March 18, 2009

Tram in Zurich, Switzerland
Tram in Zurich, Switzerland
(Photo courtesy Nicholas Kibre/Wikipedia)
 

Highlights

  • Newbury Street could close to cars on weekends this summer (WHDH)
    BOSTON -- As the weather gets warmer, Newbury Street shoppers may get the right of way if the mayor gets his way. Mayor Thomas Menino is proposing that the popular shopping spot be shut down to cars and open only to pedestrian traffic on weekends in July and August. His hope: to make the area more people friendly and allow them more room to wander freely.
Tram in Zurich, Switzerland
Tram in Zurich, Switzerland
(Photo courtesy Nicholas Kibre/Wikipedia)
 

Highlights

  • Newbury Street could close to cars on weekends this summer (WHDH)
    BOSTON -- As the weather gets warmer, Newbury Street shoppers may get the right of way if the mayor gets his way. Mayor Thomas Menino is proposing that the popular shopping spot be shut down to cars and open only to pedestrian traffic on weekends in July and August. His hope: to make the area more people friendly and allow them more room to wander freely.

     

  • State officials: Like it or not, the Green Line maintenance facility will be in Inner Belt's Yard 8 (Somerville Journal)
    By Auditi Guha -- SOMERVILLE -- Neighbors can protest all they want but the state has decided to put the Green Line maintenance facility smack up against BrickBottom in Yard 8 for now. This is the scenario that will be submitted in the draft Environmental Impact Report due to be filed this spring with the state and the Federal Transit Administration, state officials said at a public meeting in a packed Somerville High auditorium Wednesday night.

     

  • Investing in transportation (Littleton Independent)
    By State Sen. James Eldridge -- As the Legislature considers how to reform our state’s transportation system, it’s important to remember the real question that we, elected officials and citizens alike, must answer. How do we ensure the safety of our roads and bridges, build and maintain an accessible, reliable public transportation system, and reduce waste and increase accountability in our transportation infrastructure? In answering this question, we should not be mired in the past, but rather committed to improving the present, and dedicated to leaving a legacy that will shape the state’s environment, economy, and public safety.

     

  • VIDEO: Transit in Trouble: Public Transit Faces New Pressures (PBS)
    As the economy has slumped, Americans have increasingly turned to mass transit, putting new pressure on transit agencies. In a new report for the “Blueprint America” series, correspondent Rick Karr examines the budgetary issues facing public transit.

     

  • Biden announces stimulus funds for Amtrak (Boston Globe)
    By Brian Westley -- WASHINGTON, DC -- Vice President Joe Biden, once a regular rail commuter, said Friday that $1.3 billion for Amtrak in the economic stimulus package will go toward long-overdue infrastructure upgrades and expanded passenger rail capacity. Speaking at Union Station, Biden said $105 million will be spent to replace a 102-year-old Connecticut bridge on Amtrak's heavily traveled Northeast Corridor. Another $82 million will be used to repair old rail cars and put them back into service.

     

  • Putting Parking into Reverse (InTransition)
    Professor's Theories Influence Cities to Reconsider Pervasive Free Parking
    By Josh Stephens -- By some estimates, the only thing Ferraris, Hummers and Priuses have in common is that 95 percent of the time they’re all going nowhere. Though idleness would seem to be the most benign aspect of America’s automotive fleet, UCLA Planning Professor Donald Shoup has written 733 pages that say otherwise. Because when cars aren’t going, they are parked somewhere, and when they are parked in one place, an average of six spaces per car nationwide stand vacant. Shoup considers the proliferation of parking spaces to be a plague on American cities, and because the vast majority lie open for the taking, they represent the largest devaluation of real estate short of the subprime mortgage crisis.

"Streets"

Bicycling

Transit

Cars/Parking

  • Putting Parking into Reverse: Professor's Theories Influence Cities to Reconsider Pervasive Free Parking (InTransition)
     

Transportation financing/Government

Development projects

Out-of-state

  • California rolls out welcome mat for road investors (Reuters)
     
  • Washington Announces Potential Cascades Corridor Investments (Transport Politic)
     
  • Fourth Transportation Mega Project in New York City Soon to Enter Construction Phase (Transport Politic)
     
  • Platform Shortage Could Threaten CAHSR into Transbay Terminal (Transport Politic)
     
  • Bike Tunnel to Manhattan: A Proposed Relay Between Advocacy And Consultancy (Planetizen)
     
  • Denver Region Comes Closer to Endorsing Sales Tax Increase for Transit (Transport Politic)
     
  • Milwaukee Wins Support for Streetcar Proposal - But Also Buses (Transport Politic)
     
  • Streetcars on track for return to D.C. (Washington Times)
     
  • Potential New York HSR Service Puts Rochester in a Quandary (Transport Politic)
     

National trends

  • The Net-Zero Gas Tax (Weekly Standard)
     
  • VIDEO: Transit in Trouble: Public Transit Faces New Pressures (PBS)
     
  • VIDEO: Transit in Trouble: Financial Meltdown Adds to Fiscal Woes for Some Public Transit Agencies (PBS)
     
  • National Bike Summit coverage:
    • Summit starts with lessons from Copenhagen (BikePortland)
       
    • Sec. LaHood: "You have a full partner at the US DOT" (BikePortland, The Fast Lane)
       
    • Seeking a national legal standard to ensure traffic justice (BikePortland)
       
    • With Complete Streets, Matsui says roads will be for everyone (BikePortland)
       
    • Dirt Rag publisher begins era of Bicycle Times (BikePortland)
       
    • What special interest lobbying is all about (BikePortland)
       
    • Blumenauer legislation would bulk up and clear up bike commuter benefit (BikePortland)
       
    • Bikes Belong Awards Five REI/BFC Grants (Bikes Belong)
       
    • National Bike Summit Summary (WashCycle)
       
  • Taking advantage of Mass Transit Stimulus Funds (Transport Politic)
     
  • Fast Buses vs. Light Rail: You Decide (New York Times)
     
  • In Hard Times, Public Places are More Important Than Ever (Worldchanging)
     
  • Biden announces stimulus funds for Amtrak (Boston Globe)
     
  • VP Biden Hails Amtrak Funding, Announces First Stimulus Projects (Transport Politic)
     

International news

  • Wiki Wednesday: Zurich, Where Transit Gets Priority on the Street (Streetsblog)
     
  • A Zero-Emissions City in the Desert (Technology Review)