Walking in Boston Easy to Do

Walking in Boston is considered to be easy, and the city is on its way to becoming the most walkable city in the United States.

This is according to a new report from a Washington D.C.-based research group and George Washington University, Smart Growth America. The group looked at factors such as the amount of retail and office space that is friendly to visitors traveling on foot.

The report states, the top cities are: Washington D.C., New York, Boston, San Francisco and Chicago.

Walking in Boston is considered easy, and getting easier...The report concludes that if current development trends hold, the most-walkable cities will be, in order: Boston, Washington D.C., New York, Miami and Atlanta.

The report’s executive summary states: “Walkable urban development is characterized by much higher density and a mix of diverse real estate types, connected to surrounding areas via multiple transportation options, such as bus and rail, bike routes, and motor vehicles. For those living or visiting a walkable urban place, everyday destinations, such as home, work, school, stores, and restaurants, are within walking distance.”

On top of walking in Boston being easy to do, Greater Boston’s retail real estate market qualifies as one of the country’s best bets among investors and property managers alike.

That’s according to a new report by real estate research firm Reis Inc., which said the region’s retail-property vacancy rate was 6.5 percent as of June 30, some 10 basis points better than where it was three months earlier.

Greater Boston’s relatively tight inventory for retail space is contributing to comparatively high rental rates.

For more Boston area real estate news, click the Boston Real Estate News link to your right under Boston Real Estate Categories for more.

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Is the Boston Area in Nuclear Danger?

A recent article at Truth-Out.org leads one to believe that the Boston area could be in danger from a major accident at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth.

Could the Boston area be in danger from a major accident at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth?The article points out that “Cape Cod isn’t the only place in Massachusetts that would suffer from a major accident at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth. Only 35 miles away, the Boston area and its suburbs are also at risk.”

Boston Area at Risk?

While the Obama administration continues to promote the “clean” aspects of nuclear power and to subsidize private plants, the aging Pilgrim facility poses safety risks for the coastal residents of Massachusetts that trump any climate-change benefits.

Consider first that Pilgrim, completed in 1972 with technology from the 1950s and ’60s, was licensed for 40 years (to 2012). Its GE Mark 1 reactor is the same type that failed at Fukushima. Designed to contain 880 spent fuel assemblies, Pilgrim now holds more than 3,200.

An important aspect of the Pilgrim risk is emergency preparedness. Neither Cape Cod nor points north, including the Boston area, seem to have a workable plan for radiological emergency in place. How would local populations be notified, sheltered or evacuated? How could evacuations of persons near the plant be coordinated with the likely traffic heading out of Boston and the Cape? What could prevent the chaotic gridlock of cars heading in both directions?

All 15 Cape Cod towns have called for Pilgrim’s closure. Do you think it’s time for Boston and its suburbs to join them in that effort – and for people who reside near other aging nuclear plants to take notice?

We’d love to hear your opinion on this. Speak your mind below. You can also read the full article about “Boston Endangered: Time To Close the Pilgrim Reactor” here.

Boston Area Christmas Tree Lighting Schedule

Happy Thanksgiving to all! We hope you’re enjoying the day with family and looking forward to the upcoming Boston area Christmas Tree lightings scheduled next week.

Boston Area Christmas Tree Lighting #1

The Boston Parks and Recreation Department, and The Friends of Copley Square will celebrate the holidays with the annual Copley Square Holiday Tree Lighting on Monday, December 2, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

In addition to the tree lighting, a number of other festivities will take place in and around Copley Square on December 2nd. The Boston Public Library and The Catered Affair will host a Story Hour and Candy Cane Tea at the Copley Square Library’s Courtyard Restaurant from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The tea is free but reservations are required by calling (617) 859-2282.  More details about the Copley Square Tree Lighting Here.

Boston Area Christmas Tree Lighting #2

Boston’s 72nd Annual Official Tree Lighting on Boston Common will take place on Thursday, December 5th, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Boston area Christmas Tree lighting schedule for next week.The holiday decorations throughout Boston Common and the Public Garden, including the City of Boston’s official Christmas tree from Halifax, a 47-foot white spruce donated by Mary Lou Milligan of Millcove, Lunenberg County, Nova Scotia, will light up in sequence shortly before 8 p.m. when Mayor Menino is joined onstage by Minister Younger, members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and Santa Claus.  The show will close with a pyrotechnic display.

This is the 42nd year that Nova Scotia has given a tree to the people of Boston as thanks for relief efforts following the December 6, 1917, explosion of a munitions ship in Halifax Harbor. Within 24 hours of the disaster a train loaded with supplies and emergency personnel was making its way from Boston to Nova Scotia. In addition this year, Nova Scotia is donating smaller trees to two Boston charities, the Pine Street Inn and Rosie’s Place. More details about the Boston Common Tree Lighting Here.

Immediately following the Boston Common tree lighting, Mayor Tom Menino will join Back Bay residents at Arlington Street for the lighting of Commonwealth Avenue Mall. Hot chocolate and cookies will be provided by Taj Boston. Trees along the Mall will be illuminated through April 1 with elegant white lights made possible thanks to community support and private donations raised by the Committee to Light Commonwealth Avenue Mall.

So while you enjoy Thanksgiving, and perhaps form your battle plans for Black Friday, keep these dates in mind for next week and celebrate the season with the annual Boston area Christmas Tree lightings.


Boston Christmas Tree Arrives Today

The Boston Christmas Tree will arrive today around 11 AM from Nova Scotia following its three-day journey. The 15-metre white spruce was cut and lowered to a flatbed truck on Tuesday and started its trip to Boston on Wednesday.
The Boston Christmas Tree arrives today from Nova ScotiaMary Lou Milligan of Mill Cove, Lunenburg County, donated this year’s tree which will be gifted to Boston in thanks for support following the Halifax Explosion of 1917.

This is the 42nd year of the Boston Christmas tree tradition from Nova Scotia, in thanks for the medical personnel and supplies Bostonians provided after the explosion of Dec. 6, 1917.

“The Halifax Explosion was a dark time in our province’s history, but the people of Boston were there for us, providing much needed support and aid,” said Natural Resources Minister Zach Churchill. “This beautiful Nova Scotia Christmas tree is a wonderful symbol of our continued gratitude.

“We are very grateful to the Milligan family for generously donating this year’s tree, which is the official Boston Christmas tree,” said Boston’s Mayor Thomas Menino. “The beautiful evergreen will brighten the holidays for the public on Boston Common, and we are pleased that the rich gift-giving tradition continues with our friends in Nova Scotia.”

The Christmas season officially kicks off in Boston on Thursday night, December 5th at the 72nd annual tree lighting ceremony in the Boston Common. Milligan will travel to Boston with her daughter and two grandsons for the tree lighting. The special tree lighting ceremony will be televised before a crowd of about 30,000 to a TV audience of about 300,000.

Immediately following the Boston Christmas tree lighting, Mayor Menino is scheduled to join Back Bay residents at Arlington Street for the lighting of Commonwealth Avenue Mall.

Trees along the Mall will be illuminated through April 1 with elegant white lights made possible thanks to community support and private donations raised by the Committee to Light Commonwealth Avenue Mall.


Boston Area Traffic Expected Heavy Today

Boston area traffic is expected to be heavy today ahead of the three-day Columbus Day weekend.

The Friday before Columbus Day last year was the second busiest day on the Mass Pike with 690,000 transactions. It was only beaten by the Friday before Mother’s Day, which saw 703,000 transactions.

So far this year, the Friday before Mother’s Day has been the top travel day with 698,000 transactions.

Here is some information on Boston Area Traffic this weekend:

Before heading out, consider downloading the free Ride Wise Smartphone application that provides users access to the real time traffic information on Interstate 93, sections of the Massachusetts Turnpike, Route 3 on the South Shore and Route 6/Mid-Cape Highway. RideWise is now available on all major platforms – iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone.

To save time, money and gas, please join E-ZPass to avoid waiting in line at cash toll booths.Toll collection will resume for passenger vehicles on the Massachusetts Turnpike between Exits 1 and 6 on Oct. 15. Travelers between 1 and 6, and those who start or end their Turnpike travel in the 1-6 zone, will notice an increase in their tolls beginning on October 15th.

Traffic congestion is also anticipated on highways heading toward popular fall and leaf peeping destinations like Cape Cod, New Hampshire and Maine. CapeFLYER weekend train service from Boston to Cape Cod will be extended through the Columbus Day holiday, Monday, October 14th.

Customers may buy tickets on-board the train or on their Smartphone via the MBTA’s “mTicket” mobile ticketing app for Commuter Rail. Customers are encouraged to buy their tickets in advance. Visit CapeFLYER on the web.

The MBTA will operate on a Saturday schedule or weekday schedule on Monday, October 14th, depending on the service. Check mbta.com for details.

Boston area traffic will be delayed before and during the Columbus Day paradeSunday, The Annual Boston Athletic Association Half Marathon will begin at Franklin Park, near Playstead Road at 8:30 AM. An estimated 5,000 participants are expected for the Half Marathon.

The Stephen Perez 5K Memorial Race will begin at 11:30 AM on Hanover Street at the Paul Revere Mall.

The annual Columbus Day Parade will be held in Boston on Sunday. Marchers will step off from City Hall Plaza at 1 PM. They will proceed to Court Street, to State Street, left onto Atlantic Avenue, straight onto Commercial Street, left onto Battery Street, left onto Hanover Street, right onto Cross Street, right onto Endicott Street, right at North Washington Street and onto Commercial Street for dispersal. There will be restricted parking before and during the parade.

Monday, the annual Columbus Day Race for Women will begin at Noon on Beacon Street, Between Charles and Brimmer Streets. An estimated 7,000 runners will participate.

As if all this weren’t enough Boston area traffic delays, due to the Boston Red Sox playoff games, parking in the vicinity of Fenway Park will be restricted this weekend.

Have a safe weekend if you’re going to be out and about and in the middle of the heavy Boston area traffic.