May 4, 2011

Boris Bikes
Boris Bikes bike share in London
(Photo courtesy New York Times)


  • Rowdy Arlington crowd turns out for Massachusetts Ave. hearing (Boston Globe, Arlington Patch, Word on the Street)
    By Brock Parker -- Opponents to Arlington’s plan to reduce the number of travel lanes on Massachusetts Avenue made a boisterous showing Tuesday night at a state hearing on the project. Well over 400 people crowded into the Town Hall auditorium for a chance to voice their opinions on the project, including scores of opponents who held up paper "stop" signs to ask state Department of Transportation officials to halt the project. The lively crowd frequently erupted into applause when someone spoke in opposition to the proposed project, only to be gaveled into silence by Selectmen Chairwoman Clarissa Rowe, who struggled to keep a long line of speakers moving.
  • Hub set to launch bike-share program (Boston Globe, Boston Herald, WBUR, Brookline Patch, Streetsblog DC, AltTransport)
    By Eric Moskowitz -- Menino to sign deal worth nearly $6m today; 600 bikes, 61 stations to be ready by July
    As early as this summer, residents and visitors taking quick trips in Boston will be able to rent bicycles from dozens of sidewalk kiosks, under an agreement expected to be signed today that will create a bike-sharing network inspired by those in Paris and Washington. Boston officials said the system, to be called Hubway, will open in July with 600 bicycles and 61 stations in the city, though they envision growing in a few years to as many as 5,000 bikes at more than 300 kiosks, from Brookline to Somerville.
  • T projects $1.1 billion deficit over next 5 years (CommonWealth Magazine)
    The figure exceeds even the "bleak" estimates outlined in D'Alessandro's 2009 report
    By Paul McMorrow -- THE MASSACHUSETTS BAY Transportation Authority is facing a combined budget deficit of more than $1.1 billion over the next five years – a figure that exceeds even the “bleak” estimates outlined in David D’Alessandro’s sobering 2009 report on the agency’s troubled finances. According to an internal T budget document obtained by CommonWealth, a controversial plan to sell parking revenues to Wall Street would put the MBTA slightly ahead of D’Alessandro’s dire projections, but would still leave the agency grappling with a total of nearly $1 billion in deficits through 2016.
  • Promoting Bicycle Lanes as if They Were on the Ballot (New York Times)
    By Michael M. Grynbaum -- Struggling to control the controversy over one of its signature transportation policies, the Bloomberg administration is embarking on an unusual kind of political campaign: convincing New Yorkers that bicycle lanes are good for them. In a calculated shift, City Hall has turned to its savviest political strategist, Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson, to lead a stepped-up public-relations blitz aimed at strengthening support for the lanes and minimizing political fallout for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.
  • Life in the slow lane (Economist)
    Americans are gloomy about their economy’s ability to produce. Are they right to be? We look at two areas of concern, transport infrastructure and innovation
    America, despite its wealth and strength, often seems to be falling apart. American cities have suffered a rash of recent infrastructure calamities, from the failure of the New Orleans levees to the collapse of a highway bridge in Minneapolis, to a fatal crash on Washington, DC’s (generally impressive) metro system. But just as striking are the common shortcomings. America’s civil engineers routinely give its transport structures poor marks, rating roads, rails and bridges as deficient or functionally obsolete. And according to a World Economic Forum study America’s infrastructure has got worse, by comparison with other countries, over the past decade.
  • Out of Disaster, a Burst of Enthusiasm for Bicycling (New York Times)
    By Miki Tanikawa -- TOKYO -- Whenever Shigeki Kobayashi spots a salaryman on a bicycle with his bag in the front basket, he knows that he is watching a novice bike commuter: putting the heavy load up front makes steering harder, an elementary mistake. Mr. Kobayashi also realizes that someone is new to street cycling when the rider is on the sidewalk. Mr.Kobayashi is director of the Bicycle Usage Promotion Study Group, a nonprofit organization that promotes usage of bicycles in Tokyo. Since March 11, when an earthquake devastated northern Japan and rattled the Tokyo metropolitan area, the streets of Suginami ward, where he lives, have teemed with wobbly bikers pedaling their way to work.



  • Minus bridge, residents protest vicious Leverett Circle (Boston Herald)
  • In Somerville, a difficult crossing to bear (Boston Globe)
  • Stepping out: Communities look to paths and plazas to encourage walking (Boston Globe)
  • Campaign to make Hub's crosswalks safer kicks off (Boston Metro)
  • Walking To School (Revere Journal)
  • Pedestrian Crossing Installation at Jamaicaway and Eliot Slows Traffic (Jamaica Plain Patch)



  • Green Line Extension --
  • South Coast Rail Plan Wins International Award (MassDOT Blog)
  • Starts & Stops: With new system, commuter rail getting closer to sending more timely T-alerts (Boston Globe)
  • MBTA relaunches 'See Something, Say Something' (Boston Metro)
  • Making Sense of Amtrak's Vision for the Northeast (Transport Politic)
  • Green Line to nearly triple the number of 3-car trains (MBTA, MassDOT Blog, Allston-Brighton TAB)
  • Crashes Highlight Commercial Busing Concerns (Radio Boston)
  • T cashing in on Cambridge vending machine (Cambridge Chronicle)
  • Bus stop changes could come this summer (Jamaica Plain Gazette)
  • Leaders push for Danvers bus service (Salem News)
  • South Coast Rail: Preferred Route (MassDOT Blog)
  • What if the El Came Down in 1917? (Charlestown Patch)
  • The MBTA: GM's 1-year anniversary (FOX 25, Boston Metro)
  • Used Md. engine hailed as help for struggling commuter rail (Boston Globe)
  • Doubts on T parking revenue proposal (CommonWealth Magazine)
  • L.L. Bean, MBTA wrap up free ride deal (Boston Globe)
  • Starts & Stops: And the band is set to play on after students' efforts for Kendall Station; New managers fill key posts for commuter rail contractor (Boston Globe)
  • Mass. vies for Fla.'s spurned rail funds (Boston Globe)
  • MBTA to Release Real-Time Data for Commuter Rail, One-On-One Chat With @mbtaGM (BostInnovation)
  • The Ride to bankruptcy? T audit suggests way out (Boston Metro)
  • T projects $1.1 billion deficit over next 5 years (CommonWealth Magazine)
  • T advisory board backs cost shifting (CommonWealth Magazine)
  • T Worker Rescued After Falling 35 Feet at Charles St. (Back Bay Patch)
  • T Police: Soon to become state cops? (Boston Metro)
  • MBTA Holds Public Hearing on Renovating Hynes T Stop to Become Handicapped Accessible (Back Bay Patch)
  • T lays out plans to mute screeching Ashmont trolleys; some residents still unhappy, wonder about buses (Dorchester Reporter)
  • Somerville mayor requests $25M for Orange Line at Assembly Square (Somerville Journal)
  • T officials defend new station siting; abutters unmoved (Dorchester Reporter)
  • Starts & Stops: T's general manager commences car-free life by donating vehicle to charity; Other accident occurred at Charles/MGH Station in 1910; Vote on MBTA $1.66b budget plan looms (Boston Globe)
  • Editorial: Northeast must not let inertia doom hopes of high-speed rail (Boston Globe)
  • Governor aims to rein in auxiliary transit costs (Boston Globe)
  • T rehab proposal would close Gov't Center Station for years (Boston Herald)
    • Letter: Government Center isn't broken -- so don't spend millions fixing it (Boston Globe)
  • Boston's success depends on T (Boston Globe)
  • Music Returns to Kendall Square T Stop (Harvard Crimson, WBUR)
  • New website asks: 'How f-ed is the T?' (Boston Metro)
  • Officials says changes to get commuter rail service running on time (Boston Globe)
  • Funding transit in MA: We'll get there (CLF)
  • Giving amnesty to liars at MBTA is off track (Boston Herald)
  • Apps for commuter rail info on track to arrive next month (Boston Herald)
  • Green Line to get shorter for a few months (Universal Hub, Boston Globe)
  • MBTA selling North Station garage to stem red ink (Boston Herald)
  • Aiden Quinn: NTSB says driver texted, ran lights prior to trolley crash (Boston Metro)


Transportation financing/Government

Parks and Plazas

  • Rose Kennedy Greenway --
    • Greenway begins to bud (Boston Herald)
    • Objections raised to Greenway tax plan (Boston Globe)
    • The Greenway Open Market to launch this summer (BRA)
    • Greenway names a dozen food vendors for 2011 (Boston Globe)
  • Path funds diverted to Somerville Orange Line stop (Boston Globe)
  • BHCA Board Votes to Support Request for Anderson Memorial Bridge Underpass (Beacon Hill Times)
  • TEA Prepares for Charles Eliot Memorial Plaza Rehab (Beacon Hill Times)
  • Cambridge Eyesores: Complaints Rise Over Derelict Porter Square 'T' Park (CCTV)
  • Preliminary work on Muddy River restoration to being by month's end (Boston Globe)
  • A 10-year plan for City Hall Plaza (Boston Globe)
  • Off-leash dog bylaws give way to tension at Arlington's Board of Selectman meeting (Arlington Advocate)
  • Saying Goodbye to Olmsted's Elm (Brookline Patch)
  • Bay State Greenway Northern Trail Advances (MassDOT Blog)
  • Letter: River group's goal not noble (Cambridge Chronicle)
  • City to Break Ground on Second Phase of Boston Common Reservations (Beacon Hill Patch)
  • Medford to Undertake Action Plan for Recreational Spaces (Medford Patch)
  • VIDEO: Do You Support a Ban on Smoking in Public Parks? (Charlestown Patch)
  • Local Groups Clean Up the Fells (Medford Patch)
  • DCR Staff Unveils Updated Construction Plan and Schedule for Esplanade Playspace (Beacon Hill Times)
  • Sandwich shop coming to Boston Common's 'Pink Palace' (Boston Herald)
  • New mobile site helps guide you to green spaces around Boston (Boston Globe)
  • Greenway Headway (East Boston Times)
    • Editorial: In East Boston, a path of most resistance (Boston Globe)
  • New Willows Coming to the Esplanade on Arbor Day (Beacon Hill Times)
  • Olmsted's life, legacy fuel enduring fascination (Boston Globe)

Development projects

  • New Balance land grab (Boston Herald)
  • New Chinatown development moving forward (Boston Metro)
  • Editorial: Harvard wisely keeps its faith in science center in Allston (Boston Globe)
  • Belmont Uplands development opponents bring appeal to Beacon Hill (Cambridge Chronicle)
  • Editorial: Next to Greenway, a fine site for Boston history museum (Boston Globe)
  • Brookline Circle Cinema proposal goes to Town Meeting (Brookline TAB)
  • As MIT rises, so does its city (Boston Globe)
  • YMCA Dorms --
    • Don't let endless reviews thwart dorm at Huntington Y (Boston Globe)
    • City OKs dorm project at historic YMCA site (Boston Herald)
  • New Charles Circle building would benefit Hill residents (Boston Column)
  • Developer: Somerville project to break ground soon (Boston Globe)
  • Mayor Menino: Filene's pit? So what! (Boston Herald)
  • Editorial: Boston Needs to Learn, Not Teach, When it Comes to Urban Growth (Back Bay Patch)
  • Potential Plans Unveiled for Redevelopment of Boston Herald Offices (South End Patch)
  • Letter: $25 million is essential for Somerville's Assembly Square (Somerville Journal)
  • Worcester's next steps (Boston Globe)

Land Use/Planning


  • New York City --
    • Gridlock In City Poised To Become Worst In Country (NY1)
    • 520 Miles of Waterfront to Get Long-Range Plan (New York Times)
    • DOT Presents Scaled-Back Concept for 34th Street (Streetsblog)
    • New Yorkers Support Bicycle Lanes, Poll Finds (New York Times)
    • Not Quite Copenhagen (New York Magazine)
    • Go Online, Not Downtown, to Fight a Parking Ticket (New York Times)
    • Council Member Re-Introduces Bill Banning Cars in Central, Prospect Parks (WNYC)
    • Promoting Bicycle Lanes as if They Were on the Ballot (New York Times)
    • New Traffic Monitoring Toolkit Can Get You Started on Street Safety Activism (Streetsblog)
    • Caught Between Sidewalk and Street (New York Times)
    • Cop Nearly Doors Cyclist, Then Chases And Arrests Her (Gothamist)
    • Mayor Bloomberg announces latest results of Health Department Air Quality Study that shows air in Times Square is cleaner and healthier since pedestrian plazas were opened (NYC)
    • Editorial: New York's Green Grid (New York Times)
    • Mayor Bloomberg discusses the challenges and importance of reducing traffic fatalities at the road safety meeting hosted by World Bank & Inter-American Development Bank (NYC)
    • Bike Lanes Hit New Traffic (Wall Street Journal)
    • New Study: The Parking Placard On That Car Is Probably Illegal (Streetsblog)
  • New Britain to Hartford Busway in the Works (The Recorder, Hartford Courant, New Britain Herald, Business Week)
  • More San Francisco parking spots to be converted to 'parklets' (San Francisco Examiner)
  • Why Do Drivers Hate Cyclists? (Chicago Magazine)
  • Delaware Woman Climbs Into Her Basketball Hoop To Protest State Ripping It Out (Consumerist)
  • Boulder Exploring New Parking, Bike Lane Improvements (Mass Transit)
  • Move Seattle forward by moving past tired, old road debate (Seattle Times)
  • Paradigm Shift in Charleston: County Leaders Reject Highway Expansion (Streetsblog DC)
  • Cash incentives spur bike commutes at OHSU (BikePortland)
  • Southern California's First Separated Bike Lanes Open in Long Beach (GOOD)
  • 10-mph Speed Limit Proposed for Golden Gate Bridge Bicyclists (Streetsblog SF, San Francisco Chronicle)
  • Speed Bumps in the Path of the Bicycle Juggernaut (New York Times)
  • Amid Controversy, Memphis Advocates Fire Up Campaign for Bike Lanes (ABW)
  • Popular Bikeshare Expands in D.C. (WAMU)
  • Some Orlando neighborhoods getting sidewalks (Miami Herald)
  • Washington Considers Annual Flat Fee for Electric Cars (AOL News)
  • Desperate sprawl developer gives away cars with houses (Grist)
  • Signal Timing and Pedestrian Safety: A Case Study From Baltimore (Streetsblog)
  • House passes cut to gas tax (Concord Monitor)
  • A Growing Living Streets Community Emerges in Redding, California (Streetsblog SF)

National trends

  • High-Speed Rail --
    • Deciphering Conservatives Objections to the Obama Administration's High-Speed Rail Program (Transport Politic)
    • Low-speed rail (Observer News)
    • California goes after all of Florida's high-speed rail money (Los Angeles Times)
    • U.S. high-speed rail 'myths' debunked (CNN)
    • 2011 High-Speed Rail Funding Eliminated (Infrastructurist)
    • Rush Hour Read: Governor's Lawyer Misled Florida Supreme Court in High-Speed Rail Case (Infrastructurist)
    • Chamber turns to tough talk on Scott, SunRail (Orlando Sentinal)
    • Editorial: How Not to Plan for the Future (New York Times)
    • Riled about rail: Why all the anger over high speed trains? (CNN)
  • An Assessment of Urban Form and Pedestrian and Transit Improvements as an Integrated GHG Reduction Strategy (WSDOT) [pdf]
  • Cities release Bikeway Design Guide (Bikes Belong)
  • Google Maps Adds Electic Car Charging Station Locations (AltTransport)
  • Fatter Passengers May Lead to Bus Design Changes in U.S. (Bloomberg)
  • Five myths about gas prices (Washington Post)
  • The End Of The Road: Saying Goodbye to Freeways (NPR)
  • Bikes That Deserve a Hand (Wall Street Journal)
  • The Nation's Crumbling Infrastructure (The Diane Rehm Show)
  • City's design, transit system can ease gas costs (USA TODAY)
  • Contraflow Bike Lanes Deemed Acceptable by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration (The City Fix)
  • The latest battle in the nonexistent 'War on Cars' (Grist)
  • VIDEO: MBA: Highway Removal (Streetfilms)
  • Kicking Parking Minimums to the Curb (ITDP)
  • Will you commute via 'personal rapid transit?' (CNN)
  • Transportation for America Calls on Congress to Fix Nation's Bridges (Streetsblog DC)
  • Sales of fuel-efficient autos stall despite high gas prices (USA TODAY)
  • The Megabus Effect (Bloomberg Businessweek)
  • Average car ownership nearly $9,000 a year, says AAA (Boston Globe)
  • 30 mph traffic is too fast for children to judge accurately, study finds (New Urban Network)
  • New Study: Americans (Mostly) Prefer Smart Growth to Sprawl (Infrastructurist, TRB [pdf])
  • How many of your tax dollars went to passenger trains? (NARP)
  • Green bikeways get interim federal approval (BikePortland)
  • VIDEO: MBTA: The Right Price for Parking (Streetfilms)
  • Will state DOTs target bicycle and pedestrian funds in recissions? (LAB)
  • "An increasing movement toward more walkable cities" (Smart Growth America)
  • Now You Can Edit Google Maps, Add Bike, Walking Paths (Transportation Nation)
  • Distracted Driving: How Bad Are Texting or Cellphones Behind the Wheel? (ABC News)
  • VIDEO: MBA: Parking Reform (Streetfilms)
  • 'Complete streets' speeds past a milestone (New Urban Network)
  • VIDEO: Bike-Riding Basics (Martha Stewart)
  • Walk friendly communities offer residents a gas-saving, healthy alternative (US DOT)
  • Drivers Cut Back on $4 Gas (Wall Street Journal)
  • Amtrak May Receive High-Speed Rail Money (AltTransport)
  • Life in the slow lane (Economist)

International news

  • England --
    • Boris Bikes Roll in London (New York Times)
    • Driving the electric Rolls-Royce (BBC)
    • Will London's New Wayfinding System Get More People Walking? (This Big City, The City Fix)
    • Is dangerous cycling a problem? (BBC)
    • Bubble car business takes off in Lincolnshire (BBC)
    • Save our cyclists: Clamour for flood of avoidable road deaths to be stemmed (Independent)
    • Jon Snow backs 'Save our cyclists' campaign (Independent)
  • China --
    • VIDEO: Guangzhou, China: Winning The Future With BRT (Streetfilms)
    • China's car sales ride 6.5% in March as market rebounds (BBC)
    • China to remove luxury seats from bullet trains to make rides cheaper (Economic Times)
    • Should China Hit the Brakes on Infrastructure Development? (Infrastructurist)
    • New Report: China's Rapid Motorization Calls for Efficient Public Transit (The City Fix)
    • China's train wreck (Washington Post)
  • Delhi Gets a Metro Line for the Airport (The City Fix)
  • 83-Year-Old Japanese Woman Escapes Tsunami -- By Bike (TIME)
  • Australians Have Learned to Drive Less (Miller-McCune)
  • Toronto Set to Launch Bike-Sharing Program (The City Fix)
  • Ditching bike helmet laws better for health (The Conversation)
  • Cyclists Bike for Cleaner Air in the Philippines (NTDTV)
  • VIDEO: Delays at traffic light controlled crossings (A view from the cycle path)
  • Out of Disaster, a Burst of Enthusiasm for Bicycling (New York Times)
  • Transit to Empty Fields (The Overhead Wire)
  • 50% On Bike By 2012! No... 2015! No... 2025! (Copenhagenize)
  • When parking space becomes tight (A view from the cycle path)