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News, Events, Updates
Ayanna Pressley To Hold Hearing On Safeguarding Cyclists, Introduces New Draft Legislation For Side Guards On TrucksWritten 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.
Tags: ayanna pressley, city hall, side guards, trucks
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From Livable Streets:
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.
|What’s happening ______________________________
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.
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.
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?
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.”
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.
Tweet to @Marty_Walsh telling him you support more separated bike lanes in Boston to make our streets safer for everyone.
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.
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.
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.
Next stop in our living car-light series is South Korea!
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:
If there were no cars in your neighborhood, how would you use the street space instead? Share and discuss on Facebook, Twitter, or by replying to this email. We’d love to hear from you! #BostonCarLight
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
Tags: livable streets, update
Posted in advocacy | No Comments »
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.
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!”
Tags: Commuter Rail, massbike, west station
Posted in advocacy, infrastructure | No Comments »
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.
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.
Click here to read the full ballot question.
Tags: politics, question 1, vote no
Posted in advocacy | 1 Comment »
This looks pretty awesome, especially around this time of year.
From the email:
Friends of the Alewife Reservation (main contact)
October 18th, 11 am
Meet at the Alewife T entrance near Jerry’s Pond.
Join the Friends of Alewife Reservation, Green Cambridge, and Silver Maple
for a 3.4 mile family friendly bike ride on
Saturday, October 18th at 11:00 am.
This short ride will last about an hour, and showcase the regional natural
resource that is the Alewife Reservation. The Silver Maple forest in
particular, which is under threat of being clear cut, will be the center of
the ride. Meet us at the Alewife T entrance near Jerry’s Pond!
Tags: Ride, silver maple forest
Posted in advocacy, fun | No Comments »
Got this from DotBike, if you have some time and live in Dorchester give it a read!
Great news, Dorchester is on the map! Please help keep us there! Dorchester has been included in the annual bike counts organized by BostonBikes. However, we need volunteers to do the actual counting.
Counts need to be completed on any weekday between today and Oct 3. Morning shifts are from 7 am – 9 am and evening shifts are from 4 pm – 6 pm. Basically, you just pick a shift and location and then do the count on a day of your choice.
If you are able to volunteer please check this map of locations (http://bit.ly/1tVNSjh), and then e-mail Najah Shakir: [email protected] your preferred locations and shifts. Volunteers are needed for all locations marked with green. Please click on individual markers to see which shifts are available.
The locations are:
1) Dot Ave and Freeport St
2) Dot Ave and Columbia Rd
3) Blue Hill Ave at Glenway
4) Codman Sq.
5) Four Corners
This is really, really important. We need to provide the data to show that yes, people do bike in Dorchester and also that our numbers are growing! If we can’t get bike count data, we risk slipping back into obscurity.
Please email Najah with your preferred shift and location.
See you on the street!
Tags: bike counts, DotBike
Posted in advocacy | No Comments »
In case you didn’t know, the Idaho Stop is when cyclists are allowed to treat stop signs like yields, and red lights like stop signs. Idaho was the first to try it out, and more or less its been pretty ok.
Saw this tweet from the Brookline PD today…asking for feedback about said Idaho Stops.
Feedback welcome, should we allow cyclists to use Idaho Stop’s? Not at all? Perhaps during heavy commuter hours? Certain roads?
— Brookline PD (@BrooklineMAPD) September 17, 2014
I saw if you are going to do it, it has to be all the time all roads, otherwise its just too confusing. As far as I know it would require a change in the law, and would for sure need to be accompanied by a huge education campaign.
What do you think?
Tags: brookline pd, idaho stops
Posted in advocacy, infrastructure | 7 Comments »
While I am very sad to see David go, he did an excellent job at MassBike for many years, its great that he is moving on to other challenges.
Today our Executive Director, David Watson, announced that he will be leaving MassBike. David has been with us for more than eight years and in that time has used his passion for biking to help make Massachusetts safer for all cyclists.
Watson remembers biking in the streets of Massachusetts at the beginning of his tenure at MassBike. “Bike commuters were bravely riding along, but largely limited to the strongest and most fearless among us,” he wrote in his announcement (pdf). “There were precious few bike lanes in the state, and none at all in Boston. State transportation policies were just beginning to contemplate biking and walking, but that had not yet translated to change on the streets. Little or no funding was dedicated to bicycle infrastructure or education.”
Now, eight years later, much has improved. Massachusetts has installed more bike lanes and increased state funding for bike paths. More residents have an interest in biking for transportation and health. In a time when federal funding for biking and walking has been cut, Massachusetts has created a state policy to triple biking, walking, and transit, and is providing funding to make it happen. With David at the helm, MassBike has:
- Launched our Safe Routes to School Program in 2008, which has reached more than 11,000 kids
- Championed the Bicyclist Safety Bill, which became law in 2009
- Trained MBTA bus drivers since 2010 to better prepare drivers for interactions with bicyclists
- Successfully advocated for improved bike parking at transit stations and bike racks on all buses
- Expanded Bay State Bike Week in 2010 to a statewide celebration in partnership with MassDOT
- Introduced legislation in 2011 (and again in 2013) to protect Vulnerable Road Users
- Secured expanded bicycle hours on the MBTA Blue Line in 2011
- Published bike safety information in seven languages in 2012 (now 10 languages!)
- Launched the Bikeable Communities Program in 2012, which has helped more than 40 cities and towns improve bicycling conditions
- Created the annual Massachusetts Bike/Walk Summit in 2012
- Helped educate police officers in 2014 with our training video
- In 2014 successfully advocated for increased funding for bike paths, including more than $130 million in the MassDOT capital budget and $377 million in bonding authority
“A tireless advocate – and a tireless cyclist – David has been instrumental in seeing so many wins for safe biking in Massachusetts,” said Jim Bradley, President of MassBike’s Board of Directors. “We thank him for serving MassBike, bicyclists in Massachusetts, and the community so well these last eight years. We will remember his time at MassBike as one of action, commitment, and enthusiasm.”
The Board now begins a search for a new Executive Director. The right person will capitalize on the successes of Watson’s tenure to provide Massachusetts with a future of greater acceptance of and enthusiasm for bicycling.
“I am very proud of the team, the organization, and the partnerships we have built together over the past eight years,” Watson wrote of the MassBike board, staff, and community. “This has been the most challenging and the most rewarding job I have ever had, and I thank you for giving me the opportunity to do it.”
It also means that someone can step in to take the helm and move MassBike forward even more!
Yesterday we announced that David Watson is stepping down as the Executive Director of MassBike. Now we are starting the search for a new ED. If you or anyone you know is interested, read the job description here (pdf), and send an application to [email protected]!
Tags: David Watson, massbike
Posted in advocacy, news | 1 Comment »