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News, Events, Updates


2015 Annual Rush Hour Race

Written by Boston Biker on May 12

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Come on bicycles!  We have had one victory, and one almost victory, but we all know that the fastest way around town is by bike.  But sometimes its fun to prove it.

After a year off the race is back for its third year.

from Bostino

One will go by bike, one by T, one by car, one by Hubway, and one by any which way: That’s the description of tonight’s annual Rush Hour Race, a fun event to determine the fastest way to get from A to B in Greater Boston.

The Boston Cyclists Union and the Somerville Bicycle Committee are putting on the third annual Rush Hour Race tonight, starting at 6 p.m. at the corner of Beacon and Somerset streets in Boston. Racers will converge on Brass Union Bar, located at 70 Union Square in Somerville. It’s expected to last approximately one hour.

For the 2012 and 2013 Rush Hour Races, biking and the T won, respectively.

Spectators can begin gathering at Brass Union Bar at 5:30 p.m.

Its very interesting to see this years route, as I basically commute this exact route every day. On a good day I can do it in less than 20 minutes on bicycle (following all the traffic rules). I know of no other transportation means that can beat that. We will see how this years racers do.


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New Bike Kitchen Co-Op In Somerville

Written by Boston Biker on May 11

This sounds awesome!  A bike co-op where you can use the tools, and the collective information of the folks around you for a very reasonable price.

About

The Somerville Bike Kitchen (SBK) is a bicycle repair cooperative where members of the community can repair their own bikes, learn about about bike repair and attend bike events. The SBK located in a 190 sq. ft. space just outside of Davis Sq. The space is managed by four volunteer staff members and is open to the public and members for drop-in hours one night a week.

Hours

Presently, the space is open to the public and members from 6pm to 9pm every Tuesday evening. We are just getting started and are working toward having having more drop-in hours. Bike stands and tools are available on a first come first serve basis.

 

more info on their website.


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Targeted Enforcement, And Why It’s Time To Have More Of It For Pedestrians

Written by Boston Biker on Apr 30

For the last couple of days I have been seeing cyclists in packs standing in front of a Cambridge cop getting a lecture about why they shouldn’t run red lights, some even being issued warnings/tickets.

They usually hide out at the same spots (near the Longfellow bridge, at the corner of prospect and mass ave, various other places), and if you are clever (or just paying attention), you can always see them waiting to catch people who break the law.

A lot of people hate this, but I LOVE it.  I have written ad nauseum about the problem with the road culture here, Boston road users do things that people in other areas simply don’t, including running red lights, running stop signs, j-walking, speeding, not using signals, and in general being huge jerks.  The only thing that people seem to value is their time, so forcing them to pull over and get a lecture, a warning, or a ticket wastes their time, and I think generally makes them less likely to do the bad behavior again.

I have seen plenty of (almost exclusively) Cambridge cops pulling over cars, and cyclists and giving them tickets/warnings.  But there is one user group that always escapes the targeted enforcement, pedestrians.

It’s time for this to change.  Pedestrians need targeted enforcement, the same way cyclists and motorists do.  If you don’t believe me simply go to any street corner and watch them break just about every law that is breakable.  Downtown Boston, near any T-stop, and a million other spots you would talk yourself hoarse giving warnings to J-walkers.  They are a danger to themselves, and others, but they hate being bothered, and maybe just maybe they would knock if off given enough warnings.

I love targeted enforcement, I love it when I see red light runners getting warnings, and tickets being issued, its long overdue to include pedestrians in the group of road users being targeted for enforcement.  In theory this should already be happening (see here), but in practice pedestrians are never targeted, we will never change the road culture of Boston until we educate all user groups equally.


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Livable Streets Update

Written by Boston Biker on Apr 27

From Livable Streets:

Spring Open House recap

Despite the dreary weather, our April 9th Spring Open House was a resounding success! It was great to see more than 100 new and familiar faces! To view photos from the event click here.

 

Highlights from the Open House include:

  • Toasting to our recent Comm Ave victory
  • Previewing our 10th Anniversary and new membership program being launched in June
  • Hearing from some of our newest board members
  • Enjoying food and drinks donated by Aeronaut Brewing, Downtown Wine & Spirits, Flatbread, Harpoon, and Whole Foods

If you didn’t get a chance to come to the Open House, be sure to stay tuned for the exciting events and opportunities we’ll be rolling out over the next few months!

Get a head start on Bike Month

May is Bike Month! Join LivableStreets tomorrow morning at City Hall for the city’s first Bike Friday. You can join a bike commuter convoy from one of dozens of locations throughout the Boston metro area. Safe guided convoys with experienced ride leaders will follow a fixed schedule and route and finish together at City Hall Plaza in Boston. Join a convoy, or just show up for the fun. Learn more and register here.

If you can’t join us tomorrow, we hope to see you at a future Bike Friday this summer. Check out our calendarfor the dates and more Bike Month opportunities!

Take action: Federal transportation bill

Congress is preparing to take action on a new federal transportation bill. We need your help to make sure that Congress doesn’t cut funding to help local communities build sidewalks, crosswalks, bike lanes, trails and more.

Our friends at the League of American Bicyclists have made it easy for you to ask your Senator to Co-Sponsor S. 705, The Transportation Alternatives Program Improvement Act.

The Transportation Alternatives Program provides hundreds of millions of dollars each year to local communities to invest in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. For decades, our federal transportation system has prioritized building roads, leaving many of our communities with few transportation options and rising safety risks for people bicycling and walking. S. 705 would help make sure that Congress continues to invest a small share of federal transportation dollars in these types of projects.

Newsworthy  

_______________________________________________________________________________

LivableStreets weighs in on parking, buses, Comm Ave

Did you know MBTA buses serving downtown Boston make about 1,200 trips and carry more than 60,000 passengers every day? Ari Ofsevit, LivableStreets Advocacy Committee member (and Boston Marathon runner!), rebuts a recent claim that buses are to blame for downtown Boston’s congestion and digs into the enormous benefits buses provide in a piece he wrote for Commonwealth. To read the full article click here.

 

Demand-based parking rates could be the answer to scarce spaces, says LivableStreets Board member Charlie Denison in a letter to the Boston Globe. What do you think? Check out the full response here.

And Executive Director Jackie Douglas was invited to write a guest blog for the Barr Foundation breaking down our recent Comm Ave victory. It might not sound exciting on paper, but several of the new design elements have never been done before in Boston. Read more about what LivableStreets did to help win a Safer Comm Ave here.

Public meetings and other opportunities _______________________________________________________________________________

Massachusetts Transportation Summit

Friday, May 1

@ DCU Center, 50 Foster St, Worcester, MA
Join Transportation for Massachusetts for the first-ever statewide summit for exploring and exchanging ideas and actions to improve transportation in every corner of the Commonwealth. Speakers include Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack, ZipCar founder Robin Chase and many other presenters and visionaries sharing ideas on the next generation of transportation solutions. LivableStreets is an active member of T4MA and helping plan this event-we hope to see you there!

 

For more information and to register visit: www.t4ma.org/summit

Go Boston 2030 Visioning Lab  
Click for event details

Friday, May 8 & Saturday, May 9

@ China Trade Center, 2 Boylston St., Boston, MA

 

Stop by to participate in planning the future for Boston streets. Go Boston 2030 is a City of Boston initiative to envision a bold transportation future. The two year process will result in a plan that will be a road map for the city. The event will kick off with remarks from Mayor Walsh and include interactive activities, performances, a data visualization gallery, emerging technology demonstrations and more!

 

To learn more about Go Boston 2030 visitgoboston2030.org


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Upcoming Events

Written by Boston Biker on Apr 27

From Boston Bikes:

Upcoming Events

Boston Bike Events listed in orange
Other bike events in Boston listed in blue

 

Flat Fixing Clinic
April 30th, 8-9pm
18 Bartlett Sq, JP
Learn how to remove a tire, patch a tube, and remount them on the rim

Boston Bike Party
May 8th, 7:30pm
Copley Square
Monthly Celebration on Wheels! Every 2nd Friday of the Month

Women’s Learn-to-Ride
May 9th, 1-3pm or 3-5pm
Roxbury Community College Lot 2
Free clinic taught by women for women (anyone who identifies as female) who want to build basic riding skills

CycloFemme Boston
May 10th
Location: TBA
Join in celebrating CycloFemme–a global Mother’s Day ride to honor the Women’s Cycling Movement and fellow cyclofemmes around the world

Femmechanics
May 11th, 7-9pm
18 Bartlett Sq, JP
A workshop and open shop time for FTW (femme/trans/women) cyclists to learn more about bicycle mechanics

Boston Bike Week Festival
May 15th, 7-9am
Boston City Hall
Celebrate the end of Bay State Bike Week at a festival with 300 of you closest bike friends

Franklin Park Bike & Kite Festival
May 16th, 11am-4pm
Franklin Park
An annual tradition – a festival celebrating biking and kite flying. Bring a picnic and enjoy the day. Boston Bikes will offer bike rentals and a bike rodeo from about 1-4pm

Ride of Silence
May 20th, 7pm
Boston City Hall Plaza
The Ride of Silence is a worldwide free ride in honor of those who have been injured or killed while cycling on public roadways

Greenovate Boston Community Summit
June 6th, 10am-4pm
Location: TBA
Residents, businesses, government officials, and organizations come together to help Boston reach its sustainability and climate goals

Bikes Not Bombs’ Bike-A-Thon
June 7th, 8am-5pm
Stony Brook T Stop
Ride to support Bikes Not Bombs’ Youth Programs andInternational Programs

Femmechanics
June 8th, 7-9pm
18 Bartlett Sq, JP
A workshop and open shop time for FTW (femme/trans/women) cyclists to learn more about bicycle mechanics

Boston Bike Party
June 12th, 7:30pm
Copley Square
Monthly Celebration on Wheels! Every 2nd Friday of the Month!

Women’s Learn-to-Ride
June 20th, 2:30-4:30pm
Condor St and Glendon St, East Boston
Free clinic taught by women for women (anyone who identifies as female) who want to build basic riding skills

Bike Friday
June 26th, 7-9am
Boston City Hall
A celebration of bikes with free breakfast, expo, music, and more

Bikes & Bites
July 18th
150 Jamaicaway, JP
2nd annual Women’s Bike Ride & Festival, a celebration of women who bike

Women’s Learn-to-Ride
July 18th, 10am-12pm
Willow Pond Road & Jamaicaway, JP
Free clinic taught by women for women (anyone who identifies as female) who want to build basic riding skills

Bike Friday
July 24th, 7-9am
Boston City Hall
A celebration of bikes with free breakfast, expo, music, and more


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Boston Bikes Update

Written by Boston Biker on Apr 27

Monthly Learn-to-Ride Clinics for Women

Know any women who never learned to ride a bike, or haven’t been on a bike in years?Registration for our free learn-to-ride clinics is now open. Taught by women for women (anyone who identifies as female), our clinics are a great way to get on a bike and keep rolling!

Clinics will be held on May 9th, June 20th, July 18th, August 25th, September 15th, andOctober 17th. For complete details visitbostonbikes.org/programs/women/learn-to-ride

Join our team!

Boston Bikes is looking for a confident urban cyclist to help organize our Women’s Initiative on a part-time contract basis through August. At least two years of program management experience required, plus excellent communication skills. To apply please email[email protected].

Hubway Reopens on Friday

Nothing says spring like Hubway bikes sprouting up around the city. The full system reopens on Friday April 17th (except for a handful of stations along the marathon route, which will reopen after Patriot’s Day). So dust off your key fob and get ready to pedal! And if you don’t have a membership, now’s a great time to sign up.

Next Friday is Bike Friday!

Join us on April 24th for the first Bike Friday of the year. This is the first year that we’re hosting an April Bike Friday; help us make it a success! Pedal, on your own or with one of our many convoys, to City Hall Plaza from 7-9am and you’ll be greeted by a festival full of bike-friendly vendors. As always, we’ll have free breakfast provided by Boloco, Iggy’s Bread of the World,Larabar, and Whole Foods!

Registration is free, but it helps to know you’re coming. Please note that breakfast is only for people who bike to City Hall Plaza.

Get Biking Challenge

Boston Bikes is hosting the Get Biking Challenge to encourage K-8 students to bike more during May, National Bike Month. Students will record how many minutes they bike each day, and all participants will be awarded with prizes. Top schools and classes will earn a variety of prizes such as the coveted Golden Pedal Award, free bike raffles, bike field trips, and more! Schools need to register for the challenge and it can be coordinated by a teacher, administrator, other school staff, or parent volunteers. For more information, visit our website:bostonbikes.org/programs/get-biking-school-challenge

Major Steps Forward for Biking and Walking in Boston

On March 24th, the Boston Transportation Department unveiled plans to make a stretch of Commonwealth Avenue one of the most progressive multi-modal corridors in the country. The design incorporates protected intersections and physically protected bike lanes on both sides of the avenue. We hope that this is just one of many more cutting-edge projects to come! Thank you to the many advocates and allies who worked hard to make this happen.

The day after the Comm Ave Public Meeting, Mayor Walsh announced that Boston will adopt Vision Zero. This comprehensive strategy prevents traffic fatalities through effective policies and systematic evaluation, enforcement, engineering, education, and community engagement. Boston Bikes is a part of the Vision Zero task force which will be planning the program’s roll-out over the next few months. Read more about Vision Zero and the Commonwealth Avenue plans here.

More Bike Parking in Boston

Last year we exceeded our goals and installed more than 300 bike racks. You can find the locations of all public bike racks in the City of Boston using our interactive map.

We continue to work on increasing bike parking. Our installers are currently putting in new racks across Boston; we recently got approval to install 30 more racks in the Back Bay Historic District; and we have more in our queue that we are moving through the approval process. Our goal is to make it easy for you to park your bike anywhere in the City of Boston.

Help Us Recover from the Winter

The record-breaking snow damaged a record number of racks. And as the snow continues to melt, abandoned bikes are popping up around Boston.Report broken racks and abandoned bikes using thecitizens connect app or by filling out a service request form. Please be sure to include a picture that shows the rack, or bike, and its location (i.e. the building behind it). This helps us expedite the repair / locate the bike.

Please note that the City of Boston is only able to remove bikes that are attached to public property. If the bike is locked to a fence, or other private property, you will need to contact the property manager to have it removed.

Bikes and Bites Beneficiaries

Congratulations to the Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition, Femmechanics, and the Dorchester Community Food Co-op who have been selected as the beneficiaries of Bikes & Bikes, the 2nd Annual Women’s Bike Ride & Festival. Proceeds from the ride will be donated to these groups. They are working to make Boston a healthy and vibrant city. Read more about them below, and don’t forget to register for Bikes & Bites.

Image credit: Mattapan Food and Fitness CoalitionThe Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition is a grassroots movement in the Mattapan community. Their goal is to make Mattapan known as one of the healthiest communities in Boston. With easy access to affordable and healthy food, clean, safe, walk-able, and bike-able streets, residents of all ages and abilities will take regular advantage of the abundant and inviting play spaces.

Image credit: FemmechanicsFemmechanics is a group of FTW (femme/trans*/women) folks who bike. They organize Grrrease Time, an open-shop time for people to come learn about wrenching on bikes, and to form community and solidarity amongst FTW cyclists.

Image credit: Dorchester Community Food Co-opThe Dorchester Community Food Co-op (DCFC) is a multi-stakeholder cooperative enterprise that will provide economic opportunity and access to healthy, affordable food for residents of Dorchester and the surrounding neighborhoods.


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Why People Don’t Ride Bikes In Boston

Written by Boston Biker on Apr 21

From Bostinno:

 

The U.S. Census Bureau specified some of the reasons in its recent American Housing Survey. Health reasons (9.9 percent) rank as the No. 1 reason Bostonians who don’t bike say they steer clear. No bike (4.38 percent) and traffic issues (3.23 percent) round out the top three.

Interestingly, a “lack of adequate sidewalks” is also a major reason, despite public perception on the practice remaining largely negative amid a somewhat nebulous city stance. (The author has some opinions on the subject, too.) It’s possible, or perhaps likely, these are complaints pertaining to walking to work rather than riding, but it still seemed worth mentioning.

 

I assume “health reasons” means that people feel they are not fit enough to ride bikes, and at 10% that does represent a huge amount of folks who feel they are not healthy enough to ride a bike.   However even if you add up all the “folks who can’t ride” you still end up with a whole lot more people who COULD be riding, but don’t.

My gut is telling me that there are a whole lot of folks ready to get out there and ride, but are waiting for a couple of things.  More access to bike lanes, and bike infrastructure.  And a feeling that its a “movement.”

Every day I go to work and I see more and more people riding their bike, and I think that draws more people out onto the streets with a bike under them.  Their are a lot of people who don’t want to be first adopters, they want to join an established group.

Boston plans to install more and better bike infrastructure, more and more people will ride, and eventually the tidal wave of change will smash against the rocks of car culture and break it.  Northern European cities like Copenhagen didn’t get to be the way they are overnight, it took decades of directed improvement.  Boston is on the same path, they are far behind but catching up fast.  Lets hope we see continued improvement in the bike infrastructure, with more and more adoption of bikes as peoples main form of transportation.

Is there some reason keeping you from riding your bike?  Share it with us in the comments.


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Bike Party! (4/29/15)

Written by Boston Biker on Apr 15

From the email-

—————

Come talk SUMMER with us at a special Bike Party on 4/29 to introduce the first-ever Cycle Massachusetts bicycle tour event. This NEW weeklong tour (with shorter options) is from the same awesome people who brought you the Mass BikePike Tour, the Friendliest Ride in the East and the #1 annual donor to Massbike!
Come for the free food, the cash bar, and a great crowd of friends old and new – people who know how to have a great time on two wheels! We’ll preview the amazing route of this year’s tour and throw in some door prizes while we’re at it. Space is limited, so RSVP today at https://party-with-cyclema.eventbrite.com.

The party is April 29th, from 5:30 to 7:30 PM.
It’s at the Asgard in Central Square Cambridge.
A $5 suggested donation goes straight to Massbike.

https://party-with-cyclema.eventbrite.com

About Cycle Massachusetts: www.cyclema.com

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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • THE PURPOSE OF TRANSIT: Neither Reform Nor Revenue are the Needed Starting Point May 22, 2015
      It’s now semi-official – everyone agrees that the MBTA needs both reform and revenue.  No one says (publicly) that the current T and Commuter Rail budget is too big for its mission.  And that’s where the agreement ends – with the question of what is the MBTA’s mission, vision, and values:  what exactly are we […]
      Steve Miller
    • Cyclist Killed In Hit And Run In Dorchester May 20, 2015
      Tweet A teenager on his bicycle was killed Tuesday after being hit by a car following a crash in Dorchester. Two cars crashed at the intersection of Talbot and New England Streets. A young man on a bike was struck … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Cyclist Killed In Hit And Run In Dorchester May 20, 2015
      Tweet My deepest sympathies go out to this persons friends and family. This is a horrific tragedy. ————————- A teenager on his bicycle was killed Tuesday after being hit by a car following a crash in Dorchester. Two cars crashed … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Cyclist Killed In Hit And Run In Dorchester May 20, 2015
      Tweet My deepest sympathies go out to this persons friends and family. This is a horrific tragedy. ————————- A teenager on his bicycle was killed Tuesday after being hit by a car following a crash in Dorchester. Two cars crashed … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Cyclist Killed In Hit And Run In Dorchester May 20, 2015
      Tweet My deepest sympathies go out to this persons friends and family. This is a horrific tragedy. ————————- A teenager on his bicycle was killed Tuesday after being hit by a car following a crash in Dorchester. Two cars crashed … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Cyclist Killed In Hit And Run In Dorchester May 20, 2015
      Tweet My deepest sympathies go out to this persons friends and family. This is a horrific tragedy. ————————- A teenager on his bicycle was killed Tuesday after being hit by a car following a crash in Dorchester. Two cars crashed … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Bike Jobs! May 15, 2015
      TweetHere are some bike jobs, so you can bike, while you job! ————— Prevention Services has entered into a healthy communities project with the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) and the Boston Alliance for Community Health (BACH), and are looking to … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • QUESTIONING COMPLETE STREETS: An Open Letter to the Cambridge City Council May 15, 2015
      Having a vision of the kind of city you want is an essential foundation for purposeful and effective governance.  Some cities do a coherent overall process, such as Somerville’s SomerVision or Boston’s forthcoming Imagine Boston 2030.  Cambridge has constructed its vision together piecemeal, through policies around a variety of quantitative and qualitative issues.  In either […]
      Steve Miller
    • 2015 Annual Rush Hour Race May 12, 2015
      Tweet Come on bicycles!  We have had one victory, and one almost victory, but we all know that the fastest way around town is by bike.  But sometimes its fun to prove it. After a year off the race is back … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • New Bike Kitchen Co-Op In Somerville May 11, 2015
      TweetThis sounds awesome!  A bike co-op where you can use the tools, and the collective information of the folks around you for a very reasonable price. About The Somerville Bike Kitchen (SBK) is a bicycle repair cooperative where members of … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker