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Better walking, biking, and transit

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    Twenty is plenty in Boston, according to its elected officials. The City Council voted unanimously this week to lower the default speed limit on most residential streets to 20 mph — and not for the first time. Photo: John Stephen Dwyer/Wikipedia Speeding is the number one complaint council members hear from residents. And on Boston’s narrow streets, packed [...]

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    If you live close to a transit station, chances are you’ve weathered the recession better than your friends who don’t. Your transportation costs are probably lower, since you can take transit instead of driving. Transit-served areas are usually more walkable and bikeable too, multiplying your options. And while home values plummeted during a recession that […]

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    This week’s mayoral elections yielded good news for transit and safe streets in both Houston and Minneapolis. In Boston, meanwhile, the results are less straightforward. Transportation reformers in Minneapolis are generally pleased about the election of City Council member Betsy Hodges (runoff votes are still being counted, but the second-place contender has conceded). Hodges is […]

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    Behold, Boston’s new “super sharrows,” a spin on the often-derided shared-lane marking. Boston’s new twist is meant to give the feel of a bike lane, even when the space for one is lacking. The official term for this street treatment is “priority shared-lane markings,” and they were debuted in the last few weeks on Boston’s […]

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    A wave of new residential construction projects in places like Seattle, Boston, and Miami are showing that, yes, modern American cities can build housing without any car parking on site. Officials in Boston gave their approval last week to what Curbed called the city’s “first big-time parking-less condo,” a 175-unit project named Lovejoy Wharf. The “plan was met with […]

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    Heavy trucks kill. They account for as much as 32 percent of cyclist deaths in New York City and 58 percent in London, far out of proportion to their share of traffic. Across the U.S., 1,746 bicyclists and pedestrians have been killed in collisions with commercial trucks over the last five years. For cities looking to reduce traffic […]

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    Last week, the engine on one of Boston’s Orange Line trains overheated and ignited some trash, filling traincars with smoke. Passengers broke windows to escape. Three people were hospitalized for smoke inhalation. The scare focused attention on long-standing maintenance problems for the T: It’s underfunded, upkeep is falling behind, and the quality of service is suffering. Orange Line trains, many of which are three […]

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    Local advocates say the lack of action to fix dangerous Beacon Street is emblematic of Walsh's timid approach to the problem.

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    The MBTA is evaluating all 7,600 of its bus stops for safety and accessibility, and it will either improve or eliminate 200 of the worst ones.

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    At the Landmark Interchange by Fenway Park in Boston, people trying to walk across the street sometimes have to wait as long as two minutes for a signal. And that, says Northeastern University Civil Engineering Professor Peter Furth, is dangerous.

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    Quick -- what should a city do to improve access to a rapidly developing area near a BRT station? In Boston, officials have settled on an expensive plan to subsidize driving and traffic.

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    Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has carefully cultivated the image of a business-minded Republican intent on running government more efficiently. But when it comes to transit, Baker's spending priorities are not consistent with his pragmatic persona.

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    It's Parking Madness season at Streetsblog, and if you're just joining us, this year's competition is all about how we sabotage transit by surrounding stations with huge fields of parking. First round action continues today as Toronto takes on the Boston suburb of Malden. Vote for the worst to send it through to the round of eight.

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    Bridj, the premium app-based "microtransit" service that tailored routes and prices based on customer demand, has folded after exhausting its funds.

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    Boston's latest do-it-yourself bike lane intervention might seem a bit sketchy -- because it uses comics to prod City Hall for needed safety improvements.

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    A new survey conducted in Boston's Roxbury neighborhood shows that while people across different racial groups like protected bike lanes, there are variations in preferences that should inform design.

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    Cities and tech firms are deploying new technology to gauge risks at dangerous intersections. These sensors, cameras, and machine-learning algorithms are promising, especially when it comes to measuring close calls that don't result in crashes - but cities are still figuring out how they can use this information. In the meantime, there's no reason to wait on designing safe streets.

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    Commuter rail in the United States mostly caters to affluent suburbanites who commute to the city center. Even though these lines pass through working class city neighborhoods that stand to benefit enormously from better transit, the service they provide passes those communities by. It doesn't have to be that way.

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    There are just too many dreadful bus stops to count in America.

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    Walsh seems to have reached a conclusion without fairly assessing the program and trying to make it work.

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