Issue #35 / June 2009
The demand for LivableStreets programs and services keeps growing, and we're trying to keep up with a growing range of activity, but we need your help to maintain our success. Please think of all the ways that you know LivableStreets has already made a difference in our region, think of all that you've learned from attending LivableStreets events, and then click here to become a 2009 member today for less than $5 a month!
In this issue:
Barcelona, by Marius Navazo, Thur, June 25, 7-9 pm >>>
· Join LivableStreets Alliance team at Hub On Wheels, Sun, Sept 27 >>>
· Public Meeting: Craigie bridges reconstruction project, Thur, June 11, 6:30-8
· Contact your Senator: National Safe Routes To School Bill Submitted
. State Needs to Reduce Traffic as Well As Repair Bridges over Charles River
· Cambridge Bicycle Block Party Supports Community & LivableStreets Alliance
· Bike Ride and Healthy Cooking Event with Governor Patrick at Bikes Not Bombs
· New York City Moves Forward: Noah Budnick speaks at LivableStreets StreetTalk
· Arlington St. T Station finally accessible
· New film titled 'Lanes' on LivableStreets' film page
· Redesign of Mass Ave in East Arlington moves forward
· Arlington Schools remove bike ban
For a full list of events and public meetings, click here for our calendar >>>
StreetTalk: Thur, June 25 @ 7pm
What we can learn from Spain: Urban mobility planning in Barcelona
by Marius Navazo, Urban Planner, Barcelona, Spain
@ LivableStreets office, 100 Sidney St [ map...]
What are the results of implementing better transit networks, traffic calming zones, and a bike sharing program? Are these measures always environmentally-friendly? Are they enough to create better places to live and enjoy? Learn about the development of urban mobility plans in Greater Barcelona and Catalonia, Spain. See what the Catalan Government is encouraging municipalities to do.
(photo: a typical day walking down Les Rambles, Barcelona)
Marius Navazo is a geographer who has been working for the last 10 years in town and regional planning, focused on transportation and its impacts to improve cities from a social and environmental perspective. He has been working at the Catalan Government for the last 4 years, and now he is a freelancer working for different municipalities in the Barcelona area. Marius is currently a 6 month visiting fellow at the LivableStreets Alliance.
For more information about this StreetTalk, click here.
free and open to the public, donation suggested, beer/sodas provided compliments of Harpoon Brewery and delivered thanks to Metro Pedal Power!
Sponsored by LivableStreets Alliance. For more information about StreetTalks,
Join the LivableStreets Team at Hub on Wheels
Hub On Wheels, Boston Mayor Menino's annual Bike Ride & Festival, has played a critical role in raising public awareness for the Boston Bikes program. LivableStreets has been involved in Hub On Wheels since its inception. This year, you can both join the city-wide ride and support LivableStreets (at no extra cost)
Ride 10, 30 or 50 miles on September 27, 2009. Pre and post events for team members, LivableStreets T-shirts to wear on the ride, and more!
Register online now here!
Action e-lert: Charles River Craigie bridges reconstruction project public meeting
DCR to announce construction and redesign plans for Craigie Dam & Drawbridge (bridge in front of Museum of Science)
Thur, June 11, 6:30-8 pm @ MIT's Stata Center rm. 55, 32 Vassar St, Cambridge
LivableStreets Alliance and others have been advocating for the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) to not simply rebuild the bridges, but to incorporate improvements for pedestrians, cyclists, transit, as well as cars. The DCR has acknowledged the legitimacy of our concerns. Come to this meeting to make sure that the final plans include the promised improvements.
For more background on the Craigie bridges, check out our project page here.
Action e-lert: Contact your Senator about the National Safe Routes to School Bill
As the jockeying begins to shape the upcoming national transportation funding bill, five Senators have introduced a bill requiring a major expansion of the national Safe Routes To School program. LivableStreets Alliance believes that making our streets safe for the most vulnerable - the young, the aging, the disabled - will make it safer for everyone who walks, bikes, or uses a car. We have joined the Transportation For America (T4A) coalition and support its efforts to set progressive National Transportation Objectives.
Take action: Urge your Senators to become co-sponsors of S.1156.
Go to www.saferoutespartnership.org/national/5890/5904/254381
For more information, check out the T4A platform here.
StreetView:State Needs to Reduce Traffic as Well As Repair Bridges over Charles River
Every bridge in the lower Charles River basin (except Mass Ave bridge) is going to get repaired over the next five years or so. We hope the end result will be more solid structures better able to safely serve pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit vehicles as well as cars, as well as improved access to the river-side parklands. However, the construction period will cause a massive reduction in the system's cross-river carrying capacity. It is true, as shown by much research and Boston's own Big Dig experience, that traffic tends to shrink (or expand) along with the road system's carrying capacity - meaning that the fewer roads there are the fewer cars try to use them. (Conversely, it also means that building more roads or lanes to relieve congestion will only attract more drivers until the new roads are over crowded as well.) But no matter how much traffic shrinks, there will still be a lot of people trying to drive across the Charles River every day. It is vital that state and municipal governments immediately start making it easier for people to switch from single-occupancy vehicles to car pools, transit and bikes before the bridge repair work brings the whole region to a gridlock.
Cambridge Bicycle Block Party Supports Community
Cambridge Bicycle shop threw a party for the community on May 21, with food donated by Toscanini's and Middle East, and beer donated by Wachusetts Beer. Proceeds from the raffle were donated to LivableStreets Alliance in recognition of our work to improve conditions for everyone on two wheels.
Thank you Cambridge Bicycle and to everyone who came out and made the Block Party a huge success!
Bike Ride and Healthy Cooking Event with Governor Patrick at Bikes Not Bombs
On May 30, a bike ride from the state house to Bikes Not Bombs sponsored by the Governor's Office and Harvard School of Public Health, and organized by LivableStreets Board member, Steve Miller, culminated in a healthy food cooking demonstration by Governor Patrick and TV chef Ming Tsai (owner of Blue Ginger restaurant). Teenage Bike Not Bombs participants led the bike ride and helped with the cooking demo, all of which was done to promote the state's new "Mass In Motion" wellness campaign.
For more on the Mass In Motion campaign, click here.
New York City moves forward: Noah Budnick speaks at LivableStreets StreetTalk
New York City has put political muscle behind new Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Kahn's vision of a multi-modal urban transportation system that reduces congestion, lowers pollution, promotes local business, supports public health - and makes everything safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers.
(photo: Broadway now 'open' to people in Times Square, NYC)
LivableStreets hosted Noah Budnick from NYC Transportation Alternatives at our May StreetTalk who talked about the vision and years of both city-level and neighborhood-level work that laid the foundation for the current leap forward. It was a full house with over 80 attendees!
Arlington St T station finally accessible
Thanks to years of advocacy (including by Chris Hart, LivableStreets Board member and on the staff of the Institute for Human Centered Design) and the availability of Green Line modernization funds, three new elevators have been installed that allow access to disabled riders for the first time ever since the stop opened 90 years ago.
New film about bicycle lanes on Comm Ave and Mass Ave on LivableStreets film page
"Lanes" by local filmmaker Matthew Hashiguchi is brief documentary on bicycle lanes in Boston that compares two main avenues; Commonwealth Avenue and Massachusetts Avenue.
Featuring LivableStreets advisor Peter Furth, LivableStreets board member Ken Kruckemeyer, and LivableStreets former board member Phil Goff.
Redesign of Mass Ave in East Arlington moves forward
A one mile stretch of the four-lane Mass Ave free-for-all is currently being redesigned for a potential lane reduction to slow traffic and accommodate bike lanes and wider sidewalks in the business district. While critics worry about reduced capacity, the East Arlington Livable Streets Coalition continues to educate the community on the benefits of the lane reduction and continues to fight for a good design that will make Mass Ave a more safe and vibrant street for all users. Town planners will soon finalize their 25% design submission and later this summer, Mass Highway will hold their 25% public hearing.
Arlington Schools remove bike ban
Several years of effort by neighborhood advocates has resulting in the lifting of a ban on bicycling at the Hardy Elementary School. A pilot Safe Routes To School effort has begun to demonstrate that kids can be safe and that pre-school exercise helps them pay attention in class.