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Do You Want Protected Bike Lanes On The Longfellow?

Written by Boston Biker on Apr 13

From Cambridge Bike Safety:

The Longfellow Bridge, a critical bike connector to Boston, is going to be restriped and reopened in May. You may be surprised to learn that in the final design, the inbound bike lane will be similar or worse than it is today: it will continue to have a dangerous 5 1/2-foot painted bike lane between fast-moving cars and trucks on one side, and the storm grates and detritus that builds up next to the crash barrier on the other side. The outbound lane will be slightly better, with a small 2-foot buffer separating bikes from one lane of car traffic with no protection.

According to Boston’s bike counts, one-third of AM rush hour commuters are on bicycles. Those families, commuters and visitors deserve a safe space to ride! We have been working to convince state officials to install pilot protected bike lanes by restriping both lanes, inbound and outbound, with buffers and flexposts to provide separation and permanent protection for the commuters, families, and other people traveling over this bridge on bikes.

To make this vision a reality we need to keep the pressure on state officials. Please take these two actions today to ensure help us transform the Longfellow Bridge from a highway to a safe, mulit-modal connector for everyone, including those walking and bicycling!

  1. Call or email your state representative’s and senator’s offices (look yours up here or find the list of Cambridge reps below) as soon as possible and tell them how important it is to you as a constituent that MassDOT update the design to include safe, protected bike lanes on the bridge in both directions. Please copy us or email us afterward ([email protected] and [email protected]) so we can keep a count. Talking points are below.

  2. Sign this petition asking state officials to stripe a safe bike lane with a buffer on the inbound side of the Longfellow. If you’ve already signed, share the link with your friends by email or Facebook.

Background:

A group of advocates led by the Boston Cyclists Union, Cambridge Bicycle Safety, and others has been working to convince state officials to change their plans for the inbound side of the bridge, and use painted buffers and flexposts to provide separation and permanent protection for the commuters, families, and other people traveling over this bridge on bikes.

Specifically, we are asking MassDOT to keep the bridge to one travel lane inbound for cars, in order to install an inbound protected bike lane that would allow cyclists to cross the bridge safely.

  • With only one general travel lane, the protected bike lane can be designed to be quite wide, which will have two ancillary benefits: (1) emergency vehicles like ambulances will be able to safely use the bike lane/buffer when needed (with bicyclists pulling over to the side), (2) bicyclists will be able to safely ride side by side and pass each other on the steep climb up the bridge.

  • We know that one lane is all that’s needed, given that there’s only been one car lane over the past 5+ years of construction, and the traffic implosion that had been predicted never materialized. Also, designating only one travel lane for motor vehicles will reduce speeding.

  • Due to these benefits, the Cambridge City Council officially endorsed this proposed design, and two of our state representatives, Mike Connolly and Jay Livingstone, have publicly written to MassDOT asking them to improve safety by adopting this design. (It’s still important to call Mike and Jay to thank them, so they know this is something people really care about.)

  • Also important to note: the change we are asking for can easily be made, even at this late stage. It primarily involves simply painting different lane markings on the bridge, and does not need to delay the project.

For more information, see the Boston Cyclists Union’s post on the history of the Longfellow bridge project. MassDOT’s currently planned design is using data on mode shares from 9 years ago. In that time, Cambridge bike counts have doubled, and the Longfellow bridge has operated with one vehicular inbound travel lane for 5 years without incident. The bridge must be updated to reflect current trends and emphasize safe, healthy mobility with protected bike lanes in both directions.

Be sure to include Longfellow Bridge in the subject, and if possible add a personal story why this is essential for your safe commute and enjoyment of public spaces.

Sincerely,
The CBS Core Team

Write or call your statehouse legislators using the email addresses and phone numbers below. If you don’t know who they are, visit: https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator

Be sure to include Longfellow Bridge in the subject, copy us ([email protected] and [email protected]), and if possible add a personal story why this is essential for your safe commute and enjoyment of public spaces.

House

Rep. Dave Rogers (24th Middlesex)
617-722-2370        [email protected]

Rep. Marjorie Decker (25th Middlesex)
617-722-2692        [email protected]

Rep. Mike Connolly (26th Middlesex)
617-722-2060        [email protected]

Rep. Jonathan Hecht (29th Middlesex)
617-722-2140        [email protected]

Rep. Jay Livingstone (8th Suffolk)
617-722-2013        [email protected]

Rep. Denise Provost (27th Middlesex, Somerville)
617-722-2263        [email protected]

Senate

Sen. Patricia Jehlen (2nd Middlesex)
617-722-1578        [email protected]

Sen. Sal DiDomenico (Middlesex and Suffolk)
617-722-1650        [email protected]

Sen. Joseph Boncore (1st Suffolk and Middlesex)
617-722-1634        [email protected]


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Police Seek Driver Who Struck Cyclist In Hit And Run

Written by Boston Biker on Mar 23

Cambridge police are asking for the public’s help in finding a driver who allegedly struck a 14-year-old boy on the morning of March 15 and fled the scene.

A silver Toyota Prius struck the boy around 7:22 a.m. that morning as the boy was biking near the corner of Western Avenue and Putnam Avenue, police said in a Facebook post.

“The driver of the vehicle of interest fled the area and returned approximately three minutes later at approximately 7:25 a.m,” police wrote.

The 14-year-old survived the crash and is recovering from non-life threatening injuries, police said.

The model year of the car is believed to be between 2004 and 2009, according to police.

Cambridge police are asking anyone with information to contact Officer Christopher Sullivan in the Cambridge Police Traffic Enforcement Unit at (617) 349-3307 or email [email protected] (via)

 

Police are searching for the driver of a Toyota Prius who they believe hit a teenager riding his bike and then fled.

The 14-year-old was riding on Putnam Avenue when he was hit around 7:22 a.m. on Thursday, March 15, according to police.

“I was crossing the street to go on the sidewalk and the car just came out of nowhere and hit the back of my bike and it sent me flying,” he said. (via)


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Hubway Is Dead Long Live Blue Bikes

Written by Boston Biker on Mar 08

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts will pay nearly $20 million to turn the Boston area’s Hubway bike share system into Blue Bikes and expand the program with more than 1,000 new bikes and more than 100 new rental stations across the region.

“Blue Cross is committed to helping Massachusetts residents lead healthy lives, and this program is a way to bring that to life,” said Jeff Bellows, vice-president of corporate citizenship for BCBS. “Being a health-care company, it’s in line with what we want to do.”

BCBS will pay $18 million over six years to be the sole sponsor of the bike share system, which will be renamed Blue Bikes. The money will be used in part to fund a nearly 50 percent increase in bikes — by the end of 2019, there will be 3,000 Blue Bikes on the streets, up from 1,800 today — and add more than 100 new stations across Boston, Cambridge, Brookline and Somerville. The expansion will bring more service to underserved parts of the city, Bellows said.

“Communities like Mattapan, Dorchester, Roxbury, they’re going to get additional access to these bikes,” he said. (via)

While I wish it was more of a public system, maybe tax based, but sure I will siphon off some of the obscene profits BCBS is making to fund bike share programs.

The best part of this is that Hubway/Blue Bikes will continue, and it will expand into areas that have not been served by it so far.


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Quincy Is Co-Hosting Traffic Skills Cycling Course With MassBike

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 08

From the email:

Hello Quincyclists,

I would like to announce that Quincy is co-hosting a League of American Bicyclists’ Smart Cycling Traffic Skills 101 class on April 7 and 8. Please join us!
Register here:
This Traffic Skills 101 Cycling Education Course is a fast-paced, two-day class that provides cyclists with the confidence to ride safely and legally in traffic or on the trail. We will cover the basics of bike maintenance, rules of the road, on-bike skills, and crash avoidance techniques. This class is a prerequisite for becoming a certified League Cycling Instructor from the League of American Bicyclists.

Join us Saturday, April 7, 10a-1pm for an indoor session, and Sunday, April 8, 10am-1pm for an outdoor session on the bike and a written test. Participants MUST take both days to participate.

The League of American Bicyclists’ Smart Cycling program is designed to develop your knowledge and expertise in the craft and science of bicycling — the ability to use a bicycle with confidence and competence for pleasure, utility and sport under various highway, climate, terrain, and traffic conditions.

The bicycling education program was started in 1974, and continues to be the only nationally recognized cycling education program with trained and certified instructors.

Traffic Skills 101 is the foundation of the program. It provides instruction and guidance in the basic principles of vehicular bicycling. Bicyclists have more fun when they ride with skill and confidence. This course combines classroom discussion and parking lot activities with on-road practice of the principles of vehicular bicycling. The instructor for this course is certified by the League of American Bicyclists and has years of experience and training.

If you are interested in becoming a League Certified Instructor this course is a prerequisite. That course will be offered in May.  Please let us know if you are interested!

Keep pedaling,

Irene Lutts
President
Quincycles.org

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Last all To Submit Comments For Allston I-90 DEIR

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 07

From Livable Streets:

Are you willing to wait 22 years for your train to show up?

Now is the time to let state leaders know that we can’t afford to wait. The Allston I-90 Interchange project can transform access and mobility for all in the region right now.

Join us and submit comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Review (DEIR) by Friday, February 9Each comment becomes part of the environmental review process and helps to define the issues MassDOT must address going forward.

Here are three key points to make in your comment letter:

  • Transit should be a priority. We need West Station now, not in 22 years, as a construction mitigation measure and to ensure transit-oriented development.
  • Don’t build the viaduct. A surface option will save millions of dollars, be more practical, and maintain opportunities for multimodal connections to and from the river.
  • We need better accommodations for walking and biking along the Charles River. Check out WalkBoston’s proposal to #UnchokeTheThroat!
  • Design a network of safe, human-scaled streets in the proposed new neighborhood.

To review a longer list of talking points to include in your letter, check out our website here.

Send an email with your comments and your name and address to [email protected]us by close of business on Friday, February 9, 2018, and please cc us at [email protected]

The decisions being made over the next few months will determine whether this is a highway redesign to move cars or a truly multimodal project for people. At this critical point in the planning process, every voice counts. Act now!

LivableStreets Alliance
http://www.livablestreets.info/


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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Do You Want Protected Bike Lanes On The Longfellow? April 13, 2018
      TweetFrom Cambridge Bike Safety: The Longfellow Bridge, a critical bike connector to Boston, is going to be restriped and reopened in May. You may be surprised to learn that in the final design, the inbound bike lane will be similar … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • #30DaysofBiking Day 7 April 7, 2018
      TweetThis is better! A sunny, somewhat cool spring day. Me on my bike, my daughter on a trail-a-bike, and my son on his bike. We rode down the Southwest Corridor, stopped at Ula Cafe for lunch, rode over by Jamaica … Continue reading →
      Liam
    • Riding Lexington Street, Waltham, July 4, 2015 April 7, 2018
      TweetIt should be noted that bike lanes have been installed on much of the stretch of Lexington Street shown in the videos. Videos showing the new conditions are in preparation. Two videos, for now: A demonstration of lane control in … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Riding Lexington Street, Waltham, July 4, 2015 April 7, 2018
      TweetIt shoudl be noted that bike lanes have been installed on much of the stretch of Lexington Street shown in the videos. Videos showing the new conditions are in preparation. Two videos, for now: A demonstration of lane control in … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • #30DaysofBiking Days 3,4,5, and 6 April 6, 2018
      TweetIt’s been cold, rainy, windy, and I’m not sleeping well. These days of biking are short rides on Hubway to get from here to there, head down, and shivering. This is not the joyous Days of Biking I signed up … Continue reading →
      Liam
    • #30DaysofBiking Day 2 April 3, 2018
      Tweet Easter Monday.  The first work day of April.  Today is the day I’m going to start riding my bike to work again! Or not.  Because it’s snowing.  And I’m tired and lazy. But every bit of biking counts no … Continue reading →
      Liam
    • #30DaysofBiking Day 1 April 2, 2018
      TweetI didn’t think I was going to go for a bike ride on Easter Sunday.  As tends to be my habit, I ride less and less in the winter time and then find it hard to get back into the … Continue reading →
      Liam
    • Police Seek Driver Who Struck Cyclist In Hit And Run March 23, 2018
      Tweet Cambridge police are asking for the public’s help in finding a driver who allegedly struck a 14-year-old boy on the morning of March 15 and fled the scene. A silver Toyota Prius struck the boy around 7:22 a.m. that … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Pewter Cast “Gem” Earrings March 9, 2018
      Carved, cast and made these pewter (lead free) “gem” earrings.  They have a lovely faceted surface that catches the light and has a lot of depth and interesting texture.  My first real effort at making my own beads.  If you lik... Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Silver “Rock” Earrings March 9, 2018
        I carved and cast these silver “rock” earrings for my partner. The hardest part was getting those little jump rings soldered to the top of the “rock” without melting them or the rock…but I did it and she loved them. Continue reading →
      Boston Biker