September 19, 2011

NYC Bike Share
Alta Bike Share bicycles on display in NYC
(Photo courtesy of Transportation Nation)


  • Life After the Casey Overpass: Down to 4 Options (Jamaica Plain Patch)
    Two bridge options and two at-grade options were presented during yesterday's public meeting in Jamaica Plain about what should replace the overpass.
    After about a dozen public and private meetings, residents and engineers are now considering which of two different bridges or two different at-grade alternatives will best replace the worn-out Monsignor William J. Casey Overpass. Reaffirming that the life of the Casey Overpass is over, engineers pointed out yesterday during an open community meeting at the English High School that they are looking for an option that meets “mobility and livability” standards.
  • Early success of Hub bike sharing surprises even program's backers (Boston Globe)
    In its first month, Boston’s European-style bicycle sharing-system pedaled past expectations, attracting riders more than twice as fast as similar programs in Denver and Minneapolis. As of Aug. 28, the one-month mark, the program known as Hubway had attracted 2,319 annual subscribers and witnessed 36,612 station-to-station trips. At its current clip, the system is on track to surpass 100,000 rides before Halloween. By comparison, Denver’s B-cycle took 7 ½ months, and Minneapolis’s Nice Ride took nearly six months to reach 100,000 riders. By that point, neither program had enlisted 2,000 members, despite having at least as many bikes and docking stations as Boston.
  • Sleeping beauty (Boston Globe)
    Plans to revive Watertown’s riverfront are ready, but money’s in short supply
    A lanky man sits on a park bench, looking out over the water. He delicately maneuvers his fishing pole, slowly wrapping up after a long morning of throwing his line into the Charles River and coming up empty-handed. Disappointed, he said he regretted trying his luck at this spot in Watertown. “I should have gone to Crystal Lake in Newton,’’ said the lifetime Watertown resident, Kenny Caccitello, pointing out that waterside parks in Newton and Waltham feature more luxurious grounds and fishing options. “I almost never come here.’’ Caccitello is not the only Watertown resident to notice his community’s run-down waterfront parks. Local leaders, officials and constituents have been pushing a proposal that calls for $2 million in funding from the state Department of Conservation and Recreation to build walking and biking pathways, clean up debris, create scenic waterfront views, clarify informational signs, and construct a dock area on the river between North Beacon Street and Galen Street.
  • New York Chooses Company to Run Bike-Share Program (New York Times, Transportation Nation, Transportation Nation, Wall Street Journal)
    NEW YORK -- The Bloomberg administration announced Wednesday it had selected a Portland, Ore., company to run an ambitious bike-share program in New York City, but don’t break out the spandex cycling shorts just yet. Amid unease about exactly how the city will integrate 600 rental stations and 10,000 bicycles into the crowded streets and sidewalks of New York, the official rollout date of the program has been pushed back until the summer of 2012. Many other kinks and details are still to be worked out, like the pricing structure and the exact locations of the rental stations. Also missing are the requisite major sponsors to help defray the cost of the program. But when fully implemented, the program would become the largest bike-share effort in the country. The selection of Alta Bicycle Share was announced at a news conference at a pedestrian plaza in the Flatiron district, where a sample bike station — a kiosk and a rack of sturdy, utilitarian bicycles — was on display.
  • Infrastructure Bank: Fixing how we fix roads (CNN)
    It sounds like the latest Apple product, but it has the power to create far more jobs with little government money. The I-Bank, or infrastructure bank, has support of both Democrats, Republicans and big business. Legislation has been co-sponsored in the Senate by Democrat John Kerry of Massachusetts and Republican Kay Bailey Hutchinson of Texas. It is likely to once again get support from President Obama when he lays out his jobs agenda. The idea is to create a government agency to help arrange financing for infrastructure projects using investments from private investors. Working through the I-Bank, the government would encourage private investment by providing cheap loans and loan guarantees. But it would only fund a fraction of the overall cost, just enough to attract private investors who would provide most of the financing.
  • Beijing 'plans congestion charge' to ease traffic woes (BBC)
    Congestion fees are to be introduced on some roads in the Chinese capital Beijing in a bid to tackle chronic traffic problems, state media report.
    BEIJING -- Officials hope that the charges will encourage more people to use public transport, Xinhua news agency says. The city is also reportedly planning to encourage residents to buy alternative-energy cars. Few details of the new measures have been given, but Beijing has long tried to tackle its congestion troubles. The capital has 4.8m registered vehicles, and residents say the traffic jams are sometimes so bad the roads resemble car parks. Xinhua did not specify how high the new toll fees would be, which roads would be affected and how the fees would be collected. But it did report on Beijing's plans to upgrade equipment at electric-vehicle charging stations and to build more of them in the hope of encouraging the purchase of new-energy cars, including electric vehicles.





Transportation financing/Government


Development projects

Land Use/Planning


National trends

  • Federal Transportation Bill --
  • Greening the concrete jungle (Economist)
  • Calm down: With a very few exceptions, America is no place for cyclists (Economist)
  • Amtrak --
    • Editorial: Off the rails on Amtrak's crazy train (Boston Globe)
    • Amtrak rolls toward record ridership (MSNBC)
    • Yes, Amtrak Can Be Saved, As Long As Republican Proposals Fail (Streetsblog DC)
  • Infrastructure Bank: Fixing how we fix roads (CNN)
  • Zipcar ad jabs bicycling, spurs response (BikePortland)
  • Creating Parkland via Rail Trails (City Parks Blog)
  • Cyclists donning video cameras as safety feature (Washington Examiner)
  • Americans Are Driving Less. Washington Should Pay Attention (Huffington Post)
  • PlanetTran, Uber, And RelayRides Want To Take You On A Fantastic (And Green) Voyage (Fast Company)
  • AUDIO: How Do We Pay For Better Roads & Bridges? (WBUR)

International news

  • Call to make bright vests compulsory for all cyclists slammed (Herald Sun)
  • Melbourne Ranked as Most Livable City (The City Fix)
  • Germany's rail set to run on 100 percent renewable energy (All Headline News)
  • Beijing 'plans congestion charge' to ease traffic woes (BBC)
  • Bolicia bans cars for 'Day of the Pedestrian' (BBC)
  • China Aims to Rein In Car Sales (New York Times)
  • Istanbul's al fresco diners lose their chairs (Guardian)
  • VIDEO: Ten Years After Redefining BRT, What's Next for TransMilenio (Streetfilms)
  • VIDEO: 'Truck Train' Cuts out Freight Trucks in a Dutch City's Core (Planetizen)
  • Innovative traffic signal in Toronto being re-evaluated (Globe and Mail)
  • Copenhagen's novel problem: too many cyclists (Guardian)
  • A new large roundabout for drivers (A view from the cycle path)