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Toronto, Canada – Image (cc) Geee Kay

The Globe and Mail: Toronto to narrow traffic lanes in hopes of increasing safety

Toronto will narrow many of the city’s traffic lanes in a bid to increase safety by reining in speeds while freeing up space for bicycle lanes or wider sidewalks.

The city has just finished a new policy for lane widths, guidelines that will be rolled out gradually across Toronto.

It will mean that, over a period of years, the lanes on streets across the city will be redrawn. A city official said current widths can encourage drivers to go faster than necessary. The new lanes will generally range from 3 to 4.3 metres, depending on location.

3 to 4.3 meters equals 9′ 11″ to 14′ 1″ in American. 14′ is crazy wide, but 9′ 11″… RIDOT would faint dead away.

For example, buses operated by the TTC are up to 2.97 metres wide, including mirrors, and lanes on bus routes are to be a minimum of 3.3 metres wherever possible.

3.3 meters equals 10′ 6″.


The Atlantic: How Political Leadership Makes City Streets Bikeable

Becoming more bikeable: That seems to be a must for any self-respecting major American city these days. But what does it take to achieve that goal? Resources, of course—the funds to create the infrastructure for safe and comfortable bikeways. But the most important thing is political will. It takes real political leadership to overcome opposition to change.

Just ask people in Pittsburgh, which is making great progress on its goals to become more bikeable. It’s happening partly because of long-term, purposeful advocacy from organizations like BikePGH. But the most important factor in Pittsburgh’s success is the political leadership of Bill Peduto, the city’s mayor of only eleven months.

Indeed, big overhauls in the structure of a city require direct input from a Mayor.



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Worcester Telegram & Gazette: Worcester-Providence ‘JetBlue of rail commuting’ envisioned

Worcester Union Station

Union Station in Worcester, Massachusetts – Photo (cc) Jonf728

Already practically sister cities, Worcester and Providence may soon have a new connection — this time over the rails.

Boston Surface Railroad Co. has been formed for the specific purpose of creating a commuter rail service between the two New England cities. Vincent Bono, the largest stockholder and general manager of the new company, said plans are in the first stages of developing what he hopes will eventually be three trains per day traveling between the two cities.

The first step is to conduct a study, which is expected to take six months. If the project proves feasible, an agreement would have to be forged with Providence and Worcester Railroad Co. to use its tracks, and possibly to operate the trains. If all goes well, the service could begin within 18 months.

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I-195 Redevelopment District Commission Parks Design Subcommittee – December 1, 2014

featured-195commission A meeting of the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission Parks Design Subcommittee will be held at Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, 315 Iron Horse Way, Providence, Rhode Island, on MONDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2014, beginning at 4:45pm for the following purposes:

Public Session

I-195 Redevelopment Commission: Commissioners John Kelly, Barbara Hunger, Diana Johnson Jan Brodie, Executive Director
Department of Transportation: Lambri Zerva
Architects and Engineers: David Freeman, CDR Maguire
Nina Brown, Brown Richardson Rowe (?) Kelly Carr, BETA (?)

Call to Order

  1. Discussion regarding bridge height and other suggestions relative to River activation, views and pathways – Director Lewis’s letter
  2. Discussion concerning other design issues impacted by item 1, including water feature, river edge terracing.
  3. Other matters that still need resolution before DOT/Designers can proceed beyond 30%.
  4. Vote to Adjourn.

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PBN: Developer negotiating with panel for Fox Point land

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Image from Google Streetview

A city developer has entered into exclusive negotiations with the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission to purchase a piece of former highway land in the city’s Fox Point neighborhood.

Richard Baccari II, principal of Royal Oaks Realty LLC, confirmed in an email Monday that his group had signed a “letter of intent” to buy a property between Pike Street and Tockwotten Street from the commission.

I’ve heard some very preliminary information on this project, and it sounds interesting. See previous post about the project here.

In response to a public records request from Providence Business News, I-195 commission Executive Director Jan Brodie earlier on Monday said by email that the commission had signed two letters of intent, one more than had been made public last week when the panel approved a purchase and sales agreement with a Dallas developer planning a student apartment building.

See, this a problem. As I’ve said before, I understand the need for discretion when doing real estate deals, but the fact that PBN had to do a public records request is troubling. Private citizens can do public records requests too, but how many of us do? The perception of the Commission this creates is not good. And it is not like this is any kind of state secret. This project has been reported in the media, people in the industry are well aware of this project, which makes all the secrecy all the more annoying.

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amsterdam-canals

PBN: Would dredging return bustle to riverfront?

Preventing the river from filling in with natural sediment requires periodic dredging, something neither the city nor state has been eager to finance in recent years. The federal government declined to tap a pool of funds set aside for dredging projects that maintain cargo shipping channels.

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skating-center

Providence Rink opens Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Providence Rink will be open for ice skating season starting on Saturday, November 15th at 10:00am. Regular hours of operation during the week are Monday through Friday, 10am until 10pm and new hours for Saturdays and Sundays are 10am until 10pm. The Rink is open on all winter holidays.

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RIDOT: Rhode Island’s Transit Future

One of the most crucial components of a healthy economy and quality of place is a sound transportation system: one that supports diverse modes of travel and seamlessly connects Rhode Island to the rest of the world – and Rhode Islanders, more meaningfully to each other and to opportunity.

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