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News, Events, Updates


Action Alert: Help MassBike With The Bike Safety Bill

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 23

From MassBike:

 

This month marks the start of a new two-year session in the Massachusetts Legislature, and MassBike has filed two bills designed to protect bicyclists and other vulnerable road users: the “Act To Protect Vulnerable Road Users” and the “Act To Protect Bicyclists In Bicycle Lanes.”

The Vulnerable Road Users Bill(SD273 in the Senate and HD2137 in the House) defines “vulnerable users” to include pedestrians, bicyclists, wheelchair users, motorcyclists, road workers, emergency responders, horseback riders, and others who are at greater risk on our roads. Beyond giving vulnerable users legal status, the bill sets minimum safe distances for passing vulnerable users, starting at three feet and increasing with speed. Read the full text here (pdf).

The Bike Lane Protection Bill (SD284 in the Senate and HD2130 in the House) addresses a common problem: It makes it a ticketable violation statewide for a motorist to park or stand in a marked bicycle lane or other on-street bicycle facility. When a motorist parks or stands in a bike lane, it endangers bicyclists by causing them to merge into traffic or squeeze between the parked vehicle and the curb or other parked cars. Read the full text here (pdf).

Read more about these bills on our website and in our fact sheet (pdf).

Thanks to Senator Will Brownsberger and Representative Dave Rogers, the bills have been filed in both the House and the Senate to get maximum exposure on Beacon Hill. We are actively seeking co-sponsors for these bills, and the deadline is rapidly approaching on January 30th! Having a lot of co-sponsors demonstrates strong support for a bill, and can help it move forward. That’s where all of you come in.

How You Can Help

  1. Get contact information for your state legislators here. Enter your home address, then click on the name of your State Senator and State Representative to get their email address or phone number.
  1. Email or call your State Senator, and ask her or him to support protecting pedestrians, bicyclists, and other vulnerable road users by co-sponsoring SD273 and SD284. Tell them to email [email protected] to sign on.
  1. Email or call your State Representative, and ask her or him to support protecting pedestrians, bicyclists, and other vulnerable road users by co-sponsoring HD2130 and HD2137. Tell them to email[email protected] to sign on.
  1. Email (or cc) [email protected] to let us know who you contacted.

If you have any questions, email [email protected] or call 617-542-2453. Thanks so much for your help. You are our political power – we cannot do it without you!


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Bikes Not Bombs Is Hiring!

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 15

The Bike-A-Thon team is looking to bring on two part-time outreach coordinators this Spring. The Phone Outreach Coordinator will be responsible for calling past riders and encouraging them to register for the ride. The Direct Outreach Coordinator’s role involves tabling at various community events and promoting the Bike-A-Thon in person.

We would prefer to hire the same person for both roles, but it is not necessary.

Please download the job descriptions and email [email protected] with any questions.

Applications are due by Friday January 30th.

 

More info here.


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MassBike Announces A New Executive Director

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 06

I look forward to seeing what the new executive director of MassBike has to offer.

 

From the press release:

Experienced Promoter, Announcer, and Journalist Will Lead Statewide Advocacy Group As Bicycling is Growing in Popularity.

BOSTON (Jan. 6, 2015) – After an extensive search and interview process the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition (MassBike) has named Richard Fries to serve as its new executive director. His appointment comes as new investments in infrastructure and education have encouraged more people than ever to explore bicycling as a safe, healthy, accessible transportation option.

“I’ve never been so excited about a professional opportunity before. From its compact urban centers and world-class transit system to its beautiful countryside, Massachusetts has all the ingredients we need to build a truly first-rate bicycle culture,” said Fries. “Whether you’re starting a new bike business, riding for the first time, or logging your thousandth mile, we can all work together to build a state where everyone has access to a safe, smooth ride.”

Fries’ experience in the bicycling community is both broad and deep. For the past eight years he has served as the marketing director and later the cycling experience director for Best Buddies International, where he helped promote as many as four charity cycling events per year. He has also served as a development advisor for People for Bikes, where he helped launch Tim Johnson’s Ride on Washington, and he spent two years as the director of the Bicycle Leadership Conference.

“Richard comes to MassBike with the perfect blend of advocacy, leadership, and industry experience that, combined with his passion for cycling, will help us continue to make bicycling better in every corner of the state,” said Jim Bradley, President of MassBike’s Board of Directors.

Fries is co-founder of the Providence Cyclo-cross Festival, which has grown to become the largest cyclo-cross event in America and one of New England’s largest cycling events. Fries will stay on as director of that event, now known as the KMC Cyclo-cross Festival.

Having raced at the pro level both in America and Europe, Fries left racing to become a journalist. He co-founded The Ride Magazine, a regional cycling publication that focused on all facets of bike culture in the Northeast. He also developed a reputation as both a live announcer and a television commentator. Fries has called countless national championships and several UCI World Cups and the UCI World Championships in both road and cyclo-cross. He has been an event consultant for the past five years.

Fries will join MassBike on January 15 and succeeds David Watson who held the post for eight years. “I am honored to be joining MassBike at such a critical time, and that excitement only grew when I dug into the details of how well David Watson ran this organization,” said Fries. “I could not have received a better lead-out. This board, this staff, this membership, and many of our strategic partners have set Massachusetts up to become the gold standard for bicycling in the United States. ”

A native of Pittsburgh, Fries received a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of South Florida, and a masters degree in journalism from Northeastern University. A passionate bicycle commuter, Fries lives alongside the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway in Lexington, Mass. He and his wife, Deborah, have three children.

Read a Q&A interview with Richard Fries about his appointment.

 


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Common Wheels End of Season PARTY!

Written by Boston Biker on Dec 02

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Thursday, December 4th at 6:00pm – 9:00pm in EST
2 days from now

Come help us celebrate the completion of another amazing season at CommonWheels with a huge party at Wonder Bar on Thursday December 4th! We’ll have three bands of live music, Pabst on tap, and a silent auction/raffle for you to take home some goodies. (oh, and we’re raising dough; this is also our opportunity to help us raise some funds for CW2015)

Bring your friends, bring some $ if you want:
* More Open Shop streetside pop-up bike shops
* More Musical Mystery Rides
* More bike donations for the kids in lower allston
* More learn to rides for the adults of these kids
* More 40 mile rides out to Walden Pond
* More monthly workshop series to teach YOU how to fix YOUR bike!

RSVP on Eventbrite here: http://cwbikesbash2014.eventbrite.com/


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10 StreetTalks In 1 Night!

Written by Boston Biker on Dec 02

This annual event by livable streets is awesome check it out!

 

——–

 

10 StreetTalks in one night! 4th Annual 10-in-1 StreetTalk.
Tuesday, December 16, 6-9pm
Central Square Theater

 

Ten 7-minute presentations including:

  • John Barros, Boston’s Director of Economic Development, “Lessons from the Netherlands.”
  • Andrew Howard, Harvard LOEB Fellow, “Better Block.”
  • Matthew George, CEO, Bridj.
  • Alice Brown, Boston’s Urban Mobility Project Manager, “Questions Campaign.”
  • Josh Ostroff, T4MA Director of Outreach, “Vote No” campaign.
  • … and more!
Learn about innovative transportation research, start ups, and advocacy stories given by planners, city officials, students, entrepreneurs, consultants and business leaders from around the Boston region. Beer and wine for purchase, light snacks provided.

 


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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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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Action Alert: Help MassBike With The Bike Safety Bill January 23, 2015
      TweetFrom MassBike:   This month marks the start of a new two-year session in the Massachusetts Legislature, and MassBike has filed two bills designed to protect bicyclists and other vulnerable road users: the “Act To Protect Vulnerable Road Users” and … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • PARKWAYS MOVING FORWARD: DCR is Not The Highway Department January 21, 2015
      It’s a pleasure to be able to praise a government agency: civil servants who try to live up to their public service mission are over-worked and underpaid relative to private sector peers – and always under appreciated! It’s particularly a pleasure to praise the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR), a woefully underfunded agency whose […]
      Steve Miller
    • Another Winter Rider! January 20, 2015
      Tweet Doug looking great in safety yellow!  Also is that a built in headlamp?! Still have two books left, get yours!
      Boston Biker
    • Another Winter Rider! January 20, 2015
      Tweet Doug looking great in safety yellow! Still have two books left, get yours!
      Boston Biker
    • Turning The Loss Of Cycling Ability Into A Gain January 19, 2015
      TweetLife starts with almost unlimited and unknown potential. A newborn is a mystery in that he or she might be anyone, might do anything and might even make a difference in the world we live in. But, the farther along … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • The Fundamental Problem with Vehicular Cycling January 17, 2015
      TweetThe fundamental problem with the Vehicular Cycling (VC) approach to cyclist safety is it promotes mobility of the Strong & Fearless cyclist over the safety of all other cyclists. Doing so promotes their own self interest at the cost of … Continue reading →
      mattyciii
    • Mini-Contest Still On! January 16, 2015
      TweetI still have a handful of books to give away, send me a picture of you in your full winter riding gear and get free stuff!
      Boston Biker
    • Site Updated January 16, 2015
      TweetJust updated the code base, you shouldn’t notice anything except the site running a little better. Let me know if I broke anything.
      Boston Biker
    • Boston Bike Party TONIGHT! Back Bay To The Future! January 16, 2015
      Tweet   From the always awesome Greg Hum   Tonight’s Boston Bike Party involves a short ride followed by Harpoon Beer donations and free pizza from All Star Pizza at Hub Bicycle for the after-party. https://www.facebook.com/events/332272083649724/ Y’all are welcome to … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Bikes Not Bombs Is Hiring! January 15, 2015
      Tweet The Bike-A-Thon team is looking to bring on two part-time outreach coordinators this Spring. The Phone Outreach Coordinator will be responsible for calling past riders and encouraging them to register for the ride. The Direct Outreach Coordinator’s role involves … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker