Issue #87 / September 4, 2014

In this issue: 
  • Ride for safer streets on September 13
  • Video: Who to vote for in Gubernatorial election?
  • Staffing update: Welcome Tom & Jeff
  • Madison, WI study tour: Lessons for Boston
  • Play in the street September 27 and 28
  • Myths debunked: Wider streets are safer
  • #SaferCommAve in the news
  • Living car-light: Las Vegas is next
  • Public meetings & other opportunities

What's happening  


Bike4LifeRide for safer streets on September 13

Many of you have signed our Vision Zero petition in support of asking Mayor Walsh to bring the number of traffic deaths in Boston to zero. Thank you! You can support our Safer Streets Campaign even more by riding for safer streets at Bike4Life.
Bike4Life sustains our campaigns and gives us funds each year to advocate for safer and more livable streets.

videoVideo: Who to vote for in Gubernatorial primary?    
Click photo to watch video


There are many candidates in the Massachusetts Gubernatorial election, and the primary election on September 9 is fast approaching.  


Who does LivableStreets support?


LivableStreets cannot endorse a candidate, but we can share information about where each candidate stands on livable street issues.

Click to see candidate answers to a questionnaire and a video of the Gubernatorial forum LivableStreets helped coordinate back in June with Transportation For Massachusetts, Kendall Square Association, and Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance.

staffingStaffing update: Welcome Jeff & Tom! 
Please join us in welcoming our newest staff members, Jeff Rosenblum and Tom Klein


Jeff Rosenblum returns to LivableStreets office after serving on the board for the last seven years. Jeff co-founded LivableStreets back in 2004 and served as the Executive Director until 2007. He is an incoming PhD Candidate at MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning-- lucky us, he will be returning part-time to LivableStreets too. For the last seven years, he worked for the City of Cambridge as a Transportation Planner/Engineer, including transit planning and the "cycle track" design for Western Avenue. He co-teaches a 5-week Sustainable Transportation summer course through Northeastern University in Delft, Netherlands, and serves on the board of the national organization Alliance for Biking and Walking. He bikes his two children to school on his Xtra-cycle.   


Tom Klein is now Program Coordinator, after first joining LivableStreets as a member of the Fundraising Committee when he relocated to the Boston area for grad school in January. Originally from Iowa, Tom became interested in active transportation while studying at Edgewood College in Madison, WI. As an avid bicycle commuter, Tom has seen the economic, social, and health impacts of choosing to commute by bicycle first hand and is interested in how we design our communities around people. Tom is currently enrolled in the MDes in Sustainable Urban Environments program at Northeastern University School of Architecture and has earned a B.S. in Marketing & Communication as well as a Graduate Certificate in Sustainability from Edgewood College in Madison, WI.


This past month, we said goodbye to Jamie Maier whom many of you have been in touch with this past year while she worked here to help launch our Safer Streets Campaign, coordinate forums for mayoral and gubernatorial candidates, and help win better streets designs to make getting around the region more comfortable, including a cycle track on Beacon Street in Somerville. Please join us in wishing her the best in her future endeavors.    


LivableStreets is always seeking people who want to get involved. Click here to learn about opportunities to connect with like minded people and help us grow. Volunteer on a regular basis, or get involved on a particular project, event, or committee.   


 wisconsinMadison, WI study tour: lessons for Boston 
 Click photo to see album.


A team from LivableStreets took a 3-day trip to Madison, WI for a study tour in July. We met with industry leaders, local business owners, government officials, advocates, bike share directors, researchers, and university planners to learn about Madison's great bike network.


During the visit, we were impressed by the innovative next-generation street designs they have implemented, the piloting and experimenting they use to test ideas, and the creative intersection treatments that make getting around comfortable and low stress. This is what we saw.


Madison's great bike network makes us even more excited about our Greenway Links Initiative, so that destination-less paths and stressful intersections are a thing of the past. 

playPlay in the street, September 27 and 28
Join us for two special events this fall that celebrate our streets and community. We are excited to be a partnering organization for both of these events.

Join us at Circle the City on Sept. 28.
Get to the Point! Street Festival 
Date pending (tentatively Sept 27), 10am-2pm   
Festival Home Base between DoubleTree Hilton (240 Mt. Vernon St) and Geiger Gibson Health Center (250 Mt. Vernon St.), Dorchester

Join us for a celebration of Mt. Vernon St. and Columbia Point. The event will include live music, food trucks, activities for children and families, biking and walking tours highlighting the Harborwalk, boat tours, temporary urbanism "pop-up" activities and more!

Circle the City Returns to Blue Hill Avenue
Sun, September 28th, 1-5pm
@ Blue Hill Ave between Dudley St and Warren St, Boston
Join us on a car-free Blue Hill Ave with featured activities for all ages including live music from local musicians, fitness and dance classes, kids' games and art projects, an interfaith dialogue, walking and biking tours, art making, a historic photo exhibition, free Bikes for all ages, innovative greening projects, ZUMBA, step and Hula Hoops, job resources and MUCH more!
For more information about both of these events see our calendar.

Myths Debunked


Over the first half of 2014, we have been debunking common transportation myths. Last month, we highlighted the myth: Transit investments don't pay offThis month, we explore another popular myth.
mythMyth: Wider streets are safer
Debunked: Widening traffic lanes or increasing capacity for cars actually increases traffic speeds and compromises safety. 
Of pedestrians killed in 2007 and 2008, more than 50% died on arterial roadways, typically designed to be wide and fast. Roads like these are built to move cars and too often do not provide safety for people who bike and walk. Read more about this myth and facts on the Smart Growth America's website.

Share your thoughts about this #MythDebunked on Facebook and Twitter.



#SaferCommAve in the news 

Have you seen the Boston Globe or Boston Magazine in the past month? Our work to improve safety on Comm Ave is getting some press.


On August 2, our work on Comm. Ave. made the front page of Saturday's Boston Globe. LivableStreets Campaign Coordinator Jamie Maier was quoted: "The proposed designs would make the street less enjoyable and less comfortable for everyone using it."


On August 4, Boston Magazine quoted LivableStreets Program Manager Kara Oberg: "Basically pedestrians are getting less space, cyclists are getting the same amount of space they have today, and drivers are getting more space, when all the numbers show that people biking and walking is increasing in volume while people driving is decreasing."  


On August 18, an editorial in the 

expressed its concern with the the City's lack of complete street redesign. The editorial said, "Many cities in Europe, with streets and sidewalks much older and narrower than Commonwealth Avenue, have figured out how to incorporate safe biking infrastructure
. If a safe cycle track cannot be installed on one of Boston's widest and straightest thoroughfares, it bodes ill for the city's broader plan for cycling and its dreams of curtailing congestion."

On August 28, BostInno wrote about the most recent Comm Ave plans and stated "Rather fittingly, Gillooly joined LivableStreets Alliance executive director Jackie Douglas on a bike ride
Boston Transportation Commissioner Jim Gillooly and Executive Director Jackie Douglas went for bike ride last Wednesday.

along Comm Ave at 2 p.m. Tuesday afternoon. 

"It was a very positive experience," Douglas told BostInno in a phone interview Wednesday morning. "Any time you can join the [BTD] commissioner on a bike ride is great." Gillooly and Douglas biked seven miles. During their ride, Douglas said, they discussed Boston's streets in general - not specifically Comm Avenue reconstruction.


If we could write our own article, we would say the current Comm. Ave. street design isn't just inadequate for people who bike, but also for those who walk, run, push baby carriages, are in wheelchairs, take the T and drive. LivableStreets urges the City to look at its own Complete Streets Guideline and Boston Bike Network Plan to design a safe and livable streets for all people who use it. We look forward to meeting with the city in a couple of weeks to discuss improved designs that the city and advocates are working on.


See all #SaferCommAve press here. Join the discussion on Twitter and Facebook using #SaferCommAve.

Living car-light: Las Vegas is next


Our car-light series highlights cities across the country that are going car-free or car-light.

The most recent city to join the movement is Las Vegas. Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh is partnering with his friend Zach Ware to launch Project 100 because "People are happier when they can more easily connect with the people and places they care about."   


"The head of the online shoe retailer is ushering in an ambitious urban transportation project called Project 100. It could make downtown Las Vegas free of personal cars, using a combination of on-demand Tesla Model S cars (100 of them), shared bikes (100 or those), shared neighborhood electric vehicles (yes, 100 of those, too) and buses (you can guess it, 100 shuttle stops)." (gigaom.comRead more about the plan here in Grist. 


Is Project 100 ambitious for Vegas? Definitely. Is 100 enough? It doesn't sound like a lot given Las Vegas's resident population of roughly 600,000 people. But it's a start, and it's bold and visionary. We are excited to see what comes of it. 


Share and discuss on FacebookTwitter (using #BostonCarLight) or by replying to this email. We'd love to hear from you!


Public meetings & other opportunities  

LivableStreets Volunteer Friday
Friday, September 5, 11am-1pm
@ LivableStreets office, 100 Sidney St., Cambridge
RSVP to [email protected]  
Help make Bike4Life route signage!

Public meeting on proposed bike lanes in Mission Hill
Monday, September 15, 2014, 6pm
@ Tobin Community Center, Boston

Hubway is hiring!

City of Newton is hiring!

Thank you to StreetLife sponsor: 


Interested in sponsoring our monthly newsletter? Email [email protected].