September 3, 2013

Helmet Hub
Helmet Hub opens across Boston
(Image courtesy of BostInno)

Mayoral candidates on development issues​
Boston Globe

Casey Ross-- Boston mayoral candidates have all promised they’ll help build a better city, and a look at their plans for housing, transit, and other issues reveals sharp contrasts. 


MBTA passes -- Automatic enrollment of college students opens up new possibilities​ Boston Globe

A NEW proposal to automatically enroll some college students in an MBTA pass program offers an intriguing approach to improving the region’s transit system. It’s an idea worth exploring with college leaders — and an example of the kind of unconventional thinking that the cash-strapped T must promote to close its chronic budget shortfalls.


Helmet vending machines to debut at four Boston Hubway stations this month

Matt Rocheleau-- Vending machines that will dispense bike helmets to either rent or buy are scheduled to debut at four Hubway bike share stations in Boston at the end of August.

“Boston will be the first city in the US to do this,” said Nicole Freedman, head of the city’s bicycle programming. “The real goal is to make sure cyclists in Boston are wearing helmets as much as possible.”


THE FUTURE OF RAILROADS:   Why Rail-To-Trail Conversion Is The Key To Both Eventual Rail Restoration and Current Off-Road Networks LivableStreets

Steve Miller-- The CapeFlyer Railroad service has been a huge success.  Well over 10,000 people have bought tickets so far this summer, generating more than enough revenue to cover the relatively puny $165,000 annual cost of running the train.  The high cost of gasoline, the desire to avoid multi-hour Cape-traffic traffic jams, the new bus service from RR stations to all 15 Cape Cod towns, the availability of rental cars and bicycles – all these have contributed to the high demand.  And it also turns out to be fun!


Major Road Builder Argues for Road-Pricing, Against More Asphalt StreetsBlog

Angie Schmitt-- The primary theme of U.S. transportation policy since the mid-20th century hasn’t been accessibility, public health, equality, or even efficiency. Primarily we’ve spent billions of dollars trying fruitlessly to eliminate congestion by building more roads.

It has become clear that there are all kinds of problems with having motorist throughput as the highest priority of your transportation system. James Bruckbauer at Michigan Land Use Institute says even big road builders are acknowledging the futility.


More Evidence That Unemployment Doesn't Explain the Decline in Driving DC StreetsBlog

Tanya Snyder-- Transportation reformers have made the case that there are multiple reasons behind the dip in driving rates, and that many of these factors will continue to have an impact long after this economic slump is over. If the change is in fact a lasting one, it signals that conventional forecasts of escalating traffic are wrong, strengthening the case for overhauling car-centric transportation policies in favor of transit, biking, walking, and more efficient land use.



  • Video: Food Truck Growing Pains WGBH
  • Needham invited to join Bike4Life in Newton Sept 15 Wicked Local 
  • Help improve accessibility in Somerville Somerville Resistat
  • Parklet to be installed next week JP Gazette
  • Boston officials hoping to improve road safety NECN


  • Mass State Police need to learn about bicyclists Amateur Planner
  • Helmet vending machines to debut at four Boston Hubway stations this month
  • Teen dies after being struck by car on Route 6 in Wellfleet Wicked Local
  • Bike lanes may come to South Boston's West Broadway
  • South Boston debates bike lanes on W. Broadway
  • Brockton clergyman beaten to death with hammer Boston Globe
  • When Will Technology Improve The Surface Of Roads? Isolate Cyclist
  • Bike rack shortage is a good problem to have, but solutions needed Boston Globe
  • Helmet Vending Machines in Boston: Where are the HelmetHubs BostInno
  • Bike Lane Changes In Roslindale Boston Biker
  • Bicycle Signal Activation Signs Revisited Isolate Cyclist
  • Op-Ed: Making Boston top in cycling commutes -- Nicole Freedman seeks gold medal for Boston cycling Boston Globe


  • Arlington police working to educate people about pedestrian and bicycle safety Wicked Local



  • Fox Street to become one-way
  • State permanently does away with double-merge at Mass Pike and I-95
  • Route 99 bridge delays cause angst
  • A quick way to bypass Southie’s traffic problem - open the bypass road to general traffic Boston Globe
  • Without HOV lane barrier, sneaky drivers run amok
  • Marty Walsh vows to fight cab-related attacks
  • Flashing LEFT-TURN YELLOW Arrow SIGNAL Tech Note Bay State Roads
  • Letters: More roads to Seaport won’t lead to less traffic​ Boston Globe
  • Letters: Decades ago, state saw gridlock on Seaport’s horizon — and did nothing​ Boston Globe
  • Nonexistent guard rails at Fenway’s Bowker Overpass causes concern and driving declines in Massachusetts Boston Globe

Transportation financing/Government

  • French company makes a run for commuter rail contract​ Boston Globe
  • MBTA Hit on Bias Cases Mass Transit Mag
  • Mayoral Race
    • Editorial: Mayoral candidates are forging a new agenda for the city Boston Globe
    • Mayoral candidates differ on environmental issues Boston Globe
    • Mike Ross Campaigning for Mayor Carless
    • Mike Ross steers transit to top of mayor campaign​ Boston Herald
  • State gives GPS firms heads up on low bridges​ Boston Herald


  • Skate Park WHDH
  • Greenway becomes people’s park in Boston Boston Globe
  • North Street Veterans Playground renovations break ground The Somerville Review
  • THE FUTURE OF RAILROADS:   Why Rail-To-Trail Conversion Is The Key To Both Eventual Rail Restoration and Current Off-Road Networks LivableStreets
  • City considering two-way cycle tracks on streets around Public Garden​
  • Amalie Kass, lead donor to the Greenway carousel, on seeing philanthropy as fun Boston Globe

Development projects

  • Community to discuss towers at Christian Science Plaza
  • Mayoral candidates on development issues​ Boston Globe
  • Some Roslindale residents concerned over condo complex Wicked Local
  • Mayor ever-so-choosy on height of Fenway building Boston Globe
  • Menino needs a better case for tax breaks at Filene’s site Boston Globe
  • Big Broadway project frustrates abutters The Somerville News
  • $12M repair project slated for Bowker Overpass
  • Developer Ron Druker proposes 11-story South End building at 80 East Berkeley Street Boston Globe
  • Government Center Garage redevelopment plan revised Boston Globe
  • Builders eye niche hotel Boston Herald
  • Belle Isle Bridge Officially Complete Eastie Times
  • Cheaper, bigger units wanted at Forest Hills project JP Gazette
  • No bond needed for JPNC lawsuit appeal JP Gazette

Land Use/Planning

  • Approval pending for 96-unit building in Cambridgeport  Wicked Local
  • The Back Story: BRA may be expanding Sox street deal Vertical Response
  • 10 Thoughts on How Big and Tall Boston Should Build Curbed
  • A Byzantine, only-in-Boston, battle Boston Globe
  • Somerville officials pull back on Assembly Square supermarket proposal Wicked Local 
  • Developers Carpenter & Company talk Christian Science Plaza towers proposal​
  • How JP activists created the Southwest Corridor JP Gazette
  • Microhotel developers revise plans Boston Herald


  • NY
    • Bike and Ped Programs Among Bloomberg's Greatest Achievements, Say New Yorkers Planetizen
    • New York City's Transportation Challenges NY Times
    • Update: Cabbie Rammed Cyclist, Severed Woman¹s Leg, Won't Be Charged StreetsBlog
    • 'This Is Unacceptable': One Hit-and-Run Victim's Disappointing Experience With the NYPD Atlantic Cities
  • TX
    • Highway-Happy Texas DOT Says El Paso Bike-Share Isn’t Eco Enough StreetsBlog
    • Desperate to Keep Highway Money Flowing, Texas Foists Costs Onto Cities DC StreetsBlog
  • CA
    • How L.A. Pays Commuters To Use Transit (Sort Of)
    • Big setback for California high-speed rail project SF Gate
    • California's Unusual Plan to Cut Greenhouse Gases Atlantic Cities
    • At Long Last, Bike-Share Stations Have Begrimed San Francisco SF StreetsBlog
    • Hurdles Remain for Malibu¹s Efforts to Make the PCH More Safe, Welcoming to All Road Users LA StreetsBlog
    • Driving Toward Bankruptcy ArchPaper
    • Bay Area girds for bridge shutdown SF Gate
    • Thursday traffic tolerable despite bridge closure SF Gate
    • As SF Launches Bike-Share, Mayor Calls for Safer Folsom, Safer Truckers SF StreetsBlog
  • IL
    • Condo Association Sues to Have “Hideous” Divvy Station Removed CHI StreetsBlog
    • Injunction to Remove Divvy Station Denied, But Lawsuit Can Continue CHI StreetsBlog
  • LA
  • NV
  • MI
  • PA
    • Philadelphia unveils bike-share program details Metro
  • CT
    • Guerrilla Crosswalk Turns Into Total Overhaul of New Haven Intersection DC StreetsBlog
  • OH
    • Ohio College Gives Bikes to Students Who Agree to Leave Cars at Home DC StreetsBlog

National Trends

  • St. Louis DOT Beats Rita Robinson in Streetsblog Motor Mouth Poll DC StreetsBlog
  • Bike Culture By Design: What Bike Lanes Could Become Good
  • The Ten Most Ambitious Failed Utopian Mass Transit Systems Jalopnik
  • HOT Lanes Are Even More Popular When They're Expensive Atlantic Cities
  • The Case for $100,000 Speeding Tickets Atlantic Cities
  • Ten urban planners in history Better! Cities
  • Is traffic always bad? Strong Towns
  • Why Millennials Are Ditching Cars And Redefining Ownership NPR
  • Toyota freshens Lexus image to woo young
  • Notorious Patent Troll Forced to Stop Targeting Transit Agencies DC StreetsBlog
  • Major Road Builder Argues for Road-Pricing, Against More Asphalt StreetsBlog
  • Did Progressive Parking Policies Propel Pittsburgh Past Detroit? DC StreetsBlog
  • One Simple Tip That Could Save a Cyclist's Life Atlantic Cities
  • Human Transit: the geometric shapes of transit's success Human Transit
  • Americans Driving Less as Car Culture Wanes ABC News
  • Transportation and Opportunity
  • More Evidence That Unemployment Doesn't Explain the Decline in Driving DC StreetsBlog
  • Urbanism for Introverts: Why Cities Need Quiet Spaces Atlantic Cities
  • How to Create a Network of Green Bikeways in Your City Good
  • Strong Towns for Libertarians Strong Towns

International news

  • Kabul's Utterly Mundane Urban Planning Crisis Atlantic Cities
  • Before and After: Hertogenbosch Bicycle Dutch
  • Amsterdam Draws Bike Boxes to Better Organize Bike Parking StreetFilms
  • Ditch 'anti-car dogma' and boost parking, councils told BBC
  • Montreal's Car-free Rue St. Catherine and Bustling Bike Rush Hour StreetFilms
  • Experimental bicycle roundabout in Zwolle Bicycle Dutch
  • German Chancellor calls bicycles part of mobility solution Bicycle Retailer
  • Are cyclists good customers? Cycling Embassy