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News & Notes

The Atlantic Cities: Why Mayors Should Run the Department of Transportation

The transportation issues of the 21st century will be less about building new highways and more about building new transit, about offering more multi-modal options to bike and walk. Transportation policy going forward won’t just be about moving people as far and as fast as possible, but about leveraging transportation in service of economic opportunity and livable communities.

So here is one modest thought about who understands all of this as Obama searches for LaHood’s successor: mayors. There have been three former mayors at the helm of the DOT in the department’s 46-year history, most recently former San Jose Mayor Norman Mineta. As the agency further modernizes its mission, who better to take us there than someone who comes from a city?

I’m not sure I could even understand a world where L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was not our next Transportation Secretary.


The New York Times: America’s Mid-20th-Century Infrastructure

Europeans visiting the Northeastern United States – and many parts of the East Coast — can show their children what Europe’s infrastructure looked like during the 1960s.


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News & Notes

Seattle Sharrows - 1 of 8

Sharrows on a Seattle Street, Photo (cc) The Prudent Cyclist.

News & Notes Sharing time: Tracking the ‘sharrow’ on city streets [Grist]

Like many experts on transportation bicycling, Fucoloro wasn’t enthusiastic about them. Sharrows are spread so indiscriminately on Seattle streets, he said, that “they mean nothing now.” He has noticed that there seems to be “slightly less aggression” from drivers when they’re in place. “But does that mean all the streets without sharrows are worse?”

In other words, with sharrows everywhere, do drivers assume that cyclists don’t belong on streets without them?


Five myths about your gasoline taxes [CNN]

A perpetual deadlock in Congress has resulted in eight extensions of the national transportation bill, causing roads to crumble, bridges to fall, and transit to break down.

Come March 2012, politicians will once again enter into a political debate about funding American mobility. Without a fiscal safety net in place, the Highway Trust Fund will go broke.


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Inaugural Ride – Bike Train from the East Bay to the Blackstone Valley, July 11

Bike Route marker between the East Bay and Blackstone Bike Paths at India Point Park in Providence
Photo from Cycle Blackstone’s Facebook Page

Monday, July 11 • 8:30am – 11:30am
Along the on-road connector East Providence to Cumberland

Great news – both the sharrows and temporary signage have been installed along the designated route between Cumberland and East Providence! We’re gearing up to hold our press conference and we want to invite you to join us in celebrating the completion of the route.

Please meet us at any of the locations below:

  • 8:30 – Opening Ceremony – East Providence (East Bay Bike Path Parking Lot on Veteran’s Memorial Parkway) Depart at 9:00
  • 9:30 – Speaking – Providence (Lippitt Park at the end of Blackstone Boulevard) Depart at 9:45
  • 10:00 – Speaking – Pawtucket (Pawtucket Visitor’s Center on the corner of Roosevelt and Main) Depart at 10:15
  • 10:30 – Closing Ceremony – Cumberland (Start of Blackstone Valley Bikeway on Jones Street)

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Connecting the Blackstone and East Bay bike paths


Photo (cc) spablab

Last month Matthew wrote about the proposed on-road connection between the Blackstone and East Bay bike paths. Now we have the draft plan from the city of Pawtucket detailing part of that connection.

City of Pawtucket Blackstone Valley Bike Stripe Project [.pdf]

There are some caveats right now to these plans. The section between Pitman Street in Providence and the Town Landing in Pawtucket is not included in this document, that is a separate RIDOT funded project. The current plan shows the route running along Taft and Pleasant Streets in Pawtucket which are both closed (or will be closed at various dates in the future) due to the Pawtucket River Bridge replacement. The engineer is working on identifying a temporary route which will be open throughout the bridge construction.

The current plan in Providence is to run Pitman to Gano Street with Sharrows in the road. While state law allows for bikes to use any non-expressway street, and cars should make way for bikes, the planners are aware that the traffic volume on Gano is heavy and fast. Routing the bikeway along Gano may deter some less experienced users from traveling this way. There is consideration of putting the Sharrows on Ives Street instead.

The Pawtucket Citizens Development Corporation and the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council are working on this project, their current funding is limited. They are open to suggestions (which you may post here in the comments) but remember, thier budget is limited.

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