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Brookline Asking For Feedback About Idaho Stops

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 17

In case you didn’t know, the Idaho Stop is when cyclists are allowed to treat stop signs like yields, and red lights like stop signs.  Idaho was the first to try it out, and more or less its been pretty ok.

Saw this tweet from the Brookline PD today…asking for feedback about said Idaho Stops.

I saw if you are going to do it, it has to be all the time all roads, otherwise its just too confusing. As far as I know it would require a change in the law, and would for sure need to be accompanied by a huge education campaign.

 

What do you think?


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More Bikes Than Cars

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 12

Twice in the last two weeks I have been a part of a lovely thing.  While riding to work I look around and see way…way more bikes than cars.   I think it is a product of the lovely riding weather we have been having, the increase in ridership, the infrastructure, and an overall shift in mode share.  It was Utopian, it felt good to outnumber the cars, it made me feel powerful, and safer.

There were perhaps 25 cyclists, and maybe 10 cars on the road, and yet the cars still monopolized most of the space, but the cyclists had carved out most of the right hand lane, and were in large enough numbers that we could hold it easily.  Traffic moved much better, and many more people were able to travel on the limited amount of streets available.

That is after all what streets are for, they are a public utility designed to move people around.  It just so happens that the most popular way to use them (one person in one car), is the worst way to use that public utility.  But that seems be changing.


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FREE! Bike Hangers With Security Cable’s FREE!

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 12

Howdy folks, I have roughly 10 Mini Mum Vertical Bike Hangers with Security Cable.

 

 

Free to whoever wants one or all of them.  They don’t have mounting screws, but you can get those at any hardware store.

 

The only catch is you have to come pick them up down town around the park street T stop between 9-5 Monday through Friday.  I can meet you in the common with a box of them (they are heavy so if you are going to bike off with them bring a rack or a trailer or a big back pack.

Contact me if you want them, they all have to be out of here by next Friday September 19 2014.

 


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More Coverage Of Side Guards

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 10

From Boston Magazine:

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In late July, a Hubway cyclist traveling down Massachusetts Avenue in the South End was hit by a city-contracted trash truck as it went to make a right hand turn onto Columbus Avenue. The cyclist survived the accident, and it may have been due to just one detail: special safety guards that were installed on the sides of the vehicle as part of a pilot program launched by the city last year.

In 2013, through a collaboration between the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics and the Public Works Department, officials said they undertook the largest municipal pilot program of truck side guards in the nation, testing three different types of guards on 16 active vehicles driving the streets, including trash collection trucks.

Officials also worked with researchers from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Volpe Center in Kendall Square to sketch out the details for the proposed guard project, as well as City Councillor Ayanna Pressley, and members of the Boston Cyclists Union.

Read more here.


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David Watson Steps Down As Executive Director Of MassBike

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 10

While I am very sad to see David go, he did an excellent job at MassBike for many years, its great that he is moving on to other challenges.

From MassBike:

Today our Executive Director, David Watson, announced that he will be leaving MassBike. David has been with us for more than eight years and in that time has used his passion for biking to help make Massachusetts safer for all cyclists.

David1Watson remembers biking in the streets of Massachusetts at the beginning of his tenure at MassBike. “Bike commuters were bravely riding along, but largely limited to the strongest and most fearless among us,” he wrote in his announcement (pdf). “There were precious few bike lanes in the state, and none at all in Boston. State transportation policies were just beginning to contemplate biking and walking, but that had not yet translated to change on the streets. Little or no funding was dedicated to bicycle infrastructure or education.”

Now, eight years later, much has improved. Massachusetts has installed more bike lanes and increased state funding for bike paths. More residents have an interest in biking for transportation and health. In a time when federal funding for biking and walking has been cut, Massachusetts has created a state policy to triple biking, walking, and transit, and is providing funding to make it happen. With David at the helm, MassBike has:

  • Launched our Safe Routes to School Program in 2008, which has reached more than 11,000 kids
  • Championed the Bicyclist Safety Bill, which became law in 2009
  • Trained MBTA bus drivers since 2010 to better prepare drivers for interactions with bicyclists
  • Successfully advocated for improved bike parking at transit stations and bike racks on all buses
  • Expanded Bay State Bike Week in 2010 to a statewide celebration in partnership with MassDOT
  • Introduced legislation in 2011 (and again in 2013) to protect Vulnerable Road Users
  • Secured expanded bicycle hours on the MBTA Blue Line in 2011
  • Published bike safety information in seven languages in 2012 (now 10 languages!)
  • Launched the Bikeable Communities Program in 2012, which has helped more than 40 cities and towns improve bicycling conditions
  • Created the annual Massachusetts Bike/Walk Summit in 2012
  • Helped educate police officers in 2014 with our training video
  • In 2014 successfully advocated for increased funding for bike paths, including more than $130 million in the MassDOT capital budget and $377 million in bonding authority

“A tireless advocate – and a tireless cyclist – David has been instrumental in seeing so many wins for safe biking in Massachusetts,” said Jim Bradley, President of MassBike’s Board of Directors. “We thank him for serving MassBike, bicyclists in Massachusetts, and the community so well these last eight years. We will remember his time at MassBike as one of action, commitment, and enthusiasm.”

The Board now begins a search for a new Executive Director. The right person will capitalize on the successes of Watson’s tenure to provide Massachusetts with a future of greater acceptance of and enthusiasm for bicycling.

“I am very proud of the team, the organization, and the partnerships we have built together over the past eight years,” Watson wrote of the MassBike board, staff, and community. “This has been the most challenging and the most rewarding job I have ever had, and I thank you for giving me the opportunity to do it.”

———————-

 

It also means that someone can step in to take the helm and move MassBike forward even more!

 

From MassBike:

bikes1000Yesterday we announced that David Watson is stepping down as the Executive Director of MassBike. Now we are starting the search for a new ED. If you or anyone you know is interested, read the job description here (pdf), and send an application to [email protected]!

 


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Mayor Walsh Proposes A Truck Safety Bill For Cyclists

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 09

From The Boston Cyclists Union:

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The City of Boston took a big step forward for the country today as Mayor Marty Walsh presented an ordinance to the City Council that will make truck design far safer for pedestrians and bikes.

“We believe this is the first ordinance of it’s kind in the country,” wrote Mayor Walsh’s press secretary Kate Norton. “The ordinance requires side guards, convex mirrors, cross-over mirrors, and blind-spot awareness decals on all vehicles over 10,000 pounds awarded a city contract. There is a fine for those not in compliance — escalating from $100 for the first offense, to potential termination of the contract.”

The Bike Union began pushing for the ordinance through Councillor Ayanna Pressley’s office in the wake of Eoin McGrory’s tragic death in Charlestown in early April. (Please contribute to a charity fund in his memory.) At the same time, the city’s office of Urban Mechanics was talking to the city’s new mayor about the success of a pilot program that required sideguards first on the city’s public works truck fleet, and subsequently on all trash hauling trucks that contracted with the city. The results of the pilot were positive and all parties agreed that a move toward design requirements for all trucks contracting with the city was the best next step.

Click image for pdf of Sideguards Save Lives fact sheet.

Today the Bike Union is also releasing a new“Sideguards Save Lives” fact sheet that illustrates the benefits side guards and blind spot mirrors. The fact sheet is that will give residents in other municipalities, the state, and the country a tool to push forward similar ordinances and legislation.

“The Bike Union knows who’s who and they set up a face to face meeting with Councillor Ayanna Pressley’s staff,” said Alex Epstein, one of the nation’s expert on truck safety design who works at USDOT at the Volpe Center in Cambridge, and also helped advise the Mayor’s staff. “I don’t think it would have been possible without that insider connection.”

Read more here.  I can’t wait to see this passed into law.  There is no reason such a simple and cost effective way to save lives is not mandatory.


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Interesting Theoretical Intersection Re-Design

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 04

Protected Intersections For Bicyclists from Nick Falbo on Vimeo.

An interesting proposal, I am not totally sold, but I like where this is going. The left turns across pedestrian traffic worry me slightly, but honestly it probably wouldn’t be that bad, as the cyclists would have to slow to turn anyway.


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MassBike Update

Written by Boston Biker on Aug 27

From MassBike:

 

———–

Photo courtesy of Mass in Motion

Big news this week when the Healthy Transportation Compact (HTC) met in Boston. At the meeting, MassDOT announced an initial investment of up to $5 million for the critical Complete Streets Certification Program. The program provides competitive funds to cities and towns to create streets that are safe and welcoming for all users. Led by MPHA and MAPC, MassBike and other advocates succeeded in incorporating the program and its funding into the Transportation Bond Bill passed in April. But MassDOT still had to budget the money, and now they have – thank you MassDOT! 

The HTC was created by the 2009 transportation reform law and requires the Secretaries of Transportation, Health and Human Services, and Energy and Environment (and the agencies under their supervision) to work together to get more people walking and biking in Massachusetts. Last year, the HTC added the Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, recognizing the link between land use decisions and healthy transportation options. 

MassBike’s Jimmy Pereira at the DSNI Playway

 

Imagine what it would be like to have a street dedicated to bicycling and walking. This street is not a shared bike lane. It is a neighborhood block with houses and open spaces for play and community engagement.

What you are picturing is a playway. Playways are temporary street closures in a residential neighborhood that get community members, especially kids, active. Playways utilize street spaces for people rather than cars. They can be done in many places, from dense urban areas to suburban and rural towns.

Although playways might sound like just another simple, fun event, they have a serious purpose. They create opportunities for activities and exercise, rally communities around open spaces, and connect neighborhoods. Playways allow children to be creative with play. Of course we especially love playways because they promote bicycling to all generations. In addition, by virtue of their simplicity, playways are sustainable in a way that other neighborhood events, such as carnivals, are not. 

Read the full article

 
What does it mean to be a MassBike member?

 It means you have joined us at any one of our membership levels to support our programs, such as our Bikeable Communities Program that works with local advocates to improve bicycling conditions in their cities, towns, and neighborhoods. It also means that you can bring your MassBike member card to many local businesses and bike shops throughout the state for a discount.

Join today to support this important work and get access to an exciting array of membership benefits statewide.

 

Organizers of the 9th Annual Boston Bike Film Festival have asked filmmakers with a cycling habit to submit their work to be shown October 24, 2014, at the historic Regent Theatre in Arlington. Film submissions are due September 1, 2014. The event is a fundraiser for state-wide and national cycling advocacy groups, including MassBike and Bikes Not Bombs. Film concepts from last year’s festival ranged from a young man attempting re-learn to ride, to an animated film about a cute bike that moves in next door, a couple of international documentaries, and everything in between. Among the benefits for acclaimed and amateur filmmakers, the Festival offers a chance to get their films in front of audiences who are intrigued and influential to the quality of cycling nationwide. So Come Pedal Your Film! And see the next generation of cycling films!

 Contact The Boston Bike Film Festival or visit them online.

A restful stop along the route.

On August 7-10 we rode the 8th Annual Mass BikePike Tour, and as usual it was a lot of fun. We started in Shirley, MA and went through many picturesque towns. Every day seemed to reveal landscape and scenery more beautiful than the last.

Each year we especially enjoy the feeling of community we get from spending time with so many dedicated cyclists during the tour. We see familiar faces along with fresh ones. We greet old friends and meet new bicycling enthusiasts and advocates.

Read the full article


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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Active Versus Inactive Transportation September 15, 2014
      TweetUntil I started a bicycling blog, I had never really heard of the term “active transportation.” The first time I heard this term, I thought it was rather odd. I didn’t know whether it referred to the fact that one … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • More Bikes Than Cars September 12, 2014
      TweetTwice in the last two weeks I have been a part of a lovely thing.  While riding to work I look around and see way…way more bikes than cars.   I think it is a product of the lovely riding weather … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • FREE! Bike Hangers With Security Cable’s FREE! September 12, 2014
      TweetHowdy folks, I have roughly 10 Mini Mum Vertical Bike Hangers with Security Cable.     Free to whoever wants one or all of them.  They don’t have mounting screws, but you can get those at any hardware store.   … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • The Role Of Bicycle Tourism In A Community’s Acceptance Of Bicycling September 11, 2014
      TweetBicycle tourism, although growing in leaps and bounds, is not something we think about when advocating for bicycling or bicycle infrastructure. Bicycling is generally seen as a recreational activity or a mode of transportation. Consequently, arguments for its acceptance are … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • More Coverage Of Side Guards September 11, 2014
      TweetFrom Boston Magazine: ———- In late July, a Hubway cyclist traveling down Massachusetts Avenue in the South End was hit by a city-contracted trash truck as it went to make a right hand turn onto Columbus Avenue. The cyclist survived the accident, … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • David Watson Steps Down As Executive Director Of MassBike September 11, 2014
      TweetWhile I am very sad to see David go, he did an excellent job at MassBike for many years, its great that he is moving on to other challenges. From MassBike: Today our Executive Director, David Watson, announced that he … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Mayor Walsh Proposes A Truck Safety Bill For Cyclists September 9, 2014
      TweetFrom The Boston Cyclists Union: —————- The City of Boston took a big step forward for the country today as Mayor Marty Walsh presented an ordinance to the City Council that will make truck design far safer for pedestrians and … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Big Elm/ QuadCross Weekend! September 9, 2014
      Tweet Photo by Katie Busick This was good weekend at the races for the Cuppow boys. Mike took the win at Big Elm, while Ian (whose tactical nous helped win the race) managed to hold on for third. The course … Continue reading →
      geekhousebikes
    • Cyclists Taking Risks When No Cars Are In Sight September 8, 2014
      TweetCyclists vary considerably in what they consider to be a risk and how much risk they are willing to take. Risk averse riders take virtually no chances. Average riders pick and choose what they are willing to risk. And bold … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • Report on Route 9 reconstruction in Natick September 5, 2014
      TweetOn Sunday, August 24, Natick residents Dick and Jill Miller and I had a look at the Route 9 project, which extends either side of the Oak Street intersection. We drove the length of the project in both directions, and … Continue reading →
      jsallen