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News & Notes

Riled about rail: Why all the anger over high speed trains? [CNN]

Much of the opposition to rail projects appears to stem not from economic arguments, but from fundamental cultural values on what “American” transportation should be.

A perusal of online commentaries about passenger rail stories reveals a curious linkage by writers between passenger rail and “European socialism.”

Never mind that the majority of European passenger rail operates on a commercial basis.

Many critics of passenger rail emotionally identify it as an enabler of cultural values they fear.


Hub set to launch bike-share program [Boston.com]

Menino has had his sights set on bike sharing since he launched a major bicycling initiative in 2007, hiring urban planner and former Olympic cyclist Nicole Freedman with a mission to end Boston’s perennial ranking among the world’s least bike-friendly cities, a distinction attributed to the city’s cramped and twisting streets and aggressive drivers.

Since then, Boston has added 38 miles of bike lanes, up from a single city block in 2007, and installed 1,600 public bike parking spots. Freedman, meanwhile, has led the effort to plan and raise money for the regional bike-sharing network.

Having the bike infrasturcture in place ahead of the launch of the Bike Share program will be key to Boston having a successful program. Something Providence should keep in mind as it investigates a Bike Share program of its own.


Duany’s Metropolis article – uncut> [New Urban Network]

A 2,000-word piece by Andres Duany recently published in Metropolis speaks directly to the “avant garde establishment” and attempts to set the record straight on New Urbanism.

The Metropolis article was skillfully edited and reads well. New Urban Network posted a link to that article on April 15. Duany’s much longer original piece, which includes a fairly comprehensive list of new urbanists, is worth a read also. Here it is, preserved for posterity.


Metro pays consultant to make ‘business case’ for agency [Washington (DC) Examiner]

[Washington, DC] Metro has hired an outside consultant to assess its worth.

The idea is to go beyond the rides the agency provides each day. Instead, Metro hopes to measure how much development has cropped up around its stations, how many new roads and parking lots won’t need to be built and how much less greenhouse gas is being emitted from cars because of its trains and buses.

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One Response to News & Notes

  1. Matt Moritz April 22, 2011 at 9:21 am #

    thanks for pointing out the infrastructure investment angle on the bike share program. As an advocate for better cycling infrastructure and support of programs that make it easier for people to get out of their cars, I’ve been hesitant to criticize what seems me to be a case of cart before the horse, keeping up with the other cool cities.

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