We've blathered on about transit-oriented development being the wave of the Hub's development future, when, in that future, an entity 10 times as monstrous as the DMV controls access to gasoline sold by the thimble for thousands of yuan a pop. People will bike or walk or train/bus it, and no one will think twice. It will be the way of things. Well, according to a fabulous piece by the Globe's resident transit wonk, Eric Moskowitz, the future has arrived in Kendall Square, that cauldron of 24-7 geekery.
Despite the rapid expansion in and around Kendall Square in the last decade—the neighborhood absorbed a 40 percent increase in commercial and institutional space, adding 4.6 million square feet of development—automobile traffic actually dropped on major streets, with vehicle counts falling as much as 14 percent. Everybody's a-comin' by the Red Line or by foot or, in more and more cases, by bike (something surely to increase now that Hubway's moving into Cambridge). Moskowitz deconstructs the bike situation at One Broadway: "In 2000, it had just one simple bike rack. Now, it has an electronically locked indoor cage and three indoor racks; outside, the city added sidewalk locking posts and reclaimed automobile parking for on-street bike racks, all of which are often full."
Commercial landlords do not consume space for bikes lightly, according to this November 2011 report in The New York Times. They do it because tenants demand it and/or because they anticipate tenants will want it and therefore bike storage is a carrot. The point? Never mind the crunchy-granola social or environmental impacts of this back and forth from Kendall Square sans cars, it may upend the financial case for parking, parking garages, et al. Bike racks are the new parking spaces. At least there. For now.
· Car-Free Commuting Push Pays Off in Kendall Square [Globe]
· A Room of Their Own for 2-Wheeled Commuters [NY Times]
· Somerville's Downward-Facing Doghouse and Hub's Apt. Future [Curbed Boston]
· One Word: Transit-Oriented—JP's Jackson Square Is the Future [Curbed Boston]
· A Day in the Life of Kendall Square: Lobster and Smartphones [Curbed Boston]
· What Hubway Means for Somerville, Cambridge Real Estate [Curbed Boston]