July 18, 2014

A New App Sparks Parking Controversy
(Image courtesy of Boston Herald)

App claims to be a new tool in the eternal quest for a city parking space Globe

Haystack debuts in Boston on Tuesday. Users receive an electronic notification when someone else in the Haystack network is about to leave a nearby public metered or free parking space. The driver giving up the spot gets $2.25, and Haystack gets 75 cents for brokering the exchange.

But the Walsh administration contends Haystack essentially will be selling property it doesn’t own — city parking spaces — and profiting from a public asset.


Why Massachusetts’ Outdated Zoning Act Has To Go WBUR

Our cities and towns deserve a modern set of tools to plan ahead for growth. We must be able to ensure that development takes place wisely, spares tax dollars from waste and protects our environment. Development proposals should be based upon community values and local planning priorities. But in too many communities, smart, community-minded development proposals are subject to legal wrangling and costly delays. Meanwhile, lower-quality proposals speed through, abetted by outdated regulations.


Taxi medallions have been the best investment in America for years. Now Uber may be changing that. Washington Post

 As of last summer, a medallion in Chicago fetched around $350,000, a sum that would buy a comfortable condo overlooking Lake Michigan — and one that buyers often finance as they would a mortgage.

In New York, taxi medallions have topped $1 million. In Boston, $700,000. In Philadelphia, $400,000. In Miami,$300,000. Where medallions exist, they have outperformed even the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index. In Chicago, their value has doubled since 2009.


An Ode to London's Rowdy, Reliable Night Buses CityLab

London’s night buses are actually the great, unsung glory of the city’s travel network. Compared with cabs, they’re dirt cheap (they cost the same as a regular daytime bus), come extremely frequently and cover a wide area, and go quickly through the mainly car-free nighttime streets. This could be why they’re so popular, carrying 42 million passengers a year. There’s more to them than even all that: Night buses have played a huge role in opening up London’s nightlife to everyone, especially to people whose modest means or far-flung suburban homes make cab fares seem exorbitant.



  • Paving the way for votes Commonwealth Mag
  • City adds South St. to street redesign project JP Gazette
  • Data Shows How Uber & The MBTA Have Combined to Keep Boston Moving Later on Weekends BostInno
  • In Mass. and Across Country, Conflict Over Gas Tax Debate Boston.com
  • Oh, nuts: Truck loses brakes, careens across Beacon, plunges onto Common Universal Hub
  • BNN News Interviews Pete Stidman and Jamie Maier YouTube


  • Truck driver won't be charged in bike fatality Globe
  • PWD to do Seaver St with cycletracks on one side only Boston Cyclists Union
  • Roxbury's Hampden Street repaved, added to bike lane work plan Boston Cyclists Union
  • DCR takes step back, two steps forward Boston Cyclists Union
  • Brainiac Bikes Globe
  • Cyclist Hit By Truck On Mass. Ave. Boston Mag
  • Possible Sale of Hubway Alta Bicycle Share to REDQ Ventures -- It's an Uphill Battle to Increase Bike-Share Usage Fees BostInno
  • Boston Bicyclists Pulled over by Police, Issued Warnings for Traffic Violations BostInno
  • Want to empower African American kids? Give them bikes Grist


  • Greening Effort Plants 20 Trees on the 20th in Chelsea Square Chelsea Record
  • New Trees Planted Along Arborway JP News
  • No parklet space found yet JP Gazette


  • Somerville PD Dished Out $40K in Tickets During a Recent Crosswalk Crackdown BostInno
  • Crash kills pedestrian in Dorchester Lower Mills Universal Hub
  • Man on foot dies trying to get across turnpike onramp in Allston Universal Hub


  • New MBTA Commuter Rail Operator Keolis to Take Over July 1 BostInno
  • MBTA fares to increase by 5 percent Tuesday Metro
  • Xfinity Wifi HotSpots Now Available on Green Line Underground Platforms BostInno
  • City officials turn to data scientists for insights on late-night T service BizJournals
  • JPNC supports Green Line extension JP Gazette
  • New Real-Time MBTA Data Map Tracks Red, Orange and Blue Line Trains BostInno
  • MBTA Weekend Boat Service Attracts Customers MA Transpo Blog
  • Neighborhood Group, Biz Owners Voice Support for Taking Green Line to Hyde Square JP News
  • Wentworth Students Deliver Presentation on Blue Line Extension Proposal to Riverside BostInno


  • Marty Walsh takes the reins on Allston toll plaza project Globe
  • City, Haystack at odds on sale of parking spots Herald
  • App claims to be a new tool in the eternal quest for a city parking space Globe
  • Should Map Apps Be Regulated In Cars? WBUR
  • UberBOAT Was Successful in Boston, Data Says BostInno
  • Reports finds that MassDOT has too many cars Tribtown
  • Boston threatens to take action on pay-to-park app Haystack Herald

Transportation Finance/Government

  • Survey shows transportation remains key factor in region's growth Metro West DN
  • Mayor Walsh -- BRA re-audit likely Herald
    • Boston Redevelopment Authority Audit Reveals Millions ‘Left on the Table’ Boston.com
    • Mayor Walsh BRA Audit Suggests Generating Revenue Through Real Estate BostInno
  • Legislature repeals law to require more disclosure by MBTA retirement fund; accepts narrower steps Globe
  • The Welcome Mat Is Yanked For Banks North End Waterfront

Development projects

  • Prisoner transfer closes Middlesex jail, moves courthouse development closer Cambridge Day
  • A New Condo Building Is Going Up on the Rose Kennedy Greenway Boston Mag
  • New Balance house work -- adding a residential component to the complex Herald
  • Downtown View Fear All Around Beacon Hill Times
  • Lexington: Route 2 Bridges Groundbreaking MA Transpo Blog

Land Use/Planning

  • Boston needs ideas from Somerville Globe
  • Amid bus yard mystery, no one meets with T JP Gazette
  • Why Massachusetts’ Outdated Zoning Act Has To Go WBUR
  • Tons of Parking Planned for Southie's 150 West Broadway Curbed
  • Zoning workshops collaboratively build community and better customer service Somerville Times
  • Current BRA leader Brian Golden says Red Sox deal bad for taxpayers Herald
  • Letters: Commuter rail generating not-so-smart growth Globe
  • The next person to say "The same as 1897" Amateur Planner


  • MN
    • Minneapolis & St. Paul: This Really Might Be the Nicest Bike-Share System in the United States CityLab
  • TN
    • The Music City’s New Urbanism: The Nine Projects Leading Nashville’s Transformation ArchPaper
  • CA
    • With Caveats, High Speed Rail, And Its Stations, Chug Ahead In California ArchPaper
    • Does San Francisco's Smart Parking System Reduce Cruising for a Space? CityLab
    • LADOT Has Completed More Than 50 Miles of Road Diet Bike Lanes LA StreetsBlog
    • Sheriffs Blame Cyclist Victim in OC Road Rage Bottle-Throwing Incident LA StreetsBlog
  • NY
  • DC
    • Bicyclist bullies try to rule the road in D.C. Washington Post
      • It's time to tone down the tirades against bicyclists Washington Post
      • Courtland Milloy's Bike Hate Gets the Smackdown It Deserves StreetsBlog
  • KS
    • KC Streetcar Sparks Half a Billion In Investment, But Is That Its Main Purpose? NextCity
  • VA
    • Tysons, a Northern Virginia Crossroads, Waits Impatiently for the Train NY TImes
  • OR
    • Portland Newscast Offers Biking Conditions With the Weather Report StreetsBlog
    • In Portland, Merchants Lead the Charge for New Protected Bike Lanes StreetsBlog
    • New rules clear out disabled parking mess Portland Tribune
  • GA
    • The Last Thing Atlanta Needs Is a Billion Dollar Interchange Expansion StreetsBlog
  • UT
    • Salt Lake Light Rail System Reduces Vehicle Traffic On Parallel Roadways Planetizen

National trends

  • The U.S. Is Heading Over the Transit Cliff CityLab
  • Track a Century of U.S. Development With a Tool That Centralizes Old Maps CityLab
  • Bike-Share -- Give Me Reciprocity or Give Me Racks CityLab
  • Penny in your pants: The bike hack for biking in a skirt without flashing everyone. Slate
  • Why Bikes Make Smart People Say Dumb Things Medium
  • 4 Groundbreaking Ways Cities Are Reducing Traffic Mashable
  • Paradox: Congestion May Signify Better Accessibility and Economic Productivity Planetizen
  • Taxi medallions have been the best investment in America for years. Now Uber may be changing that. Washington Post
  • Amtrak to Begin Welcoming Bikes on Long-Distance Routes StreetsBlog
  • The Hidden Genius and Influence of the Traffic Light Wired
  • 371 City Leaders Ask Boxer For More Local Control Over Bike/Ped Money StreetsBlog
  • NTSB Recommends Truck Side Guards to Protect Pedestrians and Cyclists StreetsBlog
  • Study: Motorists Give Cyclists in Bike Lanes More Room When Passing StreetsBlog
  • The 19th-century health scare that told women to worry about "bicycle face" Vox
  • Whether You're Worried About Your Body Or The Economy, You'll Appreciate These 2 Graphics Upworthy
  • Congress Still Hasn't Recognized Bike Sharing as Mass Transit BostInno
  • Protected Bike Lanes Double in U.S. Cities’ Bid for Youth Bloomberg
  • Transportation Projects Don't Need to Take as Long as They Do CityLab
  • Bike-Ped Investments Pay Off By Cutting Traffic and Improving Health StreetsBlog
  • 8 Monster Interchanges That Blight American Cities StreetsBlog
  • The Curbee Invites Cyclists to Rest at Red Lights CityLab
  • These 5 U.S. Metropolises Are Evolving Beyond the Car Wall St Cheat Sheet
  • What a Great Pilot Bike Lane Project Looks Like: 3 Best Practices StreetsBlog
  • Talking Shared Space With Ben Hamilton-Baillie StreetsBlog
  • Moving Cars vs. Investing in Places StreetsBlog
  • Short-Term Highway Fund Boost Gets Both Parties' Support Bloomberg
  • The Secrets of Successful Transit Projects StreetsBlog
  • Strange As It Seems, Cycling Haters Are a Sign of Cycling Success CityLab

International news

  • An Ode to London's Rowdy, Reliable Night Buses CityLab
  • Queering the metro in Mexico City Briar Patch 
  • Helsinki's ambitious plan to make car ownership pointless in 10 years Guardian