November 6, 2013

South Station is Poised for a Major Overhaul
(Image Courtesy of BizJournals)

Driver hits bicyclists in Allston, takes off My Fox Boston

A 23-year-old Watertown man is facing OUI charges for his alleged connection to a hit-and-run in Allston.
Joseph Besnilian is expected to be arraigned Thursday in Brighton District Court on charges that include operating under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident causing personal injury.
Besnilian is accused of hitting two people in their 20s near the intersection of Lincoln and Franklin streets at about 1 a.m.


Photos: Conceptual designs of project to straighten Mass. Pike in Allston

Matt RocheleauThe state this week announced several major transportation projects, including plans to straighten part of the Massachusetts Turnpike that cuts through Allston and reconfigure exit and entrance ramps as well as some local roads.

State officials said the project will relieve traffic congestion and the pollution it produces, while opening up land for development.

The estimated $260-million, multi-phase project is scheduled to start in fall 2016 and be completed by 2020, according to the state transportation department.


Newton Multi-Use Path Moves Forward Mass Transpo Blog

Newton Mayor Setti D. Warren and MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey signed a 99-year lease agreement that will clear the way for the conversion of an abandoned railroad into a multi-use path in the Upper Falls village.

The route will follow a one-mile stretch of abandoned railroad that was formerly the Needham Secondary Branch Line.  The path will start at the Charles River and extend northeasterly, running parallel to Needham Street.

“This project is all about working collaboratively, thinking creatively, and finding new ways to meet the growing demand for more transportation choices,” said Secretary Davey.  “Through Mayor Warren’s leadership, this blighted property will be put to active use, which will promote healthy and sustainable living.”


Driving drops, but Portland gridlock among the tops: What gives? It's called 'driving light' Oregon Live

Joseph Rose-- When the economy took a nosedive in 2008, dragging jobs and disposable income with it, Oregon residents reacted by driving their cars less. Or so goes the conventional wisdom.

But an analysis of new traffic data by The Oregonian shows that driving in the state actually peaked in 2004, four years before the Great Recession hit. What's more, for the first time in the history of America's love affair with the automobile, the driving levels nationally aren't tracking economic growth.


The U.S. Cities Where the Fewest Commuters Get to Work By Car Atlantic Cities

Emily Badger-- IQC fellow Shane Hampton posted some nice visualizations of how major cities stack up against each other by commuter mode share. The data comes from the 2012 American Community Survey, which records how people primarily get to and from their jobs (not necessarily how they make all of their daily trips, to destinations like the grocery store or church).


Smart public bikeshare: The wise man's means of transportation The City Fix

Jeppe Mikel Jensen--By integrating a tablet computer and GPS devices, the new [Danish] Gobike public bike share system gives users the opportunity to receive information on the optimal route and means of transportation for freight and people alike to reach their final destination. Adding ITS elements to bicycles is an excellent way to market bicycles as sustainable and smart alternatives to private cars. Bicycles can also be further merged with public transport and car pool systems with integrated ticketing systems in order to enable smoother transitions between various modes of transport. The introduction of the “smart bike” is a space-efficient alternative to the private car, and a key part of the solution to the challenged infrastructure of our booming cities.



  • Private Funds to Beautify Putnam Avenue​ Beacon Hill Times
  • Digital billboard, new development raise concerns in Dorchester​
  • Newton Multi-Use Path Moves Forward Mass Transpo Blog
  • Op-Ed: Boston’s new frontier of civic leaders Boston Globe
  • OPENING STREETS, CHANGING POLICIES: Creating Space for Neighborhood Revival and Transportation Reform Boston Biker
  • Summer Street redesign progresses; plans now include cycle track


  • Ride to work? You'll need a bike barrier for that The Conversation
  • Editorial: Don't ban bikes from sidewalks Wicked Local
  • Somerville to fine bike lane blockers $50  Wicked Local
  • Cambridge start-up to give cyclists a boost​ Boston Globe
  • Bikes Infrastructure Makes Traffic Run Smoother Boston Biker
  • Letter: Bicyclists need to earn respect Wicked Local
  • Student Startups: MIT Grads Launch Bike-Powered Alcohol Delivery Service BostInno
  • Bikes are nice, but there are limits JP Gazette
  • Springfield Installs First Bike Lanes Mass Bike
  • New bike lanes mean good news for commuters UMass Media
  • Hit and Run in Allston
    • Driver hits bicyclists in Allston, takes off My Fox Boston
    • DA: Hit/run suspect's car had blood all over one side and was barely driveable, but he denied hitting anyone Universal Hub



Parks and Pedestrians

Transportation financing/Government

  • ¡Arriba Lantigua! Commonwealth Mag
  • A transportation plan to get behind: getting businesses to pay for transit in Boston Boston Globe
  • Mayor Menino Announces New Projects Moving Forward BRA News
  • Menino's building boom was overshadowed by the ones under his two predecessors BizJournals
  • LEGACY TIME: Styles and Strategies for the Political Administration End Game LivableStreets Blog
  • Mayoral Race
    • Boston mayoral candidate Martin Walsh offers plan to dismantle BRA Boston Globe
    • Marty Walsh On Improving Transportation, Parking In Boston WGBH
    • Transportation: What Boston Mayoral Candidate John Connolly Can And Can't Do WGBH
    • Mayoral Candidate Clarity for Casey Arborway? Arborway Matters
    • A new BRA, but at what cost? Mayoral candidates promising BRA reform vow not to upset Boston’s economic engine Boston Globe
    • Marty Walsh team includes gang of BRA insiders Boston Herald
  • Patrick to announce plans to purchase T cars, overhaul Allston section of I-90 Boston Globe
  • Highway Division Customer Survey Seeks Public Input Mass Transit Mag
  • Got beef with MassDOT? Now¹s your chance to speak up
  • MBTA Seeks Commuter Rail Expansion Public Input Mass Transpo Blog

Development projects

  • Letters: Research misread in debate over car-free housing Boston Globe
  • Four New Leases Signed for South Station, Construction Beginning October BostInno
  • South Station Expansion
    • South Station to get new tavern, CVS, Starbucks, bookstore, restrooms Metro
    • Look: More South Station expansion renderings BizJournals
  • BRA poised to approve major new Boston real estate developments Boston Globe
  • Waltham councilors approve huge mixed-use downtown project
  • The weather is cooler. The Longfellow is the same. Amateur Planner
  • Photos: Conceptual designs of project to straighten Mass. Pike in Allston
  • BRA OK's Viet-AID's Four Corners housing project DOT News
  • MEEI Expansion Plan Remains on Track The Courant
  • Roslindale Neighbors: Substation listed on historic register; rehab pending JP Gazette
  • Boston Architectural College Cuts Ribbon for Green Alley Back Bay Sun
  • Wallbreaking Ceremony to mark demolition of Somerville Waste Transfer Station, October 28 The Somerville Times
  • Fenway Center developer seeks city tax breaks Boston Globe

Land Use/Planning

  • Citizens complaint to attorney general challenges city on master plan, zoning Cambridge Day
  • MassDOT to hear latest plan for Center transit Word on the Street
  • Op-Ed: Worcester’s failed mall showed that cities can’t wish vibrant downtowns into existence Boston Globe
  • New lane setup aims to smooth traffic flow on Morrissey Blvd. DOT News
  • Belmont: Trapelo Road Project Advances Mass Transit Blog
  • 36 units planned for Brookley Road lot JP Gazette
  • BRA approves Forest Hills project JP Gazette
  • DeMaria to Present Zoning for Lower Broadway District Everett Independent
  • MassDOT Board Approves Boston Back Bay Development  Mass Transpo Blog
  • Op-Ed: Use housing to heal scars from bulldozer era -- Southwest Expressway leaves wounds that still need healing​ Boston Globe
  • Chinese developer proposes 55-foot, 19-unit building on Patsy's site in East Somerville Wicked Local
  • Somerville warehouse high-rise to be converted into apartments
  • Planning for South Station Expansion Mass Transpo Blog


  • NY
    • NYPD cracks down on speeding NY Post
    • TA Poll: Majority of Citi Bike Users Want Protected Car-Free Bike Lanes StreetsBlog
    • NYPD Charges 0.7 Percent of Drivers Who Injure and Kill With Careless Driving StreetsBlog
    • For the Next Mayor, a To-Do List NY Times
    • New York's Citibikes make Delia Ephron blue TreeHugger
    • Pedestrian plaza supporters fight back after mayoral debate Metro
    • DOT wins first Citi Bike placement lawsuit NY Post
    • New York City to Fit All Streetlights With Energy-Saving LED Bulbs NY Times
    • Commuting's Hidden Cost NY Times
    • 10 Gorgeous, Nostalgic Photos of New York's Old Penn Station Atlantic Cities
    • Bikers to get dedicated lane on Pulaski Bridge between Brooklyn and Queens NY Daily News
  • PA
    • Pittsburgh bike campaign is a lycra-free zone, showing cyclists as people Tree Hugger
  • IN
    • Indiana Amtrak Service Saved. Now, How Can It Be Improved? StreetsBlog
  • CA
  • MD
    • In Maryland, a Highway Built on Hype is "Stuck in Neutral" Planetizen
  • IL
    • Rebuffing Planner Recommendations, Illinois Officials Approve New Expressway Planetizen
    • Chicago's Divvy bike share system wins over a rider who initially scoffed Chicago Tribune
    • On Broadway: A Preview of Chicago’s Next Protected Bike Lane Street Chi StreetsBlog
    • Eyes on the Street: New Protected and Buffered Bike Lanes on Vincennes Chi StreetsBlog
  • DC
    • How One D.C. Suburb Set A Gold Standard For Commuting NPR
  • WA
    • How Seattle Transformed Parking Without Spending a Fortune Atlantic Cities
    • Seattle's Scandalous Plan to Replace Parking With Parking StreetsBlog
  • OR
    • Driving drops, but Portland gridlock among the tops: What gives? It's called 'driving light' Oregon Live
  • CO
    • Denver Tech Companies’ Number 1 Demand: Bike Lanes StreetsBlog
  • LA

National trends

  • Parking Break: What Cities Gain When They Lose Parking Quotas DC StreetsBlog
  • Curb Appeal Sight Line
  • New toolkit provides cities with innovative street design guidelines The City Fix
  • Self-Contained Solar-Powered Streetlights Stay Completely Off the Grid Gizmodo
  • Janette Sadik-Khan's TED Talk: You Can Remake Your Streets DC StreetsBlog
  • Green Lane Project Looking for Six New Cities With Big Bike Ambitions DC StreetsBlog
  • Fox Business Tries and Fails to Capture the Dorothy Rabinowitz Magic StreetsBlog
  • Bikes vs Cars Director Fredrik Gertten Sets Out to Expose the Car Lobby DC StreetsBlog
  • The Rise of the Bicycle-Friendly Suburb Atlantic Cities
  • What About The Elderly? Strong Towns
  • Distracted Driving Is Claiming the Lives of More Pedestrians and Cyclists DC StreetsBlog
  • Light, Quick And Cheap: The Big Shift In Urban Planning Forbes
  • Ditch the car? Dying suburbs revived by walking CNBC
  • Highways, Casinos, and Bridges, Or the Insatiable Demand for Boondoggle Highways Urbanophile
  • The Problem With “Multi-Modal Level of Service” DC StreetsBlog
  • City Living and Telecommuting Take Market Share, But Commuter Rail Remains Important Frontier Group
  • How To Solve A Sky-High Commuting Conundrum​ NPR
  • Understanding the quirks of incremental urbanism Better Cities
  • The U.S. Cities Where the Fewest Commuters Get to Work By Car Atlantic Cities
  • Bike shares can be perfect!: Solving the commuting algorithm
  • Reverse Commutes Now Often A Daily Slog, Too NPR
  • Amtrak CEO to lawmakers: Stop taking the northeast corridor for granted
  • New Wave of Development Follows Streetcar Construction in Mid-Sized Cities DC StreetsBlog 
  • LaHood: America's Transportation Future is in Rail, Google Car, Mobility Labs Mobility Lab
  • Why Bike-Share Fans Should Be Concerned About a New Allegation in Minnesota Atlantic Cities
  • Chinatowns Renew Push for Traditional Gateways NY Times
  • Actually, Technology Hasn't Really Stopped Millennials From Driving Atlantic Cities
  • Brookings: “Cash for Clunkers” Wasn’t Worth It DC StreetsBlog
  • Long Barred from American Tracks, European Train Designs Could Get Rolling by 2015 Next City
  • The Data Changes, But the State DOT’s Traffic Projections Stay the Same StreetsBlog
  • This Is What a Boondoggle Looks Like Urbanophile
  • Curbing Cars in the Columbia Journalism Review

International news

  • What Do Pedestrian Traffic Icons Say About Your Culture? The Economist
  • How Ho Chi Minh City’s Filthy Canal Became a Park Bloomberg
  • A Tour of a Whole Country That Has 'Transformed Itself for Cycling' Atlantic Cities
  • Bicycle Anecdotes From Amsterdam StreetFilms
  • In Almost Every European Country, Bikes Are Outselling New Cars NPR
  • Smart public bikeshare: The wise man's means of transportation The City Fix
  • Street food and urban mobility thrive together in Seoul The City Fix
  • Britain Is Experimenting With a Glowing, Seemingly Self-Aware Bike Path​ Atlantic Cities
  • Paris by Wheelchair: A Seemingly Impossible Challenge Atlantic Cities