September 2, 2012


Metro News
The Boston T Celebrates 115 years!
(Photo Courtesy of Metro)


Livable Streets in the News! Five Leaders: Local Bike Advocates Building a Movement Neighborland

The embrace of bicycling by the City of Boston has been fostered by the advocacy and community building by a number of advocates in the region, including the LivableStreets Alliance. Since 2005, the Alliance has been instrumental in making the bridges of Greater Boston more bike-friendly, seeding the city with bike racks, and supporting best practices across the city.


MBTA debuting countdown signs at subway stations to let riders know when next train is arriving, Universal Hub, Metro

By Eric Moskowitz--The MBTA will activate long-awaited countdown signs on Wednesday telling riders when the next trains will roll into South Station, the start of a pilot program that could be extended to all 51 Red, Orange, and Blue Line stations by the end of the year.

The arrival times, ticking down in one-minute increments, will appear on LED signs that have hung above platforms and in station lobbies since 2007 but that until now have displayed only the date, time, and announcements.


Why Amtrak is Better Than Flying Boston Magazine

By Patrick Doyle-- Flying, as most everyone knows, has become absolutely terrible. We’re forced to trudge through the airport belt-less and shoe-less, grasping our sad little baggies of toiletries like we’re checking in for a short-term prison stay and not, you know, magically flying through the sky. Even after boarding, we suffer a host of indignities: fighting it out for overhead space because of baggage fees, nickel-and-diming over food, and cramming your knees up in your throat because airlines are once again removing leg room. At the rates that Americans continue to get fatter and legroom is consistently dialed back, it’s only a matter of time until we all look like those pigs crammed into disgustingly small cages that the pork industry claims it needs to use in order to make a profit (ie: guarantee the ability of every American family to afford weekly Baconators).

Little surprise, then, that long-troubled Amtrak is absolutely killing it in the Northeast Corridor. Today, Amtrak is responsible for 54 percent of the air/rail trips between New York and Boston—up from 20 percent just 12 years ago—and 75 percent of New York-Washington, D.C., trips. 


Uber wins: State clears road for online-based livery service Universal Hub

By adamg--The state Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, which oversees the now infamous standards division, said today the division will issue an operating certificate to Uber now that it has learned a national standards body is evaluating GPS-based metering systems like the one Uber uses.


City Releases Major Plan for Redevelopment of Union Square Somerville Patch

By Chris Orchard-- The city has released a plan that would pave the way for major redevelopment of Union Square over the next few decades.

The plan designates nearly 117 acres of Union Square as a revitalization district, and it calls for the city to acquire seven key "development blocks"—currently assessed as being worth around $26 million, in total—for future disposition to developers.


New York Bike-Share Program Delayed Until Spring NY Times

By Matt Flegenheimer-- Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said on Friday that the city’s much-heralded bike-share program would not begin until next year, ending weeks of speculation about the program’s fate and dashing cyclists’ hopes of seeing the city’s newest public travel alternative this year.

Speaking on his morning radio program, Mr. Bloomberg attributed the decision to software problems, which he has cited repeatedly in recent weeks amid calls for a further explanation for the delay.

“The software doesn’t work,” the mayor said. “Duh.”

“You’re not going to put it out until it does work,” he added.

By the spring, he added, “hopefully the software will work.” The program was scheduled to begin last month.




  • Citizen complaint of the day: People shouldn't be forced to make a break for it in Allston Universal Hub
  • Project Improves Walk to School Chelsea Record
  • 14 ways to make walking a part of your daily routine Boston Globe



  • Is The MBTA Getting Screwed Out of 75 Commuter Rail Trains? BostInno
  • MBTA to push Korean company for answers on late trains Metro
  • MBTA debuting countdown signs at subway stations to let riders know when next train is arriving, Universal Hub, Metro
  • Back Bay Station, Part I I Ride the T
  • Hour Waits Common as MBTA's New CharlieCard Store Opens in Downtown Crossing Back Bay Patch
  • Designer proposes T map based on trip time Universal Hub
  • Apparent record number of MBTA fare evasion citations issued last month
  • Why Amtrak is Better Than Flying Boston Magazine
  • The T and its predecessors Boston Globe
  • Assaults on MBTA Employees Have Increased Since Last Year BostInno
  • MBTA, other state transportation workers learns the basics of customer service Boston Globe
  • How the MBTA Map Misleads Us Boston Magazine
  • MBTA Ridership Falls After Fare Increases BostInno
  • The Boston T turns 115 years old this weekend Metro


  • Uber
    • City makes vague sounds about meeting with car service state wants to run out of town Universal Hub
    • Why shutting down the car service Uber is a bad idea for Cambridge, the Commonwealth, and consumers
    • Uber Boston must cease and desist Metro
    • Uber wins: State clears road for online-based livery service Universal Hub
  • Syncing Traffic Lights No Sure-Fire Way to Reduce Emissions Streetsblog
  • Cambridge finds alternatives to car travel Boston Globe
  • Gillette Stadium fans to pay more for parking with by-law WCVB
  • Off street parking requirements in Boston The Walking Bostonian
  • Zipcar of Cambridge plans to relocate to Boston's Innovation District next year
  • New York City-Style 'Don't Block the Box' Campaign Comes to Boston Back Bay Patch
  • Transportation: Three I-90 Turnpike Service Plazas Offer E-85 Fuel MA Transportation Blog

Transportation financing/Government


Development projects

  • Construction plans for Broadway discussed Somerville News
  • Somerville developers: No IKEA no problem for Assembly Square Wicked Local
  • Millennium Tower’s ‘expensive’ proposition in downtown Boston Boston Herald
  • Revised Boston Development Group plan calls for 181-room hotel, 82 luxury apartments, retail, offices in Cleveland Circle
  • Hite Radio Building Demolition To Start on Monday South End Patch
  • Millennium Partners Downtown Shopper's Park park will be step up Boston Herald
  • Work on Salem's Essex Street Pedestrian Mall begins Monday, merchants largely on board
  • Neighbors call for better communication as Northeastern University looks to future
  • Church housing plan to get BRA review JP Gazette
  • Cleveland Circle residents want theater-site plans edited Boston Herald
  • Four teams submit bids for Wharf 8 Seaport waterfront site -- next to Liberty Wharf Boston Herald
  • State to soon launch $43m planning effort for project to expand South Station
  • Millennium Pharmaceuticals Cambridge expansion tests triggers backlash at development Boston Globe
  • Demolishing old spans can spur new growth Boston Globe
  • In Cambridge¹s Central Square, 'No' does not count as a development strategy Boston Globe
  • Boston Landmarks Commission approves Millennium Tower plan Boston Herald
  • More home runs near Fenway Boston Herald
  • AvalonBay ups the number of residences to 500 for planned tower next to TD Garden

Land Use/Planning

  • How Mixed-Use Centers Can Supplant Single-Use Office Parks Planetizen
  • Somerville looking to acquire Foss Park Wicked Local 
  • Mayor proposes $90 million urban renewal project for Union Square in Somerville Wicked Local 
  • Finding common ground on accessibility in Somerville Wicked Local 
  • 105A S. Huntington project draws praise, concerns JP Gazette
  • New plan, same criticism for 161 S. Huntington JP Gazette
  • Massport reaps Seaport spoils Boston Herald
  • The 'burbs strike back
  • Somerville, Boston, mull future of 1950s overpasses
  • Without Casey Overpass, neighbors fears traffic in Forest Hills will get worse Boston Globe
  • New details emerge about mixed-use development on Harvard land in Allston Boston Globe
  • Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization seeks public opinion Wicked Local 
  • Davis Sq. Streetscape meetings continue The Somerville News
  • Boston's Massive Redevelopment Plan Ignores the City¹s Historic Past The Urbn


  • California
    • Los Angeles might ease up on parking requirements for businesses LA Times
    • Market Street proposals focus on flow SF Gate
  • New York
    • Why A $45 Million Face-Lift Will Make Walking Through Times Square Suck A Lot Less Fast Company
    • New York Bike-Share Program Delayed Until Spring NY Times
    • Most New Yorkers Say Bike Lanes Are a Good Idea NY Times
    • In New York, Toward a Harmony of Police and Cyclists The Atlantic Cities
  • Portland
  • Pedestrians Keep Dying on Georgia Roads The Atlantic Cities
  • Ridership Up 12 Percent on 34th Street, With More Improvements to Come Streetsblog
  • Pedestrian bridge linking downtown, Cultural District dedicated in Fort Worth Star Telegram

National trends

  • Streetcars
  • 2012 Election
  • Amtrak
    • Amtrak ridership grows in the Northeast -- 75% go by train between between NYC and DC, 54% between NYC and Boston Boston Globe
    • The Amtrak Option NY Times
  • Great American cities for cycling NBC
  • New report and companion workbook highlight successful Complete Streets policies from across the United States Smart Growth America
  • With cities and suburbs clamoring to build new transit systems, a new book showcases creative financing approaches for getting them built T4 America
  • A Visual Guide to Bad Community Meetings Atlantic Cities
  • There's a Lot Riding on U.S. DOT's Definition of "Congestion" DC Streetsblog
  • Throughout the City, a New Generation of Street Signs NY Times Blogs
  • Weapons of Mass Urban Destruction Foreign Policy
  • U.S. residents own fewer cars on average than do people in most other developed nations The Atlantic
  • The Case for Separated Bike Lanes The Atlantic Cities
  • City Designs on Design WSJ
  • Five Leaders: Local Bike Advocates Building a Movement Neighborland
  • Bus Rapid Transit Gaining Traction Despite Concerns Governing
  • An Ecological Approach to Integrating Conservation and Highway Planning TRB
  • 1,301 Pedestrians and Cyclists Injured, Nine Killed in Traffic in July Streetsblog
  • US Parking Reform 101 Reinventing Parking
  • More people will only ride buses if information gets better Greater Greater Washington
  • 3 Projects That Transform Highways Into Urban Oases Fast Co Design
  • 2012 Freeways Without Futures Revisited CNU
  • CHARITY, CHANGE, AND POWER: Advocacy and Movements Livable Streets Blog

International news