May 24, 2009

Vauban, Germany
Car-free street in Vauban, Germany
(Photo courtesy New York Times)
 

Highlights

  • Mass. Ave. bike lane future is looking up (Dorchester Reporter)
    By Pete Stidman -- Bike lane advocates took a hit last week when a lawsuit meant to force the city to paint lanes on Mass Avenue was dismissed by Justice of the Superior Court Geraldine Hines. In the process, however, the bicyclists may have won a larger battle. Responding to both the lawsuit and a new policy to add bike lanes wherever possible, the city of Boston has submitted a new plan for Mass Ave. to Mass Highway. If accepted by state and federal agencies, the new street plan will retain a median the neighborhood has been clamoring for, and add bike lanes.
Vauban, Germany
Car-free street in Vauban, Germany
(Photo courtesy New York Times)
 

Highlights

  • Mass. Ave. bike lane future is looking up (Dorchester Reporter)
    By Pete Stidman -- Bike lane advocates took a hit last week when a lawsuit meant to force the city to paint lanes on Mass Avenue was dismissed by Justice of the Superior Court Geraldine Hines. In the process, however, the bicyclists may have won a larger battle. Responding to both the lawsuit and a new policy to add bike lanes wherever possible, the city of Boston has submitted a new plan for Mass Ave. to Mass Highway. If accepted by state and federal agencies, the new street plan will retain a median the neighborhood has been clamoring for, and add bike lanes.

     

  • Shopping at Downtown Crossing (Radio Boston)
    By Mark Navin -- Downtown Crossing has been a vibrant retail center for decades. On Newbury, you might be able to find the height of fashion, at similarly lofty prices, but Downtown Crossing has always been where you go if you just need some new clothes for work, at more reasonable prices. Parents bring their kids there on the subway to shop for school clothes, and city kids hang out there in the same way that their suburban counterparts populate “the mall.”

     

  • Honk, Honk, Aaah (New York Magazine)
    Janette Sadik-Khan, the city’s Transportation commissioner, manages to be equal parts Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses. As she prepares to close swaths of Broadway to cars next week, she is igniting a peculiar new culture war—over the role of the automobile in New York.
    By Michael Crowley -- Sometime early Sunday morning this Memorial Day weekend, a work crew from the New York City Department of Transportation will arrive in Times Square. Waiting for a pause in traffic, the team will close off Broadway at 47th Street, directing southbound cars east to Seventh Avenue. In the weeks to come, construction workers will refashion the next five blocks of the boulevard, turning one of the world’s most congested stretches of asphalt into a 58,000-foot pedestrian plaza.
    Related: In the Future, the City's Streets Are to Behave (New York Times)

     

  • VIDEO: Blueprint America: Road to the Future (PBS)
    Host and veteran correspondent Miles O’Brien goes to three very different American cities - Denver, New York and Portland, and their surrounding suburbs - to look at each as a microcosm of the challenges and possibilities the country faces as citizens, local and federal officials, and planners struggle to manage a growing America with innovative transportation and sustainable land use policies.

     

  • The Long, Ugly Road to a Federal Transportation Plan (Streetsblog)
    By Elana Schor -- You've likely been hearing a lot, on this blog and others, about the coming expiration of the federal transportation bill. Come September 30, Congress has to have a plan in hand to fund the nation's trains, buses, bikes, bridges and roads -- or pass an extension of the 2005 federal bill, locking in the same spending patterns that have nurtured Americans' addiction to the automobile.  But the odds are that you haven't heard much about how the process works. What has to happen in order for Congress to meet that September deadline?

     

  • In German Suburb, Life Goes On Without Cars (New York Times)
    By Elizabeth Rosenthal -- VAUBAN, Germany — Residents of this upscale community are suburban pioneers, going where few soccer moms or commuting executives have ever gone before: they have given up their cars. Street parking, driveways and home garages are generally forbidden in this experimental new district on the outskirts of Freiburg, near the French and Swiss borders. Vauban’s streets are completely “car-free” — except the main thoroughfare, where the tram to downtown Freiburg runs, and a few streets on one edge of the community. Car ownership is allowed, but there are only two places to park — large garages at the edge of the development, where a car-owner buys a space, for $40,000, along with a home.
    Related: Car-Free in America? (New York Times)
     

"Streets"

Walking

Bicycling

  • VIDEO: Hal Grades Your Bike Locking 3: The Final Warning! (Streetfilms)
     
  • The Liberty Hotel Bike Service (Chic Cyclist)
     
  • Big Victory for Cycling in Arlington, MA: Bike to School Ban Lifted at the Hardy Elementary School (Bici Pazza)
     
  • Alderman push bike initiatives (Somerville News)
     

Transit

Cars/Parking

  • Zipcar, MBTA expand partnership (Boston Globe)
     
  • City Plan to Allow Residential Zipcar Parking Sparks Controversy (CCTV)
     
  • Traveling? Get a hybrid on demand from Cambridge's PlanetTran (Cambridge Chronicle)
     
  • Ban on driver texting backed (Boston Globe)
     

Transportation financing/Government

Parks

  • The Charles River Esplanade moves closer to landmark status (Back Bay Sun)
     
  • Waterfront site must open to public (Boston Globe)
     
  • Greenway tries to build traffic, but there's a long way to go (CommonWealth Unbound)
     
  • Northeast trails in race for rail funds (Boston Globe)
     
  • A wild-goose chase, yes, but arsenal grows (Boston Globe)
     
  • Brookline inks deal to move ahead with Muddy River overhaul (Brookline TAB)
     

Development projects

Land Use/Zoning

Out-of-state

National trends

  • Transportation for America Releases Blueprint for Transportation Reform (Streetsblog SF)
     
  • Promoting Social Equity Through Transit Fares (Transport Politic)
     
  • Why is it so hard to build a train? (Planetizen)
     
  • 2009: A Defining Year For Transportation in U.S. (Infrastructurist)
     
  • Car-Free in America? (New York Times)
     
  • BICYCLES: Why can't Johnny ride? (Baltimore Spokes)
     
  • America's Streets Aren't Ready for Aging Drivers, Pedestrians (AARP)
     
  • Will Obama's Team Pump Up Support For Cyclists? (WIRED)
     
  • Stop This Train! Are trains slower now than they were in the 1920s? (Slate)
     
  • Sucky commute? Turn the rage into action at new website (BikePortland)
     
  • Ray Lahood, Transformed (Newsweek)
    • George Will's Irritable Mental Gestures (Yglesias)
       
    • Portland Congressman to George Will: Let's Debate (Streetsblog)
       
  • The Long, Ugly Road to a Federal Transportation Plan (Streetsblog)
     
  • New Poll: Americans Can't Imagine Life Without Cars, Even While Using Them Less (Infrastructurist)
     
  • VIDEO: Blueprint America: Road to the Future (PBS)
     
  • Demographic trends now favor downtown (MSNBC)
     
  • Talking Trains With Michael Dukakis, Part 1 (Infrastructurist)
     
  • LaHood defends mass transit push (Boston Globe)
     

International news