December 20, 2013

Copenhagen Wheel
The Copenhagen Wheel
(Photo courtesy of WBUR)

Key ingredient to a richer Boston: great walking environment Boston Globe

SUNDAY’S WONDERFUL big ideas for our “new new Boston,” whether a rejuvenated night life, 21st-century bus service, third-graders ready for learning, or a new mecca for art, will all be better with one key ingredient: walking.

A great walking environment is the secret sauce. It will let Bostonians get to and from nights on the town and access public transit; let children walk safely to parks and schools; and let art patrons flock to new exhibitions.


MBTA: Spring 2014 Late-Night Services over the Longterm BostInno

Nate Boroyan--Is it safe to assume that weekend late-night MBTA service coming next spring is a welcome? Good, just making sure.

This tidbit of good news confirmed what was common knowledge: Bostonians were overwhelming in favor of late-night services. According to a March report by the Boston Globe, when the MBTA originally surveyed its ridership about the desire for late-night service 500 were expected to apply. Instead, about 26,000 did.


Copenhagen Wheel Gives Bicycles A Boost WBUR

The Copenhagen Wheel is a back wheel outfitted with a rechargeable battery that gives a bicycle rider a boost when going uphill. The battery is charged when riding downhill and braking.

The wheel is engineered and marketed by Superpedestrian, after being initially developed at MIT’s SENSEable City Lab as a research project sponsored by the mayor of Copenhagen.


Snow Crew volunteers dig out, build bonds in Boston The Chronicle Herald

BOSTON — Wednesday afternoon, Michael Iceland showed up in front of a stranger’s house in West Roxbury, put his shovel into the snow, and made someone’s day.

Inside the house was an older woman, and she was stuck, unable to get out of her door, worried she could not get to her mailbox to pay her bills.

Iceland, 36, a Jamaica Plain resident, cleared that path for her, made a new friend, and felt great about himself in the process.

It is a common story in the Snow Crew. The brainchild of Joseph Porcelli, the Snow Crew is an online tool to connect the elderly, the ill, and the disabled to people with willing backs.


Why mass transit is doomed in America: Politicians don’t know people who use it Salon

Alex Pareene--If you want to know why mass transit is doomed in the United States, look at the place where it is undoubtedly more successful — and more widely used — than anywhere else in the country: New York.

In 2008, Michael Bloomberg proposed congestion pricing for Manhattan’s inner core, proposing an $8 charge for most passenger cars, to be charged only once a day. The money would’ve gone to the MTA, to fix up subway stations, improve bus and subway service, and help pay for extensions to the system. Naturally, it died in Albany without even coming up for a vote.


Beijing and Vehicle Crowding Sustainable Cities Collective

Beijing has launched an effort to tighten up its vehicle quota control regulation and further curb air pollution and traffic congestion in China’s capital city. Echoing the city’s recent “Clean Air Action Plan(2013-2017),” an amendment to the car ownership restriction regulation was issued on November 28, aiming to cut the annual vehicle increases from 240,000 to 150,000, beginning in 2014. With this policy in place, the total vehicle ownership in Beijing will be capped at fewer than 6 million by 2017. However, the new measure only delays future air pollution and congestion that will arise from an ever growing vehicle fleet. In order to mitigate this trend and truly restore clear days to Beijing, complementary measures are necessary to rein in car usage of the existing vehicle stock, such as congestion charging, and improvements in public and non-motorized transport infrastructure.





  • Police: Somerville cyclist knocked over by fellow rider in Cambridge Wicked Local
  • Shifting Gears To Make Bike-Sharing More Accessible WBUR
  • DOT: Citi Bikes Are Nearly 30 Percent of Bicycle Traffic in Bike-Share Zone StreetsBlog
  • Conservatives' new enemy: Bikes Boston Globe
  • Copenhagen Wheel Gives Bicycles A Boost WBUR
  • Cyclist charged in Brookline road rage incident Wicked Local


  • Late Night T
    • Boston's MBTA plan for later service is a welcome switch Boston Globe
    • MBTA still won't provide real all-night transit Amateur Planner
    • MBTA: Spring 2014 Late-Night Services over the Longterm BostInno
    • Night spots hope extended MBTA hours will boost business Boston Globe
  • Rail riders stirred up over unpaid ticket notices
  • Somerville poised to grow along Green Line Boston Globe
  • Montreal-to-Boston night train gains steam Mass Transit Mag
  • Please take one? Don't mind if we do!
  • Third rail problems cause headaches at JFK/UMass stop on Red Line in Dorchester Boston Globe
  • Buses to make Back Bay to Logan run Boston Herald
  • MBTA to consider 5% fare hike, income-based pricing


  • Preparing for closure of the Callahan Tunnel
  • Revitalizing the Suburb Without Giving Up the Car Atlantic Cities
  • Boston Traffic: Innovation District Gets Time to Destination Signs & Smart Parking Sensors BostInno
  • New Whittier Bridge promises smoother ride to commuters, vacationers Boston Globe
  • Uber rage: Bostonians irate over price surge in snow rides
  • Cops: Car vandalized in South Boston over parking space saver
  • South Boston man allegedly assaults neighbor over parking spot

Transportation financing/Government

  • MBTA blames likely deficit on arbitrator's award to union Wicked Local
  • Gas Tax Debate
    • Letter: Reject gas tax until government can control spending Wicked Local
    • Letter: Say no to anti-gas tax ballot question Wicked Local
    • Massachusetts State House: Considers Tax Bill Revenue for MBTA BostInno
  • Mayor-elect Martin Walsh puts brakes on swift revamp of Boston Redevelopment Authority Boston Globe
  • Massachusetts Leading the Way on Electric Vehicle Transit CLF


Development projects

  • Proposed Back Bay tower pulled from BRA agenda Boston Globe
  • Car-Free Condo
    • Officials give green light to Boston’s first parking-free condo development Boston Globe
    • Boston's First Parking-Free Condo Development Is On Its Way -- It’s a big first that’s been a long time coming. Boston Magazine
  • Construction begins on One Greenway, developers say
  • Developers propose 46-unit building in Central Square Wicked Local
  • Developer to break ground on $150m mixed-use development in Allston
  • Developers of new complex near TD Garden to get $7.8 million tax break Boston Globe
  • Somerville releases developer request, MIT students look to future in Union Square Wicked Local
  • State plans quick turn-around on fix for Morton Street bridge DOT News
  • New South Station Boosts Job Growth Mass Transit Blog
  • Boston Garden Development Advisory Group Members Question City Hall Deal North End Waterfront
  • A Seaport wish list Boston Herald
  • State Moves Forward In Last Phase Of Bridge Repair Project WBUR
  • Op-Ed: Boston’s housing solution lies in places like Allston Boston Globe

Land Use/Planning

  • JPNC lawsuit settlement deal reached JP Gazette
  • Fenway Motor Lodge owner prepares to sell property in fast-changing neighborhood Boston Globe
  • A game-changer for Somerville Boston Globe
  • Why you should care about Harvard's Allston extension plans BDC Wire
  • MassDOT: Replace McGrath Highaway With a Boulevard Somerville Patch
  • Big dreams for little Area IV lot on Cherry Street in Cambridge Wicked Local
  • Casey funding source named; historic review pending JP Gazette
  • Inner Belt / Brickbottom Planning Somerville By Design
  • East Somerville Pin-Up Ideas: 
  • Councillor's demand for reconsideration on Kendall zoning is greeted with jeers Cambridge Day
    • Councillor takes back reconsideration, letting Kendall Square tower go forward Cambridge Day
  • Springfield Residents Discuss How To Improve Streets Mass Bike
  • Editorial: New developments, welcome and unwelcome, in Somerville's Assembly and Union squares Wicked Local


  • NY
    • Train Engineer Was Dazed Before Crash, Lawyer Says NY Times
    • How New York's Toll System Got Completely Busted Atlantic Cities
    • NYC Transit Time Warp! Get out and ride vintage subways on Sundays in December! StreetFilms
    • New York City Agrees on Access to Taxis for Disabled NY TImes
    • Justin Davidson on New York Streets As Urban-Planning Lab NY Mag
    • Mayor Bloomberg's aggressive traffic policies have caused massive drop in traffic deaths NY Daily News
  • CA
    • SFMTA Unveils 6th St. Proposal With Road Diet, Bike Lanes, Wider Sidewalks SF StreetsBlog
    • 3 Years After Fatal Crash, San Mateo County Adds Bike Lanes to Interchange SF StreetsBlog
    • The Battle Over San Francisco’s Bus Stops Next City
    • New USC study on the Expo Line finds those living near the line are driving less The Source
    • Fire Department hindering street safety SF Examiner
    • L.A.'s over-the-line crackdown on jaywalking LA Times
  • KS
  • TN
    • Tennessee dad arrested for attempting to pick up kids after school on foot Better Cities
  • DC
    • D.C. groups help female cyclists, others learn how to handle street harassment Washington Post
    • District's streetcar line finally has its first car Washington Post
  • TX
  • OH
    • Feds to Cincinnati: Resume Streetcar or Forfeit $40 Million StreetsBlog
    • Making Private Donors Pay for Cincy Streetcar: A Classic Double-Standard StreetsBlog
  • IL
    • City Broke Promise on 'Bad For Business' Free Sunday Parking, Aldermen Say DNA Info
  • OR
    • Blumenauer gasoline tax hike: Oregon congressman wants higher fuel taxes, and he's right Slate
  • FL
    • Floridians are driving less, relying more on mass transit, study finds Tampa Bay
  • GA

National trends

International news