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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!

———–

 

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.)

IMG_9617

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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Livable Streets Update

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 14

From Livable Streets:

 

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Bike4Life raises over $70,000. Thank you!

We are excited to announce that you helped us raise over $70,000 through our Bike4Life fundraiser! This outdoes last year’s total by 38%.
Bike4Life supports our Safer Streets Campaign. The campaign’s focus is to deepen Boston’s commitment to safety and to advocate for better infrastructure – such as cycle tracks and improved traffic signalization – to allow people to confidently explore the city on bike, foot, car and public transit.
Thanks again to our sponsors and community partners: Jason & Fischer Attorneys at Law, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, athenahealth, Avison Young and Blue Ribbon BBQ, Commonwheels Bicycle Co-op, Harris Cyclery, LARABAR, Patagonia Boston and Red and the Boys, as well as a big thanks to Holly, Peter and Noel Zeeb.

wins
Governor Patrick announces West Station will open in 2020
West Station is a milestone for People’s Pike and livable transportation 
advocacy in Metro Boston. Congrats to everyone who has put in years of hard work
Photo credit Galen Mook, video credit Harry Mattison.
At the Sept 30 press conference, Gov Patrick announced West Station will be
part of the I-90 project.

Photo credit: Galen Mook.
and advocacy to make West Station possible. “This is so much more than a highway project,” said Mayor Walsh at the press conference.
This announcement solidifies the fact that the I-90 project parcel will be developed around transit, meaning the new street network can be very bike, walk friendly with more open space opportunities.

What’s happening  _______________________________________________________________________________

video
BU students deserve Safer Streets      

 

Boston is about to spend $16 million to completely revamp the stretch of Comm. Ave. from the BU Bridge to Packards Corner.

 

The plans we have seen call for wider car lanes that would encourage speeding, narrower sidewalks, and no protected bicycle lanes.
“So the question is whether the Walsh administration and BU are going to step up and say, ‘[Do] we want the best and safest for our students and for the city of Boston, or are we going to settle for the status quo?'” says LivableStreets Advocacy Director Jeffrey Rosenblum in an article in BU’s Daily Free Press.

 

But there is still time to make a difference. Click here to add your name to the list of people who want better than status quo, and tell Mayor Walsh you want a #SaferCommAve. We will be meeting with the City of Boston in the coming weeks, and will have the opportunity to share your stories.

 

The vision for a better Commonwealth Avenue is part of our Safer Streets Campaign and commitment to zero traffic fatalities. Read more about our vision and recent press received here.

T4MA
Vote NO on Question One

On November 4, statewide ballot question Question One, threatens to take away critical, existing transportation funds. These are funds that are necessary to make our roads and bridges better for everyone.

 

“If it passes, Question One would take a $2 billion bite out of the state’s transportation plans over the next decade,” Yvonne Abraham wrote in her Boston Globe article. According to the Federal Highway Administration, there are 5,136 bridges in Massachusetts, 53% of which are either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. Question One proposed a reduction in vital transportation funding which would exacerbate this problem and others.

 

What can you do?

  1. Vote NO on Question One on November 4th.
  2. Email [email protected] to get involved with the campaign between now and November 4t.
  3. Follow and participate in the campaign on Twitter at @VoteNoOnQ1 and#VoteNoOnQ1.
  4. Spread the word to your friends, neighbors, family and colleagues by forwarding this email.
  5. Mark your calendar to vote No on Q1 on November 4.

Newsworthy

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news
When will we see separated bike lanes in Boston? 
Protected bike lanes, or cycle tracks, have multiplied across the country, so when will Boston jump on the bandwagon? New York City, San Francisco, Washington DC, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have installed hundreds of miles of lanes over the past few years due to the variety of benefits they bring to their cities.
“It’s healthy, it’s good for the economy, and our citizens,” said Philadelphia’s Mayor Nutter. Mayor Nutter’s street safety policies are “starting to drive down both vehicle and pedestrian crashes, as well as cycling crashes,” he said in Streetsblog’s article “Four Mayors on Why They’re Building Out Their Cities Bike Networks.”

Separated bike lane in Pittsburgh.

Graphic credit: Bike Pittsburgh
In addition to mayors across the country praising separated bike lanes, Boston’s Jim Braude of Boston Public Radio and WGBH, endorsed them in his Boston Globe article, “A plan to broker peace between drivers and cyclists.” He proposes the answer to creating peaceful coexistence betweent people driving and biking is “separate but equal, the type of bike lane that incorporates barriers between driver and rider for the safety of both.”

“Boston already has two. Over in Brighton, drivers on Western Avenue use the road, while cyclists pedal between parked cars on one side and the curb on the other. In Dorchester, on Mt. Vernon Street near Columbia Point, flexposts, as they’re called, separate driver from rider. Of the 82 miles of on-street bike lanes in the city, these pilot projects run less than 2 miles, though that’s about to change,” said Braude.


Right now Boston only has two, but we are excited to see that number multiply. In March of this year, Boston was selected by the PeopleForBikes Green Lane Project as one of six US cities to join its intensive two-year program to build protected bike lanes, which shows the potential Boston has to implement these facilities. Boston will receive financial, strategic and technical assistance to create protected bike lanes, also known as cycletracks. PeopleForBikes recently hosted a study tour to the Netherlands with City of Boston staff, including Boston Chief of Economic Development Jon Barros, President and CEO of A Better City Rick Dimino and Kris Carter from the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics.
With the study tour group returning, mayors across the country proclaiming their praise for cycle tracks, what’s the hold up on Boston approving separated bike lanes to make our streets safer for everyone? Comm Ave is one example where resistance is being met. The time is now to turn talk into action.

Tweet to @Marty_Walsh telling him you support more separated bike lanes in Boston to make our streets safer for everyone.

play

Bad drivers and Vision Zero Safety don’t mix

“The bad driving of Massachusetts residents is legendary. Now, Allstate Insurance Co, says it’s a fact,
reports the Boston Globe in the article,
“Mass. drivers among the worst, insurance company says.” Worcester has the worst drivers in the nation, followed by Boston, the second worse. Ouch.
What does this mean for us? Better street design leads to slower driving and increased safety for all road users. We have a vision for a future with zero traffic fatalities. Click here to lean more about our Safer Streets Campaign and Vision Zero policy ask.

Myths Debunked

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Throughout 2014, we have been debunking common transportation myths. Last month, we highlighted the myth: Wider streets are safer. This month, we explore another popular myth.
mythMyth: Adding bicycle facilities increases congestion for people driving
Debunked: Well designed bicycle facilities can improve driving conditions while creating a safer environment for all road users.
Thoughtfully designed protected bicycle facilities in New York City show that you can provide bike improvements while also improving streets for people driving, walking and taking transit. A new study from NYC DOT shows that safety for all road users has increased, travel times have either stayed the same or improved, and there has been an increase in retail sales compared to streets and corridors without protected bike lanes.
Share your thoughts about this on Facebook and Twitter. #MythsDebunked

lasvegas

Living car-light: South Korea
Next stop in our living car-light series is South Korea! 

Living carlight experiment: one neighborhood, one month, no cars.

Would you volunteer to take your car off the street in your neighborhood for one month? One year ago, residents of one neighborhood in the City of Suwon in South Korea did. For one month, 4,343 residents participated and removed 1,500 cars for an experiment called ‘Eco Mobility World Festival.’ The festival website says:

 

“September 2013 has been an unprecedented experience for the residents of Suwon’s Haenggung- dong neighborhood. Through the EcoMobility World Festival, the ancient core of Suwon has learned through direct experience the challenges and the thrills of closing the doors of their community to cars for an entire month. Following the smashing success of Suwon’s month-long car-free diet, residents are now prompted with the questions: should they reunite with cars or should they embrace the ecomobile lifestyle for good? Which next city is bold enough to follow Suwon’s EcoMobility model?”

 

The one-month festival then led to more permanent changes, including:

  • No parking on Hwaseomun Street and Sinpung Street
  • Speed restricted to 30km per hour
  • Car-free weekends
  • Residents allowed to have their free parking rights in parking lots renewed permanently, with free rental of bikes
  • Further street improvements to be continued, download the festival report here

If there were no cars in your neighborhood, how would you use the street space instead? Share and discuss on FacebookTwitter, or by replying to this email. We’d love to hear from you! #BostonCarLight

publicmeetings

Public meetings & other opportunities  

Community Meeting on the South Boston Waterfront Sustainable Transportation Plan
Thursday, October 9, 6pm
@ Condon Elementary School (Auditorium, Level 1), 200 D St, Boston
Attend and speak up for improved public transit access,separated bike lanes on key roads and improved sidewalks throughout.
 
Public Meeting on car share in Cambridge
Thursday, October 9, 7pm
@ Pisani Center, 131 Washington St, Cambridge
 
LivableStreets Volunteer Friday

Friday, October 10, 10am-12pm
@ LivableStreets office, 100 Sidney St., Cambridge
Public Meeting on car share in Cambridge
Wednesday, October 22, 7pm
@ East End House, 105 Spring St, Cambridge
Winter Hill Design Charrette
Monday-Wednesday, October 27-29, 2014, 9am-9pm
@ 328 Broadway, Somerville
MIT Fall Lecture Series: A Street is a Terrible Thing to Waste
Monday, November 3, 5pm
@ MIT, 77 Mass Ave, Building #4, Room 163

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New Commuter Rail Stop: West Station

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 14

Public transportation and bicycles go together like peanut butter and chocolate.  New stations help everyone ditch single occupancy car rides in favor of better more sustainable travel.

From MassBike:

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Governor Deval Patrick, MassDOT Secretary Richard Davey, and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced that West Station construction will be part of the Allston I-90 Interchange Improvement Project. This new Commuter Rail station in Allston will be partially funded by Harvard, which owns the surrounding land.

Also at the announcement were Senator William Brownsberger, sponsor of the recent bicycle-friendly Act to Protect Vulnerable Road Users and Act to Protect Bicyclists in Bicycle Lanes, and Representative Kevin Honan. Both spoke about the planned West Station.

If you’ve been following (and supporting!) the People’s Pike campaign, you’ll know that construction of this new Commuter Rail station was a topic of concern that many local groups, including MassBike, cited in the letter to Patricia Leavenworth of MassDOT.

MassBike’s David Watson, who attended the announcement, called the plan to build West Station an “important step forward for this project and the neighborhood.” Of course there is more work to be done. “Now,” Watson added, “we just need to ensure that the bicyclist and pedestrian aspects of the project will be top notch!”

 


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Vote NO on Question 1

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 10

I will gladly pay taxes if it means I get benefits.  Indexing the gas tax makes perfect sense.  Roads and bridges are mostly demolished by cars, cars run on gas.  Removing this tax will allow cars to destroy our roads and bridges and remove an important means of funding them.  Vote NO on question 1.

I would go so far as to say we need to figure out other funding methods, the rise in electric cars will see a dramatic reduction in gas tax revenue, but no reduction in the amount of wear and tear on our streets.  Perhaps a yearly “car ownership” tax for anyone who own a car, indexed to the cost/weight of the vehicle.

In the mean time don’t take away a vital way we repair our public roads and bridges, vote NO on question 1.

 

From MassBike:

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You’ve probably heard a lot about the Question 1 ballot measure in the upcoming election. We want to tell you about what Question 1 would do,  what that would mean for you, and why we are supporting a NO vote on Question 1.

Question 1 would eliminate the gas tax indexing law and put at least $1 billion in transportation investments in jeopardy over the next decade. Indexing the gas tax helps this dedicated transportation revenue source maintain its value and was a vital part of the 2013 law that reversed years of under-investment in transportation.

Question 1 is bad news for cyclists and pedestrians. Safe biking and walking requires good planning and investments, and Massachusetts has a long way to go to design and build streets, bikeways, trails, and walkways that are safe for everyone.

After years of neglect, roads and bridges in Massachusetts are now a major public safety crisis. This is something we can no longer ignore. Passage of Question 1 would mean our roads and bridges will continue to deteriorate, threatening the safety of Massachusetts cyclists and all residents.

For all of these reasons, MassBike supports a NO on Question 1 vote on November 4.

Say NO to sacrificing new infrastructure.

  • Question 1 threatens to cut $1 billion in transportation investments over the next decade.
  • Question 1 would reduce or eliminate new walking and biking paths.
  • Question 1 would reduce or eliminate road / bridge projects with new bike facilities.

Say NO to unsafe bridges.

  • Today there are 28 bridges in Massachusetts that have been closed because they are unsafe and another 447 that can only carry reduced traffic loads.
  • The ten busiest structurally deficient bridges in the state carry more than 1 million cars every day.

Say NO to traffic fatalities.

  • Massachusetts roads are unsafe for too many cyclists.
  • Roadways conditions are a significant factor in one-third of all traffic fatalities in Massachusetts.
  • Motor vehicle crashes cost Massachusetts $6.3 billion a year in medical and other costs.

Say NO to cutting public transit improvements.

  • Indexing the gas tax helps to improve our public transit system.
  • Question 1 risks investments in aging subways, rail, and buses.
  • Question 1 risks improvements in the MBTA and Regional Transit Authorities.

Say NO to risking environmental benefits.

  • Question 1 will hurt our ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Question 1 will limit our ability to invest in low- and non-polluting transportation projects such as biking, walking, and public transit.

Say NO to Question 1.

If you are eager to help stop Question 1, please spread the word and follow the campaign on Twitter or like it on Facebook.

Click here to read the full ballot question.


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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Ayanna Pressley To Hold Hearing On Safeguarding Cyclists, Introduces New Draft Legislation For Side Guards On Trucks October 21, 2014
      TweetGot this in the email, Ayanna Pressley has been diligently working to ensure safer conditions for cyclists in Boston, here is her latest, welcome effort.     ————- In conjunction with Mayor Martin J. Walsh, City Councilor Ayanna Pressley has … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Bikey Face Has A Book! October 21, 2014
      TweetOh Man!  This thing looks awesome, buy five and give them out to every cyclist you know! Go here right now, buy them! ———–   Announcing the first Bikeyface book, Bike There! Bike There is a 24 page mini-comic on how to bike … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • It Might Be Better To Insure Your Bicycle Than To Insure Your Life October 20, 2014
      TweetThe market for cyclists’ lives isn’t very good right now. Apparently, you can buy a cyclist’s life for a mere $1,500. That’s right. For less than $2,000 you can kill a cyclist and face no additional penalties. In case you … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • Vote No on Question 1 October 19, 2014
      Tweet“[The gas tax] is the only tax in Massachusetts that goes up without a vote” -State Representative Geoff Diehl of Whitman. Supporters of Question 1 on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ November 2014 ballot want to frame their argument this way.  They want … Continue reading →
      mattyciii
    • Commonwealth Avenue and the BU campus October 17, 2014
      TweetThe Boston cyclists Union and Livable Streets are promoting cycle tracks for Commonwealth Avenue. The bicycle industry’s astroturf advocacy organization, Peoplefor Bikes, is asking people to sign a petition in support of them. Not a good idea. Cycle tracks on … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Commonwealth Avenue and the BU campus October 17, 2014
      TweetThe Boston cyclists Union and Livable Streets are promoting cycle tracks for Commonwealth Avenue. The bicycle industry’s astroturf advocacy organization, Peoplefor Bikes, is asking people to sign a petition in support of them. Not a good idea. Cycle tracks on … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Commonwealth Avenue and the BU campus October 17, 2014
      TweetThe Boston cyclists Union and Livable Streets are promoting cycle tracks for Commonwealth Avenue. The bicycle industry’s Astroturf advocacy organization, Peoplefor Bikes, is asking people to sign a petition in support of them. Not a good idea. Cycle tracks on … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Commonwealth Avenue and the BU campus October 17, 2014
      TweetThe Boston cyclists Union and Livable Streets are promoting cycle tracks for Commonwealth Avenue. The bicycle industry’s astroturf advocacy organization, Peoplefor Bikes, is asking people to sign a petition in support of them. Not a good idea. Cycle tracks on … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Commonwealth Avenue and the BU campus October 17, 2014
      TweetThe Boston cyclists Union and Livable Streets are promoting cycle tracks for Commonwealth Avenue. The bicycle industry’s Astroturf advocacy organization, Peoplefor Bikes, is asking people to sign a petition in support of them. Not a good idea. Cycle tracks on … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Frosti the Snowbike October 17, 2014
      Tweet Frosti the Snowbike took her first ride today, I brought her back to life after a long time she spend under a tarp in my backyard. Prior to that she was a work bike – commuter bike – and … Continue reading →
      altbiker