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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.
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)
Tags: bike sign, somerville, union square, use the whole lane
Posted in advocacy, Commuting, infrastructure | No Comments »
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 KeepBostonMoving.org site:
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:
- Zach Wassmouth, Project Manager, BPWD
- Consultant Team – HDR Engineering, Inc. teamed with Crosby Schlessinger Smallridge, LLC, Ronald W. Buia, Inc., SMC, RM Engineering, Inc.
Tags: act now, Comm. Ave, Commonwealth Ave, redesign
Posted in advocacy, Commuting, infrastructure | No Comments »
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:
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.
Tags: hubway, new bikes
Posted in Commuting, infrastructure | 1 Comment »
Tags: columbia road, fairmont innovation lab, livable streets, uphams corner
Posted in advocacy, Commuting, education, infrastructure | No Comments »
DotBike is awesome! If you live in Dorchester and want to make it better for cycling check them out!
- CTPS bike/walkability study of several Fairmount Line Station areas
- DotBike Board formation
- Local project updates
- 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)
- Advocacy Strategy Session. (Action item for #4)
- Drink a beer or two, or maybe three.
Tags: DotBike, rules
Posted in advocacy, Commuting, education, fun, infrastructure | 1 Comment »
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!
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.
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|
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!
Save 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!
Tags: livable streets, Street Talk
Posted in advocacy, education, fun, infrastructure, news | No Comments »
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.
The Hubway Team
New, fully operational Hubway stations!
HERE’S WHERE YOU’LL FIND THEM!
— BOSTON —
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)
HUBWAY’S 150th STATION!
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)
— CAMBRIDGE —
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.
for up to the minute system information and bike/dock availability.
Visit the Hubway website for all system alerts, news, and other announcements.
TOWARD A BIKEABLE FUTURE
THE CAMBRIDGE BICYCLE PLAN IS NOW ONLINW!
Join us for a public hearing to discuss the plan and sustainable transportation
TUESDAY, 10/20, 3:30PM
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.
Have an event we should be mentioning in our newsletter?
Tags: growing, hubway
Posted in Commuting, infrastructure | No Comments »
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!
Tags: hubway, stations
Posted in Commuting, infrastructure | No Comments »