February 17, 2010

Nova Bus
New Nova articulated bus in NYC
(Photo courtesy Second Avenue Sagas)


  • Bridge plans draw input, criticism from Allston-Brighton & Cambridge (Allston-Brighton TAB, Cambridge Chronicle)
    By David Sabia and Vivian Ho -- Design plans for the renovation of the River Street Bridge and the Western Avenue Bridge are on schedule to be completed by April 2011, but Massachusetts Department of Transportation officials want input from Allston and Cambridge residents first. About 100 local bicyclists, pedestrians and rowers brainstormed with MassDOT officials at a public meeting on Feb. 3 concerning the department’s rehabilitation plans for the two bridges.
  • 'Radical' design for squares unveiled (Jamaica Plain Gazette)
    By John Ruch -- “Radical” redesigns of Jamaica Plain’s key Hyde and Monument Squares were presented by planners at the Jan. 28 meeting of the city’s JP Centre/South Action Plan citizens advisory group. The redesign ideas generally involve adding much more green space to the asphalt-heavy intersections. Hyde Square could become a true rotary or a T-shaped intersection. Monument Square could have a greatly enlarged grassy island or even a large park with a T intersection. “The potential to make this a Kodak moment in Boston history is incredible,” said advisory group member Michael Epp.
  • Commuters, call and get the inside track on bus schedules (Boston Globe)
    By Noah Bierman -- People strike different postures while waiting for a bus. Some do the shiver, clutching their lapels as they hide behind bus shelters attempting to stay warm. There are the runners, who risk causing car crashes as they weave through traffic, neckties aflutter, to catch departing buses. Then there are the giraffes, with outstretched necks, squinting down the roadway in hopes of spotting an arrival. Is there not some way to bring a measure of dignity to this process? The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has been trying to make the wait easier, by getting more instant arrival information to passengers so they can grab a cup of coffee if they know a bus will take a while, or can walk a little faster if a bus is near.
  • NYC’s Broadway Vehicle Ban Gets Green Light for Permanent Run (BusinessWeek, Streetsblog, Streetfilms, New York Times)
    By Henry Goldman -- New York City’s experiment to close Broadway, one of Manhattan’s busiest streets, to vehicles at Times and Herald Squares has reduced travel times and improved safety, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. The “Green Light for Midtown” program, begun at the end of May, justifies banning vehicles permanently on Broadway, from 47th to 42nd streets and from 35th to 33rd Streets, near Macy’s Department store, the mayor said. Architects will compete to create permanent designs for public plazas at the two sites, he said.
  • Study finds traffic pollution can speed hardening of arteries (Los Angeles Times)
    By Margot Roosevelt -- Los Angeles residents living near freeways experience a hardening of the arteries that leads to heart disease and strokes at twice the rate of those who live farther away, a study has found. The paper is the first to link automobile and truck exhaust to the progression of atherosclerosis -- the thickening of artery walls -- in humans. The study was conducted by researchers from USC and UC Berkeley, along with colleagues in Spain and Switzerland, and published this week in the journal PloS ONE.
  • Geneva proposes 200 streets as pedestrian only (CoolTown Studios)
    By Neil Takemoto -- As creatives are increasingly preferring a world beyond cars in natural cultural districts that function more like Wikipedia than Encyclopedia Britannica, bureaucracies both corporate and government are largely stuck in management models of the industrial age that will slow the transition on their end. Enter the government of Geneva, Switzerland and a tri-partisan 2-1 City Council vote to close 200 streets to cars. Or as Geneva’s council member Fabienne Fischer states, “It’s not really to close 200 roads or streets in the center of Geneva, but to open 200 streets to improved life in the neighborhood.“






Transportation financing/Government


  • Hearing will review rail trail alternatives through West Concord (Concord Journal)
  • With Menino's backing, park makeovers on tap (Boston Globe)
  • Continued Report on Feb. 2 Joint Meeting of the Conservancy Board of Directors and Greenway Leadership Council (Greenway Blog)
  • Trail bikers make voices heard at Middlesex Fells workshop (Boston Globe)
  • Bikeway would connect Woburn, Stoneham, Winchester (Woburn Advocate)

Development projects

Land Use/Planning


National trends

International news

  • Telvent to implement Light Rail Priority System in Morocco (MassTransit)
  • The war on walking (The Globe and Mail)
  • Will police blitz curb jaywalking? (The Globe and Mail)
  • Cars and taxis banned from Swanston St in $25.6m revamp planed by Melbourne City Council (Herald Sun)
  • Casper the Commuting Cat: RIP (TreeHugger)
  • New Speed Limits in Sweden -- How do Motorists Perceive This? (TRB)
  • Haste makes waste: cutting speed boosts drivers' life expectancy (MSN CA)
  • Car-free Sundays: Could they work here? (Toronto Star)
  • Parking Fees to Surge in Beijing (CRI)
  • Geneva proposes 200 streets as pedestrian only (CoolTown Studios)
  • More temporary bridges for cyclists (A view from the cycle path)
  • Amphibious bus makes a splash (BBC)