40B, but for housing near transit, sorta

Two state legislators have proposed a new bill that, among other things, would limit municipalities ability to block multi-family housing near transit. Bill SD.1640 would require covered cities and towns — Newton is covered — to create at least one...
Jake A. goes wonk on induced demand

Jake A. goes wonk on induced demand

If you received (and read) the most recent edition of Councilor Jake Auchincloss’s newsletter, you got a treat: an informative (and fun!) discussion of the economics of traffic. Go ahead and read it. We’ll wait. As Jake explains, traffic is as much...
Get thee to a Zoning Reform Meeting

Get thee to a Zoning Reform Meeting

Arguably, the upcoming changes to the zoning ordinance — the rules and the map — is the most consequential change to Newton in a generation. (Charter change would have been a contender, had it succeeded.) For that reason, I strongly encourage anyone who...

Bus issues

“Due to a variety of industry issues, Newton and other communities are experiencing severe shortages of bus drivers.” So write Newton Public Schools officials in a letter to NPS bus families. The consequence of driver shortages? “[S]tudents riding our buses may experience delays or gaps in routes.”

https://twitter.com/newton_ps/status/1038423699190374400

Any hypotheses about what’s going to happen as a result of “delays or gaps in [bus] routes”? 

I’m not an economics professor, but I’m gonna guess a pretty quick cure to the “industry issues” resulting in a driver shortage would be increased wages. 

We are so misaligned in Newton on school transportation policy. Any child living within two miles of school has to pay $350 (up to a family cap of $700). And, now, because the city (through contractor Eastern Bus) is not paying drivers enough, that $350 doesn’t even get you decent service. Meanwhile, it costs nothing to drive to school.

Is it any wonder that streets around schools are choked with traffic? 

Car culture run amok and car-free zones

This is how corrosive car culture in Newton is. A fully-grown adult stood up at a public meeting this week to argue for a right turn on red across the street from Angier Elementary School, otherwise frustrated drivers might blow through the crosswalk in a distracting...
Newton needs the Red-Blue Connector

Newton needs the Red-Blue Connector

If you have a moment, please consider signing the Red-Blue Connector e-petition. The petition urges the MBTA to commit to build an actual connector between the Red and Blue lines in the Focus 2040 visioning plan. We all benefit from improvements to connectivity across...

Ban cars around Newton schools

In the United Kingdom, schools are banning “school runs,” the morning drive to drop children off at school. We should do the same in Newton. With a few exceptions for children with special needs, there is just no reason that children need to be driven...
These are no thumbtacks

These are no thumbtacks

Came upon a Newton Police officer this afternoon at the corner of Winchester and Nahanton. Apparently, this is where the “thumbtacks” were found yesterday. These are no thumbtacks. These are heavy-duty insulated staples for installing Romex (the electrical...
Widening the Pike in Newton

Widening the Pike in Newton

Our friend Nathan has discovered a $172 million project on the books to widen the Massachusetts Turnpike bridge over the Charles between Newton and Weston and sections both east and west of the bridge. Meanwhile, our Mayor and state delegation are practically begging...
How things are shaping up on Dedham St.

How things are shaping up on Dedham St.

The reconstruction of two Dedham St. intersections is really taking form. The intersection of Brookline St. with Dedham St. and the intersection of Carlson St. with Dedham St. have been better lined up to make turning behavior more logical and predictable....
Waltham St. Improvement and Parking

Waltham St. Improvement and Parking

Tonight at its 7:00 meeting, Traffic Council is going to hear a proposal (TC33-18) to slow traffic on Waltham St. and Crafts St. by narrowing the travel lanes, adding bike lanes, and configuring parking to create chicanes — minor changes in the line of travel so...

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