June 18, 2012

Forsyth St at Huntington Ave
New bike lanes and bike boxes on Forsyth St at Huntington Ave
(Photo courtesy of Boston Bikes)


  • Boston looks to transform parking spots into small parks (Boston Globe)
    By Eric Moskowitz -- The two parking spaces closest to the South End’s Wholy Grain cafe are just like thousands of others in Boston: patches of public asphalt hard against the curb, designated for vehicles. By this time next year, they could be a park. City planners are refining a pilot program to turn parking spaces here and in three other neighborhoods into “parklets’’ - petite, three-season patios, with benches and planters atop platforms built flush with the sidewalk. The program, boston.PARKLETS, follows the lead of San Francisco, which boasts 30 parklets, and New York, which unveiled the first of what it calls “curbside seating platforms’’ in 2010.
  • Route 9 crossing gets green light (Boston Cyclists Union)
    A committee of handpicked town officials and residents made a call on the future of one of the remaining gaps in the Emerald Necklace last week, putting the signalization and reconstruction of the park’s much-lamented bike/ped path crossing of Route 9 on the fast track, and setting a tone for a host of other changes to come. The concept for the short term changes to the crossing, first presented at a June 6 meeting in Brookline’s Town Hall, includes new bike/pedestrian pathway segments through tiny slivers of the park on both sides of Route 9 and a signalized crosswalk over Route 9 itself, including a widened median and expanded waiting area within it that would allow waiting room for a half-dozen bicycles or more.
  • Female Cyclist Killed By MBTA Bus On Huntington Ave (Boston Biker, WBZ, WCVB, Boston Globe)
    A woman cyclist was killed in a crash involving an MBTA bus Friday night in Boston. MBTA Police say the accident happened on Huntington Avenue outbound at Forsyth Street. Investigators say several vehicles were in close proximity to the accident site when it happened and it was not immediately clear which one had collided with the cyclist. After a thorough investigation, police say they found evidence that the MBTA bus had made contact with the victim.
    Related: Huntington and Forsyth Update (Boston Bikes, Boston Biker)
  • New Balance & MassDOT Give Brighton a Brand New Commuter Rail Station (BostInno, Boston Metro, MassDOT Blog, The Walking Bostonian, Universal Hub)
    By Lisa DeCanio -- MBTA commuters will soon need to memorize a new stop on the map. Today, the  Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and New Balance announced a co-signed Letter of Intent to build a new commuter rail station at Everett Street in Brighton, according to a press release. The new station will be called New Brighton Landing and will serve commuters on the Worcester Line. The station will be the first commuter rail station serving Allston-Brighton, and will be part of New Balance’s New Brighton Landing development. As dictated by the agreement, New Balance will be responsible for funding the station’s permitting, design and construction costs as well as annual maintenance costs.
  • Baltimore Considers Freeway Removal (Planetizen)
    By Jonathan Nettler -- Although those at the top of the city's political pyramid have been mum about the fate of the Jones Falls Expressway, which just turned 50 years old, a group of Baltimore's entrepreneurs are pushing to rethink the area now occupied by the roadway. Will Baltimore be the next city to embrace the movement replacing elevated urban expressways with boulevards, redevelopment, and public amenities around the world? With the now 50-year-old Jones Falls Expressway (JFX) approaching its expiration date, Mat Edelson reports on the efforts of a group of entrepreneurs, led by Edison Parking, a major owner of land in close proximity to the expressway, who view "taking down of the JFX as key to redeveloping an area that would reach east to the blighted Old Town neighborhood (and beyond that to Hopkins Hospital) and west to Mount Vernon and the Downtown business district. "
  • Urban congestion is attractive (Montreal Gazette)
    By John Kenney -- Wendell Cox’s piece on the virtues of unchecked sprawl (“Urban Sprawl gets a bad rap,” Opinion, June 1) is an ideological manifesto, not a serious piece of reflection on the future of our cities. Its purpose is to make us believe that cities are simply engines of economic opportunity and that policies that intervene in market processes are doomed to cause economic pain and nothing else. The fact that cities are also communities and ecologies doesn’t appear to matter to Mr. Cox. That public policies can help to mitigate the negative impact of market processes appears to be irrelevant to him. Mr. Cox’s argument is an utter simplification of a complex reality. Even his economic argument that deconcentration and high mobility are good for urban competitiveness is unfounded. Urban densities are not inimical to innovation, quite the contrary; congestion downtown is a sign of its attractiveness. Think about New York City, Paris or Hong Kong, and ask yourself if Montreal should really model itself after Atlanta in order to become more competitive.






  • Space Invaders: What happens when Seaport development hits downtown parking rates? (Boston Business Journal)
  • Massachusetts teenager guilty in texting-while-driving fatal crash gets year in jail (FOX News)
  • Survey: Mass. teens still text while driving (WCVB)
  • The Car Isn't King: Why Boston Doesn't Need More Parking (BostInno)
  • Parking permit price hikes proposed for Somerville (Somerville Journal)
  • Free Metered Parking in Honor of Bunker Hill Day Today (BostInno)
  • RMV License Plate Lottery Applications (MassDOT Blog)
    • Why Do Massachusetts Residents Love Low Numbered License Plates? (BostInno)

Transportation financing/Government

  • State Transportation Funding --
  • GreenDOT Policy: 2nd Anniversary (MassDOT Blog)
  • Vulnerable Road Users Bill in Limbo (MassBike)
  • Can the make over Boston? (Boston Globe)
  • Belmont Police Stepping Up Traffic Enforcement (Belmont Patch)
  • Less is More: How Boston is Failing Its Food Trucks (BostInno)
  • Once a public transit fan, always a public transit fan (Universal Hub)
  • Bridge Projects Win Innovation, Ahead of Schedule Awards (MassDOT Blog)


Development projects

Land Use/Planning


National trends

International news