Issue #61 / February 2012

In this issue
  •  Action e-lert: MBTA - Your transit at stake
  •  Why?
  •  4th Annual Boston Bike Update & social, February 28
  •  Better Bridge Campaign: Longfellow Bridge project update
  •  Welcome full time staff member, Kara Oberg
  •  BIG thanks to all volunteers 
  •  LivableStreets in the news
  •  The public way: latest blog postings

 Calendar: Click here to view full listing of upcoming events and public meetings


Action e-lert 


MBTA - Your transit at stake 


Half of the MBTA public meetings are already over, so be sure to get involved now before it is too late! We need your help in asking all of our Senators and Legislators in the Statehouse to develop a long-term funding plan for transit.


Attend Night of Action Save Mass Transit eventTuesday, February 21 at Bikes Not Bombs Hub, 284 Amory Street in Jamaica Plain. Fair increase and service cuts are not the only options. Join us in demanding a true solution from our elected representatives. Come hear stories of how community members will be affected by these proposals and then take action by phone banking, letter writing and sharing your own transportation story.


Show your support If you haven't attended one of the MBTA public hearings, now is the time. The MBTA just added 6 new meetings in Winthrop, Haverhill, Revere, Fitchburg, Hull and Brighton. Show your support for transit and the MBTA (full list of meetings here)

LivableStreets giving public testimony


Invite Ask friends, colleagues, family members and neighbors to attend the Night of Action: Save Mass Transit event and/or a public meeting with you. The more people that are aware of the issues, the better our chances of bringing about real change in transportation funding. Forward this email on to 5 people as an invitation.


Volunteer Help pass out Citizen Information handouts and collect postcard signatures at T stops and public meetings. Email for details.


Learn Visit our website to find out more about the current proposal and the bigger transportation funding problem. We have compiled some useful talking points. The more you know, the better you can explain it to others. 


Give LivableStreets is part of broader coalitions working on progressive transportation funding - On The Move Transportation Justice Coalition (OTM) and the Transportation for Massachusetts (T4MA). Join or renew your LivableStreets membership today and be proud to join thousands of others in the larger movement for good transportation in Boston.





Part 6, on why LivableStreets is working to create safe streets for all, and a world-class transportation system for you.  


"The typical American devotes more than 1500 hours a year (which is 30 hours a week, or 4 hours a day, including Sundays) to his/her car. This includes the time spent behind the wheel, both in motion and stopped, the hours of work to pay for it and to pay for gas, tires, tolls, insurance, tickets, and taxes. Thus it takes this American 1500 hours to go 6000 miles (in the course of a year). Three and a half miles take him/her one hour. In countries that do not have a transportation industry, people travel at exactly this speed on foot, with the added advantage that they can go wherever they want and aren't restricted to asphalt roads." -The Social Ideology of the Motorcar, André Gorz


What's happening 


4th Annual Boston Bike Update

with Nicole Freedman, Director of Boston Bikes, City of Boston  


Boston Public Library, Rabb Lecture Hall, 700 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

Tuesday, February 28, 5:45-8:30 pm

   5:45 pm Transportation community showcase: meet each other, & learn what

   different groups are doing to make Boston a world-class bicycling city (Rabb lobby)

   6:15 pm Presentation by Mayor Menino

   6:30 pm Presentation by Nicole Freedman
   7:30 pm Q&A/Discussion
   8:45 pm Social hour @ Solas, 2nd floor, 710 Boylston Street (right next to the library)


Hosted by LivableStreets Alliance. Free and open to the public. 

If you see the orange LivableStreets biker around town, take a pic and post to our Facebook wall & Twitter for chance to win prize before event!


Have you taken a ride around town on a Hubway bike yet? Has there been a new bike lane installed in your neighborhood this past year? Have you heard about the Boston Bike Network Plan? If yes, then you know that 2011 has been a big year for bicycling in Boston.


For the fourth year in a row, LivableStreets Alliance will host the annual Boston Bike Update event. Nicole Freedman, Director of the Boston Bikes Program, will present her fourth report on past achievements, challenges, and future goals of the Mayor's effort to create a "world class bicycling city." Come hear details on the Hubway bike share, the Bike Network Plan, parking facilities, youth programs, festivals, and more. 

Special guest, Mayor Menino, will speak about his "car is no longer king policy" for the city. Introduction will be by Steve Miller, LivableStreets Board Member.


Join us at this public forum on bicycle planning in Boston, and join us afterwards for a social hour.


> Invite friends on Facebook

> Tweet #BostonBikeUpdate @StreetsBoston

> Print a flyer to hang in your office, local shop or at your school  

> More information: / 617.621.1746 /

> To participate in community showcase, contact

> Cannot attend, but still want to support this annual event? Donate today


Thank you to sponsors: 

     Jason & Fischer   

> For sponsorship opportunities, please contact


Better Bridges Campaign


current (top), conceptual drawing of 2011 advocates' vision (bottom)
> Longfellow Bridge

You might have heard that the Longfellow Bridge project is moving forward. LivableStreets is really excited about progress, but we're not sure about the details yet. We are coordinating meetings to review the 150-page assessment with advocates from bike, pedestrian, environmental, and disability-access groups; including, WalkBoston, MassBike, Institute for Human Centered Design, Boston Cyclists Union, Esplanade Association, Charles River Conservancy. 


Stay tuned for more updates, and mark your calendar with upcoming public meetings where you can voice your opinion:


Longfellow Bridge public meeting Thurs, March 1, 7:00-9:00pm @ State Transportation Building, Conference Rooms 1, 2 & 3, 10 Park Plaza, Boston


> River Street/Western Ave Bridges 

Public meetings are being scheduled for March 2012. Check out our calendarfor updates.


> BU Bridge

LivableStreets in the Boston Globe: 

"...the LivableStreets Alliance was out celebrating the completion [of the BU Bridge] by handing out baked goods and asking passersby to sign postcards... 'It has been so long in coming,' said Elizabeth Reed of Jamaica Plain, an MIT dean who has been biking to and from her Cambridge office for more than 30 years. She stopped to sign a postcard for MassDOT, one of hundreds LivableStreets collected, happy to thank them for improving what had long been the most harrowing part of her commute. 'It's taken a long time, but I think it will be really worth it.'..." Click here to read full Boston Globe article >>>

Read more about the BU Bridge here >>> 

Welcome new staff member, Kara Oberg

LivableStreets is thrilled to announce that Kara Oberg has been hired as Program Coordinator, our second full-time staff person! 


Kara with LivableStreets member Tom

Kara is responsible for our membership, volunteer, and events programs. Above all, she is building upon and growing all our campaigns, including Better Bridges and MBTA Campaigns this winter. Kara originally joined LivableStreets team in November 2010 as an intern and then part-time staff in 2011 while she was finishing a Master of City Planning degree at Boston University. "She has been a tremendous asset and we are so excited to have her on board for this next year," says Jackie Douglas, LivableStreets Director. Before moving to Boston, Kara lived in Madrid, Spain, where she marveled at Madrid's subway system and walked through countless plazas. In her time abroad, she saw the transportation possibilities for cities and hopes to help bring about a world-class transportation system in the Boston region. She obtained a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Ithaca College.


If you haven't already, please introduce yourself and welcome Kara to her new position. Kara can be reached by e-mail at or by phone at 617.621.1746.


Big thanks to all volunteers


volunteers Dan and Jed

LivableStreets is growing, but not just in the number of staff... The number of volunteers is growing - making all our work possible! We'd like to show our appreciation for all volunteers for their outstanding efforts, and take this opportunity to thank a few key people for their recent hard work and enthusiasm.

  • Kevin Wolfson is lead advocate for our work on the Casey Overpass project in Boston. He represents LivableStreets on the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Working Advisory Group, which advises MassDOT and their team of consultants on design alternatives
  • Carice Pingenot is an Advocacy Committee member who is working on the Longfellow Bridge project, doing outreach for our MBTA transportation funding campaign, and much more. 
  • Melissa Santley is the Boston Bike Update Event Assistant. Melissa is coordinating outreach on the street, and assisting with operations to make the 4th annual event on February 28 the best one yet.
  • Steve Nutter is an Advocacy Committee member working on the McGrath project, helping plan future campaigns, and setting up the latest technology to keep our office running smoothly. 

And thank you to LivableStreets Board of Directors, who in addition to governing the organization, are also out advocating for the change we wish to see in the world. 

For more about who is who at LivableStreets and to find out about volunteer opportunities, check out        


LivableStreets in the news


"...Drivers, bikers and pedestrians have been pitted against each other, fighting for road and sidewalk space in Boston for as long as any one can remember. But the non-profit group LivableStreets Alliance is looking to change that. 'We aim to bring together separate groups, who are like-minded in wanting to improve urban transportation, but wouldn't necessarily get together on their own,' says Jackie Douglas, the group's executive director... Douglas explains this vision is about making seamless connections between modes of transportation: buses, bikes, cars, trains and on foot... 'Boston has made some progress towards having truly livable streets, but we still have ways to go," says Douglas. LivableStreets pulls best practices from cities like Copenhagen, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Portland, OR, Bogota, Columbia, and even Cambridge, MA who are role models in shaping the way people get around. "We want to inspire a vision of how our streets could be. You can go through your day-to-day accepting traffic and complaining or you can envision how it could be different.'" Click here to read full BostInno article here >>>

The public way: Transportation, health, and livable communities
Recent postings on Steve Miller's Blog 
"...Are passing laws and increasing penalties the best ways to improve street safety?...Perhaps there are many situations in which changing the road's infrastructure is more likely to change behavior and improve safety..." Read full post here: Safety and the Law: When are higher penalties the right tool for changing behaviors.

"...The outcome of any major project or policy depends on the alignment of forces at its inception and during its implementation...Public engagement, supported by advocacy insights, can make a difference....The issue is how to maximize a project's positive contribution to the livability and viability of our communities, the quality of our air and water, the sustainability of our resource use patterns, and the equitable distribution of the project's costs and benefits...." Read full post here: The agony and the activism: Looking back at the Big Dig.


Other recent posts:

> Our new extended families: How the built environment and public services shape social relationships and democratic government

> Generating the power to save the "T": The business community needs to move 

Successful advocacy: Lessons of the Better Bridges Campaign, BU Bridge project