March 5, 2012

St Louis Arch
St. Louis Arch, cut off from downtown by I-70
(Photo courtesy of Next American City)


  • State misses overpass decision deadline (Jamaica Plain Gazette)
    By Rebeca Oliveira -- The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) missed its own deadline this week for making the decision about the Casey Overpass replacement project. There is no new timeline for an announcement and MassDOT offered no explanation for the further delay. “We’re still looking to make a decision soon,” MassDOT spokesperson Michael Verseckes told the Gazette this week. MassDOT has also posted an air quality study and answers to frequent questions online about the Casey replacement project posed by elected officials and the community since mid-November.
  • The 4th Annual Boston Bikes Update: Championing Safety, Innovation & the "New Cyclist" in 2012 (BostInno, Boston Globe, theHumble Cyclist, Boston Globe, Biking in Heels)
    By Lisa DeCanio -- Last night at the Boston Public Library, Boston Bikes held its 4th Annual Boston Bike Update to discuss highlights, challenges and the future of biking in the hub. Hosted by LivableStreets Alliance, leaders in the cyclist community, including Boston’s Transportation Commissioner Thomas Tinlin and Nicole Freedman, Boston’s Director of Bicycle Programs, outlined their visions to make Boston a better, safer and more accessible city through biking. Steve Miller, a volunteer board member of the LivableStreets Alliance, discussed the nonprofit’s five “game changers” for 2012.
  • Who Rides the T? Justice in Transit According to the Demographics of the MBTA [Maps] (BostInno)
    By Jesse Partridge -- Since the MBTA introduced their January 2012 proposal for service cuts and fare increases, thousands of transit riders have turned out to public hearings and rallies to voice their discontent. The proposed changes will affect transit riders throughout the Boston Metropolitan region, and some will feel those effects more deeply than others. Nobody wants to pay more for their commute to work, school or the grocery store, but riders who can least afford to pay more or have their transit route cut, such as youth, elderly and low income residents, stand to lose the most if these changes are enacted. Simply put, public transportation is a matter of social justice.
  • SomerVision: The future is now (Somerville Journal, Somerville News)
    By Auditi Guha -- It’s all about aspirations – to make sure Somerville continues to be an exceptional place to live, work, play and raise a family 20 years from now. Three years worth of community input and city planning to help make that happen culminated last week with a unique long-term plan for the future that few cities boast. After the city’s success in launching unique ventures like SomerStat, Shape Up Somerville and the citywide “happiness survey,” comes SomerVision – the city’s first-ever 20-year comprehensive plan, aimed at long-range planning based on community-generated values and vision. The SomerVision plan was released on Feb. 23 with a reception at City Hall honoring those who contributed to it.
  • Yonkers, Greenburgh, Dobbs Ferry Unanimously For Tappan Zee Transit (Streetsblog)
    By Noah Kazis -- Last night, hundreds of Rockland County residents gathered at the Palisades Mall to tell the Cuomo administration that a transit-free replacement Tappan Zee Bridge isn’t acceptable. In Westchester, too, support for transit across the bridge is running high. Three more local governments have passed unanimous resolutions supporting Tappan Zee transit: the city of Yonkers, the town of Greenburgh and the village of Dobbs Ferry. The Yonkers City Council, representing the fourth-largest city in New York, passed its resolution yesterday by a unanimous vote of 6-0. In its resolution [PDF], the council noted that every alternative developed over a decade of public input included public transportation and that if transit infrastructure isn’t built now, history suggests it won’t be added later.
  • It's time to love the bus (Salon)
    America needs to accept the fact that its most despised form of transport is also its hope for the future
    By Will Doig -- The Guardian hailed it as “a stately vehicle” that conveys “a sense of privilege.” British car mag Autocar road-tested it and praised its “brilliant economy and an interior to die for.” It isn’t a Jag or a Rolls — it’s a London bus with a new set of curves, relaunched this week with the aim of lending municipal bus service a touch of class. Whether more glamour will translate into more riders is yet to be seen. But one thing is certain: When it comes to improving mass transit, there’s a lot of low-hanging fruit on the humble city bus. The vital connective tissue of multi-modal transit systems, the bus could be an efficient — nay, elegant — solution to cities’ mobility woes if only we made it so.




  • MBTA proposals for service cuts and fare hikes -- Background --
    • Proposed MBTA Service Cuts/Fare Increase -- Passing the Buck for Mitigation (Blue Mass Group)
    • What Exactly is the MBTA's 'Big Dig Debt'? (Boston Magazine)
    • MBTA takes more time for recommendations on fares, cuts (Boston Globe)
  • MBTA proposals for service cuts and fare hikes -- Public Hearings and Meetings --
  • MBTA proposals for service cuts and fare hikes -- Political responses --
  • MBTA proposals for service cuts and fare hikes -- Editorials --
  • MBTA proposals for service cuts and fare hikes -- Other reactions --
  • Other MBTA --
    • Probably just wishful thinking, but state officials are considering trolley service from Government Center to Dudley (Universal Hub)
    • The Professional Wingman: How to pickup people on Boston's MBTA (Boston Metro)
    • Just across the river, Patrick and Murray seem unreachable on mass transit (Cambridge Day)
    • The MBTA's Winter Wonderland (Boston Magazine)
    • MBTA: Weekend Red Line closure to end in March (Somerville Journal)
    • New Balance Pushes For a New Commuter Rail Station in Brighton (BostInno, Universal Hub)
    • Editorial: USPS should close Boston site, allow for expanded South Station (Boston Globe)
    • Guest Post: Farewell From The Fifth Car (Boston to a T)
    • Digital ad billboard coming to T stations (Boston Globe, BostInno)
  • Green Line Extension/Community Path Extension --


Transportation financing/Government


Development projects

Land Use/Planning


  • New York City --
    • Cycling in a City like New York (Eltis
    • Tappen Zee Bridge --
    • Parking Minimums Promote Driving, Even in Transit-Friendly New York (Atlantic Cities)
    • Proposal Would Separate Drivers, Cyclists and Walkers on the Prospect Park Loop (New York Times)
    • Everybody Inhale: How Many People Can Manhattan Hold? (New York Times)
    • For Deliverymen, Speed, Tips and Fear on Wheels (New York Times)
  • When The Car Is The Driver (NPR)
  • Red-light anarchy reigns on Albany roads (Times Union)
  • The Tale of a Taxi Driver Who Just Won't Stop Driving (Atlantic Cities)
  • Ride The Tide of Light Rail, Virginia Beach (Next American City)
  • Chicago Commits to Downtown Bus Priority (Transport Politic)
  • Central Arkansas Pumps Up Cycling Efforts (In Arkansas)
  • More Lanes Won't Clear Up the Highway (Next American City)
  • People before cars: Legendary bike and pedestrian advocate urges Houston to change (Culture Map Houston)
  • Looks like all systems go for Central subway (San Francisco Gate)
  • Study: Local roads grow even safer, but not for cyclists, walkers (Orlando Sentinel)
  • Cincinnati Neighborhood Group: Bring on the Market-Rate Pricing (Streetsblog)
  • 832 Miles of New Bikeways Coming to L.A. County, Thanks to Updated Bicycle Master Plan (LAist)
  • HOT lanes pick up momentum, critics (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
  • House Passes Bridge Bill After an Earmark Debate (New York Times)
  • Can a Highway Median Become an Alluring Public Space? (Atlantic Cities)
  • How San Francisco's Cable Cars Climb Its Iconic Hills (Gizmodo)

National trends

  • Federal Transportation Bill --
    • Gas tax falling short in paying for transportation needs (USA TODAY)
    • Transportation Bill Faces a Wall of Opposition From Both Parties (New York Times)
    • Congress to America: "Get a Car!" (Streetsblog DC)
    • Big Victory for Biking & Walking in the Senate! (ABW)
  • Urban Highways --
  • Assumptions, Part 2: The Freak Factor (Bicycling)
  • The American Conservative Center for Public Transportation unites with APTA (Minneapolis Examiner)
  • User Preference Key to Implementing Sustainable Transportation (The City Fix)
  • DOT Issues Voluntary Guidelines for Driver-Distracting Electronics Systems (Streetsblog DC)
  • How to get America to walk (BBC)
  • Zipcar Leads $13.7 Million Series A Round in College Car Sharing Startup Wheelz (BostInno)
  • Get Your Kitchen Out of My Parking Space! (Slate)
  • WTF?! "The Lorax" Gives Mazda "The only Certified Truffula Tree Seal of Approval" (Streetfilms, Transportation Nation)
    • The Lorax helps market Mazda SUVs to elementary school children nationwide (Washington Post)
  • New National Plan to Transform Bicycling (LAB)
  • For the Tech Sector, Bikes are the New Cars (Transportation Nation)
  • Report: Pollution From U.S. Parking Spaces Costs Up to $20 Billion Per Year (Streetsblog DC)
  • Do Bike Paths Promote Bike Riding? (Atlantic Cities)
  • Needs of older drivers not yet met by our roadways and vehicles (Consumer Reports)
    • AASHTO's Vision of Safe Streets for Seniors: Bigger Type on Highway Signs (Streetsblog DC)
  • VIDEO: Cyclists hit the road as gas prices rise (CNN)
  • Access to the Car Pool Lane Can Be Yours, for a Price (New York Times)
  • Making Cities Safer for Cyclists and Pedestrians (New York Times)
  • New technology to ease and worsen highway congestion (Marketplace)
  • Does Light Rail Really Alleviate Highway Congestion? (Atlantic Cities)
  • Is Urbanism Slowing the Rise of Car Travel? (Atlantic Cities)
  • It's time to love the bus (Salon)
  • Editorial: Take the Subway (New York Times)
  • Why Driverless Cars Will Increase Tensions in Cities and Suburbs Alike (Atlantic Cities)

International news