March 20, 2014

Bike Gadgets
Bikes get a high-tech update
(Image courtesy of New York Times)

Late-night T service set to begin March 28 Boston Globe

The T’s long-awaited late-night weekend service is slated to debut March 28, an effort by city and MBTA officials to make Boston more appealing to younger residents, innovation workers, and other people who stay out long past midnight.

Boylston St. Bike Kiosks Won't Open until after Running of the Marathon Beacon Hill Times

Boston Bikes could launch its season by early next month, but for security reasons, four to six stations in the Back Bay won’t open until after the Boston Marathon, according to Nicole Freedman, director of bicycle programs for the city.

Senate Passes Transportation Bond Bill WGBH

The Massachusetts Senate has approved a bill authorizing $13 billion in capital spending over the next five years to pay for upgrades to the state's transportation system. The bill includes $1.5 billion in spending over the next five years to fund local road and bridge projects.The bill also hikes the penalties for MBTA fare evasion by raising fines to $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense and $600 for a third or subsequent offense.The bill lets the state transportation department spend an additional $50 million in fiscal years 2014 and 2015 on snow and ice removal and dedicates $2.3 billion for South Coast rail improvements.

Gadgets to Boost Bike Safety NY Times

“The most common mistake new cyclists make is not riding predictably,” said Ken Podziba, chief executive of Bike New York, a nonprofit group that promotes cycling. “For example, people who are afraid of getting hit from behind by a car will often do things like ride on the sidewalk or ride against traffic, which actually increases the danger that they will get hit by a motorist who doesn’t see them. Fear is a cyclist’s worst enemy.”

State DOTs Let Roads Fall Apart While Splurging on Highway Expansion StreetsBlog

Even though 33 percent of its roads are in “poor” condition, West Virginia spends about 73 percent of its road budget building new roads and adding lanes. Mississippi spends 97 percent of its road money on expansion. Texas, 82 percent.

Smart Growth America reports that the 50 states and the District of Columbia, combined, devote 55 percent of their road spending — $20.4 billion a year — to expansions, according to data states provide to the Federal Highway Administration. Between 2009 and 2011, that investment added 8,822 lane miles to the nation’s highway system — meaning that more than half of states’ road dollars were dedicated to less than 1 percent of their roads.

How Buenos Aires Unclogged Its Most Iconic Street Atlantic Cities

The postcard image of this proud city is Avenida 9 de Julio, a triumphant boulevard that is by some accounts the widest street in the world. There’s two parts to the picture everyone knows. One is the towering Obelisk commemorating the founding of Buenos Aires. The other is the 20 lanes of traffic commemorating the city’s love of cars.


  • Traffic talk dominates first meeting on proposed Greenough Blvd. redesign Wicked Local
  • New Batch of BigBelly Trash Cans Will Be Installed By Marathon Monday BostInno
  • Main Streets districts, now a Walsh priority, get innovation grants DOT News
  • BSA President-Elect Tim Love Talks the Future of Design in Boston Boston Magazine
  • EFFECTIVE AND DEMOCRATIC CITY (AND TRANSPORTATION) PLANNING: Neither Top-Down nor Bottom-Up Is Enough LivableStreets 


  • Joy Street Pedestrian Improvements Get Favorable Response Beacon Hill Times
  • AWARD Malden pedestrian program wins recognition Wicked Local
  • Pedestrian struck in hit and run outside Mass. Ave. T stop Universal Hub


  • The Boston Athletic Association is endangering cyclists Bits by Bike
  • If you were me Bikeyface
  • Where It's Faster to Bike Than Take a Cab BostInno
  • Boylston St. Bike Kiosks Won't Open until after Running of the Marathon Beacon Hill Times
  • MassBike Goes To Washington: A Recap Of The National Bike Summit MassBike


  • BRA Says Boston's Part of Greenway Connector Project May See a Delay Eastie Times
  • Rep. Michlewitz Moves Legislation to Cover Greenway Parcel 12 Ramp at Cross Street North End Waterfront


  • Boston's Youth Affordabili(T) Coalition calls for $10 MBTA youth pass, plans MassDOT protest Metro
  • Boston needs cooler buses Boston Globe
  • Losing commuter rail bidder MBCR sues to block MBTA deal with Keolis Metro
  • The need for station consolidation on the MBTA "B" branch, in one chart Walking Bostonian
  • Boston middle school students should get on the T Boston Globe
  • Governor Patrick Celebrates MBTA Yawkey Station Opening MA Transpo Blog
  • Officials consider investing Cambridge's money to ease mass transit woes Wicked Local
  • Boston's public transit conundrum Commonwealth Mag
  • Late-night T service set to begin March 28 Boston Globe
  • Driver Involved In Green Line Crash Was Fired In 2010 CBS
  • Springfield Union Station Funding Boost MA Transpo Blog
  • MBTA: 'Human error' caused Monday's trolley derailment WCVB
  • The Tappan Zee Transit Task Force Has Issued Its Report. Now What? StreetsBlog
  • T station technology for visually impaired to debut in ¹16
  • A first look at the "37 billion mile" data challenge, with some maps Walking Bostonian
  • What The MBTA Owes To The '88 Blizzard WGBH
  • Amtrak Calls for New Way to Fund Northeast Corridor Repairs Mobile Mass Transit Mag


  • See Ya, Surge Pricing: Uber Now Lets You Know When Rates Are Low BostInno
  • Alderman asks for change to parking policy Somerville Times
  • Report shows Boston's traffic jams became dramatically worse in 2013 Biz Journals
  • Op-Ed: Putting cars in their place -- in the suburbs as well as the city Boston Globe
  • Parking under I-93 Southeast Expressway Advances MA Transpo Blog
  • Pole yard move forced by stalled T garage plan JP Gazette
  • Half of city's cars banned due to smog Boston Globe
  • Free Parking in Boston on Evacuation Day a.k.a. St. Patrick's Day BostInno

Transportation Finance/Government

  • Capuano hails Green Line funding in Obama’s budget Boston Globe
  • Green Line Extension Funds in Presidential Budget MA Transpo Blog
  • Softening Boston's City Hall Arch Paper
  • Senate Passes Transportation Bond Bill WGBH
  • MassDOT official: Plans for $260 million repair of I-91 Springfield viaduct on fast track Mass Live
  • MassDOT Peppered With Questions, Concerns Over I-91 Viaduct Plans WGGB
  • MassDOT Board Approves Fee Increases to Support Investment MA Transpo Blog
  • State's Transportation Megaprojects Leave Scant Funds to Fix Existing Infrastructure Mass Transit Mag

Development projects

  • Longfellow Bridge: "Salt and Pepper" Towers Work MA Transpo Blog
  • BHCA Supports Livingston’s Bill to Allow MEEI Expansion Here Beacon Hill times
  • The story behind the naming of the Longfellow Bridge Boston Globe
  • Street-Works out of $1.6B downtown Quincy redevelopment Biz Journals
  • 13 Massive Projects Done in Same or Less Time than Anticipated Gov. Center Station Revamp BostInno

Land Use/Planning

  • Urban village eyed for Uphams Corner DOT News
  • Haverhill -- Down by the river, new look for a city Boston Globe
  • City, residents discuss sale of Maxwell Property in Uphams Corner
  • Two Marty Walsh pals land jobs at BRA Herald
  • Civic Groups Unite to Voice Concerns over Proposed Redevelopment of the Government Center Garage Beacon Hill Times
  • South Boston project gets variances over objections of neighbors whose building got similar variances Universal Hub
  • Inherent Union Square planning conflicts can produce creative solutions Somerville Times


  • OR
  • CA
    • San Francisco Ponders Rainbow-Colored Crosswalks Atlantic Cities
    • Muni Overhaul Speeds Up, With Route Changes Ahead Mass Transit Mag
    • SF announcing more plans to boost pedestrian safety SF Examiner
    • Pitfalls of Democracy -- Ballot box planning in San Francisco Arch Paper
  • NV
    • Las Vegas (Of All Places) May Be About to Reinvent Car Ownership Atlantic Cities
  • IL
    • In Indianapolis, a Bike Path to Progress NY Times
  • NY
    • At a Luxury Building on the Upper West Side, the Perks Start at the Curb NY Times
    • Conn. man files $15 million lawsuit against NYC, Citi Bike, claiming nerve damage from bike crash NYDN
    • How a System for Shared Taxi Rides Could Transform New York City Atlantic Cities
    • Survey: Majority of New Yorkers Would Pay for a Parking Permit StreetsBlog
  • PA
    • Car infrastructure turns into bike/ped infrastructure in Pittsburgh & Charleston Tree Hugger
  • TX
    • Dallas following national trend toward walkable neighborhoods Dallas News
  • WA
    • A Small City's Quest for A Walkable Downtown Planetizen
  • NJ
    • Elon Musk compares Chris Christie crew to mafia in letter "To the People of New Jersey" Tree Hugger
  • DC

National trends

  • By The Time Your Car Goes Driverless, You Won't Know The Difference NPR
  • If Your Local Elites Have Gone Completely Bonkers, You May Have Bikelash StreetsBlog
  • America's Cities Are Still Too Afraid to Make Driving Unappealing Atlantic Cities
  • Braving the deep deadly south on a bicycle The Atlantic
  • Use of Public Transit in U.S. Reaches Highest Level Since 1956, Advocates Report NY Times
  • Democracy: Should We Bother? Freakonomics
  • Court ruling in land dispute could eliminate bike trails USA Today
  • The Big City Bike Parking Negative Feedback Loop Atlantic Cities
  • The Race Is On for the Transit Ticket of Tomorrow Atlantic Cities
  • The Supreme Court Decision: How Does It Affect Rail-Trails? Rails to Trails
  • Will High-Tech Mass Transit Fares Leave Too Many Riders Behind? Atlantic Cities
  • Gadgets to Boost Bike Safety NY Times
  • Why Andres Duany Is So Focused on Making 'Lean Urbanism' a Thing Atlantic Cities
  • Uber and Lyft Announce Changes to Driver Insurance Policies Time
  • A World Class Transportation System Strong Towns
  • We're Driving Less, So Should We Stop Building New Roads? Atlantic CIties
  • States Reinvest in Once-Abandoned Freight Lines Governing
  • Anti-Smart Growth Tirade Sounds a Lot Like Urbanism StreetsBlog
  • Inside Obama's Transpo Budget: "Historic Increase" in Transit Funding StreetsBlog
  • Removing a Vehicle Lane? It's Not the End of the World Planetizen
  • State DOTs Let Roads Fall Apart While Splurging on Highway Expansion StreetsBlog
  • 1 mile of a protected bike lane is 100x cheaper than 1 mile of roadway Tree Hugger
  • The Destructive Allure of "Free Money" for Highways StreetsBlog
  • Why Does Infrastructure Cost So Dang Much? Planetizen
  • This is Awkward, Highway Widening Projects Based on Obsolete Projections Planetizen
  • Highway historian looks at HOT lanes projects Washington Post
  • A DIY Approach to Slowing a City's Cars Atlantic Cities

International news

  • Mexico City: Cycle Tracks & Bike Culture Boston Biker
  • How Buenos Aires Unclogged Its Most Iconic Street Atlantic Cities
  • London will test smart crossing system to keep pedestrians safe Engadget
  • London's Plan to Move Cyclists to Side Streets Atlantic Cities
  • ‘The Pied Piper for sustainable transportation’ and his radical idea: Put people first Globe and Mail
  • Should Cities Reject Bad Transit Until Something Better Comes Along? A Lesson from Zurich Next City
  • The best way to get around traffic-clogged Mexico City may be on a bike PRI