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October 25th 2-5PM “Reimagining Columbia Road” With Livable Streets

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 20

Livable Streets Alliance is hosting a workshop at Fairmount Innovation Lab in Uphams Corner. Come share your ideas for transforming the Columbia Road corridor into a more welcoming space for cyclists and pedestrians.

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DotBike Meeting Oct 22nd!

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 20

DotBike is awesome!  If you live in Dorchester and want to make it better for cycling check them out!

From DotBike:


Hi DotBikers!
We’ve loaded up our Cycle-Smart cooler with frosty, delicious DotAle from our friends at Percival Beer Company!  Join us Thursday night 10/22 (6-8pm) at Bowdoin Bike School14 Southern Ave in Codman Square to be part of better biking for Dorchester and beyond!
Agenda Items Include:
  1. CTPS bike/walkability study of several Fairmount Line Station areas
  2. DotBike Board formation
  3. Local project updates
  4.  2015, A Lost Year? A discussion/speculation on why almost no infrastructure improvements for biking were made this year in Boston (not even repainting the bike lanes that faded/were plowed off last winter)    
  5. Advocacy Strategy Session. (Action item for #4)
  6. Drink a beer or two, or maybe three.
Also, don’t miss the Fairmount Corridor Light the Line Bike Tour and Party: 

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Livable Streets Update

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 20

From Livable Streets:

We are excited to announce two opportunities – a StreetTalk featuring our Emerald Network Initiative and a limited time discount on some amazing bikes. See below to learn more!


Emerald_Network-logo.jpgStreetTalk: Connecting our Urban Greenways – Building the Emerald Network 

Our fall StreetTalk will explore what role the Emerald Network can play in not only increasing mobility options for people in the Metro area, but also tackling challenges like economic development, equity, climate change and public health in urban Boston. To learn more click here.

Event Details
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
5:30 – 6:30 pm   Emerald Networking Reception (cash bar)
6:30 – 8:00 pm   StreetTalk: Connecting our Urban Greenways

@ Boston Society of Architects
290 Congress St #200, Boston, MA 02210

Cost: $10 general admission; LivableStreets members get in for FREE

StreetTalks sell out quickly. What are you waiting for, register today!


photo credit: Kyle Ramey

Get a Gazelle and support LivableStreets in October

Our friends at Urban AdvenTours are selling a limited number of Royal Dutch Gazelle bikes. And in the month of October they are offering a $50 discount to anyone who mentions LivableStreets. They’ll also give LivableStreets $50 for every bike sold!

For more information or to purchase a Gazelle call Urban AdvenTours at (617) 670-0637 and be sure to mention LivableStreets!

These are sturdy, comfortable bikes made for every day riding in the city. They include built in lights, bells, a rear wheel lock …and happen to be LivableStreets orange! Swing by the LivableStreets office if you’d like to check one out before purchasing.

And don’t forget, this offer is only available during October – so get your Gazelle today!

StreetTalk2.jpgSave the date for our annual StreetTalk 10-in-1

Last, but certainly not least, we hope you’ll save the date forDecember 1, when we’ll hold our annual 10-in-1 StreetTalk.

We are planning an extra special 10-in-1 as part of our 10th Anniversary celebration and we hope you’ll join us. Look out for more details soon!

We hope to see you at our StreetTalk on November 3rd. Perhaps you’ll ride your brand new Gazelle there!
LivableStreets Alliance

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How To Almost Kill Someone: Right Hook Edition

Written by Boston Biker on Dec 17

If 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 recorded on my GoPro.  I called the cops, who
did respond, but basically seemed uninterested in the fact that a motorist
right hooked a cyclist, and in fact the officer told me that I needed to be
more careful!

A co-worker recommended contacting you, and said that you might be
interested in the video to help raise awareness of how dangerous a right
hook is to cyclists.

When making right turns it is not enough to simply turn on your signal, you need to also make sure NO ONE IS IN THE LANE NEXT TO YOU!  Including but not limited to the bike lane.  Just treat the bike lane like a lane for cars, check your mirror, yield to traffic already in that lane, etc.  There was very little the cyclist could have or should have been doing in this situation, he was riding legal down the road, and a car dramatically changed lanes with very little warning.  If you look at the video the signal and the turn happen at the same time, basically this driver flicked on his signal (a rare thing in this town), and began turning the wheel for the turn at the same time.  There is no way he could have had time to check behind him to make sure there was no one in the bike lane.

Luckily the gentleman in this video is ok, but it could have been a lot nastier.  I applaud his calm reaction, I have a feeling I would have flipped my shit.

Another even bigger problem here is the blasé reaction from the cops.  Waiting until someone is killed is not an effective strategy for preventing deaths.  This motorist should have been issues a citation (Ian was unclear about if he was or not), and legal action should be taken against the driver and the company he is driving for.  For every horrific death by right hook there are hundreds of these nail biting close calls, only if the police get serious about reducing these incidents will the deaths be prevented.

With the advent of cheap go-pro style cameras we are going to be seeing a lot more of this kind of thing.  I imagine a future several years from now when a simple USB stick style camera can record a days worth of video, and you would simply strap it to your jacket and use it as a daily commute recorder, if nothing happened that day you could erase the memory and go about your day.  If however some asshole right hooks you, you will have it all recorded.  If you have the money, and you ride often perhaps integrating a personal recording device into your safety gear is not such a bad idea.

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Boston’s First Ever Women’s Bike Ride And Festival!

Written by Boston Biker on Aug 08

This is pretty awesome, most research shows that when less “risk adverse” groups feel safe doing something it means that it is starting to be perceived as a more mainstream activity.  Hurray for everyone riding bikes!


From the City:



Register now for our hallmark women’s event of the season, the Boston Women’s Bike Ride & Festival, Saturday August 16th. Save $10 by registering before 11:59 pm on 8/8. Use code EARLYBIKE.

This celebration of women on bikes will be New England’s largest all-women’s ride and festival, and will feature scenic 10, 30, and 50 mile rides, skills clinics, family activities, music, an expo with bike-friendly companies, and more! Seasoned commuters, occasional cyclists, new riders, and kids are all welcome to participate in the event.

Join for just the ride or take part in a workshop taught by some of the best pro cyclists in the area to get tips on mountain biking, commuting, mechanics and more.

Adult learn-to-ride clinics will be offered for new riders or those who can’t remember the last time they were on a bike.

Register now!

Discounted registration is available to low-income Boston residents.

And men on bikes – we love you too! Please join the festival as volunteers, or to cheer on the women in your lives as they take part in the ride.

Please email [email protected] or call 617-918-4343 for more information on discounted registration or to volunteer.

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ACTION ALERT: Tell USDOT To Measure Up And Set Goals To Reduce Bicyclist And Pedestrian Fatalities

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 03

From Massbike:


5,000 bicyclists and pedestrians die on our roads in the U.S. every year.

That represents a full 16% of all roadway fatalities. These deaths are preventable through better design, policies, and implementation. So what is the United States Department of Transportation planning to do to address this issue? Effectively, nothing.

Within its recently-released proposed safety measures, USDOT does not establish any goals, accountability, nor any attempt to reduce fatalities for people who bike and walk for transportation.

According to analysis of the proposed safety measures by the League of American Bicyclists:

The overall safety performance measure lacks vision, accountability, and urgency. There is NO actual target set for reducing the number of people killed on our roads. States are asked to make “significant progress” towards two of four proposed measures, with a margin of error that could see fatality and injury numbers actually increase.

Cities like New York and San Francisco have set aggressive “Vision Zero” goals to reduce pedestrian and bicycle fatalities. Here in Massachusetts, MassBike recently announced a partnership with MassDOT and DPH on a new program to increase bicyclist and pedestrian safety.

Please take just two minutes to let USDOT know that we must have a national goal to reduce biking and walking fatalities by creating a specific non-motorized safety performance measure. Here are two easy options:

Option 1: Utilize the League of American Bicyclists’ Action Center automated form to submit your comments. Click here to get started.

Option 2: You can submit your comments directly to by clicking here, then clicking on the blue “Comment Here” button atop the right sidebar and following the prompts. In the comment section, copy and paste this message, or modify it if you prefer:

I am writing to endorse the comments submitted to Docket # FHWA-2013-0020 by the League of American Bicyclists.

I believe there should be a specific non-motorized safety performance measure – such a measure is technically feasible and timely given the increasing share of traffic fatalities represented by bicyclists and pedestrians. FHWA’s leadership in establishing such a measure will enable states to collect and analyze critical transportation data that has been needed for decades.

Further, I share the League’s view that the proposed performance measure lacks vision, accountability and urgency. State Departments of Transportation should be held accountable as active partners with the Federal Highway Administration in dramatically reducing the death toll on our nation’s roads.

Thank you for taking action. After you submit your comments, please let us know by emailing [email protected].


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The Demise Of The City Car

Written by Boston Biker on May 29

Here is an awesome slide show about why the future of cars in our cities is a short one. This is a slide presentation from the URBAN RESEARCH & DESIGNSPACESCAPE Alexander Ståhle PhD & CEO Spacescape [email protected] Its got a lot of amazing stuff in here, take your time and check out all the slides. Notes for the slides below.

The use of cars in the city is a failed experiment, one that should hopefully come to an end soon.

2. Why cities?
3. Proximity creates livability
4. Proximity creates innovation
5. Proximity creates social wellfare
6. Vad gör en attraktiv plats? Fungerar planen som det var tänkt? Vad skapar närhet och flöden? SOFO Proximity creates value
7. Housing value is 90% walkability in Stockholm Appartment prices in Stockholm regionUrban qualities
8. “Walkability command a premium of $4-34,000” CEO for Cities (2009) ”Walkable urban””Drivable suburban”
10. Density decreases car use Density Travel Dunphy RT and Fisher K (1996)
11. Average commute in Hong Kong is 11 min
12. “Individuals living near transit had a significantly higher level of trust and reciprocity and connections with neighbors.” Patterns of social capital associated with transit oriented development, Journal of Transport Geography, 2014
13. “Denser areas have greater economic mobility.“ (Measuring sprawl, SGA, 2014)
14. “The compact walkable city enhance livelihoods for the poor through affordable mobility. It lower social segregation through proximity of affordable housing to places of work”. Joan Clos, UN Habitat
15. “An advanced city is not where the poor drive cars, but where the rich take public transport” Enrique Penalosa
16. Car accessiblity do not affect appartment prices or office rents in Stockholm Public transport accessibility Officerent
17. Failing office areas without transit and walkability Infra City, Upplands Väsby
18. Inside Infra City, Upplands Väsby Inside failing office areas…
19. “People in denser areas are more physically active.” (Neighborhood environment and physical activity, Eriksson, 2013)
20. “People in denser areas have longer life expectancies.” (Measuring sprawl, SGA, 2014)
21. 5% drive to shop downtown in New York and in Stockholm (PPS 2010, Spacescape 2012)
22. “Pedestrians spend 65% more than drivers” Transport for London (2014)
23. “1/3 of America’s malls are dead or dying”
24. Wallmart and IKEA goes urban
25. Gallerian shopping mall, Stockholm
26. Photoshop Gallerian shopping mall, Stockholm
27. Why not car cities?
28. People in cars can…
29. People in cars can´t interact
30. ”When in my car I get a different set of values” Louis CK
31. New study on “road rage” (Gatersleben, Murtagh, White 2013): •Car use has negative effects on urban communities by affecting social perceptions. •More car use through a relatively poor area is associated with less positive views of that area. •More walking through a relatively poor area is related to more positive views of the area. •Attitudes towards young people are more negative when they are seen from a car. •Attitudes towards young people are most positive when seen from a pedestrian perspective. ”Attitudes to people more negative when seen from a car”
32. Car traffic segregate neighborhoods Livable streets, Donald Appleyard (1981)
33. Car traffic is the most common complaint Västra Ursvik, Sundbyberg Rinkeby Ursvik
34. Car dependency is unequal – Women and poor drive less (A car costs approx. $900 a month)
35. Cars take up space
36. Cars take up too much space
37. “Parking is the most incorrectly valued urban asset… A $310 bn parking subsidy, 5X the education budget.” (Public Parking Fees and Fines, Public Works Management & Policy, 2014)
38. Car infrastructure is heavily subsidized
39. Sprawl consumes land “In the last decade, an area larger than the entire state of Maryland — more than 33,000 square km of farmland, woodlands and other natural habitat beyond the edges of the nation’s cities” (2014)
40. Ecosystems are destroyed and fragmented
41. ”Green” cars?
42. Traffic make 20-25% of all CO2 Peak oil…?
43. The ecological footprint of a car is X800
44. Acid rain kills nature and pollutes water
45. ”Long live the pedestrians” says who?
46. Car speed means death
47. Streets where playgrounds before the car Allmänna vägen, Göteborg 1910
48. Bad density means more sprawl – forces families to move to the suburbs
49. Cars kill 1,2 Mn and injure 39 Mn every year
50. Car driving promotes obesity and early death
51. 2,4 Mn people dies from smog every year
52. ”Car driving is like drug addiction” (The compulsive habit of cars, Trends in cognitive science, 2014)
53. ”Choice blindness”
54. Car city
55. Car city Walk city
56. The end of the suburbs – A war on the dream?
57. Who says walk cities?
58. “We should embrace policies that promote the compact city” Joan Clos, UN Habitat
59. “City transport is about moving people, not vehicles” Rachel Kyte, World Bank
60. “High quality sidewalks are the most basic element of a democratic city.” Enrique Peñalosa, ITDP
61. “Pedestrians and cyclists and bus riders are more important — than car riders.” Michael Bloomberg, NYC
62. New American policies for walk cities New York Chicago
63. New Swedish policies for walk cities
64. Walk cities reclaimed
65. Cities are being reclaimed and repaired
66. Squares are reclaimed Time square, NY
67. Freeways are reclaimed CicLAvia, Los Angeles
68. This used to be as freeway…” Hayes Valley San Francisco
69. Parks are reclaimed Champs Elysées, Paris
70. Parking spaces are reclaimed
71. Gardens are reclaimed
72. Playgrounds are reclaimed
73. Downtowns are reclaimed Detroit
74. Small towns too – FLEN 2013
75. Small towns too – FLEN 2015
76. Small towns too – FLEN 2020
77. ǀ URBAN RESEARCH & DESIGNSPACESCAPE Alexander Ståhle PhD & CEO Spacescape [email protected]

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Renegades Of Bike Culture

Written by Boston Biker on May 27


From Youtube:


Today’s hipsters and their fixie bikes are not the first to embody the too-cool-for-school persona of the cyclist. In the 1970’s, counter-culture types in the mountains north of San Francisco took to careening down Mount Tamalpais. They were riding for adventure, for exploration, and as a way to interact with the landscape; they were not riding for exercise. Sarah McCullough, whose PhD dissertation at UC Davis explores the history of mountain biking, explains how this group of renegade cylists invented the sport.

FEATURING: Sarah McCullough, Cultural Studies, UC Davis

For more information:
Mountain Biking and History Archive:
The Grateful Dead Archive:

Special thanks to David Takemoto-Weerts at US Bicycle Hall of Fame and Otis Guy:

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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Attend The MassBike Annual Meeting November 28, 2015
      TweetFrom MassBike:   When: Thursday, December 3rd, 7pm Where: Forge Baking Company, 626 Somerville Ave, Somerville You are invited to the MassBike Annual Meeting to meet the staff, the board and hear Executive Director Richard Fries discuss the 2015 accomplishments … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Join The Boston Bikes Advisory Group November 28, 2015
      TweetHere is an update from Boston Bikes, with all sorts of goodies and info: —————–   City of Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh | #BeBrilliant Light Campaign Recap Thanks to a donation of lights from Breakstone, White & … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Loud Bicycle Is Back With The Loud Mini November 25, 2015
      TweetWe wrote about this guy the last time he was on kickstarter, now he is back!    
      Boston Biker
    • Livable Streets Ten In One Street Talk Is Soon November 25, 2015
      TweetFrom Livable Streets: Our 2015 StreetTalk 10-in-1 promises to be the biggest and best yet, and it’s taking place right in the heart of Boston at the Old South Meeting House. Building on the Meeting House’s long tradition of hosting spirited, thought-provoking … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • THANKSGIVE to Somerville Leaders! November 25, 2015
      TweetHave you been enjoying your ride up and down Beacon/Hampshire St? YES you have! Have you seen this amazing message at the head of Beacon St? (You have now!) I wrote to Somerville Deputy Chief Stephen Carrabino about both things. … Continue reading →
    • THANKSGIVE to Somerville Leaders! November 25, 2015
      TweetUPDATE 11/25/15 Jennifer wrote back!! She added this list of folks to contact for thanks, on the repaving project: Below is a list of officials involved in advocating for the repaving Beacon as an interim measure. I also included our … Continue reading →
    • THANKSGIVE to Somerville Leaders! November 25, 2015
      TweetUPDATE 11/25/15 Jennifer wrote back!! She added this list of folks to contact for thanks, on the repaving project: Below is a list of officials involved in advocating for the repaving Beacon as an interim measure. I also included our … Continue reading →
    • THANKSGIVE to Somerville Leaders! November 25, 2015
      TweetUPDATE 11/25/15 Jennifer wrote back!! She added this list of folks to contact for thanks, on the repaving project: Below is a list of officials involved in advocating for the repaving Beacon as an interim measure. I also included our … Continue reading →
    • Home Lost Wax Casting On The Cheap: Step Five, Vacuum Plate November 20, 2015
      There are two kinds of casting people normally do at home in regards to lost wax.  They either use a centrifuge, or a vacuum plate.  In a centrifugal setup the hot metal is poured into a special crucible, and then spun madly to fling the hot metal out into the molded investment.  See below. Or […]
      Boston Biker
    • Mass Ave, Arlington, and two approaches to bicycling November 19, 2015
      TweetThis article is about Massachusetts Avenue in Arlington, but at a deeper level, it is about two very different approaches to bicycling. I’ll start by recalling Massachusetts Avenue as it used to be. Massachusetts Avenue was striped with two lanes. … Continue reading →