March 16, 2011

Broadway East Somerville
Artist's rendition of a new Broadway in East Somerville
(Photo courtesy Somerville Patch)


  • Large pothole renews debate over future of Bowker Overpass near Kenmore Square (Boston Globe, Beacon Hill Patch)
    By Eric Moskowitz -- The 12-foot pothole that ruptured across the offramp of an elevated roadway near Kenmore Square yesterday sent debris raining down on the Muddy River and snarled traffic in the area during the morning commute. It also renewed attention on the Bowker Overpass, a 1960s relic that some neighbors and officials call an eyesore that should be removed.
  • Separate Bikes-Only Lane in Cities Cut Injury Rate: Study (Bloomberg Businessweek, The Daily, Montreal Gazette, Grist)
    By Alan Mozes -- Cyclists using special bike-only tracks that are physically separated from street traffic have fewer accidents compared to bikers pedalling alongside motor vehicles, a new study finds. "We found that there is a 28 percent lower injury rate when bicycling on cycle tracks, compared with bicycling in parallel and comparable roads," noted study lead author Anne Lusk, a research associate in the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. "Of course, intersections do have to be well-designed, ideally with red and green bicycle signals," Lusk added. "And even then, we're not suggesting that cycle tracks have zero risk. But rigorous research does show that the difference in the accident rate is real."
  • MBTA forges plan to reduce deficit (Boston Globe, Boston Herald)
    Sale of revenue at parking lots is among ideas
    By Eric Moskowitz -- Facing a projected deficit of more than $130 million for the coming year, MBTA leaders outlined a plan yesterday to balance the budget without raising fares or cutting service. Included is a proposal to sell parking revenue at most MBTA lots to investors in exchange for up-front cash to pay off debt, as well as a deal to lease the 1,275-space parking garage below North Station and TD Garden, which combined would generate or save $80 million for the year.
  • Governor Rick Scott Kills Florida High Speed Rail and Sends 20,000 Jobs Out of State (AltTransport, Transit Miami, Transportation Nation, New York Times, St Petersburg Times)
    By Ami Cholia -- All attempts to save high-speed rail in Florida were thwarted today as the Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit forcing Governor Rick Scott to take $2.4 dollars of federally allocated money to build the project. Scott had previously told US Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood that he would not move forward with high-speed rail because he thought the project would cost Florida tax payers almost $3 billion in cost overruns. His decision was backed up by the Florida Supreme Court, which upheld his authority to reject the federal money.
  • New Bikeway Design Guide Could Bring Safer Cycling to More American Cities (Streetsblog DC, BikePortland, Transport Politic)
    By Angie Schmitt -- Better bicycling infrastructure could be coming to a city near you thanks to an initiative of the National Association of City Transportation Officials. NACTO’s Cities for Cycling committee today released its anticipated Urban Bikeway Design Guide, a comprehensive overview of the latest developments in bicycle infrastructure that is intended to advance state and national policy. Created for a profession that prizes design standards, the document has the potential to spur widespread adoption of bike infrastructure that makes many more people feel safe riding on the street, leading to big increases in cycling for transportation, as well as gains in pedestrian safety.
  • Driver Plows Through Pack of Cyclists, Claims Self-Defense (NPR, Guardian)
    By Bill Chappell -- Brazilian police are questioning a man who drove his car through a crowd of dozens of bicyclists, injuring at least 16 riders who were taking part in a group ride to raise awareness of cyclists on city streets. The driver of a black Volkswagen accelerated as he drove through the center of a pack of riders in the monthly Critical Mass bike ride Friday evening, in the southern city of Porto Alegre. More than 100 riders are believed to have been participating in the event.






Transportation financing/Government


Development projects

Land Use/Planning


  • VIDEO: Streetfilms: Moving Beyond the Automobile --
  • New York City --
    • City Council Unanimously Passes Bill To Improve Crash Data (NY1)
    • VIDEO: The Case for Bike Racks on NYC Buses (Streetfilms)
    • Bill Banning Smoking in Parks Signed Into Law (New York Observer)
    • Wider lanes, pedestrian walkway & bike path all part of plan for new Goethals Bridge from S.I. (NY Daily News)
    • Bike Lane Battle Crosses GWB Into Hoboken (CBS NY)
    • There Is No War On Cars (Streetsblog)
    • City Drops Plan for 34th St. Pedestrian Plaza (New York Times, New York Times)
    • VIDEO: "Floating Parking" & Bike-Buffer Zones in Separated Cycletracks (Streetfilms)
    • The City's Misunderstood Cyclists (Wall Street Journal)
    • For City's Transportation Chief, Kudos and Criticism (New York Times, AlterNet)
    • Advocates Deliver 1,700 Thank Yous to Sadik-Khan and Bloomberg (Streetsblog)
  • New York City: Prospect Park Bike Lanes --
    • Bring on bike lanes: Bloomberg and Sadik-Khan should build more, not fewer, pathways for cyclists (New York Daily News)
    • Prospect Park Bike Lane Opponents Support Moratorium On All Bike Lanes (Transportation Nation)
    • The Bike Lane Battle of the Bulge (Huffington Post)
    • Sadik-Khan and Bloomberg  have made New York safe: The battle against cars has saved lives (NY Daily News)
    • Lawsuit Seeks to Erase Bike Lane in New York City (New York Times, CBS NY)
    • In Brooklyn, Divided Opinion About a Bike Lane by a Park (New York Times)
    • Backlash To The Bike Lane Backlash (Transportation Nation)
    • Bike Lames! Straw Men on 10-Speeds in New York's Last Culture War (New York Observer)
    • How one New York bike lane could affect the future of cycling worldwide (Guardian)
    • Politically Connected PPW Bike Lane Foes Are Fighting Their Own Neighbors (Streetsblog)
    • Battle of the Bike Lanes (New Yorker: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)
      • John Cassidy vs bipeds (Reuters)
      • The New York City Bike Lane Backlash is Complete Irrational (Naparstek Post)
      • 'I Was A Teenage Cyclist', or How Anti-Bike-Lane Arguments Echo the Tea Party (New York Times)
  • In Charleston, an Affordable, Effective Alternative to Highway Expansion (Streetsblog DC)
  • A Year in the Slow Lane in a '30 Ford (New York Times)
  • Public Transportation Key to Transforming Communities (US News)
  • Hell in Wheels: Is there no end to the stream of traffic insults (Seattle Times)
  • Better-Designed Streets for Walkers and Bikers Are Coming to L.A. (GOOD)
  • Stay calm: Bicycle boulevard on the way (Austin Statesman)
  • Chicago's Lawrence Avenue to Get a Trim (Architects Newspaper)
  • Debate over the merits of Maryland's new toll road continues as the ICC opens to traffic (Washington Post)
  • Less Is More: Highway Removal Could Make Buffalo a Better City (Streetsblog)
  • Goodbye, 30/10. Hello, Fast Forward America. (Streetsblog LA)
  • PSU report: Cycle track, buffered bike lanes working well, but could be improved (BikePortland)
  • New bike lanes called a cycle track are planned for Chicago (Chicago Tribune)
  • Bicycle master plan is expected to be approved by the L.A. City Council (Los Angeles Times)
  • To improve bus safety, Trimet tests turn warning system (BikePortland)
  • VIDEO: Game Changer: Earl Blumenauer is a Force on Two Wheels (Politico)
  • Bypasses of Bypasses: A Case Study on Induced Sprawl From North Carolina (Streetsblog)
  • $3M jury award in Md. pedestrian death (Washington Post)

National trends

  • National Bike Summit --
  • High Speed Rail --
  • Rage Against Your Machine (Outside)
  • Electric Bike Makers Vie to Gain Footing in U.S. Market (InTransition)
  • Playing with a new deck: The rules of the transportation funding game have changed in Washington (Better Roads)
  • All-American Streetcar Boom Fuels Urban Future (NPR)
  • Americans want Congress to 'fix it first', invest in and improve our transportation system (T4America, Washington Post)
  • President Obama Proposes Major Funding Increases, Reorganization for Nation's Transport (Transport Politic)
  • Is There Hope for an Infrastructure Bank? (National Journal)
  • Researchers Study 'Sidewalk Rage' (Wall Street Journal)
  • The death of the gas tax -- and of infrastructure investment? (Washington Post)
  • New Carsharing Association Aims to Reduce Car Ownership (The City Fix)
  • Rural access to intercity transportation declining (Reuters)
  • Home buyers are moving closer to public transit (Marketplace)
  • Should you be liable for 'crash taxes'? (Marketplace)
  • New Report: America's Poor Infrastructure Is Holding Back Economic Growth (Infrastructurist)
  • Transforming the Highway Trust Fund (National Journal)
  • "Transportation 101" provides a primer on the federal transportation program (T4America)
  • Streetcar revival means more mobility, more American jobs (USDOT)
  • The Ethics of Winter Dibs Parking (Slate)
  • Overcoming opposition to narrow streets (New Urban Network)
  • How bicycling will save the economy (if we let it) (Grist)
  • Buildings for the 21st Century: American support for sustainable communities (Smart Growth America)
  • Downtown need a makeover? More cities are razing urban highways (Christian Science Monitor)
  • Automobile Poverty (New Urban Network: Part 1, Part 2)
  • House Passes Seventh Extension of Transportation Bill (Streetsblog DC)
  • Greenest homes are those near public transit (USA TODAY)
  • U.S. Gets a Lesson From Developing Countries on Buses (New York Times)
  • The Way We Drive Now: There's a reason Washington can't get Americans out of their cars (Weekly Standard)
  • More Highways, Less Congestion: The theory of 'induced demand' fails the road test (Weekly Standard)
  • Bruised Feelings and Skinned Knees Litter Suburban Sidewalk Politics (Wall Street Journal)
  • Threats of Gridlock are Greatly Exaggerated (Planetizen)
  • New Bikeway Design Guide Could Bring Safer Cycling to More American Cities (Streetsblog DC, BikePortland, Transport Politic)
  • Infographic: Traffic jams (Cyclicious)
  • Keeping Tabs on the Infrastructure, Wirelessly (New York Times)

International news