July 5, 2012

MBTA by Night

MBTA by night
(Courtesy of BostInno)


Casey design may slim down (JamaicaPlainGazette)
By Rebeca Olivera -- State Department of Transportation (MassDOT) officials announced the possibility of an Casey Arborway design that would greatly reduce pavement but could still be easily expanded to a larger design to accommodate projected 2035 levels of traffic at a June 18 Design Advisory Group (DAG) meeting.

MBTA Gets Bailed Out By Beacon Hill Just in Time, Fare Increases Start July 1 (BostInno)
By Steve Annear -- Officials from the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority won’t have to tack on additional fare increases beyond the 23 percent spike that will happen on July 1. The state Senate voted in favor of a $49 million bailout bill to cover the remainder of the transit agency’s fiscal 2013 budget gap.

New chapter for Boston Public Library: Retail? (BizJournals)
By Thomas Grillo -- The first few floors of the Boston Public Library’s Copley Square branch could be transformed into a boutique shopping center, according to a source familiar with the proposal. A plan under discussion at City Hall could turn as much as 150,000 square feet of space in the 1972 Johnson Building into a restaurant that would spill onto Boylston Street, as well as an assortment of other retail from the basement to the third level. The library’s interior could be wrapped in glass, similar to the nearby Apple store, with a new entrance on Exeter Street.

Compromise clears path for transportation agreement (Politico)
By Jake Sherman, Burgess Everett, and Adam Snider -- Congressional negotiators are on the brink of a deal to extend federal highway funding for two years, ending a four-month push by both chambers and likely wrapping up major legislative business before the July Fourth recess.The agreement will extend highway spending authority and the gas tax for roughly two years, sources said. But it comes at a price: Republicans had to drop their insistence that President Barack Obama approve the Keystone XL pipeline, and Democrats had to settle for allowing states to opt out of spending some funds on nonroad projects like bike and pedestrian paths. 

Commitment to Tramways Makes France a World Model for New Urban Rail (TheTransportPolitic)
By Yonah Freemark -- Across the country, cities large and small have adopted the construction of modern tramways to bring their citizens a modern form of public transportation that has led to improved circulation, more convenient networks, and renovated downtowns. Like American streetcars, these tramways operate at the ground level, usually without grade separation from automobile traffic, making them relatively cheap to build; on the other hand, like American light rail, tramways operate within their own rights-of-way and they feature long trainsets that can carry the equivalent of four busloads or more — in other words, they actually improve transit capacity and performance.


  • Mass Ave Motorcycle Victim Identified BackBayPatch
  • Arlington Named Tree City USA for 10th Year ArlingtonPatch
  • Convention center video display sign of things to come BostonGlobe
  • On-Street Bike Parking = Awesome! MassBike
  • Aldermen Balk at Prospect of Food Trucks in Somerville SomervillePatch
  • City rolls out $80K upgrade study for street curbs, ramps and intersections TheSomervilleNews
  • Guest column: Cambridge being Cambridge WickedLocal
  • Davis Square Streetscape Improvements SomervilleScout
  • DCR will not open Brighton-Allston pool this summer WickedLocal
  • Mass Ave. will be closed to traffic Friday night, but open for dancing! WickedLocal
  •  IBM gives advice on how to fix Boston traffic — first, get an app BostonGlobe


  • Can You Get People To Walk More, Simply With Smart Signage? FastCoDesign
  • Man arrested in hit-and-run crash WCVB
  • Sidewalk surfing in Brookline: When is it legal? WickedLocal
  • Planters on sidewalks beautify neighborhoods, but shouldn’t block wheelchairs or strollers BostonGlobe
  • The Grave Health Risks of Unwalkable Communities AtlanticCities
  • City Officials Want to Ticket Drivers Who Don¹t Stop For Riders Exiting Green Line Trains BostInno
  • City tending new trees planted in Copley Square Boston.com



  • Boston to a T: Guest Post: Green Line Trolleys Get New Lease on Life BostonToAT
  • MBTA opens spaces in several subway stations to retail use - but not popcorn sales UniversalHub
  • Littering MBTA Riders Are the Cause of Track Fires & Commuter Delays BostInno
  • Four Questions with Eric Moskowitz, Transportation Reporter for the Boston Globe  JewishBoston
  • PVTA Offers New Rewards Program for Riders WGGB
  • The Walking Bostonian: How NextBus changes transit WalkingBostonian
  • Rt. 39 bus bump-outs questioned JamaicaPlainGazette
  • Public transit ills called a health issue Boston.com
  • The Walking Bostonian: Front door-only boarding: a month later WalkingBostonian
  • Elimination of service on Needham commuter rail line delayed WickedLocal
  • Solving the "Bus Bunching" Problem Planetizen
  • Traffic Noise Might Give You a Heart Attack AtlanticCities
  • MBTA ridership up for 16th consecutive month BostonHerald
  • Green Line Extension Update MATransportationBlog
  • T Ridership Continues Historic Growth, Says MBTA SomervillePatch


  • Renting out your own car for cash CNN 
  • Mayor Menino’s war against cars BostonGlobe
  • Mass Eye and Ear proposal would realign Storrow Drive, build park over garage BostonGlobe
  • Transportation: Boston Symphony Sponsors Free Tolls Friday MATransportationBlog
  • Parking in Boston is Way Too Cheap BostonMagazine
  • New Garages for the Downtown: How Can We Get What We Need? LivableStreets
  • Boston Symphony Sponsors Free Tolls Friday MATransportationBlog
  • Traffic Mitigation EastieTimes
  • Cars are fine, but for many city uses, they’re a luxury Boston.com
  • Traffic lights, roundabouts considered for Route 2A bridge Boston.com
  • Bowker Overpass slated for $1.8m repair project in spring 2013; state eyes eventually removing structure Boston.com
  • Storrow Drive garage, park proposed CommonwealthMagazine
  • Union Square Back-In Parking is Working, Says City SomervillePatch
  • While city sleeps, suds replace cars WCVB
  • Bow Street Angle-In Parking Pilot Shows Early Signs of Success TheSomervilleNews

Transportation financing/Government

  • MBTA Bailout
    • State Senators: Put MBTA Control in Hands of Outsiders Medford Patch
    • MBTA opens spaces in several subway stations to retail use - but not popcorn sales UniversalHub
    • MBTA Bailout: Massachusetts Senators Want to Create A New Board to Control T Finances BostInno
    • Senators call for MBTA oversight Metro
    • MBTA Gets Bailed Out By Beacon Hill Just in Time, Fare Increases Start July 1 BostInno WBUR JamaicaPlainPatch Metro
    • State’s short-term fix for an overburdened MBTA Boston.com
    • Guide to upcoming MBTA changes BostonGlobe
    • MBTA commuter rail riders rankled by surprise surcharge for buying tickets onboard BostonGlobe
    • MBTA could sell naming rights; T station names BostInno Boston.com
    • MBTA Fare, Service Changes Begin Sunday, July 1 MATransportationBlog
    • MassDOT CFO calls state transportation budget 'fictional' WickedLocal
    • MBTA Sells Station names; MBTA naming rights BostInno
    • With fares going up Sunday, will this be the last report for awhile on record T ridership? UniversalHub
    • MBTA Riders to State House Officials: "Back Stabbers!!!" BostInno
    • MBTA backtracks on $3 commuter rail surcharge UniversalHub
    • MBTA reverses plan to impose surcharge for all on-board commuter rail ticket buyers BostonGlobe
    • Protestors upset with T fare hikes Metro
    • MBTA’s name game BostonHerald
  • Two Measures to Crack Down on Drunken Drivers Moving Through State House BeaconHillPatch
  • Boston University pays Hub $11.5M to take over 3 streets Boston Herald
  • Turnout skimpy at MBTA session on Bus Line 28 DOTNews
  • New chapter for Boston Public Library: Retail? BizJournals
  • Transportation chief agrees MBTA can't finance expansion DOTNews
  • Capuano: "Time for 'adult conversation' on Somerville Green Line Extension" WickedLocal
  • Passed over again: Feds say no to funds for Neponset Greenway trail DOTNews
  • Neponset Greenway trail denied federal funding for second time Boston.com


  • Bill shining light on Greenway decisions passes House BostonHerald
  • Park program to hold car-free day on Green St. JamaicaPlainGazette
  • Sunlight on the Greenway BostonHerald
  • Boston's New 'Circle the City' Draws People to Parks This Summer; Comes to JP July 15  JamaicaPlainPatch
  • Awards $50k towards revitalization of Cambridge's Magazine Beach  WickedLocal

Development projects

Land Use/Planning

  • Building a Better Bus Stop AtlanticCities
  • Casey design may slim down JamaicaPlainGazette
  • Residents scrutinize Casey Overpass intersection design plans WickedLocal
  • How Robin Chase Reinvented the Transportation Industry Forbes
  • Developer Dan Gainsboro building smart growth neighborhoods with a sense of `place and purpose’ BostonGlobe
  • TOD 205 Guidebook Explains Value Of Incorporating Families Into TOD Planning ReconnectingAmerica
  • Public Participation: The Good and the Bad SomervillePatch


  • Robert Moses, Pedal Pusher? WallStreetJournal
  • To Avert Liability, Washington Town Drops Helmet Laws NYTimes
  • BART Police Arrest Repeat Bike Thief MassTransitMag
  • PBOT experiments with 'intelligent' new indicator light BikePortland
  • Anchorage Bike Riders Need Bike Lanes, not Helmet Laws AlaskaDispatch
  • AASHTO Adds Designs to Bikeway Guide, But Not Protected Bike Lanes DCStreetsBlog
  • “Indiana’s Big Dig” Raises Bar on Absurdly Wasteful Highway Boondoggles DCStreetsBlog
  • Kansas City misses out on $25M federal streetcar grant KansasCity
  • Santa Monica Resets Parking Meter System NYTimes

National trends

  • High Speed Rail --
    • Future of high-speed travel is air, not rail Boston.com
    • Explaining the Psychological Appeal of Rail Over Buses DCStreetsBlog
  • California Home and Design; Ugliest Buildings in America BostInno
  • US DOT Doles Out $500 Million to Transportation Projects Around U.S. TransportationNation
  • Compromise clears path for transportation agreement Politico

International news

  • Commitment to Tramways Makes France a World Model for New Urban Rail TheTransportPolitic
  • Green transport schemes given £266m Independent
  • Georgia and the United Nations: Why walking leads to one-world government TheEconomist
  • Cyclists ‘saved the economy millions’ TheTimes
  • Red card for vehicles parked in cycle lanes TheTimes
  • The Beijing Bicycle: A Requiem NewGeography