November 15, 2012

Join the LivableStreets Team as a Campaign Coordinator! LivableStreets

LivableStreets is searching for a Campaign Coordinator to play a critical part in our growing non-profit organization. We challenge people, government, and businesses to think differently about the role of transportation in our daily lives. We're working to create a system that better balances transit, walking, and biking with automobiles to make the Boston region more connected and livable. We inspire a vision, build partnerships, empower communities, and create change.


Cyclist fatally struck tonight in Allston Boston Globe

Travis Andersen and Jeremy Fox-- A 21-year-old man was fatally struck by a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority bus Monday as he rode a bicycle through a busy Allston intersection, officials said.

Boston police Officer Neva Coakley, a department spokeswoman, said the man was hit just before 6:30 p.m. near the corner of Harvard and Brighton avenues. She could not say whether he was wearing a helmet.

After the collision, a white bicycle could be seen lying next to the curb in front of Redneck’s Roast Beef.

Authorities withheld the man’s identity pending family notification. He was pronounced dead at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. 

Jake Wark, a spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, confirmed that an MBTA bus struck the man and said no charges had been filed against the driver as of Monday evening. “The investigation will likely continue through the night,” he said.

(See also,  BU)


Letter: Casey plan degrades all forms of transportation JP Gazette

Gazette Staff-- At the most recent planning meeting to eliminate the Casey Overpass, MassDOT announced its misguided “Complete Street” design, having degraded every form of transportation at Forest Hills.

First, this meeting presented the elimination of on-street bike lanes along New Washington Street. This is being done because they have acknowledged that the six-lane roadway presents an extremely long pedestrian crossing. However, removing the bike lanes reduces the burden for pedestrians by only 6 feet—leaving 76 feet of pavement to cross! This would be similar to Columbus Avenue by Roxbury Community College.


Crush hour in Cambridge: The city can survive a bit more density. Slate

Matthew Yglesias-- A reader sent me this NIMBY flier from my old college haunts of Cambridge, Mass. and it's a great example of the rhetoric of reaction in action in a community that probably thinks of itself as very progressive and forward-looking. Obviously the core underlying point here—that if more residents and more employment come to Cambridge things will be more crowded—is true by definition.

But one interesting fact about this is that I imagine many Cambridge residents consider themselves advocates for affordable housing. As it happens, right now the median value of owner-occupied housing in Cambridge is about $560,000 compared to $352,000 in the state of Massachusetts and just $188,000 nationwide. So it's clear that status quo Cambridge is actually an extremely desirable place to live. If somewhat increasing the city's population really did somewhat reduce the desirability of living there, it would still be a much-more-desirable-than-average place with much-more-expensive-than-average homes. Consequently, the average standard of living in the United States and in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts would go way up.


It’s Not the Economy, Stupid: Americans Really Are Driving Less DC Streetsblog

Steve Miller-- Looking at the periods before and after the last five recessions, Cortright charted vehicle miles traveled (VMT) per capita in the United States on a monthly basis, indexing the last month of each recession to zero. In four of the five recessions, driving was either increasing or stagnant in the two years before the economic slowdown, and it quickly picked up steam during the recovery.

The only exception was the most recent recession, which lasted from December 2007 to June 2009. Before the recession, driving per person was dropping. After the recession, driving continued to fall. In other words, Cortright says, the recession has little to do with what is actually a long-term trend.


Green wave: Can the U.S. embrace biking the way Denmark has? Slate

Austin Troy-- It’s a Monday morning in Copenhagen, and I’m tearing down a street called Rolighedsvej on my clunky steel rental bike, trying to make it to a meeting for which I’m nearly certain I’ll be late. As I zip along the beautifully maintained bike lanes, it strikes me that I’ve never had a city biking experience quite like this. Not only do I feel totally safe and secure, but I’m able to get to my destination faster and at a fraction of the difficulty and cost than if I were driving a car.

Ninety percent of Copenhageners own a bike. Only 29 percent of Copenhagen households own a car. Fifty-eight percent of Copenhageners use a bike on a daily basis for at least small trips, and 37 percent make their daily commute on bikes. (The city’s target is 50 percent by 2015.) Many government service providers now use bicycles, like postal workers and police officers. With a robust public transportation network to complement the biking routes, only 31 percent need to commute by car. The energy impacts of this are huge: Bicycles have displaced more than one-third of all transportation fossil fuel use in Copenhagen and, in the process, eliminated 90,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year.




  • Dedham looks into more bike lanes and sidewalks Daily News Transcript
  • Drivers ignore crosswalks: Drivers rarely stop for crosswalks on fast, busy streets Orlando Sentinel
  • Somerville pedestrian accident site had been safety concern


  • Not-Cyclists Bikeyface
  • Bike to the Sea celebrates its 20-year anniversary
  • Visualizing Hubway, for real this time Bostonography
  • My Way or the Hubway MAPC
  • Boston goes aggressively after helmetless bicyclists Boston Globe
  • Green wave: Can the U.S. embrace biking the way Denmark has? Slate
  • Cyclist fatally struck tonight in Allston, Boston Globe, BU
  • Hubway Bike Share Data Visualized Boston Biker
  • Winning Over Women Could Help Spur Urban Bicycling Renaissance Rutgers



  • How Mechanization Can Help Cities Rethink Parking Planetizen
  • Americans are apparently not as infatuated with cars as we thought Grist
  • Two Hour Parking Time Limit Removed From Trum Field Ward 5 Online
  • It’s Not the Economy, Stupid: Americans Really Are Driving Less DC Streetsblog
  • Beacon Street Reconstruction Would Eliminate Parking, Add Cycle Tracks Somerville Patch
  • Randolph to Westwood: I-93/I-95 New Lane to Open MA Transportation Blog
  • Somerville businesses object to proposed removal of parking spots on Beacon Street
  • Is There a Parking Problem in Somerville? Somerville Patch

Transportation financing/Government

  • MassDOT Introduces 857-DOT-INFO MA Transportation Blog
  • David Davis, 80; led Massport for 15 years during expansion of Logan Airport Boston Globe
  • Casey
    • BTD chief: Mayor won’t oppose Casey plan, backs process JP Gazette
    • Letter: Casey plan degrades all forms of transportation JP Gazette
    • Pro-bridge group asks mayor to reboot Casey project JP Gazette
    • Casey bike upgrades, busway discussed JP Gazette
    • MassDOT Casey Overpass Report Now Online JP Patch, JP Gazette
  • Transportation Secretary Richard Davey reiterates MBTA fares may rise again next year


  • With boost from conservancy groups, 200-mile Bay Circuit Trail moves closer to completion Boston Globe
  • Repaving in the Public Garden, Boston Common and Comm Ave. Mall Beacon Hill Patch
  • On Boston Common, sandwiches fit for an earl Boston Globe
  • Rail Trail project moves ahead at Needham Town Meeting Wicked Local

Development projects

  • Hanover Route 53 Bridge Replacement MA Transportation Blog
  • Lafayette Center set to get major makeover Boston Globe
  • Proposed Boston museum may be history BizJournals
  • Fore River Bridge Project Begins MA Transportation Blog
  • ‘Serenity’ under BRA review JP Gazette
  • Texas firm Hanover Co. takes on development of 2 new apartment complexes - one in Boston near Pier 4 and one in Cambridge near Alewife Station Boston Herald
  • Crowdfunding sites target civic projects -- New tools let citizens fund city projects Boston Globe
  • S. Huntington project approved by City JP Gazette
  • Governor Deval Patrick is expected to unveil Compact Neighborhoods initiative to build 10, 000 housing units a year
  • Crush hour in Cambridge: The city can survive a bit more density. Slate

Land Use/Planning

  • Children’s Hospital faces opposition for proposed building near Kenmore Square BizJournals
  • The Evolution of Urban Planning in 10 Diagrams Atlantic Cities
  • Home for Little Wanderers
    • Home for Little Wanderers’ moving plans stall in Jamaica Plain Boston Globe
    • Zoning board backs JP rental project at Home for Little Wanderers site Boston Herald
  • The fall and rise of Lafayette Place mall Boston Globe


  • New York
    • Do New York City's streets live up to the hype? (Yes) Bike Portland
    • How Did the MTA Restore Subway Service in Time for Monday’s Rush Hour? NY Mag
    • New York Subways Find Magic in Speedy Hurricane Recovery NY Times
  • First-Ever Sunday Streets Event Transforms Downtown Berkeley StreetFilms
  • Keeping it easy: A plan for transforming downtown Mobile AL Blog
  • Woman Who Drove on Sidewalk Must Wear 'Idiot' Sign ABC News
  • Whose Parking Regime Reigns Supreme? LA, SF, and NYC Compare Notes Streetsblog
  • Was It Worth It? Maryland Says New Highway Meets Expectations; Critics Aren’t So Sure Transportation Nation
  • Jonathan Rose -- Meet the Man Who 'Repairs the Fabric of Communities' Atlantic Cities
  • NYC DOT Study: Street Redesign Good for the Economy Transportation Nation

National trends

  • Election
  • Aging
    • Aging drivers present new transportation challenge AP
    • Ageing in Place -- Home, for the long run Boston Globe

International news

  • How The Dutch Got Their Bike Lanes (And How We Will Get Ours) Boston Biker
  • Is Berlin the safest city to be a cyclist? BBC
  • Toronto Bikers Revolt Against Mayor’s Attempts to Remove Bike Lanes Arch Paper