October 31, 2011

Alaskan Way Viaduct
Demolition of Alaskan Way Viaduct in Seattle begins
(Photo courtesy of Seattle PI)


  • Gateway East project progresses in Brookline (Brookline TAB)
    By Ashley Studley -- Selectmen voted to send a 25 percent design of the Gateway East project to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Jeff Levine, the town’s director of planning and development, said there are still some details to work out, but that developers are ready to start moving on the project. He said this project, which seeks to remove an abandoned pedestrian bridge, reshape Route 9 and redesign a jug handle on Walnut Street, has been in the works for six years.
  • South Shore pedestrians push for more sidewalks (Boston Globe)
    By Johanna Seltz -- Pedestrians trying to get from one part of Hanover to another - or even from one mall to the next - quickly find that the sidewalk ends before they reach their destination. Walkers can see McDonald’s on Route 53 from nearby Panera Bread, for example, but they can’t get there on foot without going in the street or trudging through grass or gravel on the right of way. A sidewalk appears farther down Route 53 and goes all the way past Target, only to suddenly disappear again.
  • Mock Green Line groundbreaking drives point in Somerville (Boston Globe)
    By Matt Byrne -- Scores of Green Line extension supporters decrying the continued delay of the project rallied yesterday outside Somerville High School, where state transportation officials held a public hearing. At the mock groundbreaking, supporters handed out green plastic shovels, rolled out a literal green line symbolizing their goal, and repeated the mantra "We are shovel-ready." "The people of Somerville have suffered long enough," said Julia Prange of the LivableStreets Alliance, a sustainable urban planning group. "Let's raise our shovels and get this project back on track. "
  • Bike to the Sea Trail construction begins in Malden (Malden Observer, Malden Patch)
    Construction of the three mile Bike to the Sea Trail through Malden is scheduled to begin this coming week.  The Bike to the Sea Trail in Malden is approximately three miles long and will extend from the Everett line near the Madeline English School to Beach Street (Linden Square) in Malden.  The trail will be constructed on the abandoned railroad right-of-way.  The trail will be a twelve feet wide hard-packed surface that can be used by pedestrians, bicyclists and other non-motorized forms of transportation, with the exception of public safety and maintenance vehicles.
  • Post-Katrina street re-paving program help transform New Orleans into a bicycle-friendly city (Star Tribune)
    By Cain Burdeau -- For decades, blogger Joseph Donnelly saw few improvements for urban cyclists like himself in New Orleans, so he used the title of a website he started five years ago as a call to arms: "How To Start A Revolution In An Unfriendly Bike City." But a push by the city to use Hurricane Katrina recovery money to make the roads more accommodating has left him with little choice but to scrap the label in favor of something more prosaic. Since 2007, the city has used about $100 million in federal rebuilding dollars to lay 56 miles of new asphalt on 55 heavily used streets, transforming potholed boulevards into smooth blacktops ideal for bike riding. Under the city's Submerged Roads Program, bike lanes have also been painted on 15 streets, giving the city about 40 miles of bike-friendly pathway. There are plans to pave 26 more streets.
  • Are we reaching 'peak car'? (Globe and Mail)
    By Anita Elash -- Anyone who has been stuck in big-city gridlock lately may find this hard to believe, but millions of Westerners are giving up their cars. Experts say our love affair with the automobile is ending, and that could change much more than how we get around – it presents both an opportunity and an imperative to rethink how we build cities, how governments budget and even the contours of the political landscape. The most detailed picture of the trend comes from the United States, where the distance driven by Americans per capita each year flatlined at the turn of the century and has been dropping for six years. By last spring, Americans were driving the same distance as they had in 1998.
    Related: U.S. road travel falls to lowest levels since 2003 (USA TODAY)
  • Commuting to work is 'bad for your health' (unless you cycle or go by foot...) (Daily Mail)
    By Sadie Whitelocks -- Workers who commute by car, bus or train to the office are more likely to suffer from stress and exhaustion, according to a study. Scientists assessed 12,000 employees aged between 18 and 65. They found that those who travelled to work by car or public transport reported higher levels of stress and tiredness compared to active commuters who travelled by foot or bicycle. It is now expected that the study, from Lund Unversity in Sweden, will encourage further investigation into the health impacts of commuting and the best forms of transportation.






Transportation financing/Government


Development projects


  • New York City --
    • A Gentle Push for Bikers, Not a Shove (New York Times)
    • City Aims for Teamwork to End Dig-Pave-Dig Cycle on Roads (New York Times)
    • A Counterintuitive Trash Plan: Remove Bins in Subway Stations (New York Times)
  • Post-Katrina street re-paving program help transform New Orleans into a bicycle-friendly city (Star Tribune)
  • Charging Stations Multiply But Electric Cars Are Few (Wall Street Journal)
  • In New Haven, Debating the Best Road Forward (The Atlantic Cities)
  • The Surprising Rise of Minneapolis as a Top Bike Town (Citiwire.net)
  • Alaskan Way Viaduct closure, demolition begin (Seattle PI)
  • Meet Dezy Walls, the "Pianobike Kid" (BikePortland)
  • Maryland's Governor Explains his War on Sprawl (The Atlantic Cities)

National trends

International news

  • Project Calgary: Half of downtown commuters take bus, C-Train (Calgary Herald)
  • Rewarding London Residents for Exercising (Fast Co.Exist)
  • Riding a bike. GQ magazine style. (ibikelondon)
  • Intersections and Play (Queens University)
  • Are we reaching 'peak car'? (Globe and Mail)
  • VIDEO: Jan Gehl on the Past 40 Years of Urbanism (Planetizen)
  • Transformation of a city centre street (A view from the cycle path)
  • Cycling to work to become Moscow's reality (RT)
  • Athenians Take To Bicycles To Ride Out Crisis (NPR)
  • There's more to 'going Dutch' than having a separate cycling lane (Guardian)
  • VIDEO: An American in Amsterdam on Dutch Cycling Policy (Streetfilms)
  • Corridor Density Plan Triples Housing Values [Vancouver] (Planetizen)
  • Commuting to work is 'bad for your health' (unless you cycle or go by foot...) (Daily Mail)