January 2, 2013

Boston comes in 4th on Bike Score
Boston comes in 4th on Bike Score

(Image Courtesy of Walk Score)


Episode 16: Livable Streets with Charlie Denison Critical Transit

While in Boston I sat down with Charlie Denison, Advocacy Committee Chair of the Livable Streets Alliance, a local network of sustainable transportation advocates. We discuss the latest in the ongoing effort to redesign our transport networks to serve all users and shift the balance away from car oriented development. Charlie is a multimodal transit user and passionate advocate for safer and more inviting streets where everyone can coexist peacefully.

Leveling Out Somerville Scout

By Tom Nash-- Go find an empty toilet paper roll. Place that over one eye, and cover the other with your hand.

This is something like having retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease Eileen Feldman negotiates with every step she takes.

“It’ll feel disgusting to you,” Feldman says as she sips a chai at Bloc 11. “I have no peripheral vision. I just kind of have to scan the room all the time.Especially if I’m in a new environment.”Feldman, who’s lived in Somerville for nearly a decade, has had plenty of time to adjust to the surroundings of her Prospect Hill neighborhood.

100+ debate Casey project at hearing JP Gazette

By Rebeca Oliveira-- More than 100 people came out to support or oppose the Casey Arborway project at a three-hour Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Office hearing at English High School on Dec. 13.

The hearing was technically a public “consultation” among MEPA officials and state Department of Transportation (MassDOT) planners about whether the project, which will replace the Casey Overpass in Forest Hills with new surface streets, requires a full-scale environmental impact study. MassDOT filed a report claiming there will be minimal environmental impact.

Some residents called variously for more or less environmental study, depending on whether they want to speed the project ahead or stop it in the hopes of getting a replacement bridge instead. Members of several pro-Casey Arborway groups, including the Boston Cyclists Union, were out in force, as was Bridging Forest Hills, which wants a replacement bridge. Most of the comments were general opinions about the project and a majority were in favor of the surface-street plan.

Avis to Buy Zipcar, But Will We Be Left to Zip in Peace? Boston Magazine

By Eric Randall-- Rental car company Avis will buy Zipcar, the Cambridge-based short term rental service, for $500 million, pending shareholder approval, the companies announced today. We’re already seeing fans of the newer, more nimble Zipcar stressing out on social media that the bulkier, more traditional Avis will muck things up.

4 Great Transportation Projects to Watch (and 4 Awful Ones) Atlantic Cities

By Eric Jaffe-- The Sierra Club has released a list of the 50 best and worst transportation projects in the United States , most of which are connected to the country's major metro areas. Sierra evaluated projects based on five criteria — oil use, environmental impact, public health, economics, and land use — though the report essentially separates them into transit good, highways bad. Some of these efforts, like the Alaskan Way Viaduct in Seattle, have already made our lists of mistaken urban highways. Here's a look at four more with great promise, and another four with awful potential.

Beijing Opens Four New Subway Lines to Ease Congestion Business Week

By Bloomberg News-- Beijing put four subway lines and extensions into operation yesterday as part of the Chinese capital’s efforts to expand its public urban transport network and ease traffic congestion.

The openings bring the number of lines in the Chinese capital to 16 with a total length of 442 kilometers (275 miles), according to a statement on the website of government-owned Beijing Subway Operation Co. which runs the system.

China’s economy has quadrupled in size over the past decade, boosting car ownership that’s led to clogged roads and forced some cities to impose traffic restrictions. The nation, home to 16 of the world’s 20 most polluted cities, according to the World Bank, has this year accelerated approvals for the construction of local transport networks across the country.




  • All Walk -- A Brief History of the Barnes Dance Atlantic Cities
  • Do Places Seem Farther Away When You Have to Walk to Get There? Atlantic Cities
  • Man Struck And Killed By Tractor Trailer At Boston Hospital CBS Local
  • Careful out There, Guys: Male Pedestrians More Likely to Die in Car Accidents Wired
  • On the Alewife, small flaws hint at things to come Word on the Street


  • Councilors Push to Improve Bike Safety Back Bay Sun
  • Reflecting, Regrouping, and Riding Forward Boston Bikes
  • Another Bike Song YouTube
  • The Nastiest Cyclist vs. Driver Videos of 2012 Atlantic Cities
  • Get A Bicycle Advisory Committee In Your Community MassBike
  • Walk Score Now Ranks the Bikeability of Every Address in 36 Cities Tree Hugger
  • Bike rides keep LeBron James in peak physical condition Sun Sentinal
  • Letter: Casey bicyclists live here, too JP Gazette
  • What Boston’s public bikes tell us about the city Boston Globe
  • Carlisle woman no longer has time to bike to the grocery Boston.com
  • Councilor Pushes for More Access to Hubway Bike Sharing Program Open Media Boston
  • Downtown View: Bikes are the Biggest Complaint North End Waterfront


  • MassPort Really, Really Wants You to Take the Silver Line We Love Beantown
  • Leveraging Massport money to support overnight transit in Boston Amateur Planner
  • MBTA Driver Hurt In Green Line Crash Shares His Story CBS Local
  • MBTA activates train arrival countdown signs at 24 more stations Boston.com
  • MBTA welcomes carolers back JP Gazette
  • MBTA opens two new elevators in Park Street Station Boston.com
  • New monitors at South Station show Logan Airport flight information Boston.com
  • MBTA ridership up again Universal Hub
  • MBTA Year in Review: A Look at 2012 on Public Transportation BostInno


  • Brookline selectmen approve new parking meters, handheld devices Wicked Local
  • When the Auto Moved In NY Times
  • I-93 Corridor: Real Time Travel Smart Phone App MA Transport. Blog
  • Callahan Tunnel to close Sunday, 9 p.m., for panel inspection Boston.com
  • Carmakers developing hi-tech sensors for drivers Marketplace
  • More than 100 panels removed from Callahan Tunnel over corrosion concerns Wicked Local
  • Smart Parking Has a Learning Curve, Too NY Times
  • Route 128 Add-a-Lane project: Not so fast Boston Globe
  • Parking laws in Boston require motorists to find a meter on a different block after first meter expires Boston Globe
  • Avis to Buy Zipcar, But Will We Be Left to Zip in Peace? Boston Magazine, BostInno

Transportation financing/Government

  • A large turnout gathers for discussion of the Community Path and GLX Somerville News
  • MBTA bus stop relocation hits a few bumps JP Gazette
  • Deadline nears for MBTA financing plan Boston Globe
  • MBTA wants funding, but will hold off on service cuts or fare hikes for now Boston.com
  • Building atop JFK/UMass station? Still a possibility, officials say DOT News
  • Fairmount Corridor Profile Released BRA News


  • Letter: New Casey paths will need better snowplows JP Gazette
  • Nancy Brennan leaves the Greenway a better park Boston Globe
  • TEA and DCR Seek Input on Esplanade Concessions Back Bay Sun
  • New Balance to again help pay to clear snow from 17 miles of state-owned Charles River paths Boston.com

Development projects

  • Developer proposes 350,000 square-foot apartment, retail complex on Harvard-owned land in Allston Boston.com
  • Skanska touts office tower in Seaport Boston Herald
  • Casey
    • 100+ debate Casey project at hearing JP Gazette
    • Letter: Not buying the Casey parkway plan JP Gazette
    • Letter: Casey project will restrict access, boost pollution JP Gazette
  • JPNDC to file Jackson Sq. project JP Gazette
  • Developer eyes Goddard House for hotel, housing JP Gazette
  • Should JPNC Have Sued ZBA Over 161 S. Huntington? JP Patch
  • Op-Ed: Seaport is rising, but not from tech -- from State Street to the Seaport District Boston Globe
  • Assembly Square development is taking shape Boston Globe
  • Paul McMorrow's focus on big firms in Innovation District misses the mark Boston Globe
  • 5-story building proposed for Somerville's Union Square Wicked Local
  • Filene’s and Ferdinand: Boston’s twin real-estate phoenixes Boston Globe

Land Use/Planning

  • Proposed Relocation Draws Criticism from Allston Residents The Crimson
  • S. Huntington 'vision' plan questioned, praised JP Gazette
  • Confluence of events offers opportunity for Stoughton to redefine its downtown Boston Globe
  • City waterfront to come under review - BRA retains Utile to launch a planning study Boston Globe


  • New MARTA GM: First We Economize, Then We Ask the State for Money Transportation Nation
  • Private sector leads the way on new light rail in Detroit Smart Growth America
  • CA
    • Long Beach Unveils Plan to Make 'Most Bike Friendly City' the Safest Too LA Streetsblog
    • Light Rail to Los Angeles International: A Questionable Proposition? Transport Politic
    • Bike-share program planned for L.A. LA Times
    • Redesign of Bay Area's El Camino Real is a Royal Pain Planetizen
  • DC's Capital Bikeshare Expanding by 30 Percent Transportation Nation
  • Oregon Nears Completion of Latest VMT Pilot Governing.com
  • Alexandria Street To Be Equal Opportunity For Cars, Bikes And Pedestrians WAMU
  • Memphis Aims to Be a Friendlier Place for Cyclists NY Times

National trends

  • More Cars on the Road Make You Late, But Some Cars Make You Much Later Than Others Atlantic Cities
  • Improving the Department of Transportation: A conversation with Ray LaHood Washington Post
  • New research confirms central-city comebacks Better! Cities
  • Traffic deaths increase in U.S. Washington Post
  • How Big Government Guides All Development Planetizen
  • Letters: All travel modes, not just rail, rely on public aid Boston Globe
  • Imagine: New York to Washington in 72 Minutes, Via Bullet Train Atlantic Cities
  • 4 Great Transportation Projects to Watch (and 4 Awful Ones) Atlantic Cities
  • Train travel makes a comeback MSN
  • Two-Way Street Networks: More Efficient than Previously Thought? UCTC
  • Bus travel picks up speed in Midwest Marketplace

International news

  • How Britain Is Helping Its Citizens Buy Bikes Atlantic Cities
  • Is Boris spending as wisely on cycling as he could? The Guardian
  • Mass Transit Improvement of the Day: 24 New Tram Stations in Paris Atlantic Cities
  • Hong Kong Will Ban High-Polluting Vehicles to Fight Smog Bloomberg
  • Gardiner Expressway: Chief planner wants to resurrect cost/benefit study The Star
  • Beijing Opens Four New Subway Lines to Ease Congestion Business Week
  • Cycling around in Amsterdam Bicycle Dutch