Blog

If one is going to claim that a transit agency is the fastest-growing in the nation, one must look at the entire system it operates, not just pieces of it.

When one makes fair, apples-to-apples comparisons of the MBTA’s service growth and spending patterns with those of other large transit agencies, the T appears to be quite normal.

Two major train spills in the last month – one in West Virginia, one in Illinois – have reinforced what has now become abundantly clear: Transporting large amounts of oil by rail endangers the health and safety of our communities and our environment.

Back in January when I wrote a Lay of the Land blog post on fracking, one of the upcoming important policy events I flagged was release of recommendations by Colorado’s oil and gas task force. The commission released its recommendations last week, but failed to resolve the key issues that had precipitated the commission’s formation.

Shared-use mobility options have the potential to transform the United States’ transportation landscape for the better.

 

When one looks at other forms of rail service, the agency has not only not grown, but has been blown out of the water by other cities that see the benefits transit has brought to places like Boston and want a piece of it for themselves.

Antibiotic resistance poses a serious threat to human health, and the public needs to know if, and to what extent, important antibiotics are being misused.

As cities across the country wrestle to reconcile increasing demand for transit services with budget challenges, optimizing transit service can be a key tool for squeezing maximum value out of every available transportation dollar. Data-powered evaluations offer the potential of making those decisions easier and provide better outcomes.

Rising demand on the system is the flip side of “lack of investment” in understanding this winter’s MBTApocalypse.

America failed to build functioning 20th century rail and transit systems during the actual 20th century.

See how your city ranked in the Innovative Transportation Index.

Find out how your city ranked! And click here for shareable graphics you can use to tell all your friends about how great your favorite city is.

Technology has enabled the creation of new transportation tools that, while useful individually, combine to become more than the sum of their parts. They augment existing transportation systems, strengthening and linking together the existing transportation fabric of American cities, making it possible for more Americans to live full and engaged lives without owning a car.

As a mother, I have no shortage of things to worry about. There are the mundane concerns, such as: did I remember to pack a snack in my son’s backpack today? has he been exposed to lead dust from the old windows in our house? How do I keep him safe in the car?  And then there are the big worries that come with raising a child in 21st century America: how will global warming affect his health, security and the society he will live in as an adult? Will rising health care costs prevent him from getting the care he needs when he is old? And a worry that recently came onto my list: will antibiotics still work in 50 years?

A weakened CFPB would be a return to the days of minimal accountability around some of the most important transactions consumers make over the course of their lives: buying a home, sending a kid to college, or getting out of debt.

Earlier this month, Bill Gates made headlines around the world by drinking a glass of water. Five minutes beforehand, it had been human sewage.

Boston Globe investigation last week revealed two important reasons behind the city’s legendary parking woes.

The first, and the main subject of the article, is the city’s failure to manage demand for parking. There is, the Globe revealed, no limit on, nor any fee for, the number of permits a resident can get for on-street parking. One man reportedly “has residential parking permits for 10 cars, including two Ferraris, a Mercedes, and a Porsche” – a surprisingly valuable stable of vehicles to risk on the famously narrow streets of Boston.

More surprising to me, though, was this quote: “‘It's frustrating when you come home from work and have to drive . . . for an hour to find a space,’ said Ryan Kenny, who chairs the North End Waterfront Neighborhood Council’s parking committee.”

Oil and gas industry spokespeople routinely claim that the risks of fracking can be minimized by best practices and appropriate state regulation. Not only is this false – fracking is harmful to the environment even when drillers follow all the rules – but drillers also regularly violate essential environmental and public health protections. A look at recent data from Pennsylvania, where key industry players have pledged to clean up their act, illustrates the frequency with which companies still break the rules.

We welcomed the new year with a series of blog posts covering a number of our issue areas.  Policy analysts reviewed developments and opportunities as the 114th Congress begins its work, and as new governors and state legislators take office.

To conflate today’s mild and tenuous suburban growth advantage over cities with yesterday’s rampant suburban sprawl is to lead people to believe that the post-recession future of development is going to look very much like the last decades of the 20th century.

Fracking has been hailed as a potential solution to America’s dependence on energy imports by freeing up vast domestic reserves of oil and gas. But as with any non-renewable energy, obtaining and using fossil fuels from fracking imposes major costs, the full extent of which aren’t yet clear.

Pages

Subscribe to Blog