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News, Events, Updates
In a head scrathing decison the MBTA has announced it wont provide a train for this years Midnight Marathon Ride.
Cyclists who rely on a special Commuter Rail train to travel between Boston and Hopkinton for the annual Midnight Marathon Bike Ride will have to find a new way to get to the starting line for this year’s event.
After the Boston Athletic Association allegedly asked the organizers of the ride to derail their annual 26.2-mile trek, the MBTA announced that a set of train cars reserved last year for shipping hundreds of cyclists to the starting line would not be arriving at South Station in 2014.
“A special train, dedicated to bikes, will not be provided this year,” said MBTA Spokesman Joe Pesaturo in an email to Boston. Pesaturo said the train would not be giving rides to the cyclists “at the request of local public safety officials,” not the BAA. Standard rules for bikes on off-peak Commuter Rail trains will be in effect, which means a maximum of four bikes will be allowed per coach.
The BAA asked Midnight Marathon Bike Ride organizers not to host the event, citing safety concerns. Last week, the BAA put out a set of specific security guidelines in response to last year’s bombings at the finish line.
Peter Judge, spokesman with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, the state office that works with BAA officials to address security issues both prior to the marathon, and on race day, said the reason for asking cyclists to cancel their trip “dove tails” on last year’s bombing, but it’s actually just a general concern voiced by officials in municipalities that the riders pass through. “Anytime you are going to send 1,000 people out at midnight on bikes, you have the potential for issues. [The bombings] aside, this is something that has been discussed every year, and there has been concerns,” he said. “It’s strictly a public safety issue and the timing of it. It’s a cool idea, but it’s just raw with potential. That being said, we are asking them not to have the ride.”
I feel like this is the worst possible response to a terrorist act. “They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” We are basically saying that if you do something horrible to us, we will change our entire way of life and relinquish basic freedoms. I guess 9/11 and the response to it has taught us nothing.
You are allowed to take your bike on the train, you are allowed to ride your bike on the road, and neither act is a danger to anyone. If the powers that be are concerned that people bike riding on a road at midnight with no crowds is more dangerous than having 26.2 miles of packed human beings watching the actual marathon than they are not thinking straight.
I simply don’t see how they are going to lock down all 26.2 miles of the course. I don’t see how they are going to search every person who wants to watch the marathon. Crowds if anything will be bigger this year. No cowardly act of violence is going to keep Bostonians from participating in a symbol of unity and international togetherness.
I don’t know where the person in the story above is getting this 4 bikes per car thing (that rule is not listed here), but if that is how they are going to play it, we simply show up as soon as rush hour is over (7pm), and cram every car with 4 cyclists all night until midnight. Folding bikes are also allowed at all times on any train, so bring your folder if you got one.
I say we all show up at south station and buy a ticket. And then we cram ourselves onto any train available, we rent some buses, carpool, get a U-haul, hell lets make this 26.2 mile ride into a 52.4 mile ride and do it out and back. This sort of panic and fear based foolishness shouldn’t keep us from enjoying our legal rights to use the trains and roads. Feel free to use the comments below to set up ride shares, truck rentals, etc.
I think its important that we make this ride bigger and better than ever as a symbolic gesture, to raise a big middle finger to anyone that would use fear as a tool of persuasion. Don’t be confused, train or no train this ride is going to happen this year. Bring a friend because its going to be huge!
Fuck fear mongers, fuck terrorists for using violence against innocent people, and fuck them both for trying to make us afraid. Lets come together and show everyone that love and bicycles are stronger than bombs and fear.
Tags: baa, fear, foolish, marathon, MBTA, midnight marathon ride
Posted in news | 3 Comments »
And not just business but a lot of other things, safety,health, quality of life. But no one really cares about any of that unless it makes you more money…so the headline reads “improves business” not “makes you feel less horrible.” But hey if it takes an increase in earnings to get people to abandon cars (and car parking), so be it. Any port in a storm right.
From Livable Streets:
Myth: Businesses need parking spaces in front of their store to thrive
Debunked: Complete streets are increasing economic vitality across the country.
Improved accessibility and a more welcoming street environment are now proven to generate higher sales. In particular, studies find that protected bike lanes and increased bike parking promote economic growth.
Check out the Protected Bike Lanes Mean Business report by PeopleForBikes and the Alliance for Biking & Walking, and the Economic Benefits of Sustainable Streets study by New York City Department of Transportation for more stats and facts on this topic.
Tags: bikes good, cars bad, livable streets, money money money, study
Posted in advocacy, Bike Business, Commuting, education, news | No Comments »
From Livable Streets:
Spring member party at District Hall.
A party is springing up and we want you there!
Join the LivableStreets community at Boston’s newest event space: District Hall. Meet and chat with members, staff and board members about the latest innovative thinking on transportation in Boston’s innovation district.
Already a member? Register for event now.
Want to become a member? Join/renew for only $35 for free event entry.
Bike4Life will be on Sunday, September 14, 2014
Bike4Life – a ride that benefits LivableStreets, will be on Sunday, September 14, from 8:30-2pm. 24 and 40 mile routes, 4 and 8 mile guided kid and family routes, and BBQ celebration!
Save the date and more details coming soon.
MassDOT’s new engineering directive
MassDOT has recently published a new Engineering Directive (E-14-001) to clarify and strengthen minimum pedestrian and bicycle accommodations required in roadway and bridge projects. The directive also encourages engineers to look beyond the minimums when designing for pedestrians and bicycles. MassDOT leadership reached out to LivableStreets, WalkBoston, and MassBike when preparing this new directive and incorporated extensive input.
Major changes in this directive include:
- requiring new 5-foot-minimum shoulders or bike lanes recommended for bicycle accommodation (compared to the prior 4-foot-minimum shoulder or 15-foot-wide outside lane)
- mandating sidewalks on all bridge and roadway projects in urbanized areas as required by the new Healthy Transportation Directive
For more information about the new Engineering Directive check out the Babystate Roads Program Blog. This directive is the result of the Design Standards Working Group, which LivableStreets sits on, and is just one way we advocate for safer and more livable streets for you.
MassDOT board votes to fund new buses
$355 million for new buses
Photo credit: Boston Business Journal
On February 19, the MassDOT board voted to include a total of $355M for bus replacement in its capital plan, $150M of which is new funding. More than 10% of the MBTA buses have reached the end of their useful life (12 years), and 85% of the MBTA bus fleet will reach their end in the next five years.
LivableStreets has been working on increasing statewide transportation funding with Transportation for Massachusetts. This is huge win for Transportation for Massachusetts and all those who live, work and play in the MBTA area.
Boston going carless
Call it pie in the sky, just plain crazy, or something to consider also?
Major cities across Europe from Brussels to Hamburg hope to go car-free.
Madrid, Spain is just one of the cities to swear off cars.
Brussels: ”The move would transform a handsome but car-snarled four-lane boulevard and a string of squares into a long, café-filled promenade. This new zone will join up with an existing pedestrian zone in the narrow streets around the city’s Grand Place and Rue Neuve, turning Brussels’ core into a spacious, rambling open-air living room.” Read more here>>
Madrid: “Trees, bikes, and walking are in. Cars, historical protection, and new apartments are out. This is the gist of a new plan Madrid has hatched to help it catch up with its European neighbors… The plan calls for 24 major Madrid streets to be radically overhauled, with car lanes removed, bike lanes added and trees planted to make them cool and shady.” Read more here >>
Hamburg: “Germany, home of the high-speed autobahn, is perhaps one of the few countries that has had as intense a love affair with the automobile as the U.S. But in an effort to go green, the country’s second-largest city is studying ways to eliminate cars by 2034. The northern city of Hamburg has laid out an initial concept, named the Green Network Plan, that would expand public transportation and add more routes for pedestrians and bicyclists.” Watch CNBC segment here >>
What do you think about Boston going carless?
Public meetings & other opportunities
Boston MPO calls for hosts of livable streets communities workshops
Help educate communities on how to incorporate livability concepts and promote thinking about how design influences livability.
Public Transit and Youth in the MBTA: Discussion and Briefing
Thursday, February 27, 4-6pm
@ SEIU 32BJ, 26 West Street, 3rd Fl, Boston
LivableStreets Volunteer Friday
Friday, February 28, 12-2pm
@ LivableStreets, 100 Sidney St, Cambridge
For full list of events on our calendar see here>>
Tags: livable streets, update
Posted in advocacy, news | No Comments »
Once upon a time I lived in Austin, then Boston, if any of you know of a city like Costin, Dustin, Eustin…I am kind of trying to go in order.
But enough of that, seems even in a city more or less designed for cars (as Austin is), biking is still faster. Mostly because cars are too damn big, and there are too many of them, and everyone wants to get into them all at the same time.
From the AustinPost:
It was a simple enough idea. Last Friday, five Austin Post reporters set off across the center of town around 5 p.m. to see how our city’s transportation options stack up: just a little more than four miles through rush hour hell.
We avoided the parking lot that was I-35 and the river of cars known as Mopac. No, we were in the mood for a multi-modal race, and we also wanted to test the powers of the new MetroRapid bus. We chose Guadalupe as our race route because it traverses the living, breathing (if not always moving) heart of the city and can be traversed any way you like, short of water travel. And so: 38th and Guadalupe to South Congress and Monroe.
Five travelers, five modes:
- MetroRapid Bus
- Regular Bus
- On Foot
We assumed our pedestrian would come in last. Austin traffic might be horrendous, but there’s no way a not-particularly-athletic person can walk 4.5 miles faster than a car can drive it, right?
Well, you know what they say about assumptions: don’t make any when it comes to how bad Austin traffic can be. We’ll let the results speak for themselves:
Yes, that graph is correct: the driver came in last place and took an hour and a half to get 4.5 miles through town. That’s half the time it takes to get to Dallas on a good day. The regular bus didn’t do much better, clocking in at just under 80 minutes.
Amazing, really. Even the pedestrian beat the car driver…
Best part is this timelapse of the car drivers experience,
(note how different this is than a car commercial)
Tags: austin, bikes rule!, cars drool
Posted in fun, news | 1 Comment »
Greg Hum plays drums on his bike, gets people together for really big midnight and monthly bike rides, and smiles too much. He shares stories and more on his personal blog, The Humble Cyclist. Tweet at him, bro: @thehum.
Imagine being able to bike around the heart of downtown Boston on completely safe and separated from car-traffic bike paths, or cycle-tracks. This is the goal of the Tiger Grant-funded Connect History Boston Trail
Tonight is the public hearing to present plans for a protected bike path loop around downtown Boston to the public. Here’s the info about the hearing from the Boston Bikes event calendar, so definitely show up to voice support, comments, or concerns:
A Public Hearing will be held by the City of Boston Public Works Department to discuss the proposed Connect Historic Boston project that is being funded through a Federal Highway Administration Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grant.
WHERE: City Hall, Boston
One City Hall Square, Room 801
Boston, MA 02201
WHEN: Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Open House 6:00 PM
The City of Boston Public Works Department will be holding a public hearing to present the City’s Connect Historic Boston Project at the location and time shown above. The public notice which provides additional information relative to the hearing and project can be found here.
The plans for this path sound almost too good to be true:
The Connect History Boston Trail will be a family-friendly bicycle loop around downtown Boston, providing access to major transit hubs, regional trails, and National Park Service visitor centers and National Park service Partner sites.
A loop that provites two-way travel will simplify navigating Boston’s complex one-way street system. The trail will make it easier to connect from North Station to offices in the Downtown or Seaport District, or between the two stations themslves. For people just getting to know Boston, the out and back nature of the trail will make it easy to go from site to site and return along the same route.
The trail will be separated from traffic, such as a cycle track or path, in order to appeal to the broadest range of people and abilities. Trail users will be able to ride comfortably in small groups.
The trail will be buffered from sidewalk path by street furniture, special paving, or a curb where appropriate.
Wayfinding will direct bicyclists from the Connect History Boston trail to NPS sites and the regional shared-use path system.
Bikeshare, bike rental, and bike parking will be conveniently located to the trail.
If these plans go forward, we can expect to see a very different landscape for bicycling in Boston once completed.
Tags: bike lane, bike path, Boston Bikes, connect history boston, cycletrack, infrastructure, tiger grant
Posted in advocacy, infrastructure | No Comments »
RSVP today for 6th Annual Boston Bike Update, happening March 27th.
Biking has doubled in Boston in the last six years.
Want to know how, why and who helped make this happen? Wondering how biking fits into larger transportation network?
Join us for this sixth annual event to hear Boston Bikes Director, Nicole Freedman discuss the future of biking in Boston and the path forward under Mayor Walsh.
If you care about biking in Boston you don’t want to miss this event.
Thursday, March 27, 2014
@ Boston Public Library, Rabb Hall, 700 Boylston St, Boston
5:30pm doors open – Free and open to the public
6pm presentations begin
8:30-10pm LivableStreets member social @ Lir Pub
Tags: Boston Bikes, rsvp, update
Posted in advocacy | 1 Comment »
Bikes Not Bombs is looking to send a group of 10 young leaders and two adults to New York City for the 4th Annual Youth Bike Summit, February 14-16th. This three day conference is a time for young people around the country to gather and discuss issues related to bicycles, affordable transportation, cycling education, and activism. We’re excited about the growth and development of our youth organizing work and this conference is critical to expanding and sharing our strategies and tactics.
BNB youth are using their personal networks to fundraise to attend the Summit and they could use your support. We must cover transportation, food, and lodging for all 12 participants over the 3 days. Please consider donating specifically to their campaign. If you have any questions, contact Abdul Hussein, Chain Reaction Coordinator at[email protected] or Jeremy Hanson, Co-Director of Youth Programs at[email protected].
Bikes Not Bombs’ 27th annual Bike-A-Thon is on June 8th and we’re looking for local companies and businesses to support the event by signing on as sponsors. Becoming an event sponsor is a great way for companies to advertise their support of Bikes Not Bombs. We can feature company logos on event signage, our website, and depending on the level of sponsorship, there are opportunities to be included in our Jamaica Plain Gazette ads as well as on our t-shirt. And, this year we’re offering free Bike-A-Thon registration to a limited number of sponsors’ employees as a way to encourage staff to get involved with Bikes Not Bombs.
While we are seeking in-kind gifts for our raffle, we’re most interested in fiscal sponsorship because unrestricted funds provide us with the greatest flexibility and have the deepest impact on our work. Check out the results from last year’s Bike-A-Thon that also lists participating sponsors.
Bikes Not Bombs’ fourth annual Building Momentum Breakfast will be held in October and we’re looking for a handful of Table Captains to help make the event a success! The Building Momentum Breakfast is designed to raise critical financial support for Bikes Not Bombs and spread the word about our innovative work using donated bicycles as a tool for self-empowerment and community transformation. Read more about last year’s Building Momentum Breakfast.
We’re holding a casual information session for those interested in acting as Table Captains on Tuesday February 18th from 6-7pm at the Hub. Table Captains invite 9 people to the Breakfast – friends, family neighbors – anyone who would connect with the mission and work of Bikes Not Bombs. The information session will guide you through the process and provide you with all the materials you’ll need. There will be a Q&A session with former Table Captains too. Light snacks will be provided. Please email Erica Rotman, Director of Fundraising and Events, at [email protected], if you would like to attend or if you cannot attend but are still interested in being a Table Captain.
Bikes Not Bombs will be releasing a documentary about our international partner, Ability Bikes, at the Ride Studio Cafe in Lexington on Thursday, March 6th from 6-8pm. Derek McIntire, a shop employee, traveled to Ghana last November to teach advanced mechanics lessons to the worker-owners at Ability Bikes. In the process, he filmed local residents and other folks involved with Ability Bikes to capture the project’s strengths and impacts. Please join us to watch the 10-minute film, followed by discussion and Q&A with Derek and our Intentional Programs team. Social hour is from 6-7pm, and the film screening begins at 7pm sharp. Beer and snacks will be served. Ride Studio Cafe is located at 1720 Massachusetts Ave Lexington, MA 02420. Contact[email protected] for more information.
On Thursday, March 13th from 5-7pm Bikes Not Bombs’ youth will join together with International Programs Coordinator, Charlotte Fagan, to give a report back and presentation from their respective travels. BNB youth will share the skills and lessons gained from the Youth Bike Summit in New York City and Charlotte will present the highlights from the World Bicycle Forum she’s attending in Brazil this February. We’ll hold a Q&A session following the presentations. Light refreshments will be served. RSVPs are not required but encouraged. Email [email protected] with any questions.
Free on a weekday during the day? Come to BNB for a relaxing morning or afternoon of helpful office volunteering! This work is mostly data entry, and some envelope stuffing. It’s easy, somewhat boring, but super important! Your help with these simple tasks will support our Youth Programs and International Programs, and you’ll get a glimpse into the inner-workings of our efficient administrative systems! We’re especially looking for volunteers who can commit to a weekly pattern, but one-off times are also helpful. And we can work around your schedule, any weekday between 10 am and 5 pm. Contact Sean Madsen at [email protected] to set up a time.
Although not always the best weather for a test ride, winter is a great time to shop at the BNB Shop. Our supply of refurbished bikes turns over every couple of weeks and we specifically have many of the sizes and price points which are hard to keep in stock “in season”.
Our Winter Overhaul special ends February 28th. Don’t miss this great opportunity to get your bike ready for Spring–or if you’ve been commuting all winter to undo all the damage that the salt and snow has done–and save 20% off the normal $150 labor charge (parts are extra). Our overhaul includes completely rebuilding your bike and the labor to replace any parts that may be needed. Stop by for an estimate and we can go over your bike, and your options with you.
The BNB Shop once again has cycling caps! These are made in the USA by Walz Cycling Caps and feature a 4 panel cotton design with the BNB Parabike Logo on the left side. Come try one on!
We are also excited to announce that we have hoodies back in stock again! Hoodies are a popular item; last time they sold out within two weeks of being on the floor. We have a variety of sizes, head to the shop ASAP to grab one.
Spring 2014 Adult Instructor Training: March 3 – 19 (M-W,6:00 - 9:00p)
Spring 2014 Earn-A-Bike: March 24 – May 1, 2013 (M-Th,3:30 - 6:30p)
Spring 2014 Girls In Action: May 12 – June 12, 2013 (M-Th, 3:30 - 6:30p)
Both programs take place Mondays through Thursdays from 3:30pm – 6:30pm. In the program, you’ll choose a bike and learn the skills to not only build it up, but maintain it as well. At the end of the program, once the bike is built, it is yours to take home! Additionally, we go on bike adventures to explore some of the fascinating places Boston has to offer, and look into various environmental and social justice issues.
There are a limited number of spots available. Applicants are chosen based on application date, and the applicant’s availability and willingness to commit. To qualify for enrollment, BOTH the completed application and payment (cash, check or money order) need to be submitted. Applicants not accepted to the program for whatever reason, will be notified and program fees will be returned. Fee waivers are available.
We are also accepting applications for our Spring Adult Instructor Training Program. Participants are taught basic mechanics and mentorship skills by Youth Instructors. In exchange for this free program participants MUST VOLUNTEER AT LEAST ONE DAY PER WEEK IN ONE OF THE ABOVE SPRING YOUTH PROGRAM SESSIONS.
Applications are available online. Mail or deliver the application & fee to: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory Street Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(We will be profiling a volunteer each month who has made an outstanding volunteer contribution to Bikes Not Bombs. We rely on so many volunteers who are crucial to making this work happen, and we appreciate all of you!)
Our volunteer of the month is Farid Quraishi! Farid has been helping out regularly in multiple areas of BNB’s work, and those came together recently in one marathon week: on a Sunday Farid helped load a shipment of over 500 bikes going to our partner in Ghana … Monday night after work Farid came out to help call supporters and raise money at our Phone-A-Thon …Tuesday night he came back for more calling … Wednesday he came to Mechanics Night to help build bikes … and Thursday night he came back help at our weekly Volunteer Night, getting bikes and parts ready to ship overseas! Of course with his full-time job he can’t do that every week, but Farid is consistently plugging in to BNB’s mission. Farid got started at BNB because he had friends who had volunteered here, and his first BNB activity was to ride 40 miles in the 2012 Bike-A-Thon. We asked Farid why he likes volunteering at BNB and he says, “Everyone should volunteer somewhere, and find purpose in working on something that you don’t feel you need to be compensated for. I like that BNB is a community of very intentional and like-minded people working towards a common goal, and that goal is very clear in BNB’s programs, making a difference through nonviolence at a grassroots level. I learn alot too when I’m here, from mechanics skills to people skills, and it is empowering to me to be part of this work!” Thanks and Congratulations to Farid!
With only one spot in the Brewery parking lot for a BNB truck, we are looking for a place to park our second, smaller truck. This vehicle is a crucial part of our bike collection work, so we need a regular place to park it! It is a former UHaul that is about 23 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 9 feet high. The spot would need to be available to us 24/7 (so being blocked in by other vehicles won’t work) and we generally use the truck a few times a week. The parking spot needs to be within roughly a quarter mile from either the Shop or the Hub. Free is best, and the lower the cost the better for us. If you have extra space at your home or business, or have any ideas for places we should check, please email Arik at[email protected].
Broadway Bicycle School is Hiring
Broadway Bicycle is looking for some mechanically inclined people who are enthusiastic about bicycles to work at their shop as full-time bike mechanics/sales-people from Mid-March through October 2014. Previous bike shop experience is not necessary. Starting pay is $11.50/hour commensurate with experience. Women and people of color strongly encouraged to apply. Please visittheir website or stop by the shop, 351 Broadway in Cambridge, for an application. Seize the wrench!
Boston Youth Fund Hopeline is Open
The Boston Youth Fund Hopeline is now accepting registration for 2014 Summer Employment. Bikes Not Bombs’ will be accepting applications from BYF enrolled youth. Registration closes March 2nd.
New Data on Women & Girls Riding
The League of American Bicyclists released some interesting data on Girls and Women Riding. Check out their findings.
Tags: bikes not bombs, update
Posted in advocacy | No Comments »
From the email:
We are seeking applicants to join our team of Youth Cycling Instructors. Youth Cycling Instructors teach in-classroom and on-bike workshops to students in grades 2-12 in the Boston Public Schools. For more information, visit http://www.bostonbikes.o
Save the Date
6th Annual Boston Bike Update hosted by LivableStreets Alliance
Tags: Boston Bikes, update
Posted in advocacy, news | No Comments »