Issue #82 - February 2014

In this issue: 

  • Save the date: Spring member party, April 10
  • Save the date: Bike4Life, September 14
  • Myths debunked: Parking
  • MassDOT new engineering directive
  • MassDOT board votes to fund new buses
  • Boston going carless
  • Public meetings & other opportunities

What's happening  

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Save the date: Spring member party, April 10  
  
Spring member party at District Hall.

A party is springing up and we want you there!   

 

Join the LivableStreets community at Boston's newest event space: District Hall. Meet and chat with members, staff and board members about the latest innovative thinking on transportation in Boston's innovation district.

 

Already a member? Register for event now.

 

Want to become a member? Join/renew for only $35 for free event entry.

Save the date: Bike4Life, September 14
Bike4Life will be on Sunday
September 14, 2014
  

Bike4Life - a ride that benefits LivableStreets, will be on Sunday, September 14, from 8:30-2pm. 24 and 40 mile routes, 4 and 8 mile guided kid and family routes, and BBQ celebration!

 

Save the date and more details coming soon. #Bike4LifeBoston

 

Myths Debunked

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Over the next six months, we'll be debunking common transportation myths. We're starting with one very common myth that we often face when advocating for complete street design.
 
Myth: Businesses need parking spaces in front of their store to thrive
 
Debunked: Complete streets are increasing economic vitality across the country. Improved accessibility and a more welcoming street environment are now proven to generate higher sales. In particular, studies find that protected bike lanes and increased bike parking promote economic growth.  
Check out the Protected Bike Lanes Mean Business report by PeopleForBikes and the Alliance for Biking & Walking, and the Economic Benefits of Sustainable Streets study by New York City Department of Transportation for more stats and facts on this topic.
 
Share our first #MythsDebunked on Facebook and Twitter.

Wins

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MassDOTengineMassDOT's new engineering directive

 

MassDOT has recently published a new Engineering Directive (E-14-001) to clarify and strengthen minimum pedestrian and bicycle accommodations required in roadway and bridge projects. The directive also encourages engineers to look beyond the minimums when designing for pedestrians and bicycles. MassDOT leadership reached out to LivableStreets, WalkBoston, and MassBike when preparing this new directive and incorporated extensive input.

 

Major changes in this directive include:
  • requiring new 5-foot-minimum shoulders or bike lanes for bicycle accommodation (compared to the prior 4-foot-minimum shoulder or 15-foot-wide outside lane) 
  • mandating sidewalks on all bridge and roadway projects in urbanized areas as required by the new Healthy Transportation Directive 

For more information about the new Engineering Directive check out the Baystate Roads Program BlogThis directive is the result of the Design Standards Working Group, which LivableStreets sits on, and is just one way we advocate for safer and more livable streets for you.

MassDOTbusesMassDOT board votes to fund new buses
$355 million for new buses
Photo credit: Boston Business Journal

On February 19, the MassDOT board voted to include a total of $355M for bus replacement in its capital plan, $150M of which is new funding. More than 10% of the MBTA buses have reached the end of their useful life (12 years), and 85% of the MBTA bus fleet will reach their end in the next five years.      

LivableStreets has been working on increasing statewide transportation funding with Transportation for Massachusetts. This is huge win for Transportation for Massachusetts and all those who live, work and play in the MBTA area.

Newsworthy

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BansAutosBoston going carless

Call it pie in the sky, just plain crazy, or something to consider also?

 

Major cities across Europe from Brussels to Hamburg hope to go car-free.

 

Madrid, Spain is just one of the cities to swear off cars.

Brussels: "The move would transform a handsome but car-snarled four-lane boulevard and a string of squares into a long, café-filled promenade. This new zone will join up with an existing pedestrian zone in the narrow streets around the city's Grand Place and Rue Neuve, turning Brussels' core into a spacious, rambling open-air living room." Read more here>>

 

Madrid: "Trees, bikes, and walking are in. Cars, historical protection, and new apartments are out. This is the gist of a new plan Madrid has hatched to help it catch up with its European neighbors... The plan calls for 24 major Madrid streets to be radically overhauled, with car lanes removed, bike lanes added and trees planted to make them cool and shady." Read more here >>

 

Hamburg: "Germany, home of the high-speed autobahn, is perhaps one of the few countries that has had as intense a love affair with the automobile as the U.S. But in an effort to go green, the country's second-largest city is studying ways to eliminate cars by 2034. The northern city of Hamburg has laid out an initial concept, named the Green Network Plan, that would expand public transportation and add more routes for pedestrians and bicyclists." Watch CNBC segment here >>

 

Read more about the plans, pros and cons. Share and discuss @StreetsBoston /Faceboook.com/LivableStreets / reply@livablestreets.info. We'd love to hear from you! What do you think about Boston going carless?

 
 

publicmeetingsPublic meetings & other opportunities

 

Boston MPO calls for hosts of livable streets communities workshops

Help educate communities on how to incorporate livability concepts and promote thinking about how design influences livability.

Fill out application here>>

 

Public Transit and Youth in the MBTA: Discussion and Briefing

Thursday, February 27, 4-6pm

@ SEIU 32BJ, 26 West Street, 3rd Fl, Boston

More details here>>

 

LivableStreets Volunteer Friday

Friday, February 28, 12-2pm

@ LivableStreets, 100 Sidney St, Cambridge

 
For full list of events on our calendar see here>>