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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!”


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



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:





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.!






From the 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.



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:


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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Hubway Reaches 150 Stations

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 20

From Hubway:


The stations have landed, cold weather be darned! 11 new stations, including Hubway’s 150th, have expanded the system both within and beyond the previous geographic footprint. If you haven’t seen the new stations or gotten a chance to ride the new bikes, there’s still plenty of time to enjoy the season, as the Hubway mechanics and field team are busy making sure bikes are available to you as we get deeper into fall.

There’s big bike-related happenings continuing throughout Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, and Somerville. Check below for news on the bike networks in Cambridge and Brookline, and an important bike detour in Somerville.

Need a bike to get you there? #TakeHubway.

Pedal on,

The Hubway Team

Follow Hubway on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

New, fully operational Hubway stations!




In front of St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center at Cambridge Street & Washington Street

(15 docks, off-street)


On Brock St next to Armstrong Ambulance

(19 docks, on-street)



At BHCC near Austin Street

(19 docks, off-street)


At the intersection kitty corner from the North American Indian Center of Boston

(15 docks, on-street)




This 15-dock station had been moved in April to accommodate construction, and has returned to its original location at Quincy Street & Kirkland Street.

Click here to check out all of our stations on the Hubway map.

Or use the Spotcycle app for smartphones or Hubway Tracker

for up to the minute system information and bike/dock availability.

Visit the Hubway website for all system alerts, news, and other announcements.

Join us for a public hearing to discuss the plan and sustainable transportation
TUESDAY, 10/20, 3:30PM


The fundamental guiding principal for the Cambridge Bicycle Plan is to enable people of all ages and abilities to bicycle safely and comfortable throughout the city. If you are interested in bicycle infrastructure and sustainable transportation in Cambridge, please join us for the presentation of the plan this Tuesday, October 20th, at3:30pm, in the Sullivan Chamber of Cambridge City Hall, 795 Mass Ave.
With your input, and the input of thousands of people in our community, we have developed a vision for where we as a city want to be, and this plan provides the framework for developing a network of Complete Streets and supporting programs and policies that will help meet this goal. Thank you for your contribution to this important effort!
SYSTEM ALERT: Beacon Street Reconstruction Project in Somerville
RESURFACING BEGINS THIS WEEK – Please note detours for cyclists!
On Thursday, October 22nd, and Friday, October 23rd (weather permitting), MassDOT contractors will be adding a temporary overlay resurfacing and restriping over the entire stretch of Beacon Street in Somerville in order to alleviate issues with the deteriorated road surface for drivers and cyclists, in advance of the full reconstruction, currently scheduled to begin in 2016. During this work, cyclists are strongly encouraged for their safety to seek the following alternate routes, designed to only minimally extend trips.
Phase I of the paving, on Thursday, will require the full closure of Beacon Street between Oxford & Washington Streets from 9am until approximately 9pm. Phase II, on Friday, will require the full closure of Beacon Street between Washington Street and the Cambridge line from 9am until approximately 9pm. Maps of the detour routes for bicycles, both eastbound from Porter to Inman and Westbound from Inman to Porter can be found by clicking here.
Hard copies of detour maps will also available in boxes near the Somerville/Cambridge city lines along Beacon Street, where electronic message boards will alert cyclists. Temporary detour signs will also be installed. This interim repaving measure will keep the roadway in smoother condition through the start of the full-depth reconstruction project next spring. For more details on the resurfacing along with a full-depth reconstruction timeline for Beacon Street, visit the Reconstruction Project website here.

Get a free beverage when you order two slices at Emma’s Pizzawhen you bike to the restaurant. Hubway members receive a little bike sticker with their membership. Stick it on your bike helmet and ride for discounts on groceries, free coffees, ice cream, bananas, and deals all over the Boston area. Just show your Bicycle Benefits helmet sticker when you visit businesses that are a part of the Bicycle Benefits program to get your deal. New businesses are joining every week. Visit the Bicycle Benefits website on your laptop or mobile device to see where.#bicyclebenefits



Hubway Expansion Press Conference & Ride, hosted by Boston Bikes, Thu, 10/22, 3pm, departing Brighton Center, arriving Franklin Park Zoo. Celebrate Hubway’s recent expansion with a ride from Brighton to Dorchester. At Hubway’s new Brighton Center station, hear from reps from Boston Bikes, Hubway supporters New Balance, Hubway operator Motivate, and other local partners, before grabbing a Hubway or your own bike for the ride to the new station at Franklin Park Zoo, to hear remarks from John Linehan (CEO of Franklin Park Zoo), reps from the Franklin Park Coalition, and Chris Osgood (Boston’s Chief of Streets).

Vision Plan for Route 9 East, Wed, 10/28, 7-9pm, Brookline Town Hall, Rm 103.

A team of graduate planning students at MIT are working on a vision plan for Route 9 East (Brookline/Boston Border – Cypress St). This is the first public meeting where the students will present their preliminary assessment of the area, and gather thoughts and feedback from residents, merchants, property owners and other stakeholders. Click here for more information.

Walk/Ride Day Challenge, Fri, 10/30.
It’s the final Walk/Ride Day of this year’s Corporate Challenge! No matter how you get to work, check-in your commute & get rewarded with bonuses at local businesses! It’s as simple as that! But we encourage you to use your two feet or two wheels.

Check-in your commute here.

Artistic Migration: A Community Public Art Project, Sat, 10/31, and Thu, 11/19, Brookline. Come see sculptor Frank Criscione & artist Evelyn Berde’s 6-foot tall bird, a collaboration with the Brookline Arts Center and YOU! Watch this public art project of hope, beauty, and community take shape with installations at Edward Devotion House on 10/31, and at Brookline Arts Center on 11/19. More details here.

16th Annual Boston Halloween Bike Ride, Sat, 10/31, 7pm, ride begins at Copley Square, Boston. The City’s most anticipated, most fun, and SPOOKIEST bike ride is back, and this time it’s going to be bigger and better than ever. On Halloween Night we slither and crawl through the streets with jaw dropping costumes, ear popping tunes, and traffic stopping magnitude! Route: Coming Soon! Final Destination: Secret Outdoor Dance Party! Check here for details as Halloween approaches!

Brookline Bicycle Advisory Committee Meeting
Mon, 11/2, 7-9pm, Brookline Town Hall, Room 408.

The Brookline Bicycle Advisory Committee is appointed by and advises the Brookline Transportation Board with a mission to encourage, plan for, advocate for, and advise about bicycling, and a goal to make the Town of Brookline a safe and accessible place to live and work for all citizens. Meetings are usually held monthly and are open to the public. Details available here.

The 2015 Moving Together Conference: Healthy Transportation, Healthy Communities, Wed, 11/4, all day, Park Plaza Hotel, Boston. Panels highlighting pedestrian, bike, & public transportation topics; network across public, academic, & private sectors; site visits & mobile workshops led by engineers & bike/ped advocates; interactive training session for MassDOT’s Complete Streets Program. Registration open to the public. Presented by GreenDOT, MassDOT’s comprehensive sustainability policy that promotes the healthy transportation modes of walking, bicycling and transit. Learn more & register here.

Somerville Bicycle Advisory Committee Meeting, Tue, 11/17, 6:30pm, Somerville City Hall, basement Employee Lounge, 93 Highland Avenue.
Meetings are open to the public, and membership is open to all residents with an interest in helping make Somerville a world-class city for bicycling.
Learn more about the Committee here.


Have an event we should be mentioning in our newsletter?

Tweet it to us @Hubway with hashtag #WhereToRide.

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First 9 of 15 New Hubway Stations Installed

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 14

From the city:


It’s been a very busy summer and fall planning, and siting, Boston’s first Hubway expansion since 2013. But at long last the first nine of fifteen new Hubway stations are up and running. We want to thank our newest sponsors, Gerding Edlen, Skanska/Watermark Seaport, and Wentworth Institute of Technology, for helping to make this expansion possible. And as always, we are very grateful for the generous support of New Balance.Check out our new station locations, and learn more about our process for choosing expansion sites.

Join us for our official launch event on October 22nd, celebrating Hubway’s growth into new Boston neighborhoods – we’ll be in Brighton Center (Washington St and Cambridge St) at 3:15pm and Franklin Park Zoo (Blue Hill Ave & Franklin Park Rd) at4:30pm. Come show your support for Hubway’s expansion!

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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 →