October 17, 2012

Map of bicycle and bus usage in Boston.
(Image courtesy of Bostonography)

Is Boston's Bloody New Helmet PSA Bad for Cycling? The Atlantic Cities

Henry Grabar--The shaming of helmet-less bikers continues in Boston this month, with this new PSA from the Boston Public Health Commission. It seems oddly out of sync with the BPHC's other helmet campaigns, which are pretty silly...

The ad seems more likely to discourage people from biking. (If we're going to show photos of mangled cyclists, as BB points out, why not target them at the drivers who are responsible?)(For more: Grist, Boston Biker)


In Person w Mike McIntyre -- Making the Charles River Skatepark a Reality Boston Globe

Peter DeMarco--I’ve designed more than 150 skateparks around the world, everything from a park for Tony Hawk’s backyard to ones in South Africa and Chelsea Piers in New York. This, hands down, has all the right ingredients to be the best skatepark I’ve worked on.


Kraft considering New England Revolution soccer stadium at Assembly Square Biz Journals

Thomas Grillo-- The Kraft Group, owner of the New England Revolution, is exploring the possibility of building a $130 million pro soccer stadium at Assembly Square in Somerville.

“Assembly Square is an infrastructure-ready site with good highway access and construction is underway on an Orange line MBTA stop,” said Mayor Joseph Curtatone. “We’d love to have the Revolution as a partner and we think the Kraft Group is the best philanthropic community partner anyone could have.”


L.A.'s 'Carmageddon' Produced Dramatic, Instantaneous Air Quality Improvements Atlantic Cities

Emily Badger-- Paulson and colleague Yifang Zhu measured pollutants in the air during Carmageddon last year and have recently released their pretty astounding findings. Air quality near the normally busy highway improved by 83 percent that day last July, relative to comparable weekends. Elsewhere in West Los Angeles, the improvement was equally dramatic. Air quality improved by 75 percent on that side of the city and in Santa Monica, and by 25 percent throughout the entire region, as a measure of the drop in ultrafine particulate matter associated with tailpipe emissions.


Two South American Countries Consider Congestion Pricing Transportation Nation

Drew Reed-- Whether they own a Prius or a Hummer, a Porsche or a Pinto, or anything in between, car owners all over the world can agree on one thing: they don’t want to pay to use the roads they drive on. User fees like toll roads, congestion pricing, or others, are almost always met with scorn. Some of the best know examples of this have been in London and New York, where despite the transit friendly culture the measures have been met with controversy. Not surprisingly, similar proposals made in more car-oriented cities have gone down in flames.

The core rationale for user fees on roadways generally falls into two categories. The first is the idea that, since roads are expensive to build and maintain, the people who directly benefit should help to pay for them. While no form of direct payment for roads is ever going to be immensely popular, this idea is generally well received. People who feel their tolls are being used for something are likely to quietly accept them.



  • Tree Population Falling in Cities Governing.com
  • Transportation: Register Now: Moving Together Conference MA Transportation Blog
  • The Ingredients of 'Complete Communities' Atlantic Cities
  • A Mobile Grocery Store Could Be Rolling Into Your Neighborhood with Healthy Food Options Soon BostInno
  • Transportation: MassDOT Goal: Triple Travel by Bicycle, Transit, Walking MA Transportation Blog, Boston.com
  • Progress made in Davis Sq. Streetscape project Somerville News
  • MassDOT Secretary: "We Will Build No More Superhighways" DC Streetsblog
  • Inman Square is Worst Bike-Crash Site in Massachusetts Somerville Patch
  • Boston paving the way for parklets Metro
  • Fun with Traffic Signals Wimp
  • School bus traffic brings street closures JP Gazette
  • Virtual Tour: Broad Street Gets a Makeover A Better City
  • Get the truck outta town: Boston wins 'Best Food Truck City' at Throwdown Metro
  • Won’t Get More Women on Bikes Until We Have Environments That Cater to Them Atlantic Cities



  • Boston University Police Issue Tickets to Bikers BostInno
  • Cities forge own (bike) paths Politico
  • Are Helmets Holding Back Boston’s Biking Culture? BostInno
  • Bicycle Advocates Turn Out in Support of Beacon St. Cycle Track: Next Public Meeting Mon., Oct. 15 Somerville Resistat
  • More Somerville Hubway Stations Getting Installed This Week Somerville Patch
  • Attention Cyclists: Lexington's Looking for Input On the Minuteman Bikeway Arlington Patch
  • Boston "a better city" thanks to Hubway bike-sharing DOT FastLane
  • Tackling Bike Safety In Boston WBUR
  • What do half a million bike-share trips look like to YOU? MAPC
  • How to safely share the Boston roads with bicyclists Boston.com
  • Envisioning a seamless system of bike routes Boston Globe
  • Through the eyes of a city cyclist Boston Globe
  • THE BOSTON GLOBE EDITORIAL ON BICYCLE SAFETY: Moving Past the Training Wheels LivableStreets Blog
  • Rise in Bike Thefts in Boston Area Brookline Patch, CBS Local
  • Bikes are a Key Tool To Help Kids Live Long Healthy Lives Tree Hugger
  • The problem with bicycling in Boston Boston Globe
  • New 'No Excuses' Helmet Safety Campaign Misses Its Mark Boston Biker
  • Cyclists offer some (mostly) kind advice Boston Globe
  • Helmet PSA
    • Is Boston's Bloody New Helmet PSA Bad for Cycling? The Atlantic Cities
    • Here's a really terrible pro-helmet ad, and nine much better ideas Grist
  • Bike Lanes Go Green! Ward 5



  • XKCD's Ode to the Boston Driver Boston Magazine
  • Compelling Evidence That Red-Light Cameras Do Make Roads Safer Atlantic Cities
  • When Should Seniors Hang Up The Car Keys? NPR
  • A Back Bay bonus: Don’t feed the meters on Saturdays Boston Globe
  • Should the Market Alone Determine Parking Supply? Atlantic Cities
  • Dangerous Drives: State's Worst Crash Intersections WCVB
  • Two Medford Intersections Among State's Top Crash Sites Medford Patch
  • Is This the End of the Automobile Era in Massachusetts? Boston Magazine
  • Central Square parking lots get credit card upgrade, higher costs Cambridge Day
  • Magoun Square to Pilot Head-Out, Angled Parking at Trum Field Ward 5 

Transportation financing/Government


Development projects

  • Union Square Somerville
  • Convention center authority closes $33M land taking Boston Herald
  • The buzz is back at Downtown Crossing Boston Globe
  • Historic granite building may serve to revitalize Magazine Beach Boston.com
  • Crosby's Corner reconstruction plans advance - Lincoln, MA Wicked Local
    • What a waste of $; Crosby's Corner reconstruction plans Wicked Local
  • Progress Continues on Lower Broadway Project Everett Independent
  • Magoun Square at a crossroads Somerville News
  • Revere Hotel’s owner rides onto site next door on Staurt Street Boston Herald
  • Long Wharf development plan for waterfront pavilion pits North End residents vs. city officials Boston Globe
  • Muddy River Cleanup
    • Weir alright: After 30 years, Dukakis, others break ground on Muddy River cleanup Universal Hub
    • Muddy River Restoration Project Begins in Fenway Brookline Patch
  • Harvard to build new basketball stadium on Allston campus Biz Journals, Boston Globe
  • North Point's readies next phase in East Cambridge Wicked Local
  • Aldermen Support Plans for Hotel in Davis Square Somerville Patch

Land Use/Planning

  • Biotech group opposes rezoning Boston Globe
  • Cambridge councilors make no recommendation on downzoning petition in Central Square Wicked Local
  • Wednesday meeting could bring answers on 'impossible' housing in Kendall Square Cambridge Day
  • Kraft considering New England Revolution soccer stadium at Assembly Square Biz Journals
    • Somerville officials lukewarm on possible Revolution stadium Wicked Local
  • 161 S. Huntington
  • As one Kendall Square park shrinks, another enters planning stage Cambridge Day
  • City Wants to Make Zoning Laws Less Byzantine, Plan for Green Line Somerville Patch
  • Hey, Main St. committee: Don't forget about cyclists Concord Monitor
  • Fenway Center wins court battle Boston.com
  • DCR Cottage program faces quicker demise Commonwealth Magazine


  • New York
  • California
    • BART Survey: Promising Findings for Lifting the Rush-Hour Bike Ban SF Streetsblog
    • Human Transit: the silicon valley shuttles, revealed Human Transit
    • In Long Beach, Some Lights Rest Unless Drivers Follow Speed Limits LA Streetsblog
    • CicLAvia brings 'sea of bicycles' to L.A. streets LA Times
    • Putting brakes on ride-sharing apps SF Gate
  • New fare card set for CTA, Pace Chicago Tribune
  • New signal on NE Lloyd gives bike riders a jump on other traffic Bike Portland
  • Planners suggest rerouting I-70 out of central Denver Daily Camera
  • Traffic deaths jump after six-year decline Washington Post
  • Louisville's Highway 42 envisioned as smaller, more 'livable' corridor Daily Camera
  • Vt. lieutenant governor campaigns by bicycle Boston.com
  • Pasadena bus service to end Oct. 31 Chron.com

National trends

  • Carmegeddon: 
    • Carmageddon II: It's about as eventful as the original LA Times
    • Carmageddon II an uneventful sequel for Los Angeles Daily News
    • Freeway Construction Was the Real Carmageddon for L.A.'s Communities Planetizen
    • L.A.'s 'Carmageddon' Produced Dramatic, Instantaneous Air Quality Improvements Atlantic Cities
  • Streets
  • 2012 Election/Politics
    • Republicans to Cities - Drop Dead NY Times
    • Amtrak ridership hits record high amid GOP attacks KHQ
    • Should Toll Road Revenue Be Used for Other Projects? NY Times
    • A bank for infrastructure Commonwealth Magazine
  • Bikes and the Economy
    • Bikes Aren't Just Good For You, They're Good For The Economy, Too Fast Co
    • There IS a Bicycle Economy, Two Cities Find Tree Hugger

International news

  • Italy buys more bikes than cars Global Post, Tree Hugger
  • A view from the cycle path: Langholm A View from the Cycle Path
  • Two South American Countries Consider Congestion Pricing Transportation Nation
  • Gridlock as China begins its 'Golden Week' holidays Telegraph
  • Stevenage giant cycle lane creates pedestrian confusion BBC
  • Jarvis bike lanes to be removed after last-ditch council effort to save them fails Toronto Star
  • For About $20, Cardboard Bicycle Could 'Change The World,' Inventor Says NPR