Parking problems…for bicycles???

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In a recent Boston Globe article, the author relates a story of how bicycling is becoming so popular in Boston, people are actually having trouble finding a parking place for their bicycles.  That’s a delightful problem to have, because it’s so much easier and less expensive to solve than parking problems for cars.  And bicycle parking problems don’t come with companion problems such as congestion, poor air quality and storm water runoff issues from impermeable car parking lots.

Update on listening sessions

Just wanted to let you know that the final report from NH Listens on our transportation listening sessions went out to the participants on Monday, July 8th.  I’ll be posting it on this website soon, along with a preamble to explain why we commissioned these sessions and how we’re going to use the information from them to help our transportation system better serve everyone in New Hampshire.red bus

Public calls for transportation options

blnmc_basemapAround 35 people gathered for a meeting in Manchester Town Hall last night to hear representatives from New Hampshire Department of Transportation and the consulting firm URS speak about the NH Capitol Corridor Rail and Transit Study and take public comments about the level of desire for transportation options such as passenger rail and intercity bus transit.

Comments were unanimously in favor of having options, especially rail.  Many felt that having rail service would make New Hampshire more economically competitive and attract young professionals to live in New Hampshire cities.

For more information, see the NH Capitol Corridor website, or contact Mark Sanborn – Federal Liaison, NHDOT.

Fitting tribute to Amtrak champion

The body of Sen. Frank Lautenberg, the tireless champion of passenger rail who died on Monday, will be transported to Arlington National Cemetery on an Amtrak train what will originate in the station that bears his name.  Screen Shot 2013-06-05 at 2.57.15 PMSen. Lautenberg was the last surviving World War II veteran to serve in the senate.

More details are in this post on Transportation Nation.

In another post on Monday, Peter Rogoff, the head of the Federal Transit Administration was quoted as saying “Every transit rider — not just in New Jersey but in America — owes a huge debt of gratitude to the efforts of Senator Frank Lautenberg.”

Los Angeles adds bus only lanes

Buses are traveling faster in parts of Los Angeles, thanks to new bus only lanes, according to this article in the Los Angeles Times:Screen Shot 2013-06-05 at 2.43.37 PM

“The 1.8 miles of lanes between MacArthur Park and Western Avenue are some of the first of their kind in the county and one piece of a larger transit corridor that will be finished late next year.”

This is an affordable way to make transit an even more attractive choice for commuters.

“Commute times should fall by 12 to 15 minutes once the full corridor is finished, Metro officials said. About 53,000 people board buses on Wilshire each day. During peak hours, more people travel the corridor by bus than by car.”

Concord to Boston Transportation Options

Public Meeting to Discuss Transportation Options

7:00 pm on June 5th in Manchester

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) has announced a public meeting on Wednesday, June 5, 2013 in Manchester to receive input and discuss transportation needs, and preferences for solutions that involve bus and rail options for a 73-mile corridor between Concord, New Hampshire and Boston, Massachusetts.

The June 5th public meeting will be held at Manchester City Hall, beginning at 7:00 pm.

The NHDOT is evaluating opportunities to improve inter-city transit service along the corridor through a study funded jointly by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).

The NH Capitol Corridor Rail and Transit Study will examine rail and bus options to address transportation, economic development, sustainability, quality of life, and environmental issues along the I-93 and Everett Turnpike corridors from Concord to Nashua, with connections to Boston.

For more information, go to NH Capitol Corridor Rail and Transit Study or contact

Patrick Herlihy
Rail and Transit Bureau
(603) 271-2468

Getting there by bicycle

Urban_cycling_IIIThe Transportation Research Board (TRB) has published a report from Active Living Research, a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, entitled How to Increase Bicycling for Daily Travel. From the introduction:

Bicycling is healthy: it increases physical activity, improves cardiovascular health, and reduces obesity and disease. Bicycling also can be an excellent mode of transportation for people of all ages. In fact, bicycling to school has been shown to improve cardiovascular fitness and overall health among children and adolescents.

Key research results include

One study of 35 large U.S. cities found that each additional mile of bike lane per square mile was associated with about a 1 percent increase in the share of workers commuting by bicycle.

Creating bicycle boulevards by adding traffic calming features, such as speed humps, curb extensions, and pedestrian crossways, on streets with a low volume of traffic and installing cycle tracks, which are on-street bike lanes that are physically separated from motor vehicle lanes, encourages bicycling on streets where they are installed.

Cities that have implemented bicycle sharing programs report substantial increases in bicycling.

Some cities, even very large cities, have dramatically raised bicycling levels but only with a multifaceted, coordinated approach that involved careful planning and ongoing input from residents.

Integrating bicycling with public transportation increases the viability of each. Bicycling can expand the service areas of rail transit stations and bus stops. Trains and buses, in turn, can transport bicyclists over much longer distances than would be feasible by bicycle alone. Studies show that bike racks on buses and good bike parking at rail stations increase both bicycling and transit use.

If you are interested in bicycling more, check out the bike maps provided by the Bicycle and Pedestrian Program at NH DOT.

Chicago’s new protected bike lanes supported by business owners

In a letter to the editor of the Chicago Sun Times, several business owners on a route scheduled to get new protected bike lanes said

A close look at the public plans shows that there’s a lot more than just bike lanes and parking spaces going on — overall it will make our street a more comfortable place to hang out, helping us to attract more customers and greater investment into our neighborhood. What we’re up against here is a chaotic and unsafe roadway that stifles economic activity. This is the story you should be telling.

For photos of protected and unprotected bike lanes in Chicago, see this blog post at People for Bikes.