January 17, 2011

Copengan Winter Cyclists
Winter cyclists in Copenhagen
(Photo courtesy Copenhagenize.com)


  • Demise of overpass may help reconnect a necklace (Boston Globe)
    State deciding how to replace elevated road, relink parks
    By Eric Moskowitz -- Even as elevated highways go, the Casey Overpass is an eyesore. The concrete piers are cracked and stained, and the steel deck is a patchwork of rust and rust-colored paint. The jarring road surface always seems to be under construction, and the fragile outside lanes have been permanently closed for stability. The 57-year-old overpass — which carries the Arborway, also known as Route 203, between the Arnold Arboretum and Franklin Park above Jamaica Plain’s Forest Hills neighborhood — is literally beyond repair, and state officials intend to tear it down. What they are trying to decide is how to replace it or even whether to replace it at all.
  • Lagging signals enable pedestrian scofflaws (Boston Globe)
    By Christina Pazzanese -- Reader Douglas Johnson tells GlobeWatch that the Oct. 25 column about gridlock at the intersection of Boylston Street and Massachusetts Avenue neglected to mention one factor he believes is contributing to the problem: improperly timed pedestrian walk signals. "Nearly all the pedestrian countdown signals in Boston are incorrect — usually changing to 0 anywhere from 5 to 20 seconds before the light changes to red,’’ including those at Boylston and Massachusetts Avenue, Johnson wrote in several e-mails.
  • Charlestown residents rally for short-lived bike lanes (Boston Globe, Charlestown Patch, Boston Cyclists' Union)
    By Sarah Brown -- More than a month after the city removed newly installed bike lanes on Charlestown’s Main Street, biking advocates turned out Thursday night to express anger at the lanes' swift removal and to call for their restoration. Almost 50 residents and other biking advocates came to the Knights of Columbus for the Charlestown Neighborhood Council’s Basic Services meeting, with city representatives on hand to answer questions and hear comments on the move.
  • To boost its parking revenues, T plans to make paying easier (Boston Globe, MassDOT Blog)
    By Milton Valencia -- The MBTA said yesterday that it plans to offer new, easier ways for commuters to pay at parking lots across the state, such as setting up a website that offers monthly passes. The program will begin in February and will be based at the MBTA’s website, www.mbta.com. The passes are $70 and can be bought with a credit card. Before the announcement yesterday, the Globe reported that MBTA officials have started to more aggressively enforce the collection of fees at T parking lots and will track down scofflaws who repeatedly cheat the system.
  • Chicago streets go on a road diet (Chicago Tribune)
    By John Hilkevitch -- Like a bulging waistline, Chicago streets have gotten fat over the years, growing wider from curb to curb to handle more vehicles. With that additional girth, traffic-related dangers have expanded, too, especially for pedestrians and transit riders trying to cross busy streets and bicyclists sharing the road with cars and trucks. Sidewalks, meanwhile, often have been narrowed to accommodate more traffic lanes. But a more inclusive approach to traffic management is starting to take root here, as city transportation officials prepare to launch the largest local experiment of its kind to slim down streets.
  • Do roads pay for themselves? Well, no (Streetsblog DC, Grist, T4America)
    By Tanya Snyder -- You’ve heard it a thousand times from the highway lobby: Roads pay for themselves through “user fees” — a.k.a. gas taxes and tolls — whereas transit is a drain on the taxpayer. They use this argument to push for new roads, instead of transit, as fiscally prudent investments. The myth of the self-financed road meets its match today in the form of a new report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group: “Do Roads Pay For Themselves?” The answer is a resounding “no.” All told, the authors calculate that road construction has sucked $600 billion out of America’s public purse since the dawn of the interstate system.
  • Study: Biking Infrastructure Creates More Jobs Than Auto-Based Road Projects (Transportation Nation, AltTransport)
    By Andrea Bernstein -- This study comes to us via Ray LaHood, the U.S. Transportation Secretary.  It’s brief — but by giving it the imprimatur of his blog, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is forcing us to pay attention. The Political Economy Research Institute, a University of Massachusetts, Amherst-linked public policy group, looked at 2008 data from Baltimore, and found that while road projects created about 7 jobs per million dollars spent, bike projects created 11-14 jobs per million, and pedestrian projects, 11.






Transportation financing/Government


Development projects

Land Use/Planning

  • What's missing from the Innovation District: Public amenities and services (Universal Hub)
  • Changes are urged to LEED-ND's treatment of biking (New Urban Network)
  • Unforeseen results of zoning give Planning Board pause (Cambridge Day)


National trends

International news