February 19, 2013

With all the snow came an experiment in community

(Photo Courtesy of Boston Streets)


Cyclists react with anger after grand jury returns no indictment in Wellesley bike crash case Boston Globe 

Martine Powers-- It’s a common refrain among local ­cyclists: Want to kill someone and get away with it? Run them over while they’re on a bicycle.

Within Boston’s growing cycling community, a perceived lack of criminal prosecution of motorists involved in fatal bike crashes has been a regular source of outrage in recent years. That ire came to a ­fever pitch last week, when a grand jury investigation of a Wellesley bike crash with seemingly copious evidence — video footage, witnesses defending the deceased bicyclist, a truck driver who had fled the scene and had an extensive history of driving infractions — came back with no charges.

The grand jury’s decision, bicyclists contend, is evidence of a wider problem: Most people do not respect the rights of bike riders.

(See also: WCVB, Boston BikerBoston.com, MassBike, and Isolate Cyclist)

Boston issues 6, 900 parking tickets, tows 650 cars, hands out at least $25, 650 in snow removal fines Boston.com

Matthew Rocheleau-- About 6,900 parking tickets have been issued and more than 650 vehicles towed in Boston since the past weekend’s snowstorm hit. And, city officials have issued more than 500 to property owners who failed to adequately clear sidewalks or who put snow on city streets and sidewalks.

The parking tickets, which range from $15 to $120 depending on the infraction, represent at least $103,380 in fines handed out between Friday and Tuesday. The tows, which are done by private companies and generally cost an additional $100 to $150, represent at least $66,300 charged to Boston drivers during that span.

The snow removal-related citations, which cost between $50 and $300 each depending on the violation, represent at least $25,650 in fines handed out between Saturday and Tuesday morning.

Walkable Urbanism as Foreign Policy Atlantic Cities

Emily Badger--Earlier this month, national security scholar Patrick Doherty published a proposal in Foreign Policy magazine for America’s next “grand strategy,” a plan for how the U.S. should reposition itself in a world defined less by threats from communism or terrorism and more by the global challenge of sustainability. His offering is among a crop of such foreign policy tracts all aiming big ideas at the newly re-inaugurated president.

These treatises usually have little to do with the more prosaic problems of cities, with housing or transportation or unemployment. But part of Doherty’s particular argument snagged our attention: He believes a central piece of American security and strength in the 21st century will reside in walkable neighborhoods.

Walkability, as we typically think of it in cities, is deeply connected to sustainability, public health and economic development. But foreign policy? That was a new one even for us.

Why People Choose Cars, Even When Mass Transit Would Serve Them Better Atlantic 


Eric Jaffe-- People don't always make rational decisions. The entire field of behavioral economics, with all its colorfully named biases and heuristics, is based on our irrationality. If that's not enough to convince you, then let us remind you that Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is a thing.

Go ahead and add cars to the illogical list too. In an upcoming paper in Transport Policy, a group of Italian researchers report that people show an irrational bias toward automobiles — they call it the "car effect." Instead of considering all travel modes and choosing the one that saves the most time and money, people prefer to drive even when it's not the best objective option

The psychology of why cyclists enrage car drivers BBC

Tom Stafford-- Something about cyclists seems to provoke fury in other road users. If you doubt this, try a search for the word "cyclist" on Twitter. As I write this one of the latest tweets is this: "Had enough of cyclists today! Just wanna ram them with my car." This kind of sentiment would get people locked up if directed against an ethnic minority or religion, but it seems to be fair game, in many people's minds, when directed against cyclists. Why all the rage?

I've got a theory, of course. It's not because cyclists are annoying. It isn't even because we have a selective memory for that one stand-out annoying cyclist over the hundreds of boring, non-annoying ones (although that probably is a factor). No, my theory is that motorists hate cyclists because they think they offend the moral order.



  • Removed Tremont St. Trees Presented Public Safety Hazard, According to City South End Patch
  • ADVOCACY 102: Advice For Job Seekers and Volunteers Steve Miller's Blog
  • A Digital Mixing Board for Your Street Atlantic Cities
  • Washington Street in Roslindale Square could get a new look Universal Hub
  • Why People Choose Cars, Even When Mass Transit Would Serve Them Better Atlantic Cities
  • Downtown Crossing pushcart vendors hope to survive change Boston Herald
  • What Are the New Signals on Mill Street All About? Arlington Patch
  • State Sticks it to Bowdoin Street Billboard Owner w $1, 000 per day fines Boston Herald
  • Possible Traffic/ Pedestrian Solution/ Union Square/ Davis Square? Better Cities
  • Cars and Robust Cities Are Fundamentally Incompatible Atlantic Cities
  • Share Your Opinion On A Multi-Use Path Through Belmont Belmont Patch
  • Brookline selectmen again worried about fate of historic street signs Wicked Local
  • Shared Roadway IS Possible for High Traffic Centers Union Square Main
  • From the horse's mouth Word on the Street
  • Urban planner plugs 'complete streets' in Somerville Wicked Local
  • Streets Are A Public Utility Designed To Move People (Not Cars) Boston Biker


  • Massachusetts State of Emergency: Gov. Patrick Bans Cars From Roads, Warns About Extreme Blizzard BosInno
  • MBTA riders juggle schedules to take last-minute rides in the face of a 3:30 PM shut-down Boston Globe
  • Blizzard Report, from Somerville MA LovelyBike
  • Snow and Mass. Ave. geometry Word on the Street
  • Should Watertown Require Residents to Shovel Snow Off Their Sidewalks? Watertown Patch
  • Massachusetts Bans Cars Statewide During Blizzard, Boston Shuts Subways Transportation Nation
  • Blizzards popular in downtown Boston Boston Column
  • State House News -- Pre-emptive shutdown a new philosophy for MBTA Wicked Local 
  • Somerville to ticket unshoveled walks, space savers in parking spaces Wicked Local 
  • Menino apologizes to residents of impassable streets Boston.com
  • Why doesn't the MBTA run a "snow map"? Amateur Planner
  • Food Trucks vs. Nemo - Meals on Wheels Boston Eater
  • Boston issues 6, 900 parking tickets, tows 650 cars, hands out at least $25, 650 in snow removal fines Boston.com
  • Is It Cool to Save a Parking Spot in JP? JP Patch
  • Letter: Unshoveled sidewalks unsafe for public Wicked Local
  • Parking in the bicycle lane Boston Biker
  • Patch Readers Give Somerville a 'B' in Snow Response Somerville Patch
  • Space-saver entrepreneurship: Two guys driving around Southie picking up space savers and reselling them Universal Hub
  • Boston police probing multiple allegations of cars vandalized in post-blizzard parking space disputes Boston.com
    • The code of the Masshole: Police report vandalism across city against people who park in spaces they didn't shovel out Universal Hub
  • Thank you Nemo: Nine Observations I'd Like to Retain Boston Streets
  • A plow, now! Bostonography
  • LETTER: Watertown Needs a Snow Shoveling Ordinance Watertown Patch



  • Mass Ave. Arlington
    • Critical Public Hearing: Mass Ave Ped/Bike Improvements at Risk EALS Coalition
    • Mass. Ave. Corridor supporter questions opponents' key claims Your Arlington
    • Yet another public hearing challenges critics' priorities, residents' stamina Word on the Street
  • Alex Motsenigos, cyclist killed in Wellesley
    • Family sues after no criminal charges to be filed in fatal Wellesley crash WCVB
    • No Indictment For Dana McCoomb, The Truck Driver Who Killed Cyclist Alex Motsenigos Last Year Boston Biker
    • No indictment against truck driver in fatal Wellesley bicycle crash Boston.com
    • MassBike's Response To Decision Not To Indict Driver In Wellesley Fatality MassBike
    • When Grand Juries Stand In The Way Of Truth And Justice Isolate Cyclist
    • Cyclists react with anger after grand jury returns no indictment in Wellesley bike crash case Boston Globe
  • 4 Quirky Ideas to Revolutionize Bike Sharing Atlantic Cities
  • Still no consensus on Somerville's Beacon Street cycle track Wicked Local
  • Why We Need More Research Into Cycling and Brain Science Atlantic Cities
  • If You Build Bike Share, Riders Will Come Atlantic Cities
  • The psychology of why cyclists enrage car drivers BBC
  • Placing The Burden Of Safety On Cyclists Isolate Cyclist
  • Cyclist gets punched in road-rage incident on Columbia Street Wicked Local
  • Dashing through the snow Bicycle Dutch
  • New Bike Commission Seeking Members Inside Medford



  • Traffic Pattern Changes Coming to Fenway in March Through First Phase of Muddy River Project Fenway/Kenmore Patch
  • Registry of Motor Vehicles Unveils MassRMV.com MA Transport Blog
  • Report: Boston Has 5th-Worst Traffic Congestion In U.S. WBUR
  • Is state partly to blame for weekend bus crash? Universal Hub
  • Mass. RMV expects to pull in $65K through website ads Metro
  • Boston’s plague of cheap parking Boston Globe
  • We all subsidize highways, whether we use them or not Better Cities
  • Selectmen consider parking changes near Regent Theatre Wicked Local
  • Free Parking at Boston Meters on Valentine's Day South End Patch
  • Proposed eco-friendly apartment complex would ban car ownership Boston.com

Transportation financing/Government

  • MassDOT Community Transit Grant Available MA Transport Blog
  • Transit officials meet about Arborway Yard JP Gazette
  • Protesters to demand an end to MBTA's random bag inspections Metro
  • Watch Talking with Governor Deval Patrick Somerville Community Access
  • Springfield's Union Station project gets funding boost from MassDevelopment; grant targets site cleanup MassLive
  • Governor's Budget Plan
  • Logan employees arrested in cab bribery scheme Universal Hub
  • Time to seek transit solution is now, not later, says McGee T4MA
  • JPNC lawsuit battle begins; chair open to settlement JP Gazette


  • COLUMN: Cambridge open space is in short supply Wicked Local
  • Park addition design options to be presented JP Gazette
  • City awards $20, 000 grant to Friends of Christopher Columbus Park Boston.com
  • Friends Group Horticulture Plan Rejected by Greenway Conservancy North End Waterfront
  • Ware seeks $50K grant to build two bridges along proposed rail trail MassLive
  • Watertown Town Council Approves Park Project Despite Vocal Opposition from Neighbors Watertown Patch

Development projects

  • Should 197 Washington Street Be Saved? Somerville Patch
  • Casey
  • Hotel plans key in on Porter, Davis squares Boston Herald
  • Proponents, opponents call for more housing in MIT plan Wicked Local
  • 50,000 square foot development could hit Somerville's Union Square Wicked Local
  • Forest City ups ante in Central Square negotiations Wicked Local
  • Boston Museum Has “Given Up the Ghost” North End Waterfront
  • Archon Group project in works for South Boston warehouse cluster on Summer Street Boston Globe
  • South Station Expansion: Environmental Review 101 MA Transportation Blog
  • Irate Cambridge residents demand info on Sullivan Courthouse developer Wicked Local
  • Samuels & Associates proposes another residential tower in the Fenway Boston.com
  • Boston officials OK AvalonBay tower on Nashua Street near TD Garden Boston.com

Land Use/Planning

  • André Leroux/Greg Bialecki: New era of Mass. smart growth Providence Journal
  • Wentworth Institute considers 3-building complex on Sweeney Field site Boston.com
  • Architects show off designs for Somerville's Assembly Square Wicked Local 
  • Hotel out, housing in at South End project by Normandy RE Partners and Gerding Edlen Boston Herald
  • Ten issues with the CDD's Central Square recommendations Wicked Local 
  • Emotional East Cambridge neighbors lash out at state Boston Herald
  • Letter: No sense in swapping bridge for lights JP Gazette


  • CA
    • Before L.A. Became a Car Town, Commuters Actually Rode Mass Transit Atlantic Cities
    • Pasadena's 'Bicycle Boulevard' Officially Open Pasadena Patch
    • With All Eyes on L.A., Villaraigosa Signs New Bike Parking Ordinance LA StreetsBlog
    • New Parking at Santa Monica College: Not Just for Bikes LA StreetsBlog
  • NY
    • Ed Koch, 1973: The Bicycle Must Be Included in NYC Transpo System StreetsBlog
    • How Grand Central Terminal Survived the Wrecking Ball ­ And Lived to 100 Transportation Nation
    • New York expanding nation's biggest transit hub Boston Herald
    • Bridging the Bike Gender Gap in Corona With a Program for Latinas StreetsBlog
    • New York's Real-Time Snow Plow Map to Get its First Major Test This Weekend Atlantic Cities
    • Snow Plow Tracking Site Too Popular for Its Own Good Transportation Nation
    • NYC Ready to Launch Taxi E-Hail Technology Transportation Nation
    • New York Bike-Lane Advocates Fear New Mayor Will Roll Back Gains NY Times
    • New York DMV No Longer Describes Traffic Crashes as Accidents StreetsBlog
    • NYC Mayor Wants 10,000 New Electric Vehicle Charging Spaces Transportation Nation
    • New York Parks in Less Affluent Areas Lack Big Gifts NY Times
  • PA
    • The Brotherly Parkway Arch Paper
    • Philly to Take First Look at Capping Waterfront Highway Next City
    • More Park, Less Way: Re-Urbanizing Philly's Ben Franklin Parkway Next City
  • RI
    • High Price of Gas Drives Rhode Islanders to the Bus CLF
  • IL
    • Chicago's Bold BRT Plan Gets Pushback from Businesses Planetizen
    • State blocks city's plans for protected bike lanes on state-run roads Chicago Tribune
  • NC
  • SC
    • Special-interest push for South Carolina interstate hits roadblock Kansas City
  • CO
    • Colorado Supreme Court Strikes Down Black Hawk Bike Ban DC StreetsBlog
  • VA
    • Va. lawmakers give McDonnell partial win on transportation at session midpoint Washington Post
    • Virginia Closes Door on Bill That Would Penalize Opening Car Doors Into Traffic DCist

National trends

  • Rethinking the gas tax: Suddenly it's the theme of 2013 T4America
  • The State DOT Revolving Door
  • Because Green Goes With Everything NY Times
  • Politics and interstate building intersect in KY & ID McClatchy DC
  • Keeping CNN Honest: 10 Ways Anderson Cooper Got the Rail Story Wrong DC StreetsBlog
  • U.S. Cities Consider Capping Parking Spots Governing.com
  • PPS Unveils Menu for an Effective Road Diet Planetizen
  • Congestion Pricing's Enduring Public Perception Problem Atlantic Cities
  • A US high speed rail network shouldn't just be a dream Guardian News
  • Visualizing How Poorly Amtrak's Route Network Serves Most of the U.S. Atlantic Cities
  • Cycling Advocates to President: We'd Like Another Ray LaHood, Please DC StreetsBlog
    • Ray LaHood: Sitting on the Sidelines Doesn't Accomplish Anything DC StreetsBlog
  • Gary Toth: TTI Congestion Scores Prove Road Expansion Isn't the Answer DC StreetsBlog
  • The President proposes a plan to Fix It First ‹ how will Congress respond? T4America
  • At hearing on crumbling infrastructure, money is the theme Washington Post
  • Looking for New Ways to Pay for Roads and Bridges NY Times

International news

  • China Transportation Briefing: 5 Trends to Watch in China¹s Urban Transport in 2013 
  • Urban mobility UN-Habitat quick guides open for review The City Fix
  • Lessons From London After 10 Years of the Congestion Charge Streetsblog
  • Bicycle Culture by Design: Motorists Dismount Copenhagenize
  • If cycling infrastructure ideas are ignored, very little will change The Guardian