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14th Annual Boston Halloween Bike Ride Is Tomorrow!

Written by greg on Oct 30

stay a kid thumbGreg Hum (Contributor) plays drums on his bike, gets people together for really big midnight and monthly bike rides, and is easily distracted by shiny things and fried potatoes. He shares stories and more on his personal bike blog, The Humble Cyclist.
Connect with Greg on  Twitter | YouTube 

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hbrbanner

Tomorrow is Boston’s 14th annual Boston Halloween Bike Ride, by far my personal favorite group bike ride in Boston. Last year over 500 riders showed up in costume. This year’s Halloween Bike Ride includes a NEW starting location in Copley Square, neighborhood convoys to the starting point, and a pretty epic after-party in Allston’s Wonderbar. Let’s get spooky. Description below:

*Official Website
*Facebook Event Page (680 attendees an counting!!)

2014 Halloween Bike Ride: October 31st at 7:30 PM

Join us for a scary ride around Boston on Halloween night! Jaw dropping costumes! Ear popping trailer tunes! Traffic stopping magnitude!

RSVP and invite your friends to the Facebook Event!

Official starting location at Copley Square:

    • Friday October 31st, 2014
    • Meet at 7:30 pm. We roll at 8:00 pm pronto!
    • Copley Square, Boston, Massachusetts

    Convoys to the start

    • Allston – meet at 6:30 pm outside Jackson Mann Community Center, 500 Cambridge St
    • BU campus – meet at 5:00 pm in STO 442 for a pre-party
    • Cambridge – meet at 6:45 pm near Toscanini sqaure, Mass Ave
    • Dorchester – meet at 6:30 pm at the Fields Corner Playground
    • Jamaica Plain – meet at 6:30 pm at the Green St T stop
    • Somerville – meet at 6:30 pm in Union Sq by the Hubway station
    • South Boston – meet at 6:45 in the parking lot at 480 West Broadway near Perkins Square

Route

Details to be released soon

After party

Bring your bike lock! (Everyone will be locking their bikes to the abundant fences near the venue.)

Wonder Bar
186 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA 02134
10 pm – 2 am
21+
No cover!
Free food, thanks to our sponsors!

    • Bike Safe Boston
    • Hub Bicycle Co.
hbrsharkweek

Every Halloween Bike Ride is Shark Week! Photo courtesy of Mikk Olli


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Mayor Menino Has Passed Away.

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 30

Thomas M. Menino, the longest-serving mayor in Boston’s history, has died. He served as mayor from 1993 until 2013.

The Boston Globe reports:

Thomas Michael Menino, who insisted a mayor doesn’t need a grand vision to lead, then went on to shepherd Boston’s economy and shape the skyline and the very identity of the city he loved through an unprecedented five consecutive terms in City Hall, died Thursday. He was 71 and was diagnosed with advanced cancer not long after leaving office at the beginning of this year.

“Visionaries don’t get things done,” he once said, crisply separating himself from politicians who gaze at distant horizons and imagine what might be. Leaving to others the lofty rhetoric of Boston as the Athens of America, he took a decidedly ground-level view of the city on a hill, earning himself a nickname for his intense focus on the nuts and bolts of everyday life: the urban mechanic. (via)

 

I met him on several occasions and every time he gave me a handshake with one of his massive hands.  He started it all here in Boston proclaiming that the “car is no longer king.”  And pushed for the first of many bike lanes to come.  He might not have thought of himself as a visionary, but he had the guts to buck the trend and pushed cycling to the forefront as a valid urban transportation method.  Mayor Menino was a good guy, and good friend to cyclists, he will be sorely missed.

I can only hope his final days were pleasant and spent with friends and family.


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How To Build A 1000$ Bicycle Trailer For $450

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 24

I have always wanted a huge ass bicycle trailer.  Something I can pile improbable amounts of stuff on, something I can use to grab dumpster dived treasures, something I could move to a new apartment with.  Something that can transport all my dreams!  In short something like this.

There is only one problem…I don’t have $975 (plus shipping) to blow on a bike trailer.  For that kind of money I could buy a really nice road bike, or you know, eat food and pay rent.

But as so often is the case,where there is a will there is a way.  After looking at this picture for a while:

This beautiful trailer can transport 600lbs of anything you wish to put onto it…the only problem is it costs nearly $1000.

I had a dream, a dream that would become this:

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5oolbs of carrying capacity for only $450!!!!

Not only was 1/2 the cost, but it was fall off a log easy to construct!

I started off my journey thinking that I could take an aluminum ladder, and mount some wheels on it.  And you know what I could have done that, and it would have worked, and it wouldn’t have been too bad.  But it would have been a lot less beefy, and I wanted beefy.  I wanted something that would carry a stack of 2×4’s, or a bunch of boxes of stuff, or a kitchen table, something with a contained cargo area, and something that would look nice.  so I kept thinking.

I knew I wanted it to be aluminium, it would be light, strong, rust proof, and wouldn’t require welding.  I wanted it to be an awful lot like that $975 Bikes At Work trailer.

While combing their website for pictures to get ideas, I saw that they actually sold most of the accessories I would need to make a cheaper trailer, if only I could find the perfect trailer bed.

So I went to Google and typed in “extruded aluminium” and low and behold this bad boy popped up on amazon.

 

20141024_130314I started reading…aluminum check, strong check, 500lb load limit check, side rails check, and bless my nippers the perfect size…no really like absolutely perfect to interface with all the accessories I was going to buy from Bikes At Work.

If that wasn’t enough, the stars had aligned to provide me with $300 of cash I wasn’t expecting.  Making the final cost for this entire thing a scant $150 out of my pocket.  It was a sign.

I ordered one and it was here in three days, took about half an hour to assemble.  The only changes I made to the design was I removed the trailer hitch (didn’t need that), which involved simply pulling it out and setting it aside.

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I also moved the included reflectors from the side to the back, as they would do a lot more good back there.

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Moving the reflectors was as easy as swapping a two holed piece of aluminum, with a one hole piece.  All you need to assemble this cargo rack is a screw driver, and an adjustable wrench, it comes with all the hardware you will need.

Next up was the accessories needed to turn what was supposed to be attached to the back of an SUV, to the back of my bike.

Here is what I ended up buying from Bikes At Work:

 

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The entire works (this is the box the cargo carrier came in, all these parts were actually packed in a very tiny box)

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The entire list (buy it all here):

Bicycle trailer axle $60

Bicycle trailer hitch $50

Trailer hitch pin $4

Towbar $120

tubes for tires $7

Tires $26

Rims with bearings $85

With shipping the entire thing came to $370 + $80 for the cargo holder (it was on sale when I got it) = ~$450.

Now the fun part, putting it all together!

First thing I did was bust out my air pump and tire levers and assemble the wheels.

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Easy, but if you have never assembled a tire to a rim simply search youtube for many good videos.

 

Next I got the axle and measured for the mounting holes to hold it to the base.  The axle comes pre-drilled with the two holes and the hardware you will need to mount it, all you need to do is drill the correct sized hole in the base of the cargo holder.  Aluminum is soft, and I used a hand drill (not even an electric one) and was done in a couple minutes.

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The axle fits perfectly into the hole left from the trailer hitch bar.  Simply center, measure, and drill.  Its easier if you leave the larger side panels off for this, as it allows you to get in there with the drill easier.

 

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Center the axle (doesn’t have to be perfect, but does have to be the same on both sides so the axle is straight, could have just as easily shoved it to one side)

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Move the axle back and forth until the same out sticks out of both sides, mark with a marker.

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Flip the cargo holder back over, measure how far in the mounting hole goes from that mark.

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Measure that far in and drill a hole large enough to hold the bolt that comes with the axle. To be clear you drill the hole in the top of the cargo holder, not the underside, there is no need to alter the underside.  Take extra care on this step as its the one of only two parts you are going to alter, measure 4-5 times, drill once.  The extra time you spend will keep your trailer with a minimum of extra holes in it.

20141024_154430Drop the bolt into the hole.  Do the same on the other side.

Next up you need to mount the axle.  Put the cargo holder top side up on a table, and look through the hole, line up the bolts with the hole and affix the nuts.

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The bolts handing from the top.

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The axle mounted with the nuts attached.  I found it easy to hold the nuts with pliers while cranking the nut above with an adjustable wrench
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Get them nice and snug.  The nice thing about both the cargo holder, and the accessories is they both come with locking nuts that have an anti-vibration rubber gasket in them to keep them from working loose from vibration.  Did I mention that you wont need to buy a single nut or bolt for this project, literally every single part you need comes included.

Next up attach the wheels.

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Attach the (included) spacer.

 

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Slide towards the cargo holder.

20141024_155830Slide on your assembled wheels (the bearings come already seated, no need to put them in!), and attach the (included) pin that keeps the wheels from sliding off.

Now the tricky part.  The Bikes at Work trailer hitch ALMOST fits perfectly on this rig, but you will need to make some minor adjustments.  Specifically you will need to cut four small holes into the end of the cargo holder that will hold the hitch (the end that doesn’t have the reflectors).

I used a dremel with a cutting disk, and while it was loud (where ear plugs) and dusty (use a breathing mask and safety goggles), it only took about 10 minutes and as aluminum is soft as butter was easy too.

The hitch comes with two mounting bars, but the included u-bolts to hold the hitch are not long enough to mount them without the cut outs.  The way the cargo trailer is built cutting larger cut outs would have potentially weakened it, which I didn’t want at this important connection.

You can see the finished product below.

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This is what it looks like from the front, you can see the two mounting bars are “inside” the beam.  They are actually mounted in a bit of overhang.  The square aluminum bar they are mounted into has a flange that sticks out for extra rigidity and I didn’t want to simply make cut outs that went all the way through the flange as I was worried it would buckle, or make a weak point, so I cut the slots as close to the main bar as I could without piercing it.  This way they set right up against the main bar, and leave as much as the flange intact as possible.

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The view from above showing how the bars are mounted back from the edge.  The flange actually starts right on the right side of the bars.  This allows the forward force from bicycle to be transferred right into the largest strongest part of the bar, rather than into the thing fragile flange system, while at the same time puts minimum strain on those flanges by only cutting out a small slot.

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A side view, you can see that the round hitch is simple centered in the middle of the bar (the top part is more flange), and then using all the (included) hardware clamped down.  Use these instructions (pdf) from Bikes at Work to see how the hitch bar attaches to the trailer (with some modifications of course).  You will have one small piece left over that was designed to interface with the BAW trailer, you can do whatever you want with it.

That’s it!  You just made a trailer my friend!  Next up just mount the bike half of the hitch with (the included) hardware.  Use these instructions (pdf) if you need help.

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Yes I am mounting it to my fixed gear, that’s the only bike I have right now.  I will buy a cheap mountain bike for this bad boy for really big jobs.

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This is the little magic mount that keeps your trailer rock solid, use the (included) hitch pin to attach to the trailer bar.

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Look at that beauty!

I did some testing and found that you might have to slightly bend the bottom of the pins that hold the wheels on to keep them from rubbing on the wheels (two seconds with a pair of pliers), you will also want to be careful about how you load the weight, as the pivot point is right in the middle, really heavy loads should be placed in the middle or the front, or even better distributed evenly throughout.

I rode around the neighborhood, taking tight turns, going off curbs, and even placing a bunch of boxes of heavy stuff in the back of the trailer, and I have to say, this thing is solid as a rock.  Nothing creaks, nothing shifts, nothing even makes noise.  Obviously I was limited to just the one gear, but even with the totally wrong gearing it was easy as pie to carry even heavy loads with this guy.  The weight is there yes, but you barely feel it, the hitch arm gives you acres of room for even tight turns, in short this trailer is my new favorite thing.  If you see someone hauling a shit load of stuff all over town with a crazy grin on their face, it might just be me.

I am so pleased with how easy this was!  If not for the extra $300 bucks I had come into I probably would have made this out of cheaper parts, but I didn’t and I am so happy with how rock solid all of this is.  I will post a followup in a couple weeks with what I have used it for.

 

Tool List:

dremel with cutting disk attachment

drill and drill bit

Phillips head screwdriver

adjustable wrench

pair of pliers

marker

ruler

eye protection

ear plugs

dust mask

Parts list:

Bicycle trailer axle

Bicycle trailer hitch

Trailer hitch pin

Towbar

tubes for tires (x2)

Tires (x2)

Wheel rim with bearings (x2)

Cargo Holder

Total Time To create:

3 hours

Total Cost:

$450 (minus the magic $300 I got = $150 for me)

Total Cargo Load:

500lbs

Outer Dimensions (including tow bar, and wheels):

70 inches long, 29 inches wide, 17 inches tall.

Total Cargo Space:

49 inches long, 23 inches wide, 6 inches tall (cargo can be loaded higher if you use tie downs, or boxes).

Extra hardware needed:

none.

 

Having a cargo trailer really opens up a world of options for the bicycle owner, I highly recommend building one if you ever carry big things.

Please do let me know if you have any questions in the comments below!

 

 

 

 


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Ayanna Pressley To Hold Hearing On Safeguarding Cyclists, Introduces New Draft Legislation For Side Guards On Trucks

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 21

Got this in the email, Ayanna Pressley has been diligently working to ensure safer conditions for cyclists in Boston, here is her latest, welcome effort.

 

 

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In conjunction with Mayor Martin J. Walsh, City Councilor Ayanna Pressley has recently authored an ordinance titled An Ordinance Requiring City Vendors to Safeguard Unprotected Road Users. This ordinance would require all city-owned and city-contracted large trucks to install lateral protective devices (“side guards”) as well as make improvements to visibility/mirrors and safety decals.
The City Council’s Committee on Government Operations (chaired by Councilor Michael Flaherty) will be hosting a hearing on this proposal next Tuesday October 28, 2014 at 4pm in the City Council’s Ianella Chambers (5th Floor of City Hall). If you would be interested in testifying, please contact James Sutherland <[email protected]>.
Full Text of the draft here: Bike_Sideguards (pdf)

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Bikey Face Has A Book!

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 20

Oh Man!  This thing looks awesome, buy five and give them out to every cyclist you know!

Go here right now, buy them!

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IMG_9609

Announcing the first Bikeyface book, Bike ThereBike There is a 24 page mini-comic on how to bike around a city. The mini-comic is an introduction to transportation bicycling that was inspired by this original post for bike curious and new bicyclists (as well as any other bicyclists who love to laugh, bike, and share the lifestyle.)

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The comic contains some illustrations that have appeared online as well as new ones. All illustrations have been updated and rendered in full color. And while there are many bicycling guides out there, Bike There is a little more humorous and a little less stuffy. You can get it here!


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Man Actually Convicted In Murder Of A Cyclist

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 17

Its a sad state of affairs when someone being found guilty of a crime they so obviously committed is big news.  But so few people who run over cyclists are ever found guilty.

In 2012, Doan Bui was struck and killed while riding his bike on Morrissey blvd.  Michael Ahern, 46, of Dorchester, was found guilty of felony motor vehicle homicide, and faces 1-15 years behind bars.  While I find it ridiculous that he might only get a year behind bars for murdering someone, it is good that in the most obvious of circumstances (he was drunk), justice can still be served.  Now if only we can get people convicted of this when they are not drunk, but say texting, we might see some progress.

From U-Hub:

Evidence also proved that State Police responding to Ahern’s 911 call detected a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, found him to be unsteady on his feet, and observed his eyes to be bloodshot and glassy. Troopers testified that he slurred his speech and claimed to be unaware that he had hit anyone. When asked if he had been drinking, he said he “may have had one” drink at the Slate Bar and Grill, in which he had an ownership interest.

Ahern, who has two arson convictions from 1989, faces between 1 and 15 years behind bars, along with a 15-year revocation of his license. He is scheduled for sentencing on Oct. 31.


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Driver With 48 Priors, Arrested On Friday, Gets Car Back On Saturday, Kills Cyclist Sunday

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 14

What the fuck.  Seriously what do you have to do to have your car licence taken from you in this country.  It is a sadly true saying, if you want to kill someone and get away with it, just wait until they get on a bicycle.

I hope this asshole rots in prison for the rest of his life, but sadly I doubt he will.

 

Police say Edward King could barely stay awake when officers found him stopped in the middle of the road in Weymouth on Friday night, his legs hanging out of the car and traffic backing up behind him.
He appeared “confused and off balance” and was carrying a two-day-old bottle of prescription drugs that was already half-empty, police said.
He was arrested and charged with drugged driving, but King was back behind the wheel Sunday when, according to police, he was involved in a crash in Braintree that sent a bicyclist to the hospital with serious injuries. That bicyclist, 53-year-old William Donovan of Braintree, died Tuesday.
King, a 41-year-old Braintree resident, was arraigned Monday on two counts of driving under the influence of drugs and one count each of negligent driving, violating marked lanes and failing to yield to a bicycle. Those charges stem from both the Weymouth and Braintree arrests.
David Traub, spokesman for the Norfolk County District Attorney’s office, said police are investigating and could seek additional charges following Donovan’s death.
Weymouth police arrested King shortly after midnight Friday. He was released about an hour later after posting the $40 bail set by a Quincy District Court bail commissioner. Police say they seized King’s car and asked the Registry of Motor Vehicles to revoke his license after his arrest early Saturday morning. But King was able to pick up the car after a 12-hour hold expired on Saturday afternoon and the Registry did not process the department’s request until Monday when it revoked his license indefinitely.

King also had a long history of crashes and run-ins with the law before last week, according to court documents. In setting his bail, Judge Mark Coven said King had at least five crashes since 1990 and a total of 48 convictions, including 36 that sent him behind bars. King’s driving record shows five surchargeable accidents since 1991. That list includes an accident in Braintree in March and in Dorchester in April.(more here)

Getting drunk or high and running someone over with your car is no different than getting drunk or high and shooting someone with a gun. They are both pieces of metal under your control, and they can both easily kill someone.

Fuck this guy, and fuck the system that lets someone like this continue to get back behind a wheel.


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Fall Foliage Musical Mystery Ride!

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 14

I personally know this event is going to be awesome, because our own Greg Hum is involved, anything he touches is pure magical bicycle fun!

From Facebook:

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The air is getting crisper. The days are getting shorter. The grocery aisles are filled with candy corn and decorative gourds don your neighbor’s front porch. Yes! Autumn is upon us! Come join us to view some lovely Fall colors on our spookiest, most colorful, warm and coziest Musical Mystery Ride yet! We’ll meet at the Longwood T stop at 12:30pm and head out at 1pm. The route is a mystery with several stops along the way for lovely musical acts. We will end at Franklin Park around 6pm. Bring delicious seasonal snacks for sharing with any ghouls we meet along the way and warm, toasty beverages for sipping while listening to the bands play! And remember those mittens–it might get a bit nippy out there!

As always, the pace will be leisurely and friendly. See you there!


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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • RIP Tom Menino Just 2 miles of paint in 2014? Sadness October 30, 2014
      Tweetwww.cyclelicio.us/2011/tom-menino-bicycle/ … We only wish Tom Menino had found riding a bike a bit sooner in his life. He may well still be with us given the health benefits of riding a bike. Sadly he got hit by a car … Continue reading →
      dotriderblog
    • Scoping Out Bike Routes While Driving October 30, 2014
      TweetDriving in and around cities has got to be one of the most stressful and frustrating experiences anyone can have. Drivers can’t let their guard down for even one minute for fear that a wayward car will lull them into … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • 14th Annual Boston Halloween Bike Ride Is Tomorrow! October 30, 2014
      TweetGreg Hum (Contributor) plays drums on his bike, gets people together for really big midnight and monthly bike rides, and is easily distracted by shiny things and fried potatoes. He shares stories and more on his personal bike blog, The Humble … Continue reading →
      greg
    • 14th Annual Boston Halloween Bike Ride Is Tomorrow! October 30, 2014
      TweetGreg Hum (Contributor) plays drums on his bike, gets people together for really big midnight and monthly bike rides, and is easily distracted by shiny things and fried potatoes. He shares stories and more on his personal bike blog, The Humble … Continue reading →
      greg
    • Mayor Menino Has Passed Away. October 30, 2014
      TweetThomas M. Menino, the longest-serving mayor in Boston’s history, has died. He served as mayor from 1993 until 2013. The Boston Globe reports: Thomas Michael Menino, who insisted a mayor doesn’t need a grand vision to lead, then went on … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • I’m commuting – if you wanna race go enter a crit. October 29, 2014
      TweetSometimes you gotta love other commuters. Yesterday – riding – and it’s tuesday, so I do interval training on my 45 lbs commuter bike, loaded with packs. After a good session with my hear rate up into the 170+ zone … Continue reading →
      altbiker
    • TRUCKIN’ ON: Reducing the danger of Trucks and other Large Vehicles October 29, 2014
      Trucks are only 4% of vehicles in the United States but cause about 7% of pedestrian fatalities and 11% of cyclist fatalities. The disparity is even higher in urban areas – a London analysis found that the 4% of vehicles that were trucks were involved in nearly 53% of cyclist fatalities. In Boston, 7 out […]
      Steve Miller
    • People’s Pike or People’s Pillar to Post? October 27, 2014
      TweetHow would I like to think of the People’s Pike? I want to see a bicycle path and an adjacent footpath which avoid crossing and turning conflicts, passing under the ramps to the Turnpike and to the proposed West Station, … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • People’s Pike or People’s Pillar to Post? October 27, 2014
      TweetHow would I like to think of the People’s Pike? I want to see a bicycle path and an adjacent footpath which avoid crossing and turning conflicts, passing under the ramps to the Turnpike and to the proposed West Station, … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • People’s Pike or People’s Pillar to Post? October 27, 2014
      TweetHow would I like to think of the People’s Pike? I want to see a bicycle path and an adjacent footpath which avoid crossing and turning conflicts, passing under the ramps to the Turnpike and to the proposed West Station, … Continue reading →
      jsallen