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Public transportation and bicycles go together like peanut butter and chocolate. New stations help everyone ditch single occupancy car rides in favor of better more sustainable travel.
Governor Deval Patrick, MassDOT Secretary Richard Davey, and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced that West Station construction will be part of the Allston I-90 Interchange Improvement Project. This new Commuter Rail station in Allston will be partially funded by Harvard, which owns the surrounding land.
Also at the announcement were Senator William Brownsberger, sponsor of the recent bicycle-friendly Act to Protect Vulnerable Road Users and Act to Protect Bicyclists in Bicycle Lanes, and Representative Kevin Honan. Both spoke about the planned West Station.
If you’ve been following (and supporting!) the People’s Pike campaign, you’ll know that construction of this new Commuter Rail station was a topic of concern that many local groups, including MassBike, cited in the letter to Patricia Leavenworth of MassDOT.
MassBike’s David Watson, who attended the announcement, called the plan to build West Station an “important step forward for this project and the neighborhood.” Of course there is more work to be done. “Now,” Watson added, “we just need to ensure that the bicyclist and pedestrian aspects of the project will be top notch!”
Tags: Commuter Rail, massbike, west station
Posted in advocacy, infrastructure | No Comments »
A whole bunch of bike lanes in Somerville are getting painted green. I am not totally sure how I feel about this, but they do seem to be more visible.
Tags: green bike lanes, somerville
Posted in infrastructure | 7 Comments »
In case you didn’t know, the Idaho Stop is when cyclists are allowed to treat stop signs like yields, and red lights like stop signs. Idaho was the first to try it out, and more or less its been pretty ok.
Saw this tweet from the Brookline PD today…asking for feedback about said Idaho Stops.
Feedback welcome, should we allow cyclists to use Idaho Stop’s? Not at all? Perhaps during heavy commuter hours? Certain roads?
— Brookline PD (@BrooklineMAPD) September 17, 2014
I saw if you are going to do it, it has to be all the time all roads, otherwise its just too confusing. As far as I know it would require a change in the law, and would for sure need to be accompanied by a huge education campaign.
What do you think?
Tags: brookline pd, idaho stops
Posted in advocacy, infrastructure | 7 Comments »
From Boston Magazine:
In late July, a Hubway cyclist traveling down Massachusetts Avenue in the South End was hit by a city-contracted trash truck as it went to make a right hand turn onto Columbus Avenue. The cyclist survived the accident, and it may have been due to just one detail: special safety guards that were installed on the sides of the vehicle as part of a pilot program launched by the city last year.
In 2013, through a collaboration between the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics and the Public Works Department, officials said they undertook the largest municipal pilot program of truck side guards in the nation, testing three different types of guards on 16 active vehicles driving the streets, including trash collection trucks.
Officials also worked with researchers from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Volpe Center in Kendall Square to sketch out the details for the proposed guard project, as well as City Councillor Ayanna Pressley, and members of the Boston Cyclists Union.
Tags: news, sideguards
Posted in infrastructure, news | No Comments »
An interesting proposal, I am not totally sold, but I like where this is going. The left turns across pedestrian traffic worry me slightly, but honestly it probably wouldn’t be that bad, as the cyclists would have to slow to turn anyway.
Tags: intersection design, theory, video
Posted in fun, infrastructure, video | 1 Comment »
Check out these awesome lanes! Parked cars on the outside, nice buffer zone, that fresh zing of new thermo plastic. More of these please.
Tags: buffered bike lanes, cambridge
Posted in infrastructure | 3 Comments »
Congrats to Paul Wagner checked out a Hubway bike this past Sunday June 29th, at 11:53am he added his name to the annals of Hubway history by being the two millionth rider! Pretty awesome, and a sign that Hubway is growing rapidly. I heard that he didn’t believe it when they emailed him, so they had to call him and force him to accept his prize ha ha.
Tags: 2 million rides!, hubway
Posted in Bike Business, Commuting, infrastructure | No Comments »
Cars are pretty bad. Its probably not very hard to come up with a dozen bad things our use of cars has done for the planet, for cities, and for people. You might be thinking you can escape thous bad effects by riding a bicycle instead. And for the most part this is true.
But there is one danger posed by cars that still holds true when you ride your bicycle. Pollution, specifically cancer and asthma causing pollution.
A fascinating study from the Harvard school of public health shows that car drivers are not just hurting themselves, but are also hurting everyone who chooses not to drive cars. For most things in this country your right to do whatever you want, extends right up until they hurt someone else, however it seems that when it comes to environmental damage we still have the idea that the sky is a public dumping ground and anyone can inflict damage on anyone else.
Luckily it seems that bike paths and use of proper planning can greatly reduce the exposure to these pollutants. Combined with the added health benefits of cycling, and the reduction of single car occupants on the road, cycling is still one of the single greatest ways to make yourself healthier, and make everyone else healthier at the same time.
From the Harvard School of Public Health:
Boston has installed more than 50 miles of bike lanes since 2007, and the number of pedal-powered commuters in the city, while only 2.1%, is more than three times the national average. To help urban planners continue to improve bike friendliness, researchers at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) set out to determine the types of lanes that expose cyclists to the smallest amount of vehicle pollution.
The researchers attached a mobile monitoring unit to the back of a bicycle and hit the road to sample two types of pollutants from vehicular exhaust—black carbon and nitrogen dioxide—known to increase the risk of asthma, heart disorders, and other health problems. They traveled five common bicycling routes in the city during both morning and evening commutes, to compare bike paths, which are separated from the road, and bike lanes, which run adjacent to traffic.
Bike paths had the best air quality, with concentrations of both pollutants about a third lower than on bike lanes. This was true even when bike paths near crowded streets were compared with bike lanes on quieter streets, suggesting that separation from the road and a protective barrier of vegetation, such as trees and bushes, makes a difference. Bike paths also allow cyclists to bypass intersections, where idling cars make the air quality particularly bad.
Piers MacNaughton, SM ’14, led the data analysis, which was published online May 16, 2014 in Science of the Total Environment. He earned his degree in the Exposure, Epidemiology and Risk Program in the Department of Environmental Health and will start a PhD in the program this fall.
A bike commuter himself, MacNaughton said the aim of the study is not to scare off city bicyclists but rather to provide evidence to shape future urban planning—particularly now that Boston is on the short list of host cities for the 2024 Olympics. “They are really pushing to be a biking capital. I wanted to get this research out so that when they start developing more bike lanes, they can do so in a smart way,” MacNaughton said.
Read Boston Globe coverage: Cyclists, don your gas masks
Tags: harvard school of public health, pollution, science
Posted in advocacy, Commuting, infrastructure | No Comments »