Current Affairs

Cambridge City Councillor Seidel Reviews Talk on Sustainable Transportation

Swissnex tranp event-cr-Fred Salvucci, Amy Cotter, William Lyons, Eric Cosandey

Pictured: Panelists Fred Salvucci, Amy Cotter, William Lyons, Eric Cosandey

On Friday May 21st, Cambridge City Councillor Sam Seidel and Jacqueline Gasser-Beck, education advisor at Swissnex Boston, the Swiss Consulate, welcomed over 100 people to the Cambridge Public Library auditorium for the panel discussion “Sustainable Transportation: A Challenge for the 21st Century”. The forum, moderated by MIT professor and former Massachusetts secretary of transportation Fred Salvucci, brought together experts from Switzerland and the Boston metro region to examine how rail systems can become an integral part of a comprehensive efficient transportation network.  Eric Consandey from the Swiss engineering firm SMA opened the discussion by stating that a coordinated system with an integrated timetable is the key to success.    “The timetable is the common language” spoken by transportation companies, rail engineers and passengers alike, Cosandey said, and a well constructed one reduces wait times and increases predictability and usability.Panelist William Lyons of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Volpe Center called for a system that considers the “whole journey” similar to the Swiss model, with Mr. Salvucci noting that MIT courses often cite the Swiss example as the way to move forward on transportation planning.  Amy Cotter of Metropolitan Area Planning Council added that polycentric cities such as the larger Boston metro region require that surrounding communities such as Brockton, Lowell, and Framingham invest in infrastructure to help connect the region.  However, she pointed out there needs to be political will to invest in this type of infrastructure.  Audience questions followed the panel discussion. If you are interested in learning more about the program, please feel free to email Councillor Seidel at or by calling 617-349-4279.

Somerville's SomerStreets: Next Celebration July 25!

Why share the road when you can own it? 

Mayor Curtatone is pleased to announce the launch
of the
City of Somerville’s open streets initiative, SomerStreets
This concept, based on Bogota, Columbia’s ciclovia
and New York
City’s Summer
, provides a car free space during the weekend for fun and
activity.  Streets are closed to cars and open for biking, walking,
jogging, rollerblading, dancing and more!  Join us for the next
SomerStreets event on Sunday, July 25th
from noon  to 5 pm. 

Please visit
 regularly for updated information and event activities.  Let’s
back the streets this summer! 

May 28 Walk/Ride Day in Somerville, MA

OOPS!!! IF you are looking for Somerville's Best Shovelled Sidewalk Competition info, please CLICK HERE!!! THANKS! We apologize for the extra click!!!

And happy shoveling! :)

There has been a whole lotta’ biking in Somerville this month and next month is looking just as Green! Some recent highlights include an open streets program in Somerville and there are three more on the way! These events are designed to get people walking and biking on the streets in a car-free, celebratory way – just like Walk/Ride Day!!!

Somerville-cr For the May 28th Walk/Ride Day, the Healey School is celebrating it with Bike To School Day. There will be police-escorted bike rides from 3 different sections of Somerville, all converging on the Healey at opening time! The school will also be providing bike valet parking!

The Healey is one of five schools in the city to participate in a bike training program for 5th grade students, organized by CycleKids. All 5th graders in the five schools have been learning the rules of the road and we expect to see an explosion of "bikers for life" coming out of this program. Next year the same program will run in ALL seven city schools with 5th grade classes. That will surely mean more kids “riding (bicycles)” for Walk/Ride Day.

The Healey will be celebrating June's Walk/Ride a week early on June 18th. More Somerville schools are signing onto Walk/Ride Day with the Argenziano and Brown saying YES!! to Walk/Ride Days for September.

Shape Up Somerville, with the critical help of parent volunteers, coordinates Walk/Ride Days in Somerville and has been highlighting biking and Walk/Ride Day for Bike Month on Somerville Cable Access Television (SCAT). To learn more about school and community Walk/Ride Day and other events, contact Shape Up Somerville.

10 in 2010 Cambridge MBTA Bus Challenge -- to Work, School, Shop and Play!

When you Go Green, you have options.  Walk, bike and take 10 of the 30 bus lines in Cambridge in
2010.  Each time you take a new bus sign in here  and we
will keep in touch with you to let you know how you are doing.  Take the
bus with your family and your friends and we'll all meet up in January
2011 to celebrate and share our stories.

10 in 10 Bus ChallengeFinal3

You can also download our 10 in 2010 Bus Challenge "Passport" (image at L) and record your travels there! Email us for hard copies.

And, now, if you check in on Walk/Ride Day, each new bus line you ride will count as two! Of course, feel free to do the full 10, if you like! Or even the full 30+! We'd love to hear about it!

Bike to Work Week 2010

Todd-5-17-10 bike week It is hard to wake up the week after "Bike to Work Week" and realize that breakfast will have to be prepared at home!

It was wonderful to enjoy the mostly good weather that we had last week, in the company of so many fun and dedicated bike riders.  Short commutes, long commutes, daily commutes and occasional commutes –there is no one type of bike commuter on the streets. And for every bike commuter who stopped to enjoy the free coffee and pastries, there are many more who did not, including many bike commuters who work irregular hours and those who are not reached even by extensive outreach, because of language or cultural barriers.

There was one rainy morning during Bike Week and it might just have been my favorite morning. On Wednesday morning, displaying their varied rain gear in Harvard Square was a great crowd, great conversation and and maybe great inspiration for others. Biking can be a hobby and form of exercise, but it is also a form of transportation; many of us have pushed our comfort zone far beyond a pedaling around the neighborhood on only sunny days!

- Sarah Fresco  


Our Community Role Models--Walkers, Bikers and Public Transit Users

Mens Health FlyerThanks to a grant from the Men's Health Initiative at The Cambridge Health Alliance, the Walk/Ride Day Program in Cambridge, MA has been doing targeted outreach to men - especially  men of color - in the month of April.

 Our posters that encourage participation and volunteer involvement in the Walk/Ride Day Program are now displayed at five barber shops in Cambridge, all of our local library branches, local health center and many other locations around Cambridge.

We are working with Just a Start, a public alternative high school and job training program to develop volunteer opportunities for the students who they serve.

Please let us know how you might like to be involved.
Download Mens Health Flyer

How One City Celebrates: Walk/Ride Day in Somerville, MA: April 30, 2010

Somerville is bursting into spring with big Walk/Ride Days planned for April and May!

Shape Up Somerville, Tufts University students, volunteers, and parents are helping to make the Healey School "Walk/Ride Central", with four separate walking school buses, leaving from all corners of the city, and meeting at the school before the first class. Look for kids and Tufts students in [green] costume on April 30th! Groups will be meeting at Seven Hills Park; Willow Ave and the Community Path; Prospect Hill; and Porter Square. To learn more about the Walk-to-School events, contact Shape Up Somerville at

In March, the Healey hosted a Pep Rally in support of walking and biking to school and honored students and staff who walk and bike to school regularly. And next month, the Healey will host a Bike Day on Friday May 28th.

In addition to being Walk/Ride Day, April 30th is also Arbor Day. To celebrate both events, Somerville will host a tree (the symbol of the Green Streets Initiative!) planting ceremony at the Lincoln Park (290 Washington Street) from 10:30-11:30am. Please join the event by foot or bike and wear green to celebrate Walk/Ride Day.

And, for all those Somerville residents checking-in on Walk/Ride Day, thank you! One of you will be randomly selected to receive a citation from the city thanking and congratulating you for being a role model for others in the city, and you and your transportation habits will be profiled by the Somerville Journal.

Somerville's Mayor Curtatone Encourages Somerville Residents to Walk and Ride Their Way to Better Health

Mayor Joseph Curtatone and over five
hundred Somerville residents kicked off Somerville’s first annual
Mayor’s Fitness Challenge on Saturday at Somerville High School,
celebrating the multitude of options available to community members
interested in healthy eating and active living. Participants in the
Mayor’s Fitness Challenge can sign up for a Team Challenge
competition, or take a Health
and Wellness Participation Pledge
to join in the fun at community events designed
to promote physical activity and nutrition. So
far 138 individuals have signed up for
the Team Challenge and 224 individuals have taken the Participation

As part of the Fitness Challenge, Mayor
Curtatone is encouraging all Somerville residents to take part in the
March and April Walk/Ride days and to incorporate active transit into
their daily routines. As the weather warms up, the Mayor encourages
all residents to take advantage of the City’s sidewalks, bike lanes
and bike racks.

The April Walk/Ride Day will coincide
with Somerville’s Arbor Day celebration. Arbor Day will take place
at Lincoln Park, across the soccer field from the entrance to the
Argenziano School. The ceremony will be held from 10:30-11:30 and
will be attended by the Mayor, Ward 2 Alderman Maryann Heuston, and
Argenziano school officials and students. Please stop by—all are
welcome to attend!

Make a pledge for better health and a
healthier environment today! Go to
to join the Mayor’s Challenge.

Questions or to get involved: Jaime Corliss:

Cambridge's King School: Middle Schoolers Collect Encouraging Data, and SRTS

Cambridge's King Middle School Student Council Members surveyed the 6th and 8th
Grade homerooms on 3/10/10 to find out how students travel to school.  Seventy percent of the students chose
"green" forms of transportation, including 30 percent who walked to
school.  Student council members hope those numbers will be even higher
on Walk/Ride Day. Recent information from WalkAmerica
indicates that only 11 percent of students nationally walk to school, students at
the King School already have a good head start!
The King School has also become the first school in Cambridge to
have the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program at their School. 
Principal Yung
says that his school with take advantage of the pedestrian safety
training that the program offers.  SRTS is a federally funded
program that offers a variety of programs to schools to promote safe
walking and bike riding.  Please contact Ben Hammer at for more information if your school or community
is interested.

Celebrate Park Serve Day, April 24th at Alewife Brook Reservation--10am-2pm

Join citizens across the state working to clean and preserve wild spaces on April 24th.  Friends of Alewife Reservation will organize a group of volunteers at the Alewife Reservation.  Meet at 10am at the Friends of Alewife Reservation Kiosk (across from the Alewife T Station's passenger pick up)

Wear sturdy shoes and work clothes and bring sunscreen and bug repellent.  FAR and the MDC will provide water, snacks, gloves and equipment.

Here is an early spring view of the Reservation at FAR's Equinox Inter-Faith Service that took place March 21, 2010.