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News, Events, Updates


Longfellow Bridge Now Has A Dedicated Bike Lane Going Both Ways

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 13

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 don’t 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…


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Cambridge Participatory Budget Bike Projects!

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 26

Three bike projects won! (for those of you who don’t know what the Cambridge Participatory Budget is check this out)

http://pb.cambridgema.gov/sepbikelanes

9. Separate Bike Lanes from Traffic

Committee: Streets, Sidewalks & Transit

Cost: $50,000

Location: Citywide

Short Description: Improve safety for drivers and bikers by moving bike lanes to be between street parking spots and the sidewalk, reducing car-bike interactions and potential collisions.

Long Description: Moving existing bike lanes to the stationary side of parked cars has been implemented in many cities and countries, including New York City, Portland, and throughout Scandinavia. In fact, Cambridge has successfully piloted this idea on Ames Street in Kendall (see photo A below). A current issue is that cars, unfamiliar with the striping, park in the bicycle lane. The Cambridge Traffic Department suggested that with more than one location, cars would become more familiar and park only in the designated spots. The design possibilities, ranging from simple to decorative, can work to keep out cars using minimal street space (see photo B).

The fact is that traditional bike lanes are good at making cyclists feel safe and do improve visibility, but they do not protect cyclists adequately from harm from dooring or moving vehicles. Protected bike lanes, on the other hand, do reduce conflicts and stress for cyclists. Such an improvement to the bike lane would benefit all cyclists in and around Cambridge, because improving one road improves connectivity throughout the region. This project benefits car-drivers by removing the potential to open a door into a bike lane, as well as reduced stress from not having bicyclists slipping past a blind side. Studies consistently show—and experience corroborates—that for many people, dangerous road conditions is the reason they don’t bicycle. With all of the environmental and social benefits of bicycling, making it accessible to all comfort levels must be a high priority.

A: Aerial view of Ames Street’s protected bike lanes on both sides.

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B: Minimal extra space required for a safer bicycle lane.

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http://pb.cambridgema.gov/massavebikers

Make Massachusetts Avenue Safer for Bikers

Committee: Streets, Sidewalks & Transit

Cost: $70,000

Location: Along Massachusetts Avenue

Short Description: Improve safety on Massachusetts Avenue by adding shared lane markings for bicycles, along with signs saying “Bike Route,” “Bicycle May Use Full Lane,” and “Watch for Cyclists” where bike lanes are not already present.

Long Description: Massachusetts Avenue is part of the Bicycle Network Plan. Commuters, shoppers, families, and students all bike on Mass. Avenue, competing with heavy traffic, including large trucks and buses. But two stretches of Mass. Avenue have no accommodations for bicycles. The most recent 2015 Bicycle Network Plan ranks Mass. Avenue as unaccommodating for all but very experienced cyclists, and community input maps show that Mass. Avenue is a place where cyclists would like to see improvements. As a solution, we propose painting shared lane markings (approximately 100) and installing more signs (approximately 45) to improve conditions for bicycles on Mass. Avenue.

Specifically, we propose painting shared lane markings in the center of the right lane in both directions, where Mass. Avenue is currently too narrow for bike lanes: from Central Square to Harvard Square, and from north of Porter Square to the Arlington line. We also propose adding frequent, large signs that say “Bike Route,” “Bicycle May Use Full Lane,” and “Watch for Cyclists.” The shared lane markings and the bicycle awareness signs will benefit drivers by making them more aware of cyclists, while also giving cyclists more confidence to use the road. According to the 2015 Bicycle Network Plan, shared lane markings reduce by half the proportion of cyclists who feel “very uncomfortable” riding in commercial areas.

This is currently the only bike signage on Northern Mass. Avenue.

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Here you can see a cyclist riding on northern Mass. Avenue, where there are no bike lanes, no shared lane markings, and no bike route signs:

sharrow2.jpg

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http://pb.cambridgema.gov/paintedbikelanes

 

Shape Up Our Squares!

Committee: Streets, Sidewalks & Transit

Cost: $40,000

Location: Central and Inman Squares

Short Description: Paint green bike lanes through the intersections on Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square and Hampshire Street in Inman Square to improve safety for drivers, bikers, and pedestrians.

Long Description: The main intersections in Central and Inman Squares have high volumes of cars, buses, bicycles, and pedestrians on a daily basis. The City’s policy and practice with regard to painting bike lanes is to use green paint where there are potential points of conflict, such as at intersections and some street crossings. This proposal is to paint the bike lanes green at the primary square intersections – Mass. Avenue and Prospect Street in Central Square, and Hampshire Street in Inman Square. To increase awareness of bicycle presence further, the Mass. Avenue and Hampshire Street bike lanes should continue through the intersections with dashed lines. An example of the recommended treatment exists on Main Street at the intersection of Vassar Street in Cambridge, as well as on Commonwealth Avenue near Boston University.

Part 1: Inman Square video:

Intersection on Main Street at Vassar Street: Example of bike lanes continued through the intersection.

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Commonwealth Avenue near Boston University, notoriously dangerous for bicyclists. The green paint here helps cyclists assert themselves in this difficult intersection.

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Inman Square: To demonstrate scope of repainting.

bikelanes3.png


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Temporary Closure Of The Paul Dudley White Bike Path

Written by Boston Biker on Dec 21

Got this in the email, if this is part of your commute you might need to change some things up:

 

DCR Recreational Advisory: Temporary Closure of the Paul Dudley White Bike Path in Boston

WHAT:           Beginning on Monday, December 21, 2015 and continuing to Friday, January 22, 2016, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will be implementing a temporary closure of Paul Dudley White Bike Path along the Boston side of the Charles River between the Boston University Bridge and the River Street Bridge, to accommodate repairs to the pedestrian bridge.

 

WHERE:         Paul Dudley White Bike Path, Boston, between the Boston University Bridge and the River Street Bridge

 

WHEN:           Monday, December 21, 2015 and continuing to Friday, January 22, 2016


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“Share The Road” Don’t Work, Somerville Gets That

Written by Boston Biker on Nov 05

People seem to be confused when they see the words “share” not just around here, but everywhere.  Which is why “share the road” signs are often less helpful than you might think.  I think the Boston interpretation of those signs is something like “everyone else get out of the way!”

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It’s gotten so bad that at least one state has stopped using them all together.

 

Via BikeDe.org:

Comprehension of the familiar “Share the Road” signage as a statement of bicyclists’ roadway rights has been challenged, based on arguments that it is ambiguous, imprecise, frequently misinterpreted, and not designed for that purpose…In fact, the US state of Delaware discontinued use of the “Share the Road” plaque in November, 2013.”

– From “Bicycles May Use Full Lane” Signage Communicates U.S. Roadway Rules and Increases Perception of Safety, North Carolina State University, August 28, 2015

In November of 2013, Delaware formally discontinued the use of the “Share The Road” sign, the first (and so far still the only) U.S. state to do so. The sign was interpreted in diametrically opposite ways by cyclists and motorists and failed to prevent conflict and hostility between motorists and cyclists. Arguably, the sign may actually have been causing conflict.

Now a study published on Friday by researchers at North Carolina State University (NCSU) has confirmed what Delaware already knew: “Share The Road” is a problem.

The authors of the new study – both NCSU faculty – surveyed nearly 2,000 people and found that there was “no statistically significant difference in responses between those who saw ‘Share the Road’ signage and those who saw no signage” whatsoever in terms of their comprehension that cyclists are permitted in the center of the travel lane; that cyclists do not have to move right to allow motorists to pass within the same lane; or that motorists should wait for a break in traffic before passing in the adjacent lane.

In sharp contrast to the complete uselessness of “Share The Road”, survey respondents who were shown the “Bicycle May Use Full Lane” sign showed uniformly high understanding of permissible cyclist lane positioning and appropriate safe passing behavior for motorists.

Which was why I was so happy to see this gem in Somerville yesterday:

It’s a little hard to see, but the giant blinking sign reads:

 

“IMPORTANT! IMPORTANT! IMPORTANT!”

“CYCLISTS MAY USE THE FULL LANE”

“ANYWHERE, ANYTIME, IT’S THE LAW”

This is the same intersection that recently got new bike boxes (which still sadly are not working all that well, drivers are ignoring the signs)

What also makes this sign so useful is that this particular stretch of road is just too narrow to safely “share” you have to take the whole lane or you will be squished. This road is so narrow that a bus and a car can’t pass going opposite directions if there is a parked car. It’s so narrow that a bus can’t fit in it’s own lane, even if there is no parked cars…so the sign is a good reminder to asshole drivers that cyclists need to take the whole lane, because otherwise they would get hit.

(There is also a cop who likes to hang around this intersection, he will give you a ticket for running this red light on your bike, but he is really nice guy, if you don’t sass him he will give you a warning, also don’t run red lights on your bike)


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Comm. Ave. Could Look A Lot Different, If You Speak Up!

Written by Boston Biker on Nov 05

And that would be a good thing, the street is currently one of the busiest and in my opinion worst designed streets in the city.

Public Comments are due by November 25!  So make sure you contact Zach Wassmouth, Project Manager, BPWD ([email protected]) and let him know you want more pedestrian and cyclist friendly infrastructure on Comm. Ave.!

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From the KeepBostonMoving.org site:

Neighborhood: Allston/Brighton

Description: The Boston Public Works Department is redesigning Commonwealth Avenue between Brighton Avenue (Packard’s Corner) and Warren/Kelton Streets.  With its solid apartment blocks, unique carriage roads, landscaped median, and MBTA transit reservation, this segment of Comm. Ave. is both a multi-modal transportation corridor and home for thousands of people.    The redesigned corridor will feature separated bicycle facilities, improvements to pedestrian sidewalks and crosswalks, enhanced access to the MBTA Green Line, preservation and enhancement of historic landscape features, and implementation of innovative sustainable features.    The centerpiece of the project will be the redesigned intersection of Commonwealth Avenue and Harvard Avenue. Through a combination of geometric improvements and urban design features, this busy commercial and transit hub will be revitalized, with an emphasis on maximizing pedestrian space and amenities.

At completion, Commonwealth Avenue will be a livable, walkable, multimodal, green and sustainable corridor, safely and efficiently accommodating all users of this signature Boston Boulevard.

Project Status: In design

Estimated Project Cost: $20,000,000

Estimated Project Start: 2016

Estimated Project Completion: 2020

Project Design Team:

Additional Information:

Comm Ave Meeting Flyer (11-17-14)

Comm Ave Phase 3 & 4 Public Meeting #1 Presentation

Public Meeting Minutes 11-17-14

Comm Ave Meeting Flyer (10-27-15)

Comm Ave Phase 3 & 4 Public Meeting #2 Presentation


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Hubway Getting New Bicycles

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 20

Is it just me or do these look slightly lighter?  Maybe its just my imagination.

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THE NEW BIKES ARE HERE!

With the deployment of new stations over the past week, you might have noticed a few bikes that look, well, a little different. Over 100 of the new bikes, featuring redesigned, higher-quality parts designed to improve overall durability and ease of repair, have begun to roll out into the Hubway fleet. If you haven’t had a chance to test out one of these beauties yet, here’s what you should look for to track one down, along with some Pro Tips for making the most of your ride:
  • Seamless integration: First and foremost, no worries! The new bikes don’t require any special docking or undocking tricks. Check ’em out, ride ’em, and return ’em as you always have.
  • Gears: The new gears shift in the opposite direction as the old ones, twist away from you for a higher gear (for flat streets), twist towards you for a lower gear (for chugging up any of the bridges).
  • Kickstands: The new kickstands are based on a European model that provides more stability, but please note they may take a minute to get used to. As you kick them down, allow the two sides to separate into two legs. Kick them back up and they’ll spring back together again automatically.
  • Seats: These go to 11. Great for taller people and Spinal Tap fans. They also have a cut-out for comfort that allows water to drain and not pool (to help prevent cracking).
  • Lights: Both the front and rear lights are larger! Plus, like on the older bikes, they’re pedal-powered, but the new ones also keep the charge so your the lights stay on longer after you stop pedaling, which keeps you safer when you’re stopped at traffic lights, stop signs, or simply pulled over.
  • Fenders: The fenders now provide wider coverage to avoid those skunk-stripes of mud and water that may have previously adorned your shirt, jacket, or bag.
BONUS TIP: Save the shifters! Our mechanics suggest, “You’ll need to pause your pedal in order to shift, just for a second while you’re turning the shifter.” You’ll shift more smoothly and you’ll also help extend the life expectancy of the parts on the bike, ensuring that Hubway bikes will spend more time on the street and less time in the repair shop, improving the experience for every Hubway rider.
Let us know what you think of the new rides. Post your pics @Hubway.

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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:

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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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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Longfellow Bridge Now Has A Dedicated Bike Lane Going Both Ways February 13, 2016
      TweetIt’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 … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Longfellow Bridge Now Has A Dedicated Bike Lane Going Both Ways February 13, 2016
      TweetIt’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 … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Ways You Can Be Part Of Vision Zero February 13, 2016
      TweetAfter 4 pedestrian fatalities in January, the Mayor is rolling out new ways to allow you to help reduce all traffic fatalities to ZERO in Boston. Here are some ways you can help. 1. Submit your safety concerns on the … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • You Only Have One Day Left To Register To Vote In The Primary! February 9, 2016
      TweetIf you wanted to be registered to vote in the MA primary you have until the 10th to register. Which is tomorrow, which means you will need to go here: http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/ Print out this form: https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepdf/Voter-reg-mail-in.pdf Or you can register online here: … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Corn Cog Badge Installed February 5, 2016
      Got these lovely pictures from a client I made a “corn” cog badge for.  I really like the way this looks, and am glad that it fits so well on the new bike. Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Hey Look The Metro Misquoted Me! January 28, 2016
      TweetDon’t you love it when someone manages to read all the way down a several hundred word article you have written and then for some reason chooses to miss the entire point of the article, while at the same time cherry picking … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Hey Look The Metro Misquoted Me! January 28, 2016
      TweetDon’t you love it when someone manages to read all the way down a several hundred word article you have written and then for some reason chooses to miss the entire point of the article, while at the same time cherry picking … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Open letter to the city January 27, 2016
      Tweethello, I live a few streets away from Seaver Street in Roxbury, and was at the community meeting last year at the church regarding the bike lanes on Seaver. One loudmouthed community member (who is not a cyclist) shouted everyone … Continue reading →
      crankycoffey
    • RoadAir Mini-Pump Review January 26, 2016
      TweetSometimes people are nice enough to send me products to review.  So just know I got this for free, and that might bias me in ways I can’t consciously know about. I was sent this pump a while ago, and … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Cambridge Participatory Budget Bike Projects! January 26, 2016
      TweetThree bike projects won! (for those of you who don’t know what the Cambridge Participatory Budget is check this out) http://pb.cambridgema.gov/sepbikelanes 9. Separate Bike Lanes from Traffic Committee: Streets, Sidewalks & Transit Cost: $50,000 Location: Citywide Short Description: Improve safety … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker