November 3, 2012

Boston's Controversial Helmet Campaign
(Image Courtesy of Boston Magazine)


A bad sign on the horizon Boston Globe

Brian McGrory-- The state has drafted language for new outdoor advertising regulations that, if approved, would open up highways to a potential onslaught of electronic billboards that feature bright lights and changing messages. It may or may not be an overstatement to say that the Southeast Expressway will suddenly look like the Las Vegas Strip, but it would look a lot different than it does now.


The Take: Parking In Boston Should Be More Expensive Boston Magazine

Patrick Doyle-- Driving in Boston is about as much fun as an emergency appendectomy with a jigsaw. Those of us who live here are well equipped to deliver detailed lectures on the reasons why: one-way streets derived from 17th-century cow paths; the lack, for the most part, of a grid; poor to nonexistent signage; and the general willingness of citizens on foot, on bike, and behind the wheel to dart out recklessly into traffic. But as bad as driving is in Boston, it’s a dream compared with the parking.


Charles River Skatepark design includes local elements

Joanna Kaiser-- Iconic Boston skateboarding landmarks will be recreated in the Charles River Skatepark after its developers met with local skaters to collaborate on the design of the long-awaited park. 

Developers of the Charles River Skatepark unveiled their design plans Monday after hearing from the public and local skateboarders at two public meetings.

The proposed design, created by design firm ASD-Stantec, replicates iconic Boston skateboarding landmarks, such as the volcano-shaped mounds at the former Boston City Hospital, in hopes of giving the park an authentic Boston feel. 

(See also:  Wicked Local )


Transit Initiatives Are Giving a Boost to Businesses, a Report Says NY Times

Matt Flegenheimer--The Bloomberg administration has long trumpeted the safety benefits of its many roadway initiatives, hoping to rebuff critics who consider the policies to be undue interventions from a meddling city.

And in a report unveiled on Wednesday, the city’s Transportation Department says it has identified another benefit to pedestrian plazas, bike lanes and a rapid-transit bus system: Businesses that operate nearby have seen a pronounced bump.

“These projects are not just about the quality of life or aesthetics,” Janette Sadik-Khan, the city’s transportation commissioner, said in a phone interview. “In case after case, these projects really do set the table for economic development.”


Hurricane Sandy Provokes the Largest Preemptive Public Transportation Shutdown in U.S.History  Atlantic Cities

Sommer Mathis-- When residents of the U.S. Northeast's largest cities wake up Monday morning, they'll have few options other than to stay put at home. Hurricane Sandy's daunting approach has led to an unprecedented preemptive response from officials to bring some of the most densely populated areas of the United States to a virtual standstill.

By 10 p.m. Sunday night, mass transit agencies in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. had announced that trains and buses would not operate Monday, marking the first time in U.S. history such widespread public transportation service suspensions have been announced before the serious part of a storm has even begun.


What Really Happens When a City Makes Its Transit System Free? Atlantic Cities

Henry Grabar--When Jean-Francois Mayet became mayor of Châteauroux in 2001, the town’s transit system was descending into irrelevance. Each of Châteauroux’s 49,000 inhabitants took the bus, on average, 21 times per year, well below the 38 per annum average for small French cities.

Mayet, a member of France’s socialist party, did what few mayors confronted with a struggling mass transit system would do: he made the whole thing free.




  • Food Trucks Sticking Around Through April 2013 Brookline Patch
  • States Say They Cant Add Underpasses For Biker and Runners Along Charles River Bridges BostInno
  • Somerville skaters outraged after aldermen ban shows at Morse-Kelley Wicked Local
  • Strong towns recap Biking in Heels
  • Digital Billboards
    • Outdoor advertisers balk at new state rules for digital billboards -- including on-premise sigange Boston Herald
    • Ads up; it’s just way too much Boston Globe
    • A bad sign on the horizon Boston Globe
  • Editorial: Long view, fast action needed to fix Morrissey DOT News
  • VULNERABLE ROAD USERS (VRU) PROTECTION LAWS: Whoever Can Do The Most Damage Has To Be The Most Careful LivableStreets Blog
  • Hawkers and peddlers bring food to the streets of Somerville Somerville News
  • Somerville by Design is off and running Somerville News
  • NHNA Hosts Update on Add-a-Lane Project Needham Patch


  • Where to Go Trick Or Treating in Boston BostInno
  • Pedestrians, cyclists, motorists can all get along Wicked Local 
  • Pedestrian killed in Mass. From Florida WHDH
  • SomerStreets Monster Mashed Up Somerville News




Transportation financing/Government


  • Westfield plans for 2nd leg of Columbia Greenway Rail Trail project Mass Live
  • Esplanade Association Transforms Dead Tree into Whimsical Work of Art Back Bay Patch
  • Charles River Skatepark
    • Charles River Skatepark design includes local elements
    • Bowl, flow, and street: Cambridge skatepark designs revealed Wicked Local 
  • First step for trails network
  • Panhandlers occupy Dewey Square Boston Herald
  • Agreement Between Conservancy and Friends Group Means Spring Blooms for North End Greenway Parks North End Waterfront
  • New playground schedule resolves overcrowding in Brookline parks Wicked Local 
  • Boston parks largely unharmed by Sandy

Development projects

  • Fenway Center saga shows the difficulty of building over Mass. Pike Boston Globe
  • Somerville officials look to significantly change building guidelines Wicked Local
  • Roseland Commits to Starting Project on Waterfront Eastie Times
  • Columbia Point gets burst of development Boston Globe
  • Neponset River bridge construction coming to an end; big move next week DOT News
  • This Is What a Neighborhood Revitalization Actually Looks Like Atlantic Cities
  • Home for Little Wanderers
    • City Approves 196-Unit Apartment Complex at Former Home for Little Wanderers JP Patch
    • Little Wanderers campus closer to new housing Boston Globe
    • JP residents angry at city for OK’ing apartment project for former Home for Little Wanderers site Boston Herald 
  • Casey Overpass
    • Pro-bridge group petitions mayor to reboot Casey project JP Gazette
    • New Casey paths will need snow removal plan, attention to detail Boston Cyclists Union
    • Safety report: Casey often drops debris JP Gazette
  • $8 million roadwork underway on Broadway in Somerville Wicked Local
  • Boston Seaport gets another restaurant invasion Boston Globe
  • Hudson Bridge Reconstruction Begins MA Transportation Blog
  • Finally, a building above the Mass Pike Boston Globe
  • Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council: South Huntington Developers Made Big Political Donations JP Patch
  • Gate of Heaven school to become upscale apartments Boston Globe
  • Appeals court refuses to block plan for Jamaica Plain homeless housing, medical facility
  • Neponset River Bridge Completed Ahead of Schedule MA Transportation Blog
  • 34-unit building eyed for Somerville's Highland Auto site Wicked Local 
  • BRA approves S. Huntington project JP Gazette
  • S. Huntington corridor plan in the works JP Gazette
  • Adding to the New Balance Boston Herald
  • Op-Ed: Jamaica Plain subjects real estate development to identity politics Boston Globe
  • Forest Hills overpass backers try to get mayor involved in fight against teardown plan Universal Hub
  • Haymarket Parcel 9 site closer to development Boston Globe

Land Use/Planning

  • Pre-Sprawl Aerial Images: 'The Next Best Thing to a Time Machine' Atlantic Cities
  • Harvard offers more details on massive expansion into Allston Boston Globe
  • Residents withdraw petition motivated by fear of 'unbridled development' Cambridge Day
  • Arlington's Vision 2020 releases survey results Wicked Local 
  • No, thank you, Mr. Kraft Somerville News
  • Jamaica Plain Corridor Study Underway BRA News
  • Letter: Preservation group is consistent in fighting JP project JP Gazette
  • Arlington master plan process underway Wicked Local 
  • Hotel proposed for Hancock conference site in Back Bay Boston Globe
  • Hotel plan faces long-winded review Boston Herald
  • Lovejoy Wharf has new owners, new redevelopment area Boston Globe


  • New York City
    • Taxi-Hailing App Pulls Out of New York After 6 Weeks NY Times
    • The Shame of Demonizing New York's 'Dangerous' Delivery Cyclists Atlantic Cities
    • NYC putting foot down after $442 pedicab fare
    • Bloomberg: Cyclists and riders and walkers are more important than drivers Capital New York
    • NYC is Back in Business: Post Sandy, Queens Mode Montage StreetFilms
    • With Transportation Snarled in Brooklyn, Bicycles Roam Free NY Times
  • Consultant: VDOT used faulty data for bypass study Charlottesville Tomorrow
  • What Happens in Brooklyn Moves to Vegas NY Times
  • Getting Around: Agency considers toll roads with different prices to ease traffic Chicago Tribune
  • Arizona road-safety focus switches to pedestrians AZ Central
  • Walmart Helps to Boost Bentonville to BFC Status Bike League
  • A Tale of Two Munis Bay Citizen
  • KC streetcar plan: pricey transit or economic magnet? Midwest Democracy
  • More buses might be allowed to use highway shoulders Washington Post
  • Car2go Reports Over 6,000 Weekly Trips in D.C. DCist
  • Columbus Pays To Settle Lawsuit Over Potholes Local 12
  • Park the Pickup - Santa Fe by Bicycle NY Times
  • San Diego Chooses Between Two Bicycle Boosters For Mayor DC StreetsBlog

National trends

  • Five Factors That Will Determine Whether TIFIA Benefits Transit DC StreetsBlog
  • The Last American Superhighway American City
  • A New Model: Cycle Hire, for Hire NY Times
  • The Best Cities for Green Commuters Atlantic Cities
  • Whose Parking Regime Reigns Supreme? LA, SF, and NYC Compare Notes StreetsBlog
  • Hurricane Sandy
    • Hurricane Sandy Provokes the Largest Preemptive Public Transportation Shutdown in U.S. History Atlantic Cities
    • Subways May Be Shut for Several Days After Hurricane Sandy NY TImes
    • Advice For Post-Sandy New York Traffic: Take the Bike Bloomberg
    • New York commuters walk, bike and fume amid post-Sandy snarls Reuters
    • Biking in NYC after Sandy NY Times
    • Cities Are Doing It For Themselves StreetsBlog
    • NACTO Previews a Progressive Design Guide for City Streets StreetsBlog
  • Bikes and Business
    • Report: Bike Lanes, Pedestrian Plazas Good for Businesses WSJ
    • New Data Shows Where Americans Bike to Work
    • Biking and Business- Part 1 Biking in Heels
    • Transit Initiatives Are Giving a Boost to Businesses, a Report Says NY Times

International news

  • China
  • The Netherlands
    • Electric Scooter Taxis Debut in Amsterdam Shft
    • Heated cycle lanes to warm Dutch winter cyclists BBC
    • Netherlands Highways Will Glow in the Dark Starting Mid-2013
  • Canada
    • Perfect Match: Metro Vancouver Melds Bikes and Transit StreetFilms
    • Study suggests city's new sharrows are ineffective Edmonton Journal
  • Electric Bikes Go on a Roll in Rome WSJ
  • The 'Confusing and Nonsensical Grandeur' of Dublin Transport Atlantic Cities
  • Pedestrian bridges to nowhere dot Karachi, a city where cars are king Tribune
  • Dutch traffic expert could help save Melbourne from gridlock The Australian
  • The Rise in Seamless Air-Rail Ticketing NY Times
  • What Really Happens When a City Makes Its Transit System Free? Atlantic Cities
  • This London Traffic Light Has 75 Signals Atlantic Cities