PODCAST 03 - Hub on Wheels & thoughts on biking in the city

Fellow bicyclist Sean Smith joins me to discuss the state of bicycling in and around Boston, and we review this year's Hub on Wheels ride with over 15,000 bikes and some car-free streets.  Also mentioned in the show is Newton bike infrastructure planning here.

Photo courtesy of The Boston Calendar.

Photo courtesy of The Boston Calendar.

I also enjoyed the Tour de Somerville a day earlier, starting at the new Assembly Row along the Mystic River.

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Assembly Station Opens Amidst Accelerating Growth in Somerville

Assembly Station Opens Amidst Accelerating Growth in Somerville

The MBTA's first new station in 27 years opened this Tuesday at the start of service with little fanfare. Of course, no grand opening isn't without its ribbon cutting ceremonly, which followed that afternoon with Governor Patrick, Somerville Mayor Curtatone, MassDOT Secretary Davey, and MBTA GM Scott.

Assembly Station on the Orange Line is located in Somerville on the site of a former Ford assembly plant. Somerville is hoping to grow its available housing stock to keep up with booming housing demand and especially the demand induced by the introduction of this and 6 new stations over the next 5 years.

What does this growth mean for the region? Will Somerville be the only town on the north side of the Orange Line to truly seize the opportunity for 'smart growth' and add meaningful volume to a region starved for housing?

Green Line Update Teases Improvements Enabled by Tracking Technology

Green Line Update Teases Improvements Enabled by Tracking Technology

As a corollary to our guest contributor post on the disappointing improvements and issues with Commonwealth Avenue, we have a few (much delayed) updates about the T's more progressive plans to improve transit along the corridor.

Back in June, I had the pleasure of attending a forum on Green Line issues hosted by the MBTA and facilitated greatly by Senator Brownsberger. The presentation included updates on the primary issues afflicting the Green Line and its dependent riders as outlined by Brian Kane, MBTA Director of Policy, Performance Management & Process Re-Engineering and former budget analyst with the MBTA Advisory Board.

Others present at the meeting included leading MBTA staff that Dr. Scott heralded as subject matter experts to ensure questions could be answered directly by the most appropriate person from the agency. Top MBTA management included:

  • Dominick Tribone for questions on information systems
  • Bill McClellan, Director of Green Line Operations
  • Laura Brelsford, Deputy Director of System-Wide Accessibility
  • Melissa Dullea, Director of Planning & Schedules

Mr. Kane broke down the issues into 5 key areas and highlighted the improvements the T is aiming to tackle over the long run.

Comm Ave: from auto mile to people mile

Comm Ave: from auto mile to people mile

Nearly a century ago, Commonwealth Avenue from Kenmore Square, heading west to Packard's Corner, was home to over a hundred automobile dealers and associated vendors. For much of the twentieth century, while riding the trolley, you would have passed showroom after showroom, parking lot after parking lot, all calling out for you to buy a car and drive away.

PODCAST 02 - Urban truck & bus safety, too much free parking, listener feedback, and the MBTA turns 50!

Transportation researcher Alex Epstein shares his latest work improving safety around trucks and buses. We focus on education/training, visibility and equipment such as mirrors and side guards. Ask your city, transit agency or delivery company what they are doing to prevent fatalities.

Brookline fails on bike helmets for Hubway users

Each of the four Hubway cities -- Boston, Cambridge, Brookline, Somerville -- own the stations within their boundaries. Thinks work seamlessly but there are small differences.

About two years ago I wrote on my blog that bike helmets have nothing to do with safety. Things haven't changed much in that department: plastic hats still don't prevent crashes, and helmet propaganda still increases fear of cycling, and car advocates (including most media outlets) still use helmets as a entry into victim blaming after every crash.