January 21, 2014

MBTA Cleans up Graffiti on Historic Trolleys

(Photo courtesy of Universal Hub)

Governor Deval Patrick proposes $6.6 billion on rail and transit, betting big like Dukakis Boston Globe

Shirley Leung—Over five years, Patrick proposes to devote more than 40 percent, or about $6.6 billion, of his transportation capital plan to the MBTA, rail, and other forms of mass transit.

Potential winners include the usual suspects, in and around Boston: $1.3 billion to extend the Green Line to Somerville and Medford; $835 million to begin replacing decades-old Red and Orange line trains; $252 million to buy so-called diesel multiple unit trains and extend the Silver Line to Chelsea.

Boston Transportation: What to Know about the Callahan Tunnel Project BostInno

Nick Deluca—Since 11:00 p.m. on December 11, the Callahan Tunnel connecting Boston Proper to East Boston has been closed. Undergoing extensive renovations, the tunnel which allows travelers using Route 1A to make a direct line to Logan Airport isn't expected to reopen until March. NorthEndWaterfront, a local publication out of the North End, was able to get inside the infrastructure project to see just what exactly the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is doing underneath Boston Harbor.

A slice of Allston transformed Boston Globe

Matt Rocheleau—The grungy old industrial garages and warehouses that lined the two Allston blocks have vanished. In their place: 200 new, luxury ecofriendly apartments — 100 more will open soon — with one-bedroom units going for up to $2,100 a month.

The tenants include doctors, lawyers, and computer engineers. It is likely that few college students live there. Soon, the bar around the corner, a longtime haunt for neighborhood twentysomethings, will be replaced by a to-be-determined “high-end” business or “something more tame,” as the new owner puts it. This slice of Allston, bordering Brookline, is growing up.

San Francisco Is Going to Charge the Google Bus to Use Its Bus Stops Atlantic Cities

Emily Badger—Earlier this week, the city of San Francisco reached a detente with the Silicon Valley tech firms whose private buses have become a major source of traffic and civic discord. For several years, companies like Google and Apple have been running what amounts to a parallel private transportation network – with much nicer amenities – from the heart of the city to their far-flung campuses, often using public bus stops in the process. And the congestion has only grown worse as protesters have descended on the buses as a symbol of the mixed blessings of a new tech boom.

What the Interstate Highway System Should Have Looked Like Atlantic Cities

Eric Jaffe—This anecdote has been told at Cities before but it bears repeating: Eisenhower himself didn't realize the Interstate Highway System would cut through American cities until a few years after construction began. Ike had wanted a national road network like the one he'd seen in Germany during World War II. But he'd also wanted these roads to stop at the doorsteps of cities, not push right past.


  • Planners Look To Sullivan Square As Boston's Next Gateway Banker and Tradesman
  • SLOWING TRAFFIC TO A TARGET SPEED: How To Make Our Streets Safer LivableStreets Blog
  • New committee taking long view of Somerville's Union Square Wicked Local
  • East Somerville Pin-Up Ideas
    • 3 Somerville by Design
    • 4 Somerville by Design
  • Judge rules Charlestown council is public body; cites JPNC case JP Gazette
  • Chicago woman shovels out neighbors' cars in quest to nix parking spot savers Boston.com
  • With nothing done to fix Ceylon Street bridge, activists 'close' it Boston.com
  • The city that Boston Mayor Tom Menino made - Opinion Boston Globe
  • Op-Ed: For urban design, Menino era scores highs and lows Boston Globe
  • Somerville — the little city that could - Opinion Boston Globe


  • Walking city, transit city Walking Bostonian
  • BRA Staff Test Wayfinding Options in Downtown Crossing BRA


  • Cyclists, not just motorists, shop at local stores Boston Globe
  • Disheartening News About Cycling Heart Health Isolate Cyclist
  • City Releases Its 2013 Bike Counts As Awesome Info Graphics Boston Biker
  • Boston Bikes surveying city cyclists Metro
  • 23 more miles of bike lanes in Quincy urged Wicked Local


  • Fitchburg rail to have 2 active tracks by 2016 Sentinel and Enterprise
  • Keolis Will Be The New Operator Of The MBTA's Commuter Rail Services Boston Magazine
  • Gov. Deval Patrick details $12B transportation plan Biz Journals
  • Massachusetts' DMU plan could well provide better rail service Amateur Planner
  • BusPlus+ New Regional Services: Newburyport, Haverhill Mass Transpo Blog
  • MBTA Police Investigating After Historic Trolleys Tagged With Graffiti Boston Magazine
    • Historic MTA trains defaced at Boylston Station, MBTA investigating Metro
    • MBTA police seeking Boylston Station trolley vandals CW56
    • Historic Boylston trolleys steam cleaned overnight Universal Hub
  • MassDOT seeks lovelorn commuters Boston.com
  • Department of Revenue: MBTA Not Impacted by Sales Tax Holiday BostInno
  • 2013 as Seen on the T: The Top 100 #MBTA Tweets of the Year BostInno
  • MBTA Featured in Transit System Infographic BostInno
  • MBTA Police: Fare Evasion Citation in 2014 BostInno
  • New noise barriers coming for train tracks in Somerville Wicked Local
  • weMove Massachusetts: Planning for Performance Mass Transpo Blog
  • Op-Ed: Sullivan Square’s success will depend on the Orange Line Boston Globe
  • New Green Line trains planned for 2021 Boston Globe
  • Increased Boston-to-Springfield passenger rail service may one day become a reality Mass Live


  • Park Here, Pay More WSJ
  • RMV: Report Disability/Handicap Parking Abuse Mass Transpo Blog
  • Center parking is topic of meeting, survey, study Word on the Street
  • Bottleneck Relief Traffic Pattern Change Permanent Mass Transpo Blog
  • The ultimate New Year¹s Eve challenge: hailing a cab Boston.com
  • The Life Hack that's a major no-no: Gas caps for hands-free fueling Boston.com
  • Experiment in Allston: How long will shoveled spaces last? Universal Hub
  • On the Mass Pike: A tale of two toll booths Wicked Local
  • Boston Transportation: What to Know about the Callahan Tunnel Project BostInno
  • MBTA Parking: T Announces Switch to PayByPhone Provider BostInno
  • Pumped over gas tax Commonwealth Mag
  • Officials to flip switch on I-93 underpass light installation Boston.com
  • North End Regional Review: Callahan Tunnel Closure Traffic -- It Ain’t so Bad North End Regional Review
  • Work on Callahan tunnel happening around the clock, and on schedule Boston Globe
  • A street-smart Boston native falls for parking scam on Canal Street Boston.com
  • Testing, testing, testing: The rundown on new local products Boston Globe

Transportation financing/Government

  • See a Pothole? Contact MassDOT Mass Transpo Blog
  • MassDOT Releases Five-Year Investment Plan Mass Transpo Blog
  • A transportation wish-list for 2014 Boston.com
  • Governor Deval Patrick proposes $6.6 billion on rail and transit, betting big like Dukakis Boston Globe
  • COLUMN: Addressing transportation finances in the New Year  Wicked Local
  • MBTA: New Green Line Trains by 2021: MassDOT Capital Plan BostInno
  • MBTA General Manager On 'Boston Public Radio' WGBH
  • MBCR files court order for release of MBTA rail contract documents Metro
  • A Monthly List for Mayor Walsh North End Waterfront


  • Boston Politics: Parks & Recreation Commission Bans Smoking BostInno

Development projects

  • Callahan Tunnel Closed: Work Underway Mass Transpo Blog
  • After criticism from neighbors, state agrees to alter parts of plan to rebuild Cambridge Street overpass in Allston Boston.com
  • Allston rail yard is ripe for growth Boston Globe
  • A slice of Allston transformed Boston Globe
  • JPNC nixes Washington/Green project JP Gazette
  • B.R.A. OKs $500M Landmark center Boston Herald
  • Mayor Walsh vows ‘era of transparency’ pursuing Boston business growth Boston Globe
  • Large development proposed for Arsenal Street in Watertown Boston Globe

Land Use/Planning

  • Talks continue on future of Bowker Overpass Boston.com
  • Neighborhood Groups Vote to Support 124-126 Salem Street Building Development, Sans Parking North End Waterfront
  • MBTA won't move Arborway Yard JP Gazette
  • Somerville's development challenges: Union Square Somerville Times
  • Is the big gaping hole in Quincy Center this city’s Filene’s? Boston Globe


  • NY
    • The Dramatic Makeover of New York's Streets Under Bloomberg Atlantic Cities
    • Citi Bike riders defy freezing temperatures this week Metro
  • IL
    • Why Chicago Is Rolling Back Free Parking for the Disabled Atlantic Cities
  • CA
    • San Francisco Is Going to Charge the Google Bus to Use Its Bus Stops Atlantic Cities
  • KS
    • Kansas City Tries Crowdfunding Its Bike Share Next City

National trends

International news

  • Hamburg Announces Plans to Become a Car-Free City Within 20 Years Inhabitat
  • Brussels -- Europe's Most Congested City Contemplates Going Car-Free Atlantic Cities
  • How London Plans to Eliminate the Search for a Parking Spot Atlantic Cities
  • Plans For a Bike-Friendly Boulevard Are Met With Anger, Protests in Spain Atlantic Cities
  • Norman Foster unveils plans for elevated 'SkyCycle' bike routes in London The Guardian