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News, Events, Updates
Got this in the email. For far far too long Americans have had an at best un-examined relationship with the effects of the cars they drive. Vision Zero highlights the most tragic effect of our transportation choices. We should commit to zero deaths on our streets.
A Tough Start to the Year: How you can get Involved
There have been more than two dozen pedestrian fatalities statewide in 2016, including the tragic death of a child near Tufts Medical Center last Saturday. Another person was hit this morning at the corner of Mass Ave & Albany Street – part of the 1.6 mile stretch of Mass Ave from Melnea Cass Blvd to Beacon Street that has been highlighted as a Vision Zero Priority Corridor. While we are seeing some positive incremental progress, we still have a tremendous amount of work to do to bring the number of fatalities and serious crashes down to zero in Boston and throughout the state.
To help you can:
Submit your safety concerns on the City of Boston’s new interactive Vision Zero safety concerns map. You can pick a location and comment on specific street safety concerns in Boston with this tool. Now you can report safety concerns, near misses, and incidents – valuable data that can be added to existing police and EMS crash data.
Read the City Of Boston’s Vision Zero Action Plan and share it with others via Facebook, email or Twitter. Spreading the word is an important first step in making sure everyone is working to reduce traffic fatalities.
- Contact your city councilors, legislators and other local leaders to encourage them to pass and support the legislation and policies above related to Vision Zero, and to focus efforts and funding on infrastructure that is safer for people walking and biking.
Share this email with your friends and encourage them to sign up for updates from the Vision Zero Coalition.
Boston City Councilors Support Lowering the Speed Limit to 20 MPH
Boston city councilors held a hearing two weeks ago to lower the default speed limit to 20 miles per hour on city streets.
The measure would decrease the speed limit from 30 miles per hour in residential areas and thickly populated business districts where there are no posted signs. In school zones, the speed limit would be lowered from 20 miles per hour to 15 miles per hour.
Several members of the Vision Zero coalition spoke at the hearing: Jackie DeWolfe from LivableStreets, Wendy Landman from WalkBoston and Becca Wolfson from the Boston Cyclists Union.
The City Council has unanimously passed the proposal, which now goes to Mayor Martin J. Walsh. The measure will also also require the State Legislature’s approval, because speed limits are set by state law.
Giving communities the option to set lower default speed limits is one more tool that can help make our streets safer for everyone. It should be paired with real infrastructure improvements to change driver behavior and force driving at safer speeds.
We’ll keep you updated as this progresses!
Boston Commits Funds to Vision Zero
Just a few days ago, the City of Boston announced they would set aside $3.1 million for Vision Zero in their 2017 budget, a significant increase from the $500,000 that was in this year’s budget. Another $9.3 million will go toward the project over the next three years.
“The underlying philosophy of Vision Zero is that our streets should be welcoming and safe,” said Boston Transportation Commissioner Gina Fiandaca.
Increasing the Vision Zero budget was one of the key recommendations the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition made to the city. Click here to read the full list of recommendations.
Cambridge Announces Commitment to Vision Zero
|Joe Barr, Director of Traffic, Parking, and Transportation for Cambridge, announcing the commitment to Vision Zero|
In March, the Cambridge City Council unanimously passed resolutions to formally adopt Vision Zero and Complete Streets policies! Cambridge follows more than a dozen other cities nationally that committed to Vision Zero.
To read the full text of the resolution click here (resolution starts on p.54).
We are excited that Cambridge has committed to Vision Zero and hope that other towns and cities throughout the state will follow suit!
Video Shines Spotlight on Dangerous LMA streets
Check out this great video highlighting the often dangerous streets conditions for people biking in the Longwood Medical Area.
Recent studies show that more than 20 percent of rush hour traffic in the LMA is on bicycle. The video highlights the needs for better street designs that will accommodate emergency vehicles as well as everyone moving to and through the LMA no matter how they get around.
Thank you for helping make our streets safer for everyone!
Tags: boston, cambridge, lma, longwood medical area, vision zero
Posted in advocacy, Commuting, infrastructure, video | No Comments »
— Adam Castiglioni (@ConciergeBoston) May 10, 2016
Hurrah! With barriers no less.
Tags: commercial st, cycle tracks, north end
Posted in advocacy, infrastructure | No Comments »
This guy is making things happen in Dorchester, seems like an awesome guy! I used to live in the very very (very) southern point of Dorchester, and while its gotten better for cycling down there, its not nearly as good as it needs to be.
More great info on Noah and his message here. He is really talking about the real issues behind cycling, as a transit option, and as a life changing technology for low income folks. I hope the city will pivot to focusing on the neighborhoods that most need these kinds of infrastructure improvements and where they will do the most good economically.
Tags: awesome, Dorchester, noah hicks, NPR, video
Posted in advocacy, infrastructure, news, video | 1 Comment »
Hurray! Looks pretty awesome too:
The recent removal of rusty rail tracks behind his home on Beacon Street, as they were dragged out whole by heavy equipment after the wooden ties were removed, was “like watching two large snakes going by all the houses,” according to Barry Clayman.
The activity marked the beginning of the long-awaited Cape Cod Rail Trail extension through Dennis and Yarmouth.
This will be a great money maker for nearby business as well, as tourists on bike will be hungry and thirsty.
Tags: cape cod, extension, rail trail
Posted in infrastructure, news | No Comments »
Great story from the Washington Post today.
“We must first remember that all cities were car-free little more than a century ago. Not all cities responded to the advent of automobiles with the same enthusiasm as the cities of the United States. In fact, some cities never did adopt the car. Venice was unwilling to destroy itself in order to build streets wide enough for cars, and therefore has never had them except in a sliver near the mainland. The same situation exists in the Medina of Fez, Morocco, and several other North African cities. These districts are usually the most vibrant parts of their cities.”
Boston could go car free, instead we spent decades and billions destroying and then rebuilding the city over and over to accommodate the automobile. It cost us thousands of lives, and billions of dollars, we have basically done nothing to help people get around the town better. Traffic is still a daily part of life here in a city that was never designed for cars.
If instead of building highways, and then tearing them down and putting them in a big hole, we could have spent all those billions of dollars on better public transport, more biking and walking infrastructure, and lets be honest, a sea wall system to keep Boston dry in the global warming induced sea level we are bound to see over the next 50 years.
Tags: cars are bad for you, ditch your car
Posted in advocacy, infrastructure, video | No Comments »
(Please forgive me for the first 30 seconds as I wasn’t paying attention).
So whats wrong with the situation depicted in this video?
There are giant “NO PEDESTRIAN” signs at both ends of the bike path, and yet the path is full of human pedestrians (and some dogs).
The path is far too narrow for bi-directional cycling, let alone strollers, dog walkers, joggers, etc.
The green stuff on the side billows out in the wind, catching on your handle bars (I almost crashed avoiding a walker). I am guessing that stuff is put up to stop debris from the building site from flying into the water, but the zip ties have come loose and it now poses a serious hazard to cycling traffic.
The surface is very uneven, to the point of discomfort. You can actually hear my bike rattle as I hit each bump, and see the camera shake.
The approaches have received all sorts of marking and road paint, but they are still horrible. Filled with curbs to fall off, ramps to miss, and in general hard turns that put you into conflict with lots of traffic (car, bike, and pedestrian).
I still think that the bridge should be closed to car traffic, and opened up to cycling/public transit/emergency traffic. The bridge is one way as it is, and gets modest car traffic even at rush hour.
The traffic patterns approaching and leaving the bridge have already more or less adjusted to not having the bridge. This elaborate and poorly constructed bike path is a solution that was only necessary because we are so car-focused in our thinking.
I can say with some certainty that far more people cross the Longfellow bridge in ways that don’t involve cars, and in fact always have. Even when it was two travel lanes in both directions the amount of walkers/public transit/cyclists users of that bridge far outnumbered the amount of folks moving over it in cars. The fact is that the bridge would be far more productive if they just took the cars off it during the time of the construction, freeing it up for emergency/public transit/walkers/cyclist traffic.
Tags: bike path, Longfellow, sucks
Posted in advocacy, infrastructure, video | 4 Comments »
MA Bike Safety Forum
Tomorrow, thanks to Senator Brownsberger and various advocacy groups, there is a public forum focused around interaction between cyclists and large vehicles. MassBike will be there, hosting one of many breakout discussion groups, with a focus on cyclist education. Join us at 6:00pm at 120 Tremont Street.
For more info and to submit your ideas and comments in advance, click here.
For our Southie members, tomorrow night is also a key meeting for the redesign of Dorchester Avenue! We encourage you to attend and share your comments in support of improved safety and bicycle infrastructure in this crucial corridor.
For additional information on this meeting, please click here.
Tags: dot ave, large vehicles, massbike, meeting, safety forum
Posted in advocacy, infrastructure | No Comments »
It’s a little tricky (you have to wrap around under the bridge and the path is far from clear), but it sure beats walking your bike northbound battling pedestrians. The BCU has released this video to help you figure it out.
I have used it a couple of times, and found it confusing all of those times, you are put into conflict with traffic both pedestrian and car at odd points, but with a bit more signage it might be ok. I still think they should just close the bridge to cars, and let cyclists/pedestrians take the whole thing until it’s done being fixed.
I disagree with the video that this path is an improvement…at best it is a temporary compromise. The path is crazy bumpy, the approaches are a mess, I have already noticed pedestrians on it, the interaction with cars are all from blind directions, you literally have to look behind you at most intersections to see the cars coming, there is all sorts of curbs with ramps that have gaps and its pretty easy to exit the ramps into the curb which will cause accidents. It’s also a functioning construction zone, I got a mouth full of cement dust yesterday because they are still breaking up concrete on the bridge. Just watch the video again and look at how much the camera shakes going over the bridge, and pay attention to all the times the cyclists is put in conflict with cars coming from strange angles, there are just too many problems here.
Final verdict…well at least I wont have to walk my bike over the bridge anymore…
Tags: bike path, bridge, Longfellow
Posted in advocacy, infrastructure, video | No Comments »