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Action Alert: Allston I-90 Interchange Project

Written by Boston Biker on Nov 20

Lets make sure we don’t end up with just another highway, see below

From Livable Streets:
———-

 

We have a vision for something more than just a new highway. 
After months of MassDOT I-90 Allston Interchange task force meetings, a significant number of critical issues are still unresolved. We need you to tell MassDOT that their job is not yet finished. In the 21st century, this $260 million project has got to deliver more than just a rehabilitated highway.
 
Imagine what could be done with this space!
Imagine what could be done with this space!

Attend a public meeting tonight, or write a comment letter.

Public Meeting – Thurs. 11/20 @ 6pm. Brighton High School, 25 Warren Street, Brighton (more). beforehand, you can attend the site visit @3pm Beacon Park Yard Gate at the intersection of Cambridge Street and Lincoln Street (more).
Comment letter – Cut-and-paste using the template below to comment by e-mail. This is a powerful way you can participate in the public process. (Deadline Tuesday 11/25)
Current allocation of existing space.
Current allocation of existing space.

The trends are clear: people are relying less on private automobiles and more on public transportation, biking, and walking. This project must invest in a future that improves the quality of life in our city and provides commuters/visitors transit options, and not just throughput of cars.

LivableStreets is part of a coalition of community groups called “the People’s Pike.
What do we “The People’s Pike” want?
Do you want something like this? (From a Boston Society of Architects design charrette, team led by Kishore Varanasi from CBT Architects.)
Do you want something like this? (From a Boston Society of Architects design charrette, team led by Kishore Varanasi from CBT Architects.)
  • Acres of new parkland along the Charles River called “Allston Esplanade.”
  • A multi-use community path connecting Allston to Cambridge via the Grand Junction Rail Bridge crossing the Charles under the BU Bridge.
  • A new ‘West Station’ transit station that provides rapid transit service (every 10 minutes) to downtown & Kendall Square.
  • A deck over the highway and rail yard to cover these loud and dirty uses, protect residential quality of life and connect the existing and new neighborhoods.
  • Existing roads extended to connect Comm. Ave. and Cambridge St. to reducing cut-through traffic on Harvard Ave & Linden St.
  • New Mass Pike on & off ramps near Beacon Street to serve the Kenmore/ Fenway/ Longwood area to get those cars off Allston’s streets and Storrow Drive.
 

Cut and paste into your email

 

Dear Secretary Maeve Vallely Bartlett:

 

I am writing regarding the MassDOT’s Environmental Notification Form for the I-90 Allston Interchange Project #15278. In the 21st century, this project is not worth $260 million of taxpayer dollars if it is not going to do anything more than rehabilitate a highway. The trends are clear: we are relying less on private automobiles and more on public transportation, biking, and walking. This project must invest in a future that improves the quality of life in our city.

 

PERSONALIZE WITH A FEW SENTENCES HERE. What kind of future do you want to see? Which issues are most important to you and why? 

 

I urge you to require MassDOT include the following:

  • Acres of new parkland along the Charles River called “Allston Esplanade.”
  • A multi-use community path connecting Allston to Cambridge via the Grand Junction Rail Bridge crossing the Charles under the BU Bridge.
  • A new ‘West Station’ transit station that provides rapid transit service (every 10 minutes) to downtown & Kendall Square.
  • A deck over the highway and rail yard to cover these loud and dirty uses, protect residential quality of life and connect the existing and new neighborhoods.
  • Existing roads extended to connect Comm. Ave. and Cambridge St. to reducing cut-through traffic on Harvard Ave & Linden St.
  • New Mass Pike on & off ramps near Beacon Street to serve the Kenmore/ Fenway/ Longwood area to get those cars off Allston’s streets and Storrow Drive.

While I recognize the hard work MassDOT has put into designs so far, there are a significant number of critical issues unresolved. MassDOT needs to revise the project so it does more than just move automobiles.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Your Name 

Address


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Cambridge To Follow Boston’s Lead On Side Guards For Trucks

Written by Boston Biker on Nov 14

I have talked about this a couple of times (here and here and here), and its great to see Cambridge moving forward with this simple and awesome plan.

 Via

On Monday, November 10, the City of Cambridge took a major step towards making transportation safer for bikers as well as pedestrians. The Cambridge City Council voted unanimously in favor of a motion put forth by Councilor Dennis Carlone to take the next step in considering outfitting city vehicles with side guards.

The side guards act as a protective measure in the instance of a collision between a cyclist and the truck and keep the cyclist from being pulled beneath the vehicle.

According to Councilor Carlone’s City Council Blog, “City Manager Richard C. Rossi is requested ‘to work with all relevant City Staff, safety experts, and bicycle and pedestrian advocates to consider the possibility of deploying truck side guards across all city-owned and city-leased trucks.'”

Councilor Carlone introduced the legislation back in September after a cyclist was struck by a garbage truck. Luckily the injuries were non-life threatening but that was enough to inspire the councilor to act preemptively.

At the end of October, Boston became the first city in the nation to adopt such a measure. The Boston City Council also voted unanimously to approve an ordinance filed by Mayor Marty Walsh, along with At-Large Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley and the Boston Cyclists Union, to equip all large city-contracted vehicles with safety side guards.


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We Don’t Need To Build Bicycles For The City, We Need To Build Cities For The Bicycle

Written by Boston Biker on Nov 07

Lot of good ideas in here, and it mirrors my feelings that we need to be working towards a future in which cycling is boring. Boring in the sense that it is ubiquitous and universal. Not in the sense that it isn’t fun, because it is fun!


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Truck Side Guard Ordinance Passes!

Written by Boston Biker on Nov 06

Woo! Hopefully this sort of thing will spread to all trucks in the city. We had reported on this before (here and here and here), but nice to see it actually pass.

———-

The Boston City Council passed an ordinance in a unanimous vote Wednesday, which requires truck-side guards to be attached to city-contracted vehicles weighing over 10,000 pounds in order to reduce fatalities of pedestrians and cyclists.

The ordinance aims to reduce the risks of collision with pedestrians and cyclists by equipping large city-contracted vehicles with safety measures such as additional convex mirrors, crossover mirrors and blind-spot awareness decals. It will take effect 180 days after passage.

“We’re seeing more Bostonians choosing bikes as their primary mode of transportation, but with this increase in use, we’ve also seen an increase in crashes between cyclists and vehicles,” said Boston Mayor Martin Walsh in a Wednesday press release. “Truck side guards are a low-cost feature that can be installed on trucks and that have the potential to save a life.”(via)


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Bikes Not Bombs 30th Anniversary Party!

Written by Boston Biker on Nov 05

30 Years of Bikes Not Bombs
30th Anniversary Party

Come celebrate Bikes Not Bombs’ 30th Anniversary! Join us at Doyle’s Cafe on Thursday December 11th, 6-10pm. There will be free pizza, BNB trivia, games and more. Too excited to wait until December? Check out our brand new online Timeline to see what we’ve been up to over the last 30 years.

Please wear your favorite BNB shirt – we will have a prize for the oldest one!

Membership Gifts
Bikes Not Bombs Membership Gifts

Looking for the perfect gift for loved ones this holiday season? Consider a membership to Bikes Not Bombs! For a donation of $35, you can give a close friend an individual BNB membership, and not only support our Youth and International programs, but also give them a 10% discount at the shop!

Phone-A-Thon
Phone-A-Thon Volunteers Needed!

We need 30 amazing volunteers to call BNB supporters to update them on our recent accomplishments and ask them to consider a year-end donation. Every volunteer makes a difference; the more people we reach at this critical point in fundraising, the more financially stable we’ll be entering 2015. We train volunteers before each session and provide yummy snacks!

Sign up to volunteer!

Photo by Bob Dizon
Help BNB at Fall Container Loadings!

Please join us to load bikes to CESTA! Sunday, November 9th, 9am – 5pm.

Please note, this loading will start at 9am, an hour earlier than usual. Drop in for an hour or stay all day! Loadings are located at the BNB Warehouse in Dorchester, and breakfast and lunch are provided.

Bike Shop
Free Clinics at the BNB Shop

Our Winter Commuting Clinic will be on Thursday November 13th from 8-9pm. RSVPs are not required, but please be punctual! Tool Time, an open shop where you can work on your own projects, will be onMonday November 7th from 7-9pm and requires both a BNB Membership and signing up ahead of time.

The second Femmechanics, a workshop/open shop time for Femme/Trans/Women cyclists, will be at the shop on Monday November 10th from 7-9pm.

Photo by Jude Griffin
Volunteer Nights: Cancelations & Help Needed!

There will be no Volunteer Night on Thursday November 27th (Thanksgiving), December 11th (30th Anniversary Party) and December 25th (Christmas).

We’ve scheduled additional Volunteer Nights forSunday November 30th, 6pm – 9pm, and Wednesday December 10th, 7pm -10pm. RSVP not required, but useful to email [email protected]

We really need more help, both on 11/30 and 12/10, and at weekly Thursday Volunteer Nights! Mechanics skills not necessary, come try it out!

Photo by Will Daniels
Volunteer of the Month – Dave Boudreau

This month we celebrate volunteer enthusiast Dave Boudreau! Dave can be found lifting heavy bikes over his head at container loadings, riding sweep (and being a top fundraiser) at the Bike-A-Thon, or being there whenever you need him! Dave says “BNB isn’t just a non-profit. It’s a strong community dedicated to taking direct action to achieve peace and social justice through the use of bicycles. I’m honored to be part of the community.”

IMAGE NAME
2015 Bici-Tec School Dates Announced

BNB Partner Bici-Tec recently announced the dates of their winter and summer 2015 sessions of the School of Appropriate Bici-Technology. The program offers training in the design, fabrication and installation of bicycle machines, which are an affordable and environmentally sustainable technology that increases rural productivity and furthers rural development. Applications for the winter session are open untilDecember 1st!

Photo by Will Daniels
4th Annual Building Momentum Breakfast

Bikes Not Bombs’ fourth annual Building Momentum Breakfast was a huge success, raising $177,000 over the next 5 years for our youth and international programs. These multi-year gifts are especially important because they provide us with a source of reliable funding that allow us to expand our programs.

Thank you to everyone who attended, and our sponsors – Ula Cafe, Boston Brewin’ Coffee, andVerTerra. Learn more, see photos and watch the video.

News Outside of BNB

Cranksgiving: Join the First Annual Cranksgiving Boston Bike Ride on Saturday November 22nd at 1pm! Part scavenger hunt, part food drive, and part bike ride, the ride will support the Boston Food Bank and Somerville Homeless Coalition.

Green Pedal Film Festival & Work Bike Showcase: Come to an evening of short films on rad environmental innovations and a showcase of the leading local pedal powered adaptations! Visit Aeronaut Brewery in Somerville on Sunday November 9th 6-10pm.

Boston Bike Winter Social: Hang out with the Boston Cyclists Union at Ibex – Boston to chat about winter biking! Learn how to conquer your first winter, share tips you’ve learned or improve your commute on Wednesday November 19th, 6-9pm.


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Help Bring “Half The Road” To Boston

Written by Boston Biker on Nov 05

From the email, looks pretty awesome

————

Join us at the Fenway Landmark Theater on Wednesday, November 19th at 6:30 pm for a one-time screening of “Half the Road.”  To ensure that the event is a success, tickets should be purchased by November 11th.

Boston’s film scene is about to get velorutionized. On November 19th, Boston Bikes will host a one-time screening of “Half the Road” at the Fenway Landmark Theater. This is an incredible opportunity that we can make happen with your help. The screening last spring at the Kendall Theater sold out in advance, so get your tickets now.

The groundbreaking documentary by pro-cyclist and director Kathryn Bertine explores the passion, pitfalls & power of women’s professional cycling. The film focuses on both the joy of sport and the challenges of inequality that female riders face today in a male-dominated world of cycling. As the filmmakers describe, “We thought we were making a movie about women’s professional cycling. Then it turned into a film about equality, told through the medium of kick a$$ female athletes.”

We’ll follow the screening with some of Boston’s own super star women on wheels — like Sara Bresnick, who has been a professional cyclist since 2002, competing nationally and internationally at mountain, road, and cyclocross events. Join us for this discussion and Q&A about the realities for female cyclists.

Boston bike friends, this is our chance to see this film on the big screen at the Fenway Landmark Theater. But tickets have to be sold in advance! Grasp life by the handlebars and get your ticket NOW. (Then get another for your best buddy cause no one’s going to want to miss this film).

Here’s what the Village Voice had to say about “Half the Road.” Powerful stuff, let’s make sure Boston gets to see it.


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Mt. Vernon Street Design Community Meeting Tonight!

Written by Boston Biker on Nov 05

From the email, if you cycle down this stretch, or even if you just care about cycling being represented in the design process show up!  Democracy only works if you participate.
———
Please join us for the next community meeting–Wednesday, November 5th–to review and discuss the
proposed preliminary design for Mt. Vernon Street on Columbia Point.
The proposed design incorporates many of the ideas and concerns that we heard from you in community meetings back in March and May.
Please come view the design and let us know what you think!

Details below.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Sincerely,

Tad Read and Corey Zehngebot, BRA

Inline image 1

John (Tad) Read, Senior Planner III, AICP 

Columbia Point Master Plan | Mt. Vernon Street Redesign

Urban Ring | South Station Master Plan

Urban Agriculture Rezoning | Allston Interchange Task Force

North Allston Community Wide Plan (Transportation) |

Accelerated Bridge Repair Program (Charles River)

Boston Redevelopment Authority

One City Hall Square, 9th Floor

Boston, Massachusetts  02201-1007

T 617.918.4264

F 617.367.6087

e-mail:  [email protected]

bostonredevelopmentauthority.org


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Vote NO On Question 1!

Written by Boston Biker on Nov 03

With the election only a day away, we are reaching out today to remind you why we urge a NO vote on Question 1.

 

Photo courtesy of LivableStreets Alliance

Question 1 is bad news for cyclists and pedestrians. Safe biking and walking require 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. Question 1, which eliminates the gas tax indexing law, puts $1 billion in transportation investments in jeopardy.

 

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 urges you to vote NO on Question 1.

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.

  • 53% of all bridges in the state are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.
  • 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. You can forward this email, tell your followers on Twitter, or share on Facebook. There’s only one day left to let your friends know that you will be voting NO on Question 1.

Click here to read the full ballot question.


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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • A Cyclist Who Should Give Thanks On Days Other Than Thanksgiving Day November 28, 2014
      TweetThere are some really strange stories on the Internet about cyclists’ experiences. And given that they are posted on the Internet, one has to wonder about their veracity. It isn’t always easy to know who wrote the story, although sometimes … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • A Cyclist Who Should Give Thanks On Days Other Than Thanksgiving Day November 28, 2014
      Tweet49There are some really strange stories on the Internet about cyclists’ experiences. And given that they are posted on the Internet, one has to wonder about their veracity. It isn’t always easy to know who wrote the story, although sometimes … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • Misinterpreting Statistics To Show Cyclists As Causing More Bike-Car Crashes Than Drivers November 24, 2014
      TweetYet again, the passage of a 3 foot passing law, designed to protect cyclists as drivers pass them, sparked a debate. This time, the debate ensued in San Diego, California. The argument was over sharing the road, not surprising given … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • Capitalizing On The Death Of Cyclists November 21, 2014
      TweetSometimes it seems as if advertising people will do anything to sell us their wares. Many of the things they do are outrageous, and if the rest of us did these things, we would be admonished for being unethical or … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • Cranks Giving! November 20, 2014
      TweetFrom the F-book: ————– Saturday, November 22 at 1:00pm in EST Copley Square Copley Sq, Boston, Massachusetts 02116 First annual Cranksgiving Boston bike ride! Bring a bike, a bag, and a lock. This event is FREE but you’ll need about … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Action Alert: Allston I-90 Interchange Project November 20, 2014
      TweetLets make sure we don’t end up with just another highway, see below From Livable Streets: ———-   We have a vision for something more than just a new highway.  After months of MassDOT I-90 Allston Interchange task force meetings, … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • THE DANGERS OF SAFETY: Why Focusing on Car Accidents May Hurt Our Health November 18, 2014
      Everyone officially puts “safety first.” Everyone wants to prevent accidents. Car crashes are treated as lead stories on TV news – the images are horrific and we all fear our vulnerability. But, in fact, our roads are safer than ever. In 1956, when Interstate construction began, the national fatality rate was 6.05 per 100 million […]
      Steve Miller
    • rain, wind and cold. ride anyway. November 17, 2014
      Tweetwell yeah, rain, wind, cold, dark, traffic – it beats driving a car, and def beats riding the ever so depressing Boston Subway system. Plus it makes you feel strong to be out in the elements. Ha, bad weather… ride … Continue reading →
      altbiker
    • Building Sidewalks For Children November 17, 2014
      TweetWhat have our societies become when local authorities are forced to apply for grants to build sidewalks for children? While this is a good thing, as it allows the children to engage in healthier options for traveling to school, it … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • Help MIT Students Test Outdoor Bicycle Training Device November 14, 2014
      TweetFrom the email, looks like fun! ———- We are engineering students at MIT who are building a device (Terrainer) for competitive cyclists to train outdoors.  To further improve our project, we are looking for competitive cyclists to help test and provide feedback … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker