October 3, 2012

What's up with Boston's string of cyclist deaths?

String of cyclist deaths on Boston streets has us wondering, what's going on?

(Photo courtesy of Boston Magazine)


Transportation: Scott Appointed MBTA General Manager MA Transportation Blog

The MassDOT Board of Directors today voted to appoint Beverly A. Scott as General Manager of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and MassDOT Rail & Transit Division Administrator. A 30-year transportation veteran, Scott will be the first female general manager of the MBTA.

Scott currently serves as Chief Executive Officer & General Manager for MARTA, the Metropolitan Atlanta Transit Authority in Atlanta, Georgia, the 9th largest public transit system in the country. She has held the position since 2007.  Her prior experience in public transportation leadership spanning more than 30 years includes Chief Executive Officer & General Manager of the Sacramento Regional Transit District in Sacramento, California, and General Manager of the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority in Providence.


Cycling deaths raise alarm about bike safety Boston Globe

Editorial Staff--Before Boston encourages more bicyclists to navigate its busy streets, it must take stronger steps to ensure their safety. That message took on a new urgency this month after cyclists were struck and killed by motor vehicles in South Boston and Dorchester within the same week. The crashes weren't just flukes: There have already been 451 bicycle-related incidents this year, according to Boston Emergency Medical Services, which means that the number of 2012 incidents could exceed the 583 reported last year. (For more: Boston Herald, WHDH, Boston.com,Wicked Local)


LivableStreets Parking Day in Boston; Parking spots become parks BostInno

Steve Annear-- Drivers might have a hard time finding a parking spot in certain areas of the city on Friday, but they will be pleasantly surprised when they realize those spots have been taken over by green grass and lawn chairs.

As part of PARK(ing) Day, an international event where groups transform places usually reserved for vehicles into vibrant mini-landscapes, participants will be throwing down sod and seats, and start playing tunes as if they were relaxing and enjoying a day in the park.

(For more: Brookline Patch)


Safe Routes to School Program: 500 Partners MA Transportation Blog

MassDOT today announced that the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School Program has passed a historic milestone the enrollment of its 500th Safe Routes Partner School. This is the first statewide Safe Routes to School Program to achieve this level of active participation.

MassDOT is excited to recognize Massachusetts as the first state to recruit 500 Safe Routes to School Partners. This achievement is a testament to the Commonwealth's unique Safe Routes to School program structure, the efforts of program staff, and the commitment of our communities to make walking and bicycling safer and more widely used travel modes for our school children says MassDOT Highway Administrator Frank DePaola.


Cyclists are annoying: Why you think they're a menace on two wheels. Slate

Jim Saksa--A recent study by researchers at Rutgers and Virginia Tech supports that hypothesis. Data from nine major North American cities showed that, despite the total number of bike trips tripling between 1977 and 2009, fatalities per 10 million bike trips fell by 65 percent. While a number of factors contribute to lower accident rates, including increased helmet usage and more bike lanes, less aggressive bicyclists probably helped, too.

Despite such statistics, lots of drivers assume all people on bikes are assholes like me. In doing so, these motorists are making an inductive fallacy, not unlike saying, "Of course he beat me at basketball he's Asian like Jeremy Lin and Yao Ming." Now, you might be thinking to yourself that you've seen more than one or two suicidal cyclists in your day that these roaches on two wheels are an infestation that's practically begging to be squished underfoot (and by foot you mean "my Yukon Denali".


Sao Paulo: A city with 180km traffic jams BBC

Paolo Cabral-- Next time you complain about being stuck in traffic, spare a thought for the drivers in Brazil's biggest city, which has some of the worst congestion problems in the world.

Friday evenings are a commuter's worst nightmare in Sao Paulo.

That's when all the tailbacks in and out of the city extend for a total of 180km (112 miles), on average, according to local traffic engineers, and as long as 295km (183 miles) on a really bad day.

Red brake lights stretch as far back as the eye can see, blinking repeatedly as drivers endure an exasperating stop-and-go journey, which can continue for hours.

"It's like a sea. A sea of cars," says Fabiana Crespo, as she slowly navigates the congested streets with her 10-month-old baby Rodrigo.




  • An Alarmingly Strong Link Between Walkability and Diabetes Atlantic Cities
  • New Crosswalk Lights Installed on Mt. Auburn Street by Tufts Health Plan Watertown Patch
  • Safe Routes to School Program: 500 Partners MA Transportation Blog
  •  MBTA offers countdown signs at Downtown Crossing station Metro
  • Public Health Commissioner Resigns, Biking And Walking Lose A Champion MassBike


  • Bicyclist hit, killed in South Boston Boston Herald, WHDH, Boston.com
  • Why Are So Many Cyclists Dying on the Street? Boston Magazine
  • Cities forge own (bike) paths Politico
  • On Biking: The Good Samaritan code of the road  Boston.com
  • Growth in bike use outpaces motorists' expertise driving alongside Boston Globe
  • G Force with Pete Stidman of the Boston Cyclists Union Boston Globe
  • Boston's bike friendly myth Boston Herald
  • Fearless cyclists turn out for Boston's Hub on Wheels bike-fest Metro
  • Cambridge police: Drunk driver hits bicyclist Wicked Local
  • Cyclists are annoying: Why you think they're a menace on two wheels. Slate
  • Bike lanes for Longwood Medical Area proposed Boston.com
  • DCR Gets It Right With A Little Help From Advocates Mass Bike
  • Somerville's Beacon Street project meeting discusses bicycle tracks Wicked Local 
  • Bicycle committee reports good year for Arlington Wicked Local
  • Doing It Wrong on Hubway and Capital Bikeshare Boston Magazine
  • T police warn of bike thefts JP Gazette
  • Cycling deaths raise alarm about bike safety Boston Globe
  • To Encourage Biking, Cities Forget About Helmets NY Times


  • MBTA underground center gets first subway car; first responders to train in realistic conditions Boston.com
  • MBTA: D Line Service Trouble May be Due to Faulty Equipment Brookline Patch
  • Dear America: This Is How You Make Public Transportation Cool Boston Biker
  • Red Line/Blue Line Connector is well worth the investment Boston Globe
  • POLL: Have Fare Hikes Affected Your MBTA Use? Somerville Scout
  • State Rail Network Progress MA Transportation Blog
  • MBTA Silver Line service will remain free through January Boston.com
  • The Difference Between Bus Riders and Train Riders Atlantic Cities
  • East Boston Times-Free Press: Red/Blue Line Connector Still Up for Consideration Eastie Times
  • MassDOT Statewide Transportation Conversation MA Transportation Blog
  • Suspect Cuts MBTA Cables BostInno
  • Old MBTA Map Compared to a New One BostInno
  • MBTA worker recognized NECN
  • Western Massachusetts residents weigh in on public transportation issues Mass Live
  • MBTA South Station Advertising Screens BostInno
  • Unsafe bus stop is reviewed JP Gazette
  • Rt. 39 bus improvements delayed JP Gazette
  • T ridership surges in August despite fare increase Boston Globe, Universal Hub


Transportation financing/Government

  • Atlanta mass transit executives named finalists to run the MBTA Boston Globe
  • MBTA launches $9m disaster-training site NECN
  • BRA approves ferry plan to connect East Boston, Charlestown, South Boston Boston.com
  • Massport board confirms Thomas Glynn as CEO Boston.com
  • The MBTA's Red-Blue Connector -- Will it, or should it, ever be built? Boston Globe
  • Neighbors Push for Red, Not Yellow, Panels on Handicapped-Accessible Ramps South End Patch
  • Transportation: Scott Appointed MBTA General Manager MA Transportation Blog
  • Meet 'Bev,' the new face of the MBTA Metro
  • Audit finds significant weakness in MBTA fare box cash system controls Wicked Local
  • Mass DOT: Casey doesn't need safety upgrades JP Gazette


  • Greenway tells groups: Show us the money! Boston Herald
  • Greenway board membership not to be bought Boston Herald
  • Boston's Skatepark Finally Due To Break Ground WBUR
  • Parks out of Parking Spaces
    • LivableStreets Parking Day in Boston; Parking spots become parks BostInno
    • Parks Out of Parking Spaces in Coolidge Corner Brookline Patch
  • Sandwich Shop in Former Boston Common Bathroom to Open in October Back Bay Patch
  • Boston Common ranks among nation's most popular parks Metro
  • Mayor Launches 'Reboot' of Lincoln Park Planning Process Somerville News
  • Dover plans meetings on proposed rail trail Wicked Local
  • Saturday Trail Clean-up Sept 28th Item Live

Development projects

  • Bridge construction is just one factor muddying Kendall Square goals Cambridge Day
  • Hotel, residential towers OK'd for South End's New York Streets area Boston.com
  • Chapter 40B in Hancock Village "Smart Growth" Brookline Patch
  • Candy shop gives way to luxury condos Boston Globe
  • Work begins on $130M apartment tower on Greenway Boston Herald
  • Burnhams Filene's building to be restored Boston Globe
  • Education company's new building near Zakim Bridge to feature dramatic glass waterfall Boston Globe
  • Millennium Tower -- A towering investment Metro
  • Things are happening to launch Roseland Property's 176-apartment waterfront project in East Boston Boston Herald
  • Aldermen Debate Over Union Square Plan Leads to Parliamentary Drama Somerville Patch
  • AvalonBay Communities now adding 1,100 Boston apartments in West End and Back Bay Boston Herald

Land Use/Planning

  • MBTA lowers price of Forest Hills parcel Biz Journals
  • Cleveland Circle
    • The Cleveland Circle Cinema site public meeting Walking Bostonian
    • Redevelopment of Cleveland Circle Cinema Walking Bostonian
    • Cleveland Circle residents demand changes to plans for $75m hotel, housing building Boston.com
  • Somerville Residents, City Officials Discuss Union Square Revitalization at Public Hearing Somerville Scout, The Somerville News
  • North End visitors respond to restaurant plan near New England Aquarium  Boston.com
  • Real Estate Today: MBTA parcel for sale again JP Gazette


  • New York City --
    • M.T.A. Chief's Latest Bold Move: Using Twitter by Himself NY Times
    • In New York City, Curbside Signs to Look Both Ways NY Times
    • No Charges for Drivers Who Killed Seniors in Manhattan and Brooklyn Streetsblog
    • NYC Taxis Get Friendlier for Bikes with Anti-Dooring Decals Transportation Nation
    • NY Takes Signal Step to True(r) Bus Rapid Transit Transportation Nation
    • In Reversal, New York City Traffic Fatalities Rise NY Times
    • NYC Reining in Scofflaw Delivery Cyclists with Six Restaurant Inspectors Transportation Nation
  • LA
    • L.A. Metro: How Los Angeles is becoming America's next great mass-transit city Slate
    • A Tale of Two Cities: Transportation Campaign Lessons from Atlanta and Los Angeles A Better City
    • L.A. prepares for freeway closure, Carmageddon II USA Today
    • Near Roadway Air Pollution a Major Contributor to Asthma in Los Angeles County Science Daily
    • Economic Review of 6th Street Road Diet Shows Bike Lanes Don't Cause Loss of Business LA Streetsblog
  • Georgia
    • Audit: MARTA spends $50M too much, should privatize some... AJC
    • Georgia DOT adopts Complete Streets policy Smart Growth America
  • Sen. Schumer Calls For National GPS Standards Following Uptick In Trucks Hitting Bridges CBS
  • 'Crosswalk Vigilantes' Beset Pittsburgh Planetizen
  • From the Draconian to the Inane: Uber Taxi App vs D.C. Regulators Transportation Nation

National trends

  • Highways
  • Mass Transportation
    • Truth, Transparency and Transportation Governing.com
    • How Tearing Up Highways Could Make Better Cities Wired
    • Americans Support New Transit Twice as Much as New Roads DC Streetsblog
    • The Commute of the Future WSJ
    • Rail group keeps Granite State commuter train project on the tracks Union Leader
    • Mayor Rybak touts Purple Path railgating to boost downtown on Vikings game day Minn Post
    • U.S. DOT Gives $74 Million to Virginia for 11-Mile High-Speed Rail Construction Transportation Nation
  • Bicycling
    • Shifting into High Gear at Pro Walk Pro Bike 2012 Streetfilms.org
    • Mayoral Hopefuls on Bike Infrastructure NBC
    • Cycle Chic Hits the Cat-bike-walk in Long Beach Streetfilms.org
    • Ciclovia: closing major roads on Sundays for bicycle and pedestrian traffic Washington Times
    • A Field Guide to Two-Wheeled Friends. Spotting 'Bike Tribes' In The Wild WSJ
  • Transit Union Targets Swing State Riders In Voter Turnout Effort Huffington Post
  • Study: 10% More Smart Growth = 20% Less Driving DC Streetsblog
  • Park(ing) Day Around the U.S. DC Streetsblog
  • Let's transform our asphalt wastelands Chron
  • It's Official: Downtowns Are Booming Atlantic Cities

International news

  • Profitable or Not, China Doubles Down on Investments in New Metro Systems Transport Politic
  • TfL Pushing For Eye-Level Traffic Lights for London Cyclists News Tank
  • Belfast bus lanes 'need time to settle in says Danny Kennedy BBC
  • Sao Paulo: A city with 180km traffic jams BBC
  • Child obesity: Why do parents let their kids get fat? BBC