September 16, 2013

West End

Into the Archives: A Look at the Lost West End

(Photo courtesy of WCVB)


From Pavement to Plaza Somerville by Design

As a demonstration project, the ‘Cutter Plaza Showcase’ is designed to illustrate how a plaza at the east end of Davis Square can compliment the vibrancy found to the west and help stitch businesses on the periphery into the core of the square – enhancing walkability and supporting the business community.


MBTA Map Design Finalists Announced BostInno

Seline Jung-- Back in April, the MBTA announced a challenge called the "New Perspectives MBTA Map Re-design Competition," asking anyone to come up with a new design for the transit map we've all come to be familiar with over the years.

Now, after "dozens" of submissions according to the MBTA, six finalists have been chosen after careful review by an expert panel that included among others members of academia, urban planning, public transport and map designing.


THE ADVOCATES DILEMMA: When The Need for Action is Immediate But the Pace of Change is Slow LivableStreets Blog

Steve Miller-- There are situations where the danger is so great, the potential damage so devastating, the outrage to decency so powerful that you feel that immediate, radical change becomes an emotional and moral imperative.   And you do everything you can to advocate, to make the world take notice, to make people in power take action.  Right now.


FHWA to Transportation Engineers: Use the NACTO Bikeway Design Guide DC StreetsBlog

Angie Schmitt-- In a significant step forward for American bike infrastructure, the Federal Highway Administration issued a memorandum late last month essentially endorsing street designs like protected bike lanes. In the memorandum, FHWA urges transportation engineers to use the guidelines issued by the National Association of City Transportation Officials, which contains templates for bikeway designs widely deployed in Europe but shunned in the U.S. until very recently.


The number crunch: Predicting motorization in China The City Fix

Sudhir Gota-- China’s dramatic increase in motorized vehicle use has greatly exceeded past predictions. Now, latest estimates suggest that, by 2050, as many as one billion vehicles (excluding electric bikes and rural vehicles) will be on the road in China. This is equivalent to the current total global vehicle population. Can China accommodate this number of vehicles? Will motorization surpass even this estimate?



  • City is handling surging number of complaints, whether by phone, web, or app Boston Globe
  • Width, and the Perception of Width Strong Towns
  • Editorials: Efforts to stop bridge crashes haven’t been sufficient Boston Globe
  • For grieving father, Zakim becomes a beacon
  • THE ADVOCATES DILEMMA: When The Need for Action is Immediate But the Pace of Change is Slow LivableStreets Blog
  • Brookline seniors have transportation options, but all have limits Wicked Local
  • Downtown carts to be relocated Boston Herald


  • Bikepath from Belmont to Alewife Opening Will Brownsberger
  • LETTER: Cambridge cyclists, please obey traffic lights and lanes Wicked Local
  • Belmont-Trapelo Corridor Project to Start Soon Will Brownsberger
  • Wellesley looks to make cycling safer
  • South Boston columnist: Keep your stupid 'progressive' bike lanes out of Southie Universal Hub
  • Wellesley looks to make cycling safer Boston Globe
  • Making The Bicycling Case In Holyoke Mass Bike
  • Column: Time to talk about bicycles on sidewalks in Brookline Wicked Local
  • Bike lanes to be installed along Commonwealth Ave. between Brighton-Newton border and Allston
  • 40 cyclists cited in safety and enforcement operation in Boston
  • Bike Safety Focus of BU’s Sustainability Festival BU


  • Car-Free on Martha's Vineyard MV Times


  • New MBTA Music Video Promotes Rider Safety Boston Magazine
  • MassDOT wants public input on expanded MBTA commuter rail service Metro
  • State to begin innovative rail service between Seaport District and Back Bay Boston Globe
  • MBTA Map Design Finalists Announced BostInno
  • MBTA pushes ‘mTicket’ app to win national transportation award Metro
  • Among the busiest US transit systems, Boston's MBTA is near the top BizJournals
  • Route 39 bus stop upgrades delayed JP Gazette


  • Op-Ed: Scared of heights -- Boston’s parochialism on display with the downsizing of Government Center Garage Boston Globe
  • Overpass without guard rails poses risk
  • Everything You've Always Wanted To Know About The "Pike"
  • Two remain in critical after Arborway crash Universal Hub
  • Repairs set on I-93 in Wilmington and Woburn
  • Sanofi to withdraw plan for illuminated sign on Memorial Drive Wicked Local
  • Hailo expands to Cambridge, eyes Brookline and Somerville Metro
  • Speed limit of 65 mph? Too slow, says Rep. Winslow

Transportation financing/Government

  • State eyes Turnpike for solar facilities Wicked Local
  • Boston lands $15.5m federal grant for improved bike, transit and walking connections to historic sites​
  • Officials will break ground on Route 79 project this Friday Herald
  • Statement on Speaker DeLeo and Senate President Murray¹s announcement that they will seek repeal of the software tax T4MA
  • Waiting for the candidate to curb congestion - Opinion Boston Globe
  • Candidates: Let next mayor fill key post Boston Herald


Development projects

  • Athenahealth set to unveil its master plan for Arsenal on the Charles campus Boston Globe
  • Forest City secures special permit for biotech building Wicked Local
  • Potential Wind Impact is Top Concern for Proposed 40 Trinity Place High-rise Project​ Back Bay Sun
  • More apartments coming to Allston Biz Journals
  • Prospect Street development gets green light The Somerville News

Land Use/Planning

  • Sullivan Square Disposition Study Meeting: September 19th Sullivan
  • Mayor Holds Lower Broadway Community Meeting Last Week Everett Independent
  • Circle Cinema developers want ‘all or nothing’ zoning tool Wicked Local
  • Letters: Is there political will to turn away from high-rise development? Boston Globe
  • Historical Photos -- Boston's Razed West End​ WCVB
  • Somerville residents hit streets for Davis Square design meetings Wicked Local
  • Boston's Tallest Residential Tower! A Trend Is Bucked Curbed
  • Commons at Forest Hills comment period extended JP Gazette
  • Issue at stake is buildings’ design, not their height Boston Globe
  • Letter: The Home strongly supports 161 S. Huntington plan JP Gazette
  • Greenway Zoning Plan for Market District and Government Center; Traffic Concerns Raised North End Waterfront


  • CA
    • New Bay Bridge path opens to cyclists and pedestrians ABC Local
    • The Los Angeles Times Wonders What Can Be Done About Freeway Pollution LA StreetsBlog
    • Stanford has avoided $100,000,000 in parking structures over the last decade Peninsula Transportation
    • Oakland’s Latham Square: Plaza to the People SF StreetsBlog
  • NY
    • What Infrastructure Issues Await the Next Mayor of New York City? NY Times
    • In Bloomberg’s City of Bike Lanes, Data Show, Cabs Gain a Little Speed NY Times
    • Stranded in a Sea of Cars, Where Speedometers Barely Budge NY Times
    • Will the Feds Support Rochester¹s Downtown Highway Teardown? DC StreetsBlog
    • After the Addition of Bike Lanes and Plazas, Manhattan Traffic Moves Faster StreetsBlog
    • Bed-Stuy Cuts the Ribbon on Marcy Plaza, Celebrating Reclaimed Space StreetsBlog
  • GA
    • Before MBTA Safety Bounce, Beverly Scott brings transit safety music video to Atlanta
  • IL
  • DC
  • MD
    • Baltimore Red Line Gets Green Light in $1.5 Billion Transportation Spending Plan Planetizen
  • TN
    • Learn how Memphis, TN, is creating Complete Streets with new policy and implementation brief Smart Growth America
  • NC
  • WA

National Trends

  • Congestion Costing Point-Counter-Point Planetizen
  • How Infrastructure Keeps Us Moving WGBH
  • The Economist explains: Why don't Americans ride trains? Economist
  • Let's Make Old Payphones Into Electric Car Chargers The Atlantic
  • Innovation for a Better Future - smart roadways NY Times
  • The Coming Battle Over Electric Bicycles The Atlantic
  • All the highways and parkways that never were Universal Hub
  • Completing Our Streets: Why do so many communities build incomplete streets? Smart Growth America
  • Meet the Next-Generation Bus The Atlantic
  • A Field Guide to North American Bike Lanes Green Lane Project
  • TIGER V a Shot in the Arm for Livable Streets in Cities and Small Towns DC StreetsBlog
  • Five Things You'll Want to Know about USDOT TIGER V Transpo Issues Daily
  • Old Solutions: U.S. DOT's Proposed Strategic Plan Falls Short DC StreetsBlog
  • An App to Nab Jerks Who Illegally Use Disabled Parking The Atlantic
  • Political power on two wheels: Don’t mess with the bikers! Salon
  • FHWA to Transportation Engineers: Use the NACTO Bikeway Design Guide DC StreetsBlog
  • Mayor Murphy McMillin on preserving small town USA Smart Growth America
  • Reinventing Parking: Which cities have abolished parking minimums? Reinventing Parking
  • Children who live in "smart growth" neighborhoods get 46% more physical activity
  • Real estate survey shows broad support for biking and walking commutes Washington Post
  • Chart: Biggest Threat to Schoolchildren? Cars WNYC
  • No, Bike Lanes Don't Hurt Retail Business The Atlantic
  • The Nefarious Ways Sprawl Begets Sprawl​ The Atlantic

International news