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Mayor Walsh Announces Vision Zero For Boston

Written by Boston Biker on Mar 27

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Like New York, Mayor Walsh has outlined a ‘Vision Zero‘ philosophy for Boston.  It’s something myself and many other have been saying for years.  Traffic fatalities are not “accidents” they are crashes.  They don’t just happen by cosmic chance, someone is at fault.  Through good planning, comprehensive education, strong engineering and proper enforcement we can reduce them to zero.

Some other juicy announcements in the press release below.

from the city:

March 24, 2015 – Today, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced five transportation initiatives to improve how individuals on foot, bike, or in a vehicle move around the City of Boston with a significant focus on improving public safety. The announcements include a complete streets approach to Commonwealth Avenue, featuring protected bike lane on from the BU Bridge to Packard’s Corner, the adoption of Vision Zero Boston, aimed at eliminating traffic fatalities in the city, the citywide replacement of parking meters with intelligent parking meters, and a pilot program to eliminate street sweeping towing. The initiatives are early action projects as part of Go Boston 2030 launched to imagine a bold new transportation plan for Boston for the next five, 10, and 15 years. Additionally, the Mayor and the Boston Transportation Department will begin a nationwide search for a new Active Transportation Director to think holistically about how our streets are used by people who walk, bike, and take transit.

 

“We’re implementing innovative and inventive transportation strategies and infrastructure upgrades in the City of Boston to improve travel safety and convenience,” said Mayor Walsh. “Whether you walk, drive, take the T, or ride a bike on our streets, we’re looking at solutions that can accommodate every mode of transportation in a meaningful way.”

 

Vision Zero

 

Mayor Walsh announced that the City of Boston will adopt Vision Zero, based on the premise that traffic fatalities are not accidents, but rather they are crashes that can be  prevented by effective policies and systematic evaluation, enforcement, engineering, education, and  community engagement.  By adopting Vision Zero, the City of Boston joins cities such as New York, San  Francisco, and Chicago, which have committed to making traffic safety a priority. Toward that end, Mayor Walsh has convened a Vision Zero Task Force to develop an action plan for a  comprehensive and coordinated strategy to eliminate traffic fatalities and injuries in Boston.

 

The Task  Force includes representatives of Boston’s Transportation Department (BTD), the Boston Police Department (BPD), the Public Works Departments (PWD), the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), Boston Emergency Medical Services (EMS), and WalkBoston, Massachusetts’  leading pedestrian advocacy organization, and the Boston Cyclists Union.  Early action items include:

 

  • BPD improvements to its electronic crash reporting system that will lead to  better data collection and better crash analysis;

  • BPD is hiring a full-time Transportation Safety Data Analyst and a full-time DDACTS  Analyst (Data Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety) to reduce motor vehicle,  pedestrian and bicycle collisions. Evidence in other cities suggests that this will also reduce  crime.

  • BPD and EMS will use crash data to identify pedestrian crash hot spots and high crash corridors with the help of researchers from BPHC and the Tufts Medical  Center Division of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery.

  • BTD and PWD will pilot test rapid-response improvements at pedestrian crash hot spots and along high crash corridors, as well as “residential slow zones”

  • BPHC will assist with education and outreach to educate residents  on safe road behavior.

 

Commonwealth Avenue Multi-Modal Redesign

 

At a public meeting held at Boston University, the City of Boston last night unveiled the new Commonwealth Avenue Phase 2A Redesign Plan, which will transform the portion of this busy thoroughfare that extends between the BU Bridge to Packard’s Corner. The built roadway will be innovative and provide bicyclists with physically protected bike lanes on both the inbound and outbound sides of the avenue.  It will also offer the MBTA and its patrons with fully ADA compliant crossings at all intersections along the project route and will create a framework for the construction of wider platforms that will be safer and more efficient for trolley riders. The design affords motor vehicle drivers and pedestrians with numerous enhanced amenities.

 

The Complete Streets design incorporates a “Protected Intersection” approach to make Commonwealth Avenue one of the most progressive multi-modal corridors in the country, and the first time that this design component will be used on Boston’s public streets.  This utilizes a sizeable separation between bikes and cars at intersections to reduce “right hooks,” a  common cause of bicycle/motor vehicle crashes where motor vehicle drivers turning right crash with cyclists continuing straight. This is a cutting edge safety feature built into the design along with bike boxes and a corner deflection island to maximize safety while accommodating turns and providing better visibility for both motor vehicle drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.

 

A collaborative process between Boston’s bicycle advocates, pedestrian groups, the Boston University community, as well as others with an interest in Commonwealth Avenue, helped formulate the design with the City.

 

Commonwealth Avenue in the project area will also receive new street lighting, landscaping, repaving and new street furniture.  Construction financing for this $17 million project is being funded 80% by the federal government and 20% by the state.  The city expects to have another public meeting in the fall of 2015 before bidding begins on the project contract.  Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2016 with a completion date of  late fall of 2017.  The design process for this project began in 2009.

 

Adding protected bike lanes has shown positive economic impacts on surrounding businesses in cities across the country, including New York City, San Francisco, and Portland. A redesign of NYC’s Union Square to include a protected bike lanes resulted in nearly 50% fewer commercial vacancies, and the construction of a protected bike lane on 9th Avenue saw a nearly 50% increase in retail sales. Studies have shown that adding a protected bike lane increases cycling traffic on the roadway, boosting retail performance, with nearly 70% of merchants on San Francisco’s Valencia Street seeing a positive impact on business. Studies have shown that customers who arrive at retail stores by bike spend the same amount per month as comparable people who arrive by car, making smaller purchases but returning more frequently

 

Intelligent Parking Meters

 

The Boston Transportation Department will be making parking at the curb smarter and easier for people who park at the 8,000 metered spaces across the City. With the addition of new intelligent multi-space and single space parking meters, drivers can pay through mobile phone, a credit card, or pocket change. This next generation of meters will also provide real-time data to the City to help BTD better manage the space at the curb. The information provided by an upgraded parking system and an analysis of current on-street parking regulations will allow the City to make decisions based on data, not just intuition. Credit card and mobile payment enabled meters have shown increased revenue with drivers more likely to pay for the maximum length of stay.

 

Multi-space meters will be deployed in new locations in the Back Bay and in the Innovation District to improve City operations. A typical multi-space meter allows for more vehicles to fit on a blockface than a block demarcated with single space meters. In addition to the approximately 145 new multi-space meters that will replace some single space meters, current multi-space meters throughout the Back Bay and parts of Downtown will be upgraded, reducing annual maintenance costs for the aging equipment.

 

The remaining single space parking meters will be replaced with smart single space parking meters that can also be paid for with a mobile phone, credit card, or pocket change. A current pilot of credit card enabled single space meters in the Back Bay and around the Public Garden has shown positive results since deployment. This next generation of meters will provide the potential for collecting occupancy and turnover rate of vehicles, critical data that gives the City insight on how to better manage the curb space around Boston.

 

Street Sweeping Pilot

 

Mayor Walsh will file a City Council ordinance to pilot a new street sweeping initiative in one of Boston’s neighborhoods. The ordinance, which is being drafted now, will propose eliminating towing for street sweeping, and increase the fine for not moving a vehicle from $40 to $90. The City plans to use the pilot to determine whether this initiative should be extended to other neighborhoods.


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Big New Plans For Comm. Ave.!

Written by Boston Biker on Mar 27

bike-lane-diagram-3.25.15

 

The city wanted a shitty plan, a plan based on old ideas, on the idea that the car would always be the main form of transportation in the city, and the entire bike community stood up and said “Hell no!” and you know what?  It worked!

The new design has smaller travel lanes, which will keep speeding down, BUFFERED cycle tracks!  I can not wait to give this a try when its done!  Congratulations everyone who worked hard on this.  It’s not over yet, and we are going to need to keep a close on the plans right up till the cement is poured, but

 

From livable streets (read more here):

The stretch of Comm. Ave. from the BU bridge to Packard’s Corner is about to get an $18 million dollar upgrade, with the project going to bid in fall 2015. The original plan, since 2009 and as of fall 2014, called for wider car lanes that would encourage speeding, narrower sidewalks, and no protected bicycle lanes. The city has since updated its plan to include crucial improvements…


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Do You Live In Cambridge? Do You Ride A Bike?

Written by Boston Biker on Mar 23

If so please vote to spend some of that sweet sweet Cambridge tax monies on some awesome bike friendly projects!

Welcome to the participatory budgeting (PB) ballot for the City of Cambridge, courtesy of the Stanford Crowdsourced Democracy Team.

If you’re a Cambridge resident 12 years of age or older, YOU can help decide how to spend $500,000 from the City’s Capital Budget when you cast your ballot.

You can vote here if you have a cell phone that can receive a text message. Click “Vote” to cast your vote.

If you don’t have a cell phone, you can vote in person. Please see below for information on voting dates and locations. You can familiarize yourself with the project proposals for voting by clicking “See Projects.”

Visit www.cambridgema.gov/yourbudget for more information.

 

See more here

 

You can see the list of projects here.

 

 

 

 


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Don’t Miss Your Chance To Give Public Comments On The New Comm. Ave. Design!

Written by Boston Biker on Mar 23

The big Comm. Ave. public meeting is tomorrow, make sure you show up to give your input!

From Livable Streets.

————-

 

Don’t miss your opportunity to weigh-in on the city’s updated design for Comm Ave!

Join us at the City of Boston’s public meeting tomorrow to learn more about the city’s plan for a safer Comm Ave and voice your praise and concerns.

An example of a more complete street design with protected bike lanes.
Immediately after the meeting, join us and our partners at Cornwall’s, 654 Beacon St in Kenmore to socialize and celebrate.
See you there!
LivableStreets
P.S. If you can’t make it to the meeting, we’ll be live-tweeting with #SaferCommAve@StreetsBoston, so be sure to follow us on Twitter, and spread the word to your friends and neighbors!

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London Approves City Wide Bike Super Highway

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 26

This is exactly what Boston needs. From the web

london-separated-bicycle-pathway

Catering to some of the 170,000 cyclists that ride across London every day, this segregated bicycle lane will stretch from west to east, pass through the heart of the city and span 18 miles when completed, the longest of its kind on the continent. Backed by mayor Boris Johnson, a second route will also eventually span perpendicular to this first one, reaching south to north and crossing the first path in the middle of the city.

More here.

The thing is, these sort of projects cost money, but they cost DRAMATICALLY less money than say a subway, or highway. These are the sorts of infrastructure projects that make sense on multiple levels, financially, climate wise, health wise, sound wise, beauty wise. These are the sorts of infrastructure projects that benefit a city long term. We should be doing this exact same thing here.


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This…This Is Awesome, 40 ft Snow Tunnel Built By Cyclists

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 25

From Youtube:

The MBTA blocked access to a bike path with a giant snowbank when they plowed the parking lot at Wellington Station. We decided to do something about it!

more awesome back story here.

This is a great way to get things done, but honestly, what the hell MBTA just because your systems break down in the snow doesn’t mean you have to plow the rest of us in. Cycling and Pedestrian infrastructure shouldn’t be a secondary priority during snow storms.


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Protected Bike Lanes Coming To Comm. Ave. Redesign!

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 12

Currently the world is drowning in snow, but this is huge news!!

From Livable Streets.

———-

We did it! 
 

Example of a protected bike lane.
After years of advocating for a balanced redesign plan for Commonwealth Avenue,the city has now agreed to a safer, more livable design that includes protected bike lanes!
As yesterday’s Boston Globe reported, “The city went back to the drawing board after an outcry by advocates, media criticism, and an impassioned public meeting two months ago at Boston University where more than 100 citizens showed up despite a nor’easter.”
For years, LivableStreets has been saying no to Boston’s inadequate plan for the redesign of Commonwealth Avenue that designed for car traffic at the expense of biking, walking, and transit. Thanks to over 1800 signatures and stories collected by our Street Ambassadors, and a strong coalition — including LivableStreets, Boston Cyclists Union, WalkBoston, MassBike, and BU Bikes — Boston and BU officials went back to the drawing board. Thank you City of Boston!
LivableStreets co-founder Jeff Rosenblum presenting a vision for a Comm. Ave. that prioritizes walking, biking, and public transportation.
Photo BU Free Press
While thrilled with the news, this project is not yet complete. Stay tuned: we expect the City of Boston to hold a public meeting to share their latest plans in the next month.
We will continue to work with the city and our partners to ensure pedestrian and traffic calming improvements are included in the new design and push for a concrete commitment on transit priority for the Green Line and buses. And we will be pushing for better clearing of sidewalks and bike lanes in winter!
For more information, check out our project page.
While this victory is very exciting, and it is news to celebrate, Comm. Ave. is just one piece of Boston’s transportation puzzle. LivableStreets staff, members, and volunteers are active 365 days a year working to create more livable streets.
Have you renewed your LivableStreets membership for 2015? Or not yet a member? No better time than the present! Sign up today.

 


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Hubway Ready To Close Boston Stations For The Winter

Written by Boston Biker on Dec 30

Even though its been another one of those spooky warm winters, Boston Hubway station are still closing down on the 31st, from the email:

—————–
BOSTON-BASED STATIONS TO CLOSE FOR WINTER ON 12/31

Cambridge-based stations to remain open year-round

SYSTEM ALERT: The final day of 2014 winter operations for all Boston-based stations will be Wednesday, December 31st. Though you may continue to see the Boston-based stations during the first week of January, they will not be operational, andriders will not be able to rent or return bikes to these stations.

Almost all Cambridge-based stations will remain open throughout the winter. All closed Boston stations, in addition to those based in Brookline & Somerville, are expected to relaunch again in spring 2015.

If stations you typically use are within Boston city limits, we recommend making alternative arrangements for your trips beginning on Thursday, January 1st. Hubway will continue to post updates on its website in addition to its facebook and twitter pages, so make sure to check those sites for the latest info, and to develop a contingency plan for your routes. Thank you for almost 3 million rides… and counting!ng.

View the entire updated Hubway station map here, and use the Spotcycle app or Hubway Tracker for up to the minute
system information and bike/dock availability when planning your rides.

For more on Hubway winter operations,
including cold-weather riding tips, visit thehubway.com/winter.


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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • This Monday, Say No To Keystone XL Pipeline March 28, 2015
      TweetCan’t ride your bike under water!  Global warming is real, its serious, and it has Boston in the cross hairs, this Monday show up and let President Obama know that we care. From 350.org:   As he approaches his final … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Mayor Walsh Announces Vision Zero For Boston March 27, 2015
      Tweet Like New York, Mayor Walsh has outlined a ‘Vision Zero‘ philosophy for Boston.  It’s something myself and many other have been saying for years.  Traffic fatalities are not “accidents” they are crashes.  They don’t just happen by cosmic chance, someone … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Big New Plans For Comm. Ave.! March 27, 2015
      Tweet   The city wanted a shitty plan, a plan based on old ideas, on the idea that the car would always be the main form of transportation in the city, and the entire bike community stood up and said … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Big New Plans For Comm. Ave.! March 27, 2015
      Tweet   The city wanted a shitty plan, a plan based on old ideas, on the idea that the car would always be the main form of transportation in the city, and the entire bike community stood up and said … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Commonweatlh Avenue victory? March 25, 2015
      TweetI submitted the following comments in resposne to a Boston Globe article reporting on proposed bikeways on Commonwealth Avenue. Real solutions to bicycle and pedestrian mobility in the Commonwealth Avenue corridor can be found by connecting parallel streets, an initiative … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Commonweatlh Avenue victory? March 25, 2015
      TweetI submitted the following comments in resposne to a Boston Globe article reporting on proposed bikeways on Commonwealth Avenue. Real solutions to bicycle and pedestrian mobility in the Commonwealth Avenue corridor can be found by connecting parallel streets, an initiative … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Commonweatlh Avenue victory? March 25, 2015
      TweetI submitted the following comments in resposne to a Boston Globe article reporting on proposed bikeways on Commonwealth Avenue. Real solutions to bicycle and pedestrian mobility in the Commonwealth Avenue corridor can be found by connecting parallel streets, an initiative … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Commonweatlh Avenue victory? March 25, 2015
      TweetI submitted the following comments in resposne to a Boston Globe article reporting on proposed bikeways on Commonwealth Avenue. Real solutions to bicycle and pedestrian mobility in the Commonwealth Avenue corridor can be found by connecting parallel streets, an initiative … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Do You Live In Cambridge? Do You Ride A Bike? March 23, 2015
      TweetIf so please vote to spend some of that sweet sweet Cambridge tax monies on some awesome bike friendly projects! Welcome to the participatory budgeting (PB) ballot for the City of Cambridge, courtesy of the Stanford Crowdsourced Democracy Team. If … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Don’t Miss Your Chance To Give Public Comments On The New Comm. Ave. Design! March 23, 2015
      TweetThe big Comm. Ave. public meeting is tomorrow, make sure you show up to give your input! From Livable Streets. ————-   Don’t miss your opportunity to weigh-in on the city’s updated design for Comm Ave! Join us at the … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker