October 16, 2011

Earvin 'Magic' Johnson gestures at a press<br />
"Magic" Johnson helps promote the renewed NorthPoint project
(Photo courtesy of Boston Globe)
  • Investors to relaunch NorthPoint project in East Cambridge (Boston Globe)
    By Casey Ross -- A new team of investors is set to resume construction of the massive NorthPoint development, a $2 billion mini-city between Cambridge and Boston that will bring thousands of new homes, a shopping complex, and offices to a former rail yard.  The 44-acre project, stalled since 2007 because of legal and financial issues, is one of the biggest in the state and promises to transform a huge swath of vacant industrial land into a new neighborhood along the MBTA’s Green Line, whose planned extension through Somerville will start at the property’s edge.
  • Car Sharing 2.0 Leaps Forward in Paris (The Transport Politic)
    By Yonah Freemark -- An all-electric, point-to-point system could revolutionize how we think about the automobile and significantly reduce the need for private cars in our cities. [...] Paris took the most significant -- and most visible -- step forward this week with the introduction of its new Autolib' service, modeled after its highly popular Velib' bike sharing system.
  • Truckers prefer fuel taxes over tolls (Washington Times)
    By Ben Wolfgang -- Calls for higher fuel taxes are coming from an unexpected place: the trucking industry. As an alternative to more tolls on major highways, the American Trucking Association supports an increase in federal fuel taxes, provided the money is put toward desperately needed infrastructure repair.
  • GM ads insult bicyclists, inspire ridicule, and get pulled (League of American Bicyclists, Cyclelicious, LA Times)
    If you are a student looking to add tens of thousands of dollars of long term debt, care little about the environment, and want to lump two tons of steel around campus while paying through the nose for insurance, gas, and parking…General Motors has got a perfect deal for you. Bonus: it’ll make you fat and unhealthy! All you have to do is give up that dorky bicycle that’s easy to use, practically free, gets you some exercise and is actually fun to ride.



  • Walking With Headphones: Only Dangerous Sometimes (The Atlantic Cities)
  • Officials Join Students to Participate in International Walk to School Day (MassDOT blog)
  • Safe Routes to School Improvements in Lexington (MassDOT blog)




  • Lenox Hotel plans charging station for electric vehicles (Boston.com)

Transportation financing/Government


  • Gateway to enhance Back Bay park entry (Boston.com)
  • The Charles -- a river that is clean and clear again (Boston Globe)

Development projects

Land Use/Planning

  • Researchers, planners use new technology to improve urban design (Boston Globe)
  • Somerville lures top Boston staffer for planning post (Boston.com)


  • New York City --
    • NYC's transportation chief says more work to be done (Boston Globe)
    • Glut of parking spaces in city (Crain's New York)
    • The Methodology of Bike-Share Station Placement in New York City (The Atlantic Cities)
    • NYC Will Complete Manhattan Greenway (WNYC)
    • Millions stroll in New York's "Park in the sky" (BBC)
    • Brooklyn youth awarded $36 million in bike tragedy blamed on city (New York Post)
    • Tappan Zee Bridge project focuses on replacing span, excludes mass transit (LoHud.com)
  • Lexington, NC formally accepts federal planning grant for Depot District (The Dispatch)
  • Deal lowers tolls on I-85 HOT lanes (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
  • In L.A., when it comes to pedestrians vs. commuters, it's no contest (Los Angeles Times)

National trends

  • Is Bicycle Commuting Really Catching On? And if So, Where? (The Atlantic Cities)
  • How Intersections Now Sense What Will Zoom By (Governing.com)
  • High Tech Parking Spaces Helping Drivers And Police (Fox News)
  • Texas texting study finds driver reaction times slower than previously thought (Washington Post)
  • City Limits: "Urbanized" underestimates the allure of the 'burbs (Grist)
  • Truckers prefer fuel taxes over tolls (Washington Times)
  • APA's Great Neighborhoods, Streets, and Public Spaces for 2011 (The Atlantic Cities)
  • Report: Public transportation reduces delays (American City & County)
  • Are bicycles and cars in a war for American streets? (BBC News)
  • The Appeal of Modern Streetcars Continues to Mount, But There Are Obstacles to It Bringing Mobility Gains (Transport Politics)
  • America's commutes start earlier and last longer (BBC)
  • Why Walkable Cities Aren't Always the Ones You'd Think (The Atlantic Cities)

International news