March 4, 2013

Amtrak gets popular
Amtrak becoming an increasingly popular choice for shorter routes
(Photo courtesy of


The Road (and Rail) to Justice Boston Review

By Amy Dean-- For millions of American families, the commute to work is more than stressful: it can also be cripplingly costly. While the average family spends around 19 percent of its budget getting around, very low-income families (defined as families who make less than half of an area’s median income) can see as much as 55 percent of their earnings eaten up by transportation costs, according to a report by the Center for Transit-Oriented Development.

Bicycle parking changes in the works for Cambridge Wicked Local 

By Megan Riesz-- Cambridge’s Community Development Department has proposed new bicycle zoning regulations related to parking and storage of bicycles. The CDD wants to ensure that new bicycle parking is usable, reinforce the city’s goal to have 10 percent of trips made by bicycle and clear up any confusion in the city’s current parking requirements.

Since bicycling has doubled in Cambridge in the past decade, the CDD proposes that bicycle parking requirements must be applied to “the construction of new buildings or establishments of a new open-air use on a lot,” according to the Bicycle Parking Zoning Proposal modified January 2013.

Governor Patrick: New Online Map Shows Transportation, Education Investments MA Transport Blog

Governor Deval Patrick today unveiled an online map tool that shows members of the public, in real terms, what investing in growth and opportunity will mean for their communities. “This tool will help people see exactly what to expect in their own backyard as part of the investments we’ve proposed,” said Governor Patrick. “Meaningful investments in education and transportation today will significantly improve our economic future both in the short term and for generations to come.”

Rep. Farley-Bouvier Sponsors 'Pay As You Drive' Bill iBerkshires

By Andy McKeever-- State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier has sponsored legislation that would replace the gas tax with a tax on mileage driven.

The bill (H3142) would first establish a pilot program of at least 1,000 volunteers from across the state driving an array of vehicles equipped with transponders to measure the number of miles traveled. The goal is to eventually create a program that will measure times of day, areas and mileage, and implement a tax structure with varied prices for the types of usage.

Washington State Considering a Symbolic Tax on Bicycles StreetsBlog

By Angie Smitt-- In the last few months, we’ve seen all sorts of proposals from states trying to keep their transportation budgets solvent. 

But here’s a new one — the pointless bike tax. Lawmakers in Washington state have proposed a $10 billion transportation spending package that will raise gas taxes and vehicle registration fees. In addition, the draft transportation bill includes what local media are calling a “symbolic” tax on bicycles.

Millennials Say They'd Give Up Their Cars Before Their Computers or Cell Phones Atlantic Cities

By Emily Badger-- Once a week or so we come across yet another sign that Millennials care much less about car ownership than previous generations. They're less likely to drive than their parents. They've got less debt tied up in cars. They'd rather hang out with their friends on Twitter than get in a car to go see them.

And here's yet another: Ask Millennials which piece of technology they could least live without, and it turns out they'd more happily part with their cars than their computers or cell phones. That question, graphed below, comes from the third installment of Zipcar's annual Millennial survey.


  • Firefighters Extract Woman Through Windshield, Accident Shuts Down Intersection Somerville Patch
  • PlayStreets Creates Safe Public Space for Car-Free Recreation StreetsBlog
  • Cycle track vs. parking spaces battle continues in Somerville
  • Clarendon at Tremont Street Intersection: Too Dangerous? South End Patch
  • North Station area is a blueprint for neighborhood-building Boston Globe
  • Open up, Boston -- A 24-hour city is a vibrant, accommodating city Boston Globe
  • Widening Melnea Cass a bad idea My South End
  • Hubway Rides Replace 13 Percent of Car Trips Fenway/Kenmore Patch
  • Shared Roadway IS Possible for High Traffic Centers Union Sq Main

Walking/ Parks

  • Help Us Identify Medford's Problem Crosswalks Medford Patch
  • Parks Commission approves off-leash plan for dogs on Boston Common
  • Parks Department OKs Off-Leash Dog Areas on Boston Common Back Bay Patch


  • As Bikes of Burden Rise, One Company Peddles Slowly to the Revolution WSJ
  • Safety for Cyclists: Very Much Conditional Boston Biker
  • License Commission's Pedicab Pilot Program starts in March Cambridge MA 
  • Reporting Of Cyclists' Reactions To Miscarriages Of Justice Isolate Cyclist
  • Bikes lanes slated for A and D Streets in South Boston
  • Take Back Your Lane! Grimlocke
  • As cycling gains popularity, an anti-cyclist bias remains Boston Globe
  • Bicycle parking changes in the works for Cambridge Wicked Local 
  • 'Helmet of Justice' uses seven cameras to make a black box for bicyclists The Verge
  • Police: Lowell man driving Jaguar slaps Somerville cyclist in face Wicked Local
  • Save the Date! Bay State Bike Week: May 11-19 MA Transport Blog
  • JP Hubway Would Require Network of Stations JP Patch
  • Wellesley, Mass. bike fatality NECN


  • 354 (Boston-Woburn EXPRESS) The T Adventure
  • Wollaston The T Adventure
  • 66 (Harvard-Dudley via Allston & Brookline) The T Adventure
  • Transit signal priority Walking Bostonian
  • Boston Stay Up: Suffolk Univ. students push for late-night T service Metro
    • MBTA Not Considering Late Night Service JP Patch
    • MBTA Survey Asks Riders About Late-Night Service Preferences BostInno
  • MBTA Bus Service Not Expected at MarketStreet Lynnfield Wakefield Patch
  • The Road (and Rail) to Justice Boston Review
  • Rail Trail Extension-Exciting Plans for Phase 2 Cape Cod Today
  • Most Fung Wah Buses Pulled From Road For Safety WBUR
  • Costly temporary solution puts north-south rail link at risk Boston Globe
  • Project would boost transit system, connect people to jobs Boston Globe
  • City To Push Green Line E Train Extension, Roadway Improvements Banker and Tradesman
  • South Boston shuttle service aims to pick up where the T drops off


  • Science Proves It Really Is Just A Couple Of Jerks Making Your Commute Awful UPROXX
  • Untested highway software not used anywhere else in Mass. Word on the Street
  • Why four lanes don't fit Word on the Street
  • The Case for a Higher Gasoline Tax NY Times
  • Delaying Car and Home Ownership Has Helped Millennials Dramatically Reduce Their Debt Atlantic Cities
  • Renting your car out to others takes 14 vehicles off the road Tree Hugger
  • UberX to Launch in Boston, Offering On-Demand Cars For 40% Less BostInno
  • Overnight Parking Question to Go Before Voters in April Arlington Patch
  • Could This Be The First Boston Apartment to Ban Cars? BostInno
  • Superstorm NEMO: Where did the cars go? Parking Reform
  • LETTER: Cars on Mass. Ave. Go Too Fast Arlington Patch
  • Rep. Farley-Bouvier Sponsors 'Pay As You Drive' Bill iBerkshires
  • Speedometer top speed often exceeds reality AP

Transportation financing/Government

  • $400 million needed for Interstate 91 overhaul in Springfield Mass Live
  • South Station critical component in Patrick transportation plan Boston Globe
  • Letter to the Editor: Jehlen Says 'Transportation Funding is at a Crisis Point' Somerville Patch
  • Column: We need money to fix region’s transportation system Eagle Tribune
  • MA House eyeing riders to raise revenue Commonwealth Magazine
  • TRANSPORTATION AND HEALTH PROPOSALS: Legislation Endorsed by the Mass Public Health Association Steve Miller's Blog
  • Mass Ave Hearing
  • ON THE HILL: Investing in transportation is investing in our future Wicked Local
  • Governor Patrick: New Online Map Shows Transportation, Education Investments MA Transport Blog
  • Investing in transportation is investing in our future Somerville News
  • LETTER: 'MassDOT Can Do Better' Arlington Patch
  • New MassINC report on economic impact of transit in Gateway Cities Mass Inc
  • Greenovators, Mayor Menino Wants You! BRA News
  • Investing in transportation is investing in our future Somerville News
  • How's Commuter Rail Service, Cost for Roslindale? MBTA Evaluating Fares Roslindale Patch
  • Green Line extension to Hyde Sq. proposed JP Gazette

Development projects

  • Clash of bureaucracies led to Mass. Ave. delay Word on the Street
  • The cost of doing nothing Amateur Planner
  • Developer withdraws 40B for Hancock Village; buys Coolidge Corner garage Wicked Local
  • BRA Gives Thumbs Up to Brooke Charter School Eastie Times
  • Obama Fleshes Out Plans for Infrastructure Projects NY Times
  • Perhaps next time the 70,000 deficient bridges should lead the speech? T4America
  • Longfellow Bridge construction to begin this summer ‹ with major traffic diversions Boston Globe
  • Massive Jackson Square project picking up steam Boston Globe
  • Modernized hub would elevate Boston on national, world stage Boston Globe
  • Open Up, Boston -- Somerville’s Davis Square offers model for solving region’s housing woes Boston Globe
  • Longfellow, Whittier Bridge Projects Advance MA Transport Blog
  • Tobin Bridge to begin open-road tolling 'later this year' Item Live
  • Casey Overpass: Is JP on the Same Page? JP Patch
  • Mixed-use building on Mt. Vernon would house rentals, retail DOT News

Land Use/Planning

  • East Boston waterfront’s turn for renewal Boston Globe
  • Planners Want to Know People's Vision for How They Want Watertown to Look in the Future Watertown Patch
  • BRA Approves Suffolk University Academic Building for Somerset St. Beacon Hill Times
  • Cambridge City Council can do better in Forest City deal Wicked Local
  • As land use planning changes, zoning is no longer appropriate Washington Post
  • Preserving the architectural past Boston Globe
  • Forest City zoning passes with possible loophole; Rossi OK'd as city manager (corrected) Cambridge Day
  • Councilor Ross -- Boston must build away ‘dead spaces’ Boston Herald
  • Let the market decide how many spaces to build Amateur Planner
  • Assembly Square betrayal? The Somerville News


National trends

  • Despite Fix-It-First Rhetoric, Obama Still Promoting Highway Expansions StreetsBlog
  • Midwest Govs Go All Out to Raise More Money for Highways DC StreetsBlog
  • To Right the Financial Ship, New Sources of Funds are Necessary A Better City
  • Transportation funds can help spur economic growth Berkshire Eagle
  • NH & WY Gas Tax moves... Seattle PI
  • Short-range Amtrak routes surge in popularity
  • Millennials Say They'd Give Up Their Cars Before Their Computers or Cell Phones Atlantic Cities
  • Automatic Reductions in Government Spending -- aka Sequestration CBO

International news