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News, Events, Updates
NPR had a great story today about the growth, and challenges of biking, and bike share programs.
Listen here, or here:
Here is a taste:
Millions of commuters across the country have a new way to get around. In the last few years, bike-sharing systems have popped up from Boston to Minnesota to Washington, D.C. They’re supposed to make commuting easier, greener and cheaper. But the people who arguably need these bikes the most are often the least likely to access them.
These bike-sharing systems have a lot of different names: Divvy, Hubway, Nice Ride. But they all work roughly the same way: you pick up a bike at one docking station, ride it and then lock it up at another station. And these systems have something else in common: the users so far tend to be young, male and wealthier than the rest of the population.
“The rates of low-income ridership in all bike-share programs around the world is pitifully low. So we can only do better,” Carolyn Samponaro of the Transportation Alternatives in New York, said. The Citi Bike system launched in New York earlier this year.
Samponaro and I met up at a docking station near a big public housing project in Brooklyn. It’s right across the street from a busy bike lane, and about two blocks from the foot of the Manhattan Bridge — in other words, a prime spot for bike commuting. But the docking station just sits there, full of bikes, waiting for riders. Samponaro said this unfortunately fits with the data so far.
“The rates of low-income ridership in all bike-share programs around the world is pitifully low. So we can only do better.”
“The demographic information I’ve seen to date is that it’s more men than women. And only 0.5 percent are low-income New Yorkers,” said Samponaro, who considers that a pretty poor rating.
Read the rest here.
What most excites me about this is that these programs are driving a change in thinking about how we build transportation systems. Bike share systems are perfect for people who need to save money, or get in shape. They are human scale designs. Almost everyone can ride a bike.
Sadly bike share systems seem to currently be focused on the affluent, they are in the business of making money, and currently rich people ride bikes more. This is can also be a good thing in the long run. It used to be that if you were rich you owned a car, if we shift this thinking to be “if you are rich you ride a bike” many more people will aspire to ride, and unlike the dream of car ownership, many more people will actually be able to achieve the dream of owning or riding a bicycle.
You can’t democratize a luxury like a car. Just look at the mess it has caused. Its destroying our planet, embroiling us in decades of wars, ruining our health, killing our populace, enabling horrible city design, and in general has been a failure. The same can not be said for the bicycle. If everyone in the world used a bicycle as their main mode of transportation it would prompt us to be healthy, to design our cities better, to use public transportation like trains for long distance travel, to be much more gentle on the environment, and we would have a radically different foreign policy. In short bicycles are not a luxury, they are a the foundation of a solid transportation system.
More bikes! More bike share systems! More access to these systems for the poor!
Tags: Bike Share, bright future, hubway, NPR
Posted in advocacy, Audio, news | No Comments »
Due to the mini-blizzard this weekend the jingle ride is moving to another date, see below:
Due to the questionable weather report for the weekend to postpone the Jingle Ride until SUNDAY, DECEMBER 22nd. All the other details will be the same.
Put some antlers on your helmet, tie some jingle bells to your bicycle, and join fellow holiday merrymakers at the 17th Annual Ciclismo Classico Jingle Ride.
Bring family and friends to Arlington for a leisurely and festive bike parade to Boston and back. This 22-mile ride rolls through Harvard Square, the Charles River bike path along the Esplanade, Boston Common, and Newbury Street – we may stop and sing carols for passersby, or just parade along showing some creative holiday spirit. We’ll also enjoy hot cocoa and cookies at Harvard Square, courtesy of the Harvard Square Business Association!
Join the Jingle Ride!
Date: Sunday December 22
Time: registration opens at 10:15 AM, ride leaves promptly at 11 AM
Distance: 22-mile leisurely loop from Arlington to Boston and back
Starting point: Kickstand Café (formerly Jam n Java), 594 Massachusetts Avenue in Arlington Center, MA
Cost: Suggested donation of $25 (children under 18 are free if accompanied by an adult). All proceeds go to Horizons for Homeless Children.
RSVP is required. Please RSVP at http://www.ciclismoclassico.
Or – join the event on facebook!
Tags: Arlington, Ciclismo Classico, jingle ride
Posted in advocacy | No Comments »
Got this in the mail, looks like a fun time. Check it out below:
The board and staff of MassBike invite you to our Annual Meetingon Thursday, December 19th, from 6-9 PM.
This year, we’re having an Open House at our office (171 Milk St, Suite 33, Boston, MA 02109).
From 6-7 PM, the MassBike Board of Directors will hold a business meeting, where Executive Director David Watson will review our 2013 accomplishments and preview our 2014 plans. Then socialize and enjoy pizza, Harpoon beer, and more. This is a great chance to meet others in the bicycling community working to make our rides safer and even more fun!
The event is free and open to the public, but a $5 donation is suggested.
Tags: annual meeting, give these people some of your money, massbike
Posted in advocacy | No Comments »
This is going to be awesome! Greg (friend of the blog) is going to be giving his talk about getting the MBTA to help out with the Midnight Marathon ride, go just for him, stay for the rest!
3rd Annual 10 in 1 StreetTalk
Wednesday, December 11 6:00pm-9:00pm
@ Central Square Theater, 450 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge 02139
Tickets: $5.00 / Purchase here
Come learn about innovative transportation research, start up ideas, and advocacy stories given by planners, students, consultants and engineers from around the Boston region. Hear ten, seven minute presentations from home and abroad. Beverages for purchase available and light snacks provided.
- 12 day transportation fight inside the State House - Elizabeth Weyant, Transportation for Massachusetts
- How I convined the MBTA to charter a train for the Midnight Marathon Ride – Greg Hum
- Discovering and growing a global bike culture at State Street – Peter DeBruin, State Street Corporation
- Connect Historic Boston – Steve Golden and Jamie Young, National Parks Service
- Green Routes: a vision for linked greenways in the urban core – Alice Brown, LivableStreets
- North Bank Bridge from the engineer’s perspective – David Greenwold, PE
- Agile city, urban renewal for a networked world – Aaron Naparstek, Streetsblog
- Quantitative Measurement of Infrastructure Changes on the Longfellow Bridge – Ari Ofsevit
- Reclaiming neighborhood streets: Circle The City on Blue Hill Ave – Jessica Parsons, Circle the City Initiative
- Street design activism in Santiago, Chile – Jeffrey Rosenblum, PE
LivableStreets is your advocate for better biking, walking, and public transit in the Boston region, creating safe streets and livable communities. www.livablestreets.info
More information: [email protected] / 617.621.1746 / #10in1StreetTalk / Facebook event
Thank you to event sponsors State Street Corporation and On the Move Coalition.
Tags: 10 in 1, livable streets, street talks
Posted in advocacy, fun | No Comments »
This is basically the same sort of set up we have here, constrained city area (we are on a peninsula instead of surrounded by walls, but same thing), lots of students, poor city to drive in…just look at that place! Something to dream about, and work towards.
So many of these ideas could be picked up and placed down with little to no modification to fit our system. WE COULD AND SHOULD DO THIS!
Thanks Ron for the tip.
Tags: lets do this, no seriously lets do this, video
Posted in advocacy, Commuting, infrastructure, video | 2 Comments »
Lots of good stuff below from the City Of Boston:
We are proud to announce that the first helmet vending machine in the country can be found at Boylston St and Mass Ave. This machine will help HelmetHub gather information and we hope to start the next Hubway season with more stations around the city. Make sure you visit the machine while you still can.
We are sad to announce that Hubway will be shutting down for the season. Station closures began on November 18th, and the 2013 season will end on November 27th. Please visit http://www.thehubway.
New Bike Lanes Installed
We’re on track to reach our goal of 20 miles of new bike lane in 2013! Have you seen or ridden on the latest additions to Boston’s bike infrastructure?
These lanes have recently been installed or are in progress:
- VFW Parkway – From: Centre Street, To: Brookline Town line
- VFW Parkway – From: Spring St, To: Brookline Town line
- Mount Vernon St – From: Old Colony Ave, To: University Drive North
- Freeport St – From: Dorchester Ave, To: Conley Street
- Stuart / Huntington – From: Harcourt Ave, To: Dartmouth St
- Adams St – From: Neponset, To: Hancock
- Ashmont – From: Dorchester Ave, To: Neponset Ave
- Cross Street / N Washington Street
11/21 – 6:00 pm - CBT Architects, 110 Canal St, 02114
This will be a public meeting to discuss the redesign of Causeway St.
Donate to Roll It Forward
“Though a bike may be thought of as a toy, it can also be a machine of empowerment that can change someone’s outlook on life.” -Canton Citizen
Recently, our work was highlighted in The Canton Citizen. The Canton Girl Scouts will be hosting a bike drive on November 24th from 12 – 3 pm at the Canton Public Library.
We are always accepting bike donations. If you have a bike to donate please visit http://www.bostonbikes.org/
BU’s new Bike Safety website is a valuable resource for cyclists of all abilities. It provides safe cycling tips, Boston cycling laws, and Charles River Campus and Medical Campus bike rack maps, and more.
With the new BU Bike Accident Toolkit, cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists have the ability to leverage the technology in their mobile device to create a digital record of their accident. Available free of charge to iPhone and Android users, this new app automatically records the date, time, and GPS coordinates, and prompts the user to ask the important questions and document the accident with photos, video, and recorded witness statements.
Tags: Bike Lanes, Boston Bikes, City of Boston, helmet hub, hubway
Posted in advocacy, Commuting, infrastructure | 3 Comments »
An eagle eyed reader spotted what look like baby bike lanes (soon to be painted) on cross street.
These were taken looking north at Stillman Place and Cross Street and also just before the intersection of Cross and Valenti Way
We can only hope that is what they are, although they look like bike lanes. Thanks John for the awesome shots, and keen eye.
Tags: baby bike lanes, Bike Lanes, cross street
Posted in advocacy, infrastructure | No Comments »
From the email
LivableStreets, Boston Cyclist Union, MassBike and WalkBoston collectively support the following ideas as foundational themes for Causeway Street:
1) A grand plaza in front of the TD North Garden.
2) When events let out, pedestrians get full priority.
3) Improved sidewalk and crosswalks.
4) Physically separated bike lanes (cycletracks) for people biking.
5) Safe connections to existing and future bikeways.
6) Wayfinding signage and pavement indications to help pedestrians, cyclists, transit users and drivers find their destinations.
Click here for more information on these six key points.
Tags: Bike Lanes, cycle tracks, down town, the hub
Posted in advocacy, infrastructure | No Comments »