonomics)
  • Drivers face more toll increases (USA TODAY)
  • Bike-Mad Author Finds 'Happiness On Two Wheels' (NPR)
  • T4 teams up with fiscally conservative groups to promote innovative transportation solutions (T4America)
  • The Real Reason Why Bicycles are the Key to Better Cities (Next American City)
  • Little. Yellow. Dangerous. "Children at Play" signs imperil our kids. (Slate)
  • Good News From the Senate: Transit Operating Assistance and Much More (Streetsblog DC)
  • Beyond Spandex: Chic Styles for Cyclists Take Off (Wall Street Journal)
  • When Bikes And Cars Collide, Who's More Likely To Be At Fault? (NPR)
  • US drives less for first time in 13 months (Reuters)
  • Tomorrow's Transport (Wall Street Journal)
  • Five Media Myths That Perpetuate Car Culture (Streetsblog DC)
  • States move to make biking safer (USA TODAY)
  • Move It: How the U.S. Can Improve Transportation Policy (Brookings)
  • "Safe Streets Save Lives" Campaign Launches in South Carolina (ABW)
  • 'Dangerous by Design' Highlights Pedestrian Fatalities and How to Reverse the Preventable Epidemic (ABW)
  • As America Ages, A Push To Make Streets Safer (NPR)
  • The 10 Best Cities for Public Transportation (The Atlantic)
  • The Silly Argument Over BRT and Rail (Transport Politic)
  • Seniors are piling onto public transportation (New Urban Network)
  • Discussing Privatization of the Northeast Corridor, but for What Aims? (Transport Politic, AltTransport, Boston Globe)
  • High Speed Rail Is Not Dead (Governing)
  • Planning for Electric Cars (Governing)
  • Study: Building Roads to Cure Congestion Is an Exercise in Futility (Streetsblog DC)

International news