MassBike Update

Written by Boston Biker on Mar 27

From MassBike:

 

 

The MassBike office has been busy for the past several weeks with action not just in the State House, but also in the Capitol. We wanted to not only give you an update, but also ask for your support as we work toward better biking in Massachusetts. Read below for how you can help.
State Bike/Ped Funding – Action Needed

MassBike, in partnership with WalkBoston, has been working to organize the Bike/Walk Summit on Thursday, April 11th. This year, we have five pieces of legislation that would make the roads safer for bicyclists and pedestrians. Additionally, we will be asking participants to support the Governor’s Transportation Plan, and specifically the $430 million dedicated to bike/ped facilities.To register, click here.

 

In the meantime, there is a coordinated effort this week being led by Transportation for Massachusetts (of which MassBike is a member) to let the legislature know that investing in our transportation system is essential. While their focus is on transportation broadly, we urge our members to specifically reference support for the $430 million set aside for biking and walking infrastructure. MassBike Executive Director David Watson kicked things off by testifying at the transportation bond bill hearing at the State House on Monday, where he urged the members of the Joint Committee on Transportation to fully fund Massachusetts’ transportation needs, including biking and walking.

 

Here is how you can take action now:

  1. Join in on the Transportation Day on the State House steps on April 2. If you can’t make the Bike/Walk Summit on April 11, or if you want to have your voice heard on broader transportation issues, then this is a great opportunity
  2. Email your legislators using this simple template.
  3. Call your legislators and tell them you support adequate transportation funding, including funding for biking and walking. If they are supportive, ask them to express that support to the Speaker of the House and the Senate President. Phone numbers can be found here.
Victory On Capitol Hill 

When we were in DC for the National Bike Summit, we weren’t able to meet with the Massachusetts Congressional delegation due to a  snow storm. Despite that setback, we have been keeping in close touch with members of Congress and their staff. This has recently paid off by the news that more than half of Massachusetts’ US Representatives signed on to a letter to USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood asking that USDOT establish performance goals for reducing bicyclist fatalities.

Please send a thank you email to these US Representatives if you live in their districts:

Things are only going to get more hectic as the transportation funding debate comes to a head in the State House, and as the current federal transportation authorization nears its expiration in 2014. As always, we depend on you, our members and supporters, to make sure that bicyclists aren’t forgotten in these discussions – thanks so much for your hard work.

Last Fall, we went to the Renaissance High School in Springfield to work with a small group of high schoolers on how to do a Bikeability Assessment. That initial training has now grown into a larger project, and last week Programs Director Price Armstrong went back to Renaissance High School to teach even more students about principles of bikeability and how the assessment tool works. Their aim: reshape Carew Street as a route from the High School to the  Connecticut Riverwalk and Bikeway.

 

Read more…

Massachusetts has so much to offer – rolling hills, pastoral valleys, historic towns and cities. This year, we are offering an opportunity to see it all – by bike! Registration for the first-ever Berkshires to Boston Bicycle Tour opens March 28th.

 

The Berkshires to Boston Tour is a four-day, 240-mile bike ride which will showcase the best of Massachusetts cycling and will also help support MassBike’s advocacy efforts. Beginning in the scenic Berkshire hills along the New York border, the tour meanders through the Connecticut River Valley and spins though the historic communities of Lexington and Concord before arriving in Boston. Upon arrival in Boston, riders will join more than 5,000 cycling enthusiasts for Hub on Wheels, Boston’s annual cycling festival.

Registration starts at $295 for the full tour and $125 for the weekend. Register early and save money! Space is limited to 300 riders.

 

This is a wonderful opportunity at a great price, so be sure to reserve your spot today!

 

Call MassBike at (617) 542-2453 or visit the Berkshires to Boston site for more information.

Since the summer, MassBike has been working on a bicycle planning project with the City of Holyoke to assess the level of public support of bicycling, and next steps to making it easier to go by bike in The Paper City. To that end, last week the City held an open house for gathering input on ways to improve bicycling. MassBike Programs Director Price Armstrong (me) was there to give ideas on particular routes for bicycling, cite examples from other communities, and brainstorm solutions for barriers that were identified.

In the end, the two maps of Holyoke (which included the downtown area and a more suburban/rural part) were thoroughly marked up with problem spots, ideas for improvements, and general comments about bicycling in Holyoke…

 

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The MBTA has announced a long-awaited enhancement to its “Pedal & Park” secure bike parking facilities. Ever since the first Pedal & Park was installed at Alewife Station in 2008, MassBike has urged the T to close what we saw as a significant gap in security – there was no way to identify the owner of a Bike CharlieCard used to control entry (and those cards were available to anyone simply by asking).

So we are pleased that, effective May 1, 2013, bicyclists must…

 

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Bay State Bike Week Right Around The Corner

Snow is still on the ground across much of the state, but Bay State Bike Week is right around the corner. This year, it takes place between May 11 and 19, and will be here before you know it.

 

Bay State Bike Week is an umbrella event organized by MassBike in partnership with MassDOT and MassRIDES, and is composed of hundreds of local events which celebrate and raise awareness about bicycling. Events are organized locally and then added to the online calendar, meaning that we couldn’t do it without the local advocates putting together events. Last year, we had a wide variety of activities on the calendar, ranging from bike rodeos on the Cape, to the Rush Hour Race in Somerville, to film screenings in North Adams.

 

Are you thinking about organizing an event for Bay State Bike Week?

 

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