August 2, 2011

Hubway launch
Team LivableStreets/Bixi in the Boston Hubway bike share launch event


  • Hubway Bike-Sharing Program Gets Rolling (WBUR, Boston Herald, Boston Metro, Back Bay Patch, Allston-Brighton Bikes, The Bike-sharing Blog, Transportation Nation, MassBike, WGBH) 7/28
    By Kimberly Adams -- Boston now has its own bike-sharing program. The new Hubway system allows Bostonians to pick up a bike from one of 61 bike stations around the city and drop it off at a different station when they are done. At least 40 of the stations opened Thursday, and the rest are scheduled to be up and running in the next week. Hundreds of cyclists attended Thursday’s launch of the program at Government Center, where Boston Mayor Thomas Menino applauded the program as a way to reduce traffic congestion, improve health and help the environment. “The car is no longer king in Boston,” Menino said.
    Much more coverage below...

  • Traffic surge on Rte. 128 predicted (Boston Globe)
    More options are needed, group says.
    By Scott Van Voorhis -- A potential traffic meltdown looms on a key stretch of Route 128 west of Boston unless steps are taken to get more commuters out of their cars and onto trains and buses, a new report warns. The Metropolitan Area Planning Council projects a 77 percent increase in traffic over the next decade or two along the highway from the intersection with Route 3 to the Massachusetts Turnpike. To make way for the surge in traffic as new development and new jobs are created along the corridor, state and local officials need to look at a mix of short-term and long-term solutions, according to the Planning Council.
  • MBTA to Landmarks: 'Sorry, the Brick Has to Go' [Mass Ave] (South End Patch, Boston Globe)
    Representatives from the MBTA returned to the Landmarks District Commission's July meeting to discuss the brick sidewalks by the Mass. Ave. Orange Line station.
    By Christopher Treacy -- When Civil Engineer Bill Egan of the Public Works Department came before the Landmarks District Commission in May, it was mainly about a 3-inch gray accent strip to be applied to portions of the Mass. Ave. sidewalk, alerting pedestrians to changing cross-slopes in the walkway. Egan is overseeing the Mass. Ave. reconstruction project, now in its eleventh (and final) year. Tuesday night Egan appeared before the Commission again, this time to revisit the other issue touched on (but not resolved) at May’s meeting: the ‘brick bridge’ portion of Mass. Ave. running over the MBTA Orange Line station between St. Botolph and Columbus Avenues.
  • Los Angeles Freeway Is Closed and Life Goes On (New York Times)
    By Adam Nagourney -- The warnings had been grim: a knot of traffic stretching from the Pacific Ocean to downtown Los Angeles. Motorists struggling to make it from West Los Angeles across the Sepulveda Pass into the San Fernando Valley. A display of gridlock that would drain even the most hardened Los Angeles commuter, all caused by the weekend closing of a 10-mile stretch of Interstate 405. Instead, people in Los Angeles woke up Saturday to something many had rarely, if ever, seen: empty streets.
  • Georgia Mom Convicted of Vehicular Homicide For Crossing Street With Kids (Streetsblog, T4America)
    Raquel Nelson sentenced; no jail time, new trial possible (T4America)

    By Tanya Snyder -- A 30-year-old woman in Marietta, Georgia was convicted of vehicular homicide this week – and she wasn’t even driving a car. The woman was crossing the street with her three children when a driver, who had been drinking, hit and killed her four-year-old. The driver, Jerry Guy, was initially charged with “hit and run, first degree homicide by vehicle and cruelty to children,” Elise Hitchcock of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. “Charges were later dropped to just the hit and run charge.” The man has previously been convicted of two hit-and-runs – on the same day, in 1997, one of them on the same road where he killed Raquel Nelson’s son.
  • Democrats, business spurn U.S. transportation plan (Reuters, New Urban Network, Streetsblog, T4America)
    Groups from across the U.S. political spectrum on Thursday scorned a Republican proposal to slice money for transportation projects, saying the lower funding levels would threaten the country's infrastructure and jeopardize jobs. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said the plan unveiled by House Transportation Committee Chairman John Mica was "unacceptable," and said it would "destroy -- rather than support -- existing jobs." Mica's plan would authorize spending of about $35 billion a year over six years on transportation, about a 35 percent cut from current levels.






Transportation financing/Government


Development projects

Land Use/Planning


  • New York City --
    • Women, Uneasy, Still Lag as Cyclists in New York City (New York Times)
    • Can New York's Highways Be Fixed? (New York Times)
    • VIDEO: My NYC Biking Story: Bin Feng Zheng (Streetfilms)
    • Central Park Cyclists Get Wish to Share Shortcut. But Slowly. (New York Times)
    • Subway Crush No Longer Gets Weekends Off (New York Times)
    • City Hall Resists a Proposal to Ban Cars on Some Roads in Central Park (New York Times)
    • VIDEO: Queens Plaza Protected Cycletrack is Open for Business (Streetfilms)
    • A New High-Tech Assault on Midtown Traffic Jams (New York Times)
    • VIDEO: Contested Streets: Breaking New York City Gridlock (Streetfilms)
    • Putting the Park in Park Avenue (New York Times)
  • Carmageddon --
  • California High-Speed Rail --
    • In state's high-speed rail plan, ambitions collide with financial realities (ClimateWire)
    • Who Will Ride an Alternative to 'Market-Driven Sprawl' (New York Times)
  • Cleveland's Center-Running BRT Route, the HealthLine, Sparks Development (Streetsblog DC)
  • VIDEO: The Motor City's Burgeoning Cycling Scene (Streetsblog)
  • Black women take their place in D.C.'s bike lanes (Washington Post)
  • San Diego May Move $800 Million From Freeways To Transit (KBPS)
  • DOT makes $47 million available for Atlanta streetcar (The Hill)
  • SFpark Makes its First Move (Transportation Nation)
  • Georgia Mom Convicted of Vehicular Homicide For Crossing Street With Kids (Streetsblog, T4America)
    • Raquel Nelson sentenced; no jail time, new trial possible (T4America)
    • VIDEO: Raquel Nelson on Fox and Friends (T4America)
  • VIDEO: Chicago's New Protected Bike Lanes (The City Fix)
  • High-Tech Midtown Traffic System Will Ignore Pedestrians and Buses (Streetsblog)
  • Bicycle harassment outlawed by Los Angeles City Council (Los Angeles Times)
  • Dallas, a Transit Builder if Not Pioneer, Moves Forward on Streetcar (Transport Politic)
  • Seeing L.A. in a way most natives never dare (Los Angeles Times)
  • Chicago's first protected bike lane (Chicago Tribune)
  • For some, Baltimore life is sweeter with no car (Baltimore Sun)
  • Bike share programs expanding in D.C., Arlington (Washington Examiner)

National trends

  • House transportation plan --
  • The State of the Union's Roads: An Investigative Report - Feature (Car and Driver)
  • Beyond Safety in Numbers: Why Bike Friendly Cities are Safer (Planetizen)
  • Urban Children Are Healthier Commuters than Rural Teens (Newswise)
  • America's One and Only Personal Rapid Transit System (Governing)
  • Riding Your Bike Is Good for the Economy (GOOD)
  • We Are Approaching Peak Car Use (Fast Company)
  • Fire departments and new urbanism's village design at odds (USA TODAY)
  • Study shows cycling in heavy traffic may pose heart risk (BikePortland)
  • Dueling Bills Seeks to Fund Road, Infrastructure Plans (Wall Street Journal)
  • More Roads May Pave The Way To More Traffic (NPR)
  • General Motors shows vision of urban mobility (BBC)
  • New Report: Tax on Oil and Gas Key to Improved U.S. Transportation (The City Fix)
  • Motorists driving less, but gas prices keep rising (AP)
  • Amtrak to surpass 30 million passengers for the first time (The Hill)
  • Congressional Research Service: Privatizing Amtrak violates constitution's Takings Clause (The Hill)
  • Companies head back downtown (Fortune)
  • Inventing the Interstate (New York Times)
  • Rich People Love Sidewalks, And Other Livability Lessons From USDOT (Streetsblog DC)
  • House Votes to Redirect $1 Billion in High-Speed Rail Funding (Infrastructurist)
  • Zipcar's Impact On How People Use Cars Is Enormous (Fast Company)
  • Meet the Obscure Unelected Agencies Strangling Many U.S. Cities (Streetsblog DC)
  • Sugar in the Tank: Transportation spending, like pretty much everything else, is totally screwed. (American Prospect)
  • Transportation as a Civil Rights Issue (WIRED)
  • Decaying infrastructure costs U.S. billions each year, report says (Washington Post)
  • Onion: Al-Qaeda Would Reduce U.S. Infrastructure to Rubble But It's Too Late (Streetsblog)
  • It's Official. Obama Announces 54.5 MPG Fuel Efficiency Standards (Transportation Nation)

International news