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You Wait On The Side Walk And Wait For The Little Man Signal

Written by Boston Biker on Aug 04

I never thought I would see the day when car drivers are now no longer the main source of frustration in my daily commute…Pedestrians we need to talk.

I feel like there has been a lot of effort to get cyclists and motorists to act less like assholes, and to my untrained eye it seems like it is working.  I see far less rule breaking from these two road using classes than I did 5 years ago.  The change has been slow, and we certainly have a LONG way to go, but its working.

There is one user group however that hasn’t kept up with the “new normal” of road use here in Boston, yes I am talking about you pedestrians.  If anything the more orderly traffic patterns, and more well behaved motorists and cyclists seem to have emboldened you to act even worse.

In the same way that cops will pick an intersection and hand out bike tickets, and motorist tickets its time for some targeted enforcement of pedestrians.  Even written warnings will do.  The time it takes the cop to write out the warning is enough of a punishment to get most peoples attention.

 

Until that starts to happen, here are some tips for pedestrians, please stop doing the following.

These people are in traffic, you can see the cars going by in the background, they just kept inching out.  The light didn't change for another 2-5 minutes.

These people are in traffic, you can see the cars going by in the background, they just kept inching out. The light didn’t change for another 5 minutes.

Wait on the sidewalk for the light to change, do not stand in the street:

Cyclists need every inch of road we can wrestle from cars and if you are standing in the road it forces us into conflicts with much bigger more dangerous things.  If its a choice between hitting you and getting hit by a car the choice is clear.

 

Don’t walk from between parked cars:

I feel like this is street crossing 101, but for fucks sake do you want to be hit by something?  What is worse is that you are putting other people in danger with your foolishness.  You will eventually be hit by something doing this, its just a matter of time.  Please don’t be a jerk, don’t hurt yourself or others, walk the extra ten feet to the cross walk and cross with everyone else.

 

Just because the car traffic is stationary that doesn’t mean the cyclist traffic is: 

Cyclists move down the bike lane, or down the right hand side of the road, just because the cars are stopped doesn’t mean the cyclists are.  Playing frogger through a bunch of car traffic that isn’t moving is the same thing as jumping out from behind a parked car.  You will be hit, it will hurt, you will break something.   Oh by the way, just because the cars are not moving now doesn’t mean they wont start moving in a second.

 

If you must J walk, look both ways first!

Knowledge is knowing the street is one way, wisdom is looking both ways anyway.  You might think nothing is coming, you might not hear anything, but you can’t be sure unless you look both ways.  Cyclists don’t make much noise, but it will still hurt if they hit you.

You have to wait your turn:

If you want motorists and cyclists to stop at red lights, and stop signs you can’t just go when the red hand is up.  Whats worse is when you look both ways,  see a bunch of traffic coming,  and walk out anyway.  Its exactly the kind of behavior that would frustrate you if you were in a car or riding a bike, but you seem to have no problem doing it when you are walking around.  You are needlessly putting yourself and others in danger, and being a jerk at the same time.

I don’t think these are unreasonable demands.  Nor are they burdensome to the pedestrians that want to use the street.  I understand signal timing can be wrong, or that walk times are too short, but none of that has anything to do with what I have mentioned above.

In short, stop being such an asshole and start being more invested in your own safety and the safety of those around you.


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Hubway Officially Hits 2 Million Rides!

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 10

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Congrats to Paul Wagner checked out a Hubway bike this past Sunday June 29th, at 11:53am he added his name to the annals of Hubway history by being the two millionth rider!   Pretty awesome, and a sign that Hubway is growing rapidly.  I heard that he didn’t believe it when they emailed him, so they had to call him and force him to accept his prize ha ha.


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Books By Bike!

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 09

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From BPL.org

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the launch of the Boston Public Library’s Bibliocycle, and the re-launch of ReadBoston’s Storymobile, now in its nineteenth year. Both programs use a human-powered bicycle with an attached trailer to make their services mobile, and will be pedaling through Boston’s neighborhoods this summer.

“The Bibliocycle and Storymobile are innovative ways to reimagine libraries, and promote reading and learning across all generations,” said Mayor Walsh. “These services will keep kids reading through the summer and help to prevent summertime learning loss, while expanding library accessibility for adults.”

Boston Public Library’s Bibliocycle

The Bibliocycle is a partnership between the Boston Public Library (BPL) and Boston Bikes that will enable the library to take its free offerings to the streets in a friendly, active way. Features of the Bibliocycle program include library card sign up, book checkout, demonstrations of BPL’s digital resources, and help with reference questions. The mobile collection of up to 50 books includes new releases, bestsellers, cooking, gardening, picture books, and bike repair titles. The checkout limit is 10 items per person.

The Bibliocycle will travel to markets, fairs, and neighborhood events throughout the summer and fall to serve city residents, and the complete schedule can be found at bpl.org/community. On select dates, Boston Bikes team members will accompany librarians in order to provide bike and healthy living tips.

The Bibliocycle team is not equipped to handle fines and book returns, and patrons will need to visit one of BPL’s many brick-and-mortar locations to complete that type of transaction.

ReadBoston’s Storymobile

An annual summer treat for children in the city, the Storymobile aims to inspire a love for literacy at an early age. Children can enjoy storytelling at its finest, with books brought to life through tales and song. At the end of each session, every child receives a free, new book to take home.

ReadBoston Storymobiles will roll through the city’s neighborhoods weekdays from Monday, July 7, through Friday, August 15, to offer children in Boston a free and fun adventure at 78 sites each week. The Storymobile is a visual reminder that learning can happen anywhere, not just in the classroom. The program, which is most appropriate for children ages 3-8, is open to the public with convenient locations all over the city. No sign-up or registration is necessary.

A full schedule for the ReadBoston Storymobile is available here.  For the latest updates on ReadBoston, visit their Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/ReadBoston. For questions about the program, please call617-918-5286.

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About Boston Public Library

Boston Public Library has a Central Library, 24 branches, a map center, a business library, and a website filled with digital content and services. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library has pioneered public library service in America. It was the first large free municipal library in the United States, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children’s room. Each year, the Boston Public Library hosts thousands of programs and serves millions of people. All of its programs and exhibitions are free and open to the public. To learn more, visit bpl.org.

About Boston Bikes

Boston Bikes is part of Boston’s vision for a vibrant and healthy city that benefits all its citizens. It seeks to make Boston a world-class bicycling city by creating safe and inviting conditions for all residents and visitors. Boston Bikes focuses on improvements in all five universal bike planning areas: Engineering, Enforcement, Education, Encouragement, and Evaluation.

About ReadBoston

ReadBoston is the City’s only comprehensive early literacy program, reaching Boston’s children at all points in their day, all year long. It provides schools, after school programs, early childhood centers, summer programs, and families with the resources they need to set Boston’s children on the path to reading success.

This is awesome!

More from Bostoninno:

Boston Bikes is teaming up with the Boston Public Library to cycle mobile libraries into our neighborhoods. Aptly dubbed the Bibliocycle, the initiative is reminiscent of the City Hall to Go truck which provides communities with limited access to downtown a way of accessing municipal items.

For example, the Bibliocycle will allow new Bostonians the opportunity to sign up for a library card, to check-out books, to engage with digital offerings and have any reference questions answered.

It’ll carry up to 50 written works at a time and include a bevy of genres ranging from new releases and bestsellers to gardening tips and, of course, bike repair how-to’s.

The Storymobile, of course, is something that dates back 19 years to the thick of the Menino era which is essentially the same thing as the Bibliocycle but geared towards children.

As you’ll see courtesy of the July schedule below, the Bibliocycle will be rolling into farmer’s markets and learning centers throughout Boston. Here’s where you can catch up with it:

July

Wednesday, July 9, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.—Tierney Learning Center
Friday, July 11, 4:00-6:00 p.m.—Allston/Harvard Farmer’s Market
Monday, July 14, 1:00-3:00 p.m.—South Boston Farmer’s Market
Tuesday, July 15, 5:00-7:00 p.m.—Elma Lewis Playhouse in the Park
Wednesday, July 16, 9:30-11:30 a.m.—ParkArts at Mt. Pleasant Street Park
Thursday, July 17, 4:00-6:00 p.m.—Dudley Town Farmer’s Market
Saturday, July 19, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.—Roslindale Farmer’s Market Bike Day
Wednesday, July 23, 9:30-11:30 a.m.—ParkArts at Mt. Pleasant Street Park
Saturday, July 26, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.—Fields Corner Farmer’s Market
Thursday, July 31, 3:00-5:00 p.m.—Dudley Town Farmer’s Market

A couple things to note before you head down to one of these literary hot spots. Check-out is limited to 10 items per person, which is one fifth of its entire offering at a single time so choose wisely. Borrowed items must also be returned to a branch of the BPL and cannot be submitted to the Bibliocycle. And finally, pay any late fees you might’ve incurred at your local BPL branch as well.

This is a fine idea, and one I hope continues with other forms of city services, imagine if you could get a hunting licence by bike, or parking permits by bike (oh the irony), or any of a number of services that might be better served by having someone on a specialized cargo bike going into the community instead of making the community come to one location.

What service would you have provided by bicycle?


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How To Get Away With Murder, Grand Jury Doesn’t Charge Driver In Hit And Run Case

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 01

They say if you want to kill someone wait until they get onto a bicycle.  In a tragic state of affairs a Suffolk grand jury has decided that running someone over with a truck and then leaving the scene caries with it no consequences, if that person is riding a bicycle.

A Suffolk County grand jury declined to press charges against a garbage truck driver who struck and killed a bicyclist on Sullivan Square in April, according to The Boston Globe.

Police had initially charged Ricky Prezioso, 41, with leaving the scene of a crash after he struck and killed Owen McGrory, 34, on April 3. At the time, Prezioso said he never felt the impact of the collision. Last week the grand jury declined to press the charge further. (via)

What the fuck…shouldn’t you at least be charged with poor driving, if what you say is true YOU DIDN’T NOTICE YOU RAN SOMEONE OVER!

This is the second time someone has run over a cyclist in broad daylight drove off and not gotten any charges, the same thing happened to a Dana McCoomb in Wesllesley.

The real reason I think these things happen is not that the police and prosecutors are not trying hard enough, its that most of the people on the jury drive cars. They all see themselves sitting accused of the same thing. They looked at their phone, or was not paying attention, but for the grace of luck they could be the one who ran someone over without noticing. So they let these people walk because they don’t think its a serious thing, they think it’s an “accident.”

DSC_0126.JPG

It’s not an accident, its the same as shooting someone “by accident” you are in control of a deadly object, a huge powerful vehicle, and any lack of concentration on your part can and will result in the deaths of other people. Its just that guns by their design are killing machines so responsible people handle them with care. Cars are no less deadly, in fact they kill far more people than guns. (roughly 12,000 gun deaths in 2013, vs 30,000+ car deaths).

Prezioso should have been charged with something, you can not run someone down, and then leave the scene and not have broken SOME law. The members of this grand jury should all have to look Owen McGrory‘s family in the eye and explain to them why they felt no laws were broken. I assure you had McGory been driving a car and been killed by a guy in a truck that truck driver would have gotten charged with something.

For McGrory’s family, explanations are hard to come by.

“My mother — she doesn’t want to face it,” said John McGrory. “When I phone her, she keeps talking about the weather.”

John McGrory described his brother as popular both in Boston and his native Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

“He was such a likable, down-to-earth sort of lad,” said McGrory, who had visited his brother in November. Owen McGrory married his wife, Shannique, in December, and lived in Chelsea with Shannique and her son. He worked in construction and had been an avid bicyclist since childhood.

Shannique McGrory said in an e-mail that her husband was fun-loving and playful and cared deeply for her children.

“I am shocked and disappointed at the grand jury’s decision, but I believe that the truth of what happened that day will come out through the civil justice system,” she said.

“We believe that there is overwhelming evidence of gross negligence on the part of the truck driver in this case,” said Valerie Yarashus, a lawyer representing the McGrory family in the civil suit.

Prezioso and Capitol Waste Services did not respond to requests for comment.(via)


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Bike Share Programs Lead To Lower Overall Head Injuries For Cyclists

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 19

After a bit of digging and a deep level of reporting Boston Magazine has a great article about how bike share programs have reduced overall injuries for cyclists, including head injuries.

 

boston-hubway-bicycles

 

Then there’s the good news, which takes a bit more digging through the data to locate. As The Atlantic’s CityLabs reported in a corrective to the fear-inducing headlines that preceded it, a focus on proportion aside, both overall head injuries and total overall injuries actually declinedin cities that implemented bike share programs. CityLabs reports:

Total injuries per year in [bike-share cities] decreased about 28 percent, and total head injuries decreased about 14 percent … By comparison, in the non-bike-share cities, total injuries increased slightly … and head injuries decreased just 4 percent over the same period.

Comparing proportion of head injuries to total injuries paints a very different impression of the impact bike-share had on cycling safety than just looking at total injuries themselves, which decreased far more than in cities without bike-share. The study doesn’t explain what might have caused either the net decline in injuries or the proportionate increase in head injuries. But the decline in injuries seems to align with the “safety in numbers” theory, which suggests that the more cyclists take the road, the more cars moderate their behavior, the more cycling is normalized, and the safer cycling becomes. If, in fact, bike-share systems spurred an increase in cycling (and it is, in fact, on the rise in Boston) then this might cause a drop in injuries. CityLab also suggests that cities with bike-share also have better bicycling infrastructure, which both increases the number of bikes on the road (and thus the safety in numbers effects) and makes all those bicyclists safer. (via)

I have to admit many years ago I thought that a bike share program in this town would leave the streets running red with blood, but over the years I have really come around to the idea that we need to put as many cyclists as possible in the streets to make them safer, and its good to see that the math is backing that idea up.


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Newbury Street Bike Festival, Free Socks For All Who Bike There!

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 17

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Calling all Boston Bikers!  Stop by this Newbury Street Bike Festival on Saturday to get decked out in bike gear, from Boston’s most innovative bike companies.  Everyone that bikes to the event gets a free pair of Ministry of Supply socks.  For more information, visit: https://h-1.squarespace.com/labs-events/2014/6/21/bike-festival

Date: Saturday, June 21
Time: 11am – 7pm
Address: 299 Newbury Street, Boston MA

 

FREE SOCKS!  This looks like its going to be a lot of fun, check it out!


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Hubway Did It! Breaks Single Day Ridership Record

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 04

A while ago I posted about Hubway and their attempt to break a single day ridership record.

Seems they did it!

Congrats Hubway, nice seeing the system get bigger and better.


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Hubway Trying To Break A Record This Friday, Also Rolls Out New Stations

Written by Boston Biker on May 15

Hubway is looking to break its all time single day bike ride record this Friday.

Hello Hubway riders!

Massachusetts is the only state in the nation with a truly statewide bike week. Whether you ride Hubway regularly or just every once in a while, you’ll find plenty of opportunities during Bay State Bike Week, including a very special one this Friday May 16th is National Bike To Work Day — we think that would be a pretty sweet day to break Hubway’s single-day rides record (currently just over 5,900 rides). According tothe League of American Bicyclists, more than half of the U.S. population lives within five miles of their workplace. So grab a coworker and ride in together this Friday.

Ride on,
The Hubway Team

 

They have also rolled out a new station:

 

 

NEW STATION LAUNCHES TODAY 

 

The newest Hubway station has launched in Cambridge! TheBioMed – Kendall Square station is located on the sidewalk of Kendall Street off of Third Street. Kendall Street is an L-shaped street that runs between Third & Athenaeum Street.

 

View the entire Hubway station map here.

 

Please use the Spotcycle app for smartphones or Hubway Tracker for up to the minute system information and bike/dock availability.


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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Humans Creating Divisions Among Themselves And Drawing Comparisons December 18, 2014
      TweetIf there’s one thing humans like to do, it’s categorize people. Everything from race to religion, height, weight, age, gender, ethnicity, ability, talent and achievement — to name a few — are considered. Once everyone is classified into at least … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • How To Almost Kill Someone: Right Hook Edition December 17, 2014
      TweetIf you drive a car, you need to see this video.  I got this from Ian yesterday. From Ian I got right hooked in a bike lane this morning on Beacon St in Somerville, MA, and got the entire thing … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Narrow-Gauge Rail Trail, Bedford: safer to walk across the street? December 17, 2014
      TweetThe photo below is a cylindrical panorama: Hillside Road, at the right, is at a right angle to Route 4-225 (the Great Road) at the left. The Narrow Gauge Rail Trail runs from front to rear in the photo, alongside … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Narrow-gauge trail, Bedford: safer to walk across the street? December 17, 2014
      TweetThe photo below is a cylindrical panorama: Hillside Road, at the right, is at a right angle to Route 4-225 (the Great Road) at the left. The Narrow Gauge Rail Trail runs from front to rear in the photo, alongside … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Narrow-Gauge Rail Trail, Bedford: safer to walk across the street? December 17, 2014
      TweetThe photo below, from summaer 2011, is a cylindrical panorama: Hillside Road, at the right, is at a right angle to Route 4-225 (the Great Road) at the left. The Narrow Gauge Rail Trail runs from front to rear in … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Narrow-Gauge Rail Trail, Bedford: safer to walk across the street? December 17, 2014
      TweetThe photo below is a cylindrical panorama: Hillside Road, at the right, is at a right angle to Route 4-225 (the Great Road) at the left. The Narrow Gauge Rail Trail runs from front to rear in the photo, alongside … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Narrow-Gauge Rail Trail, Bedford: safer to walk across the street? December 17, 2014
      TweetThe photo below, from summaer 2011, is a cylindrical panorama: Hillside Road, at the right, is at a right angle to Route 4-225 (the Great Road) at the left. The Narrow Gauge Rail Trail runs from front to rear in … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Narrow-gauge trail, Bedford: safer to walk across the street? December 17, 2014
      TweetThe photo below is a cylindrical panorama: Hillside Road, at the right, is at a right angle to Route 4-225 (the Great Road) at the left. The Narrow Gauge Rail Trail runs from front to rear in the photo, alongside … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Narrow-Gauge Rail Trail, Bedford: safer to walk across the street? December 17, 2014
      TweetThe photo below, from summaer 2011, is a cylindrical panorama: Hillside Road, at the right, is at a right angle to Route 4-225 (the Great Road) at the left. The Narrow Gauge Rail Trail runs from front to rear in … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Narrow-gauge trail, Bedford: safer to walk across the street? December 17, 2014
      TweetThe photo below is a cylindrical panorama: Hillside Road, at the right, is at a right angle to Route 4-225 (the Great Road) at the left. The Narrow Gauge Rail Trail runs from front to rear in the photo, alongside … Continue reading →
      jsallen