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Even though it was voted by a wide margin to be removed, the city council is once again trying to keep the Casey overpass up. The meeting mentioned below has already happened, but you can still contact your councilor and let them know you are in support of bike infrastructure.
The more they hear from us the better.
WE at the Boston Cyclists Union apologize for having to post this important action alert, but if you live in Boston, we need to ask for your immediate action to support a decision many Jamaica Plain residents supported by a factor of 3 to 1 back in 2012, because it is again being dragged into Boston’s City Council chambers——this time with a citywide focus. Bridging Forest Hills has convinced City Councillor Charles Yancey to order a public hearing on the project to explore the health impacts of dust as the bridge is removed AND in Yancey’s words, to question the decision to build at-grade.
Please take a moment before tomorrow’s city council session to remind your Boston City Councillor, your at-large councillors, and particularly Councillor Charles Yancey, that you support a bike and pedestrian friendly Forest Hills. (See below for their phone numbers and emails).
There have been 36 public meetings on the Casey Project, including 10 widely advertised community meetings, including one in Mattapan. Yancey did not recall that there was a meeting in Mattapan for the project when the Bike Union called him today, but the meeting was organized by State Rep. Russell Holmes of Mattapan. But despite this being the second largest MassDOT public process in recent memory (the Big Dig had a few more meetings), a small but determined group of highway-like infrastructure supporters in Jamaica Plain have never accepted the majority-approved decision to build an at-grade boulevard instead.
We’re asking that:
- There be no further delays of the Casey Arborway reconstruction project. There have been too many delays to this project already.
A few talking points around the at-grade option (check meeting minutes or this interview with neighborhood activist Clay Harper for more info.)
The Casey Arborway project will mean:
- A more inviting place to walk.
- A more inviting place to bike.
- A more scenic and enjoyable place to drive.
- Along with the DCR’s new Arborway project and a future effort to get a cycletrack on Morton Street almost all the way to Blue Hill Avenue in Mattapan, this project will create an off-road route all the way from Franklin Park to the Landmark Center in the Fenway neighborhood.
- A new farmer’s market and other events are made possible in a new park the size of Copley Plaza at the end of the SW Corridor and next the Forest Hills MBTA station.
- Commuters will no longer have to cross the Arborway to get to the Forest Hills Orange Line station (a second headhouse is being added).
- An expanded busway for the 39 bus.
- Walking and biking paths connect the Arnold Arboretum and Franklin Park.
- An under-the-bridge environment will not attract drunken loitering and crime.
- Car commuters passing through will have an opportunity to stop and support local businesses.
- More pedestrians and cyclists in the area will increase revenues for local businesses.
- A visible gateway to the Arnold Arboretum that includes 69 different species of trees and shrubs (most of which would never thrive without access to sunlight).
- Congestion and overall trip times for motor vehicles will actually be reduced from current conditions for the majority of drivers (although speeding over the area on a bridge to get to traffic tie ups on Murray Circle and at the Morton St. and Blue Hill Avenue intersection will not longer be a possibility).
The only defendable drawback to the bridge is that the 7 percent of users who want to turn left off of the Arborway will be taken a couple minutes out of their way, they will have to make a U-turn and turn right instead. For the benefits of this project, the Bike Union and the coalition of organizations supporting the Casey At-Grade decision think this small sacrifice is worth making.
Please email or call your city councillors now (and apologize for having to call on this issue that should have been resolved in 2012)!
President and District 2-Bill Linehan [email protected] 617-635-3203
D1-Salvatore LaMattina [email protected] 617-635-3200
D3-Frank Baker [email protected] 617-635-3455
D4-Charles C. Yancey [email protected] 617-635-3131
D5-Timothy McCarthy [email protected] 617-635-4210
D6-Matt O’Malley [email protected] 617-635-4220
D7-Tito Jackson [email protected] 617-635-3510
D8-Josh Zakim [email protected] 617-635-4225
D9-Mark Ciommo [email protected] 617-635-3113
At Large-Stephen Murphy [email protected] 617-635-4376
At Large-Ayanna Presley [email protected] 617-635-4217
At Large-Michael Flaherty [email protected] 617-635-4205
At Large-Michelle Wu [email protected] 617-635-3115
Tags: casey arborway, tear down the overpass
Posted in advocacy, infrastructure | No Comments »
You’ve been patient. You’ve waited. You’ve stared longingly at the empty stations. Well, your wait is almost over! Consider yourself the first to know: After another successful program of year-round operations in Cambridge, Hubway’s system-wide operations opens for its 5th full season on Friday, April 17th. Click here to read the official press release.
The Hubway team has been busy deploying stations, and nearly 130 stations (out of 140) are expected to be operational by April 17th, with most remaining stations to be rolled out later in the month. Please note: stations along Boylston Street in Brookline and Boston will not be deployed until after the Boston Marathon.
Less than 10 days until the full system is open. Where will you #TakeHubway this season? We’ve included some suggestions below.
Spread the word!
The Team at Hubway
Have an event we should be mentioning in our newsletter?
Tags: hubway, returns
Posted in Commuting, infrastructure | No Comments »
I have been noticing all sorts of strange markings and changes, on the Longfellow outbound towards Cambridge side. And today like a chrysalis, the Longfellow bike infrastructure has emerged into a giant ugly moth.
Honestly its the worst. I have no idea what anyone was thinking.
This design is rotten. Impossible angles, ramps, intense pedestrian conflict, poor marking, a reversal of the usual order of traffic (Both pedestrian and cyclists traffic on the left? Is this the UK?) it has everything you don’t want in a bike path. And those railings are totally invisible in the dark, its only a matter of time before someone plows into them, or into the many raised concrete partitions, or into a pedestrian not wearing bright clothing, this design becomes ten times more ludicrous in the dark.
Moments before I took these pictures 5 cyclists almost ran over like 10 pedestrians. The smartest cyclist of the bunch simply crossed over and rode down the wrong side of the bridge for a 100 yards, and then popped back over…a dangerous option, but one that puts the cyclists in less conflict with the many (many) pedestrians.
I sorta get what they were going for, and I would love to believe that this set up was thought up to protect cyclists from cars? But at the expense of putting pedestrians in danger? To be clear it would be one thing to set up a system by which cyclists were to dismount and walk for 100 feet and then get back on, but this system is set up to encourage them to remain riding, and in the process get in all sorts of conflicts with all sorts of pedestrians.
In my opinion there is ample room to move the concrete divers over a couple feet to the right and put those plastic bollards on the left hand side of the striped area to keep cars away from the cyclists, thus leaving plenty of room for everyone, without putting pedestrians and cyclists into dangerous conflict.
Tags: horrible design, longfellow bridge, wtf
Posted in Commuting, infrastructure | 2 Comments »
Got this great update from Lynn:
Meet at the parking lot at Pauls’s Bridge off Brush Hill Rd. in Milton at 10:00 am for a ride down the Neponset River and along Boston Harbor to Castle Island and back on existing and future trails. Email Jessica Mink j[email protected] for additional info.
Tags: meeting, neponset river greenway, update
Posted in advocacy, infrastructure | No Comments »
Check out this public meeting let your voice be heard in support for more cycling infrastructure.
Department of Conservation and Recreation
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Neponset River Greenway Project – Phase 2
Blue Hill Avenue, Boston to Central Avenue, Milton
Monday, April 13, 2015 – 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Foley Senior Residences Dining Room
249 River Street, Mattapan
This project consists of construction of a DCR”s Neponset River Greenway – Phase 2, which includes a 1.3+-mile multi-use recreational trail along the Neponset River extending from Blue Hill Avenue, Boston to Central Avenue, Milton. It will link two previously-completed segments of the Neponset River Greenway, providing pedestrian and bicyclists with a scenic, safe pathway from Neponset Valley Parkway in Hyde Park to Pope John Paul II Park in Dorchester.
At this meeting, DCR will present the plans for construction.
The public meeting presentation and other related materials will be viewable after the meetings on DCR’s website at http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dcr/public-outreach/public-meetings/.
Please follow us on Twitter at MassDCR!
Tags: neponset river greenway, phase 2
Posted in advocacy, infrastructure | No Comments »
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.
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.”
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.
Tags: mayor walsh, vision zero
Posted in advocacy, infrastructure, news | No Comments »
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…
Tags: Comm. Ave, Commonwealth Ave, cycle tracks, improvements
Posted in advocacy, Commuting, infrastructure | 1 Comment »
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.
Tags: cambridge, participatory budget
Posted in advocacy, infrastructure | No Comments »