August 4, 2013


Longfellow project gets underway

(Photo Courtesy of Boston Globe)


Longfellow Bridge project proves a puzzler for drivers Boston Globe

Joshua Miller-- On the first day of the partial closure of the Longfellow Bridge — no cars allowed from Boston to Cambridge and vehicles coming into Boston directed onto the opposite side of the bridge — there was some confusion but no chaos.

The new rules of the road mark the beginning of the 3½-year, $255 million project to rehabilitate the famous span, which was built more than 100 years ago. The project aims to upgrade the bridge’s structure and make repairs to the MBTA tracks that run down its middle. But with such a significant traffic change on a major thoroughfare, the project will not be able to avoid creating headaches for motorists.


House and Senate override Governor's veto, transportation finance bill becomes law Boston Globe

Martine Powers-- The Legislature voted Wednesday to override Governor Deval Patrick’s veto of an $800 million transportation finance bill, concluding months of political wrangling and ensuring that drivers see an increase in the price they pay at the pump starting next week.

Already, groups are crying foul about the process of deciding which transportation projects will take priority now that the new funds have been approved.


State to delay 2-year closure of Government Center Station until after Callahan Tunnel reopens

Matt Rocheleau-- The planned two-year closure of Government Center subway station will be delayed until after the Callahan Tunnel reopens next spring, MBTA officials announced today.

Government Center Station has been scheduled to close for construction for 24 months starting in September, but state transportation Secretary Richard A. Davey decided recently to keep the station open until after the reopening of the Callahan Tunnel, which is scheduled to close for construction from the end of December to the end of March.


Smog-Eating Pavement In Netherlands Can Cut Pollution By Up To 45 Percent, Study Says Huffington Post

Meredith Bennett-Smith-- Dutch scientists are heralding the results of an experimental pavement they say was able to cut air pollution by wide margins.

The news was published online in June after researchers working for the Eindhoven University of Technology spent years studying smog-eating pavement used on a city block in Hengelo, Netherlands.


Strong Towns' Chuck Marohn: Why Suburban Growth Is a Ponzi Scheme StreetFilms

Clarence Eckerson, Jr.-- Chuck Marohn cofounded the non-profit Strong Towns in 2009. Since then he has steadily built an audience for his message about the financial folly of car-centric planning and growth. The suburban development pattern that has prevailed since the end of World War II has resulted in what Marohn calls "the growth Ponzi scheme" -- a system that isn't viable in the long run because it cannot bring in enough revenue to cover its costs.



  • Grant funds to bolster bicycle and pedestrian safety Boston Globe


  • Somerville opens new Chuckie Harris Park Wicked Local 
  • Boston's Public Garden Ranks Among America's 'Top 25 Parks' BostInno
  • Charles River -- Come on in; the water’s fine-ish Boston Globe
  • Common could get wider along Tremont Street Universal Hub
  • Cambridge moves closer to smoking ban in public parks Wicked Local


  • City owned and Hubway bike racks in Boston
  • Upscale Related Comapnies units offer pedalling perk in 10 Boston and NYC Properties Boston Herald
  • Letters: Many cycling families thrive car-free Boston Globe
  • The Bike Shop Next Door Lovely Bike
  • Letters: Cyclists, put money where your needs are Boston Globe
  • Mapping Hubway availability Bostonography
  • Back in black: New commemorative Hubway bike arrives at South Station
  • Ball Square Hubway station poorly located? Scout Somerville news story Somerville Scout
  • Newton should link into Hubway bike sharing network Boston Globe



  • Residents need to relax on parking USA Today
  • Letters: In the suburbs, it seems one can see the glow of a Boston parking space Boston Globe
  • A post-taxi population opts for ride-sharing Boston Globe
  • Readers press for changes to commuter rail overnight parking policy
  • Say "C u l8r" to obsessively checking RMV wait times
  • MassDOT reopens Reid Overpass in Cambridge Wicked Local
  • Rethinking Our Reliance On Cars WBUR

Transportation financing/Government

  • Audit: DCR is terrible landlord Commonwealth Mag
  • Transportation Bill
    • House Defeats Patrick's Proposed Changes To Transportation Bill WGBH
    • House and Senate override Governor's veto, transportation finance bill becomes law Boston Globe
    • What you really need to know about the state's new transportation law
  • Meet the Mayoral Candidates: 
  • Boston Mayoral Candidate Wants Rubber Sidewalks Boston Magazine
  • Green Line Extension
    • MassDOT approves another $26m for Green Line Extension
    • MassDOT approves Green Line Extension contract Wicked Local
  • Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad appoints new chief transportation officer, director of quality Progressive Railroading
  • Toll Changes for Tobin: Tunnels Proposed Quietly by State Dot Chelsea Record
  • State to delay 2-year closure of Government Center Station until after Callahan Tunnel reopens
  • MBTA reports record revenue of more than $564m
  • Redesigned Website Launching This Fall BRA News

Development projects

  • Longfellow
    • Longfellow Bridge project proves a puzzler for drivers Boston Globe
    • Commuters confronted with Longfellow Bridge traffic changes Boston Globe
    • Longfellow bus-bike illogic Amateur Planner
    • Letters: Longfellow Bridge project certainly won’t be done in a New York minute Boston Globe
    • Letters: Concerns about Longfellow Bridge project are serious, complex, and hardly 11th-hour complaints Boston Globe
    • Confusion, but no chaos, with new traffic pattern for Longfellow Bridge Boston Globe
    • Video: Longfellow Bridge Closed to Cambridge-Bound Drivers Until Fall 2016 YouTube
    • One chart shows the change in Longfellow traffic Amateur Planner
  • Casey
    • Details on Casey Overpass transformation take center stage Wicked Local
    • Casey design nearing completion JP Gazette
  • BRA OKs high-rise project for Seaport's sausage parcel Boston Herald
  • The BRA’s Nicole Fichera pushes South Boston’s new economy Commonwealth Mag
  • BRA approves construction for 1,100 new Boston homes Boston Globe
  • Developers pitch new design for Back Bay tower at 40 Trinity Place Boston Globe
  • Developers for 30 Polk Street Appear at CPS Committee Charlestown Bridge
  • Boston real estate developers line up seeking OK for large projects before Menino departs Boston Globe
  • Price of new Pike ceiling skyrockets -- as another traffic problem looms Boston Herald

Land Use/Planning

  • Smart growth needs smart zoning laws The Somerville News
  • Union Square
  • Op-Ed: Pieces are being put in place for a Dudley Square revival Boston Globe
  • Housing proposed for Fenway Burger King site
  • Hotel and residential housing project approved for Melnea Cass Boulevard
  • City OKs $15m building with 39 affordable apartments in Jackson Square
  • Meetings to discuss future planning for Washington St. JP Gazette
  • Developer proposes 280 apartments, retail near Forest Hills Station in Jamaica Plain
  • Boston backs development of smaller living units Boston Globe
  • Letters: Come on, Boston, bring on the skyscrapers Boston Globe
  • Transportation projects in South Boston, Cambridge, East Boston, Somerville and Medford on tap
  • City talks up transit-oriented development along Fairmount Line, then announces plans for truck garage next to new stop Universal Hub
  • Mayor: Maxwell site should be used for "transit oriented development" DOT News
  • Residents envision master plan for East Somerville Wicked Local
  • Somerville residents seek to design their own community The Somerville News
  • Letter to the Editor: Lost opportunity on Washington Street The Somerville News
  • Roxbury developer sues Northeastern over stalled hotel plan Biz Journals
  • Letters: Skyscrapers are not essential to developing Boston Boston Globe


  • PA
    • Arrests after mom, 3 young sons killed crossing 12-lane highway NBC
    • Painting the Lot ArchPaper
    • Fixing a broken street grid Better Cities
  • CA
    • New Renderings, Details on Car-Free Areas From “Better Market Street” SF StreetsBlog
    • L.A.’s Real Growth Is in Car-Free and Car-Lite Families LA StreetsBlog
    • Geary BRT Plan Watered Down to Appease Parking-Obsessed Merchants SF StreetsBlog
    • In 1968, San Francisco's BART Was Billed as a 'Dream for Tomorrow' Atlantic Cities
  • AL
    • Birmingham to Widen Downtown Highway While Other Cities Tear ‘Em Down DC StreetsBlog
  • MI
    • How Sprawl Got Detroit Into This Mess DC StreetsBlog
    • Reinvigorating A Detroit Neighborhood, Block By Block WBUR
    • Stranded by Sprawl NY Times
    • Meet the American City Where Cars Have Been Banned Since 1898 Care2
  • RI
    • Is Providence Growing Smart? Ecori
  • NY
  • IL
    • Divvy Grows to 117 Stations, Launches Corporate Memberships Chi StreestBlog
  • MD
  • NV
    • The Flawed Federal Rule That Killed High-Speed Rail to Vegas Atlantic Cities

National trends

  • Video: How it's made: The Tesla Model S electric car TreeHugger
  • Commuting Tips for the Incrementalist: Small Changes, Big Savings DC StreetsBlog
  • Invisible car policies: Q & A with Fei Li, recipient of the 2013 Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarship The City Fix
  • How to Fund Transit Without Raising Fares or Cutting Service Atlantic Cities
  • Strong Towns' Chuck Marohn: Why Suburban Growth Is a Ponzi Scheme StreetFilms
  • Finally, a Plan to Pay for Public Transit With Highway Tolls Atlantic Cities
  • Top urban bike paths across the USA USA Today
  • The Invention of Jaywalking Was a Massive Shaming Campaign Gizmodo
  • Scion apologizes, pulls insensitive ad Bike Portland
  • Amtrak's New Outdated Trains Planetizen
  • Cyclist guilty of manslaughter in crash Boston Globe
  • How Sprawl Makes Fighting Childhood Obesity So Much Harder Atlantic Cities
  • Here We Go Again: Sen. Rand Paul Pits Bikes Against Bridges DC StreetsBlog
  • Why traffic jams are the sign of a healthy economy Quartz
  • Walk Score: Climate Change: Wall Street CNU
  • Not a car or bicycle, but a blend -- an ELF vehicle Boston Herald
  • Maps of Unrealized City Plans Reveal What Might Have Been Wired
  • Facial Recognition App Stops Tired Drivers From Nodding Off PSFK
  • Infographic: U.S. DOT Promotes the Health Benefits of Active Transportation DC StreetsBlog
  • Why Spend on Highways When Local Streets Are Empty? StreetsBlog
  • Friday Fun: Take to the Streets! The City Fix
  • Public Transit Zero Sum Game Sustainable Cities Collective
  • Can Free Transit Work in a Real City? StreetsBlog
  • Why Mega-Projects Always End Up Costing More Than Expected Atlantic Cities
  • Study: Outdoor Air Pollution Kills 2.5 Million Each Year Sustainable Cities Collective
  • Mapping Every Active Transit Project in America Planetizen

International news

  • Mexico sets $100 billion rail, ports, roads plan Chron
  • Smog-Eating Pavement In Netherlands Can Cut Pollution By Up To 45 Percent, Study Says Huffington Post
  • A 30km Slow Zone in Zurich (featuring Chicances!) Streetfilms
  • No, Amsterdam Is Not “Swamped” By Bikes StreetsBlog
  • Top 10 Design Elements in Copenhagen's Bicycle Culture 
  • Americans getting inspired by the Dutch Bicycle Dutch
  • Parking your bike at home Bicycle Dutch
  • Cyclists and police face off during Critical Mass gathering - Montreal Global News
  • Montreal cyclist hit with $651 ticket for warning bikers to stop at lights Global News
  • Better city infrastructure could mean fewer cyclist injuries CBC
  • Sharing the road: cyclists and drivers need to respect each other Global News
  • Road Through Roman History Creates Colossal Headache NY Times
  • China Transportation Briefing: The boom and ban of taxi apps The City Fix
  • Has the bus rapid transit tipping point arrived in India? The City Fix