The Latest From BostonBiker.org

News, Events, Updates


Bikes Not Bombs Update

Written by Boston Biker on Apr 10

2013 Annual Report Release – Big vision, Concrete Strategies, Real Impact

It is with great pride and excitement that we present our 2013 Annual Report! 2013 was a busy year for Bikes Not Bombs; we collected more bikes than ever before, launched a new weekly youth drop-in time, started two off-site bicycle programs that employ alumni youth, developed a new partnership with Bici-Tec in Guatemala, and had a record-breaking successful Bike-A-Thon! We encourage you to read our first-ever digital annual report which spotlights some of the stories and people that made 2013 especially memorable. We owe a big thank you to every volunteer, donor, supporter, participant, and member of BNB that made this year possible!

As you look through the Annual Report, we’re sure you’ll be impressed by our accomplishments and progress. But moving forward we are also keenly aware of how much is left to be done. We hope you’ll to consider gift to support Bikes Not Bombs as we move towards our goals for 2014 and beyond.

Enrolling for Spring Girls In Action

Bikes Not Bombs is currently accepting applications for Spring Girls In Action! The program will take place May 12th through June 12th from 4-7pm Monday – Thursday, and is open to girls ages 12-18. Participants will choose a bike from those donated to Bikes Not Bombs, and not only learn the skills to build it up, but to maintain it as well. At the end of the program, once the bike is built, it is hers to take home! Additionally, we go on bike adventures to explore some of the fascinating places Boston has to offer, and explore various environmental and social justice issues. No previous bike knowledge is necessary!

There are a limited number of spots available. Applicants are chosen based on application date, the applicant’s availability, and willingness to commit. To qualify for enrollment, BOTH the completed application and payment (cash, check or money order) or fee waiver must be submitted. Applicants who are not accepted for whatever reason, will be notified and program fees will be returned.

If you have any questions please contact Ashley Leary at 617-522-0222 x101 or email[email protected].

Applications are available online. Mail or deliver the application & fee to: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory Street Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Register to Ride the 2014 Bike-A-Thon on June 8th

Join Bikes Not Bombs for the 27th Annual Bike-A-Thonon Sunday, June 8th, 2014 (Rain date: Sunday, June 22nd)! We are excited to release four new routes this year including a family friendly 10 mile route and our longest route ever, 80 miles! All routes start and end in the Southwest Corridor Park, in front of the Stony Brook T. In the afternoon, riders meet back for an After Party which includes fun activities, music, and free food! Our2013 Bike-A-Thon was the most successful yet, mobilizing 559 riders to raise over $170,000, and we’re hoping 2014 will be even more successful! The Bike-A-Thon brings together riders of all ages and skill-levels and every rider makes a difference! After registering, riders can create a personalized fundraising page and are responsible for meeting fundraising minimums ($150 for adults and $75 for those under 18). All proceeds benefit Bikes Not Bombs’ local and international programs.

Register online or in-person at the Hub or Bike Shop.

Beyond the thrill of a fun bike ride, all registered riders will receive 15% off labor for a basic or major tune up at the BNB Shop and there are tons of prizes available from now until the ride on our Twitterand Facebook. Make sure you check in every day to see what the latest #BAT2014 prize is!

Help BNB Load Bikes to Bici-Tec in Guatemala on Sunday April 13th from 10am to 5pm

Bici-Tec is an appropriate technology social enterprise in Guatemala that repairs and sells bicycles, as well as designs and builds bicycle-powered machines. Bici-Tec also trains other people to design and build bicycle machines, such as pedal-powered water pumps and corn grinders. These machines offer an economic and environmentally sustainable alternative to rural families and communities. Bicycle machines are locally produced and use locally repairable technology, and in the words of Carlos Marroquin, Bici-Tec founder, “offer a middle ground between the artisanal and the industrial.”

Please join us to help BNB load bikes to Bici-Tec in Guatemala!

TIME: Sunday, April 13th from 10am to 5pm. Drop in for an hour or stay all day.
PLACE: The BNB warehouse at 10 Harvard Street in Dorchester
DETAILS: Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Equal Exchange coffee will be generously donated by City Feed & Supply.

You can RSVP online.

Power to the Pedals Film Screening Tuesday May 6th

Bikes Not Bombs will screen the new documentary“Power to the Pedals: Wenzday Jane and the Culture of Change” at the Hub, 284 Amory Street in Jamaica Plain, on Tuesday May 6th at 6pm. This 30-minute film features the story of Wenzday Jane, the founder of Metro Pedal Power. Wenzday grew up in a low-income household and was able to harness her mechanical skills to build a successful business — with priorities on social justice and community-building.

We will host a panel of 3-4 speakers after the film focusing on the process of personal and professional development, and the hard and soft skills youth can develop to move onto jobs after high-school. We hope you’ll be able to join us for this exciting film and panel! Email [email protected] for more information.

Volunteer of the Month – Sophie Greenspan

Our volunteer of the month is Sophie Greenspan! While you might not recognize Sophie by name, you will definitely recognize her style all over BNB! She has been our go-to graphic designer for the past year. In November, she designed our year-end newsletter, then immediately went “back to the drawing board” and created our Bike-A-Thon posters, flyers, and ads. Her work didn’t end there; Sophie is currently in the throes of designing the 2014 Bike-A-Thon t-shirt. While we’re not asking her to have a completed design until the end of April, Sophie has already presented us with three separate t-shirt options. Sophie’s enthusiasm for BNB and our graphic design projects is tremendous! Thanks Sophie!

Youth Employee of the Month

Abdullahi (Abdul) Hussein is the April 2014 Youth Employee of the Month. He is the ultimate team player and leader amongst his peers. Abdul makes young people feel welcome at BNB and Chain Reaction, and is a really thoughtful and giving co-worker. Born in Kenya to Somalian parents, Abdul came to Bikes Not Bombs in 2010 to take Earn-A-Bike. After displaying motivation and a strong work ethic in Earn-A-Bike, Abdul joined the Pathways program to be an Instructor running Earn-A-Bike and Girls In Action. Since then, he has become our Chain Reaction Coordinator and has sought out many opportunities to develop new skills – including planning the February trip to the Youth Bike Summit in New York City, where he organized youth to lead a workshop. He takes initiative, works independently and with his peers to achieve goals, is focused and has an energy that is both positive and highly infectious. Always quick with a joke to break the ice, Abdul balances his personal focus on success for himself and Bikes Not Bombs with a lighter side that builds the youth programs team culture and cohesiveness. A veteran leader with a wealth of experience at BNB and with our coalition partners, we are honored to call Abdul a member of the BNB family and our April Youth Employee of the Month. Congratulations to Abdul!

April Free Clinics, Refurbished Bikes Back in Stock, and Spring Shop Happenings

We will be holding our Flat Fixing Clinic on Thursday April 10th from 8-9pm and our Basic Repair and Maintenance Clinic on Wednesday April 23rd from 8-9pm. Full class schedule is online. As always, no need to sign up ahead of time, just be punctual and show up by 8pm! Tool Time, an open shop where you can work on your own projects, will be on Monday April 7th from 7-9pm. Tool Time requires both a BNB Membership and advanced sign up.

With the days getting warmer (and hopefully staying that way) the shop is starting to pick up again. Currently, we’re only booked a couple days in advance so it’s still a great time to bring you’re bike by to get tuned-up for Spring.

We have a great selection of refurbished and new bikesto come try out. Also don’t forget that we currently have some refurbished kids bikes starting at $50. This is a great way to get a safe and fun 16″ or 20″ wheeled bike for your child.

We’re happy to welcome Ernesto Botello to our shop staff. Ernesto recently completed our Vocational Training Program and has been a great addition to the bike shop staff. We’re also sad to announce that longtime employee Alex Twombly is leaving the BNB shop, but we wish him the best as he embarks on his through-hike along the Pacific Crest Trail!

Bike-A-Thon Volunteers Needed!

photo by: Allie Hunter

Want to participate in the fun of Bike-A-Thon without riding? We’re looking for about 50 volunteers to help out on the day of the event, June 8th (rain date: June 22nd). We also have some volunteer roles in the week leading up to the Bike-A-Thon. Volunteers receive a free Bike-A-Thon t-shirt, food at the After-Party, and get to be part of the action!

Available positions include helping with the BNB info table, route marking, rest stop support, sign painting and more. Sign up online!




News outside of BNB:

 


 

 

Hubway is Hiring

Hubway Bicycle Share is hiring a variety of positions for the spring and summer. There are a number of part-time and full-time positions available including Field Bicycle Technician and Corporate Sales Associate. Hubway operates a 3 year old bike share in Boston, Cambridge, Brookline and Somerville.


submit Bikes Not Bombs Update to reddit.com Add to Reddit.

Tags: ,
Posted in advocacy, news | No Comments »

Cities Lose $1000 Or More Per Year For Every Parking Space They Have

Written by Boston Biker on Apr 07

I have been rambling on for years about how parking spaces are basically the worst thing you can put into a city (other than I guess the cars in them), but finally someone went and proved me right with math.

0331_parking_lots_970-630x420

A pair of forthcoming studies by Garrick and several of his UConn colleagues examine the economic and sociological impacts of parking trends in six U.S. cities from 1960 to 2000. They conclude that some car-centric cities forfeit more than a thousand dollars per parking space per year in potential municipal revenues by using land for parking rather than more lucrative alternatives. The researchers also found that minimum parking requirements inhibit development and exacerbate traffic by placing incentives on car use rather than on walking and cycling.

The studies chronicle changes in Arlington, Va., Berkeley, Calif., and Cambridge, Mass.—all of which showed only modest growth in parking over the past 40 years—and Hartford, Conn., Lowell, Mass., and New Haven, Conn., where parking spaces were added with great zeal over that span.

…..

Parking-centric cities also sacrifice income. In all six cities studied by UConn’s researchers, land devoted to buildings provides at least 88 percent of tax revenue and sometimes as much as 97 percent; parking contributes very little. In other words, cities that turn themselves into car lots relinquish tax money in the bargain.

Hartford loses an estimated $1,200 annually per parking space, a subsidy of more than $50 million per year, according to Garrick. The city is no anomaly: “We pick on Hartford because it’s our state capital.” Cities such as Cambridge, where parking is kept in check and more heavily taxed, don’t lose money. (read more here)

Hindsight is of course 20/20, but lets go over a little recap of what happened to many cities since the 60′s. Build big highways into the city, allowing people to commute from the burbs, whoops there goes your tax base, then you build lots of parking lots so those people have some place to stash their cars when arrive from 20-10+ miles away, roads get torn up without the tax base to pay for them, and whoops lost tax revenue because empty concrete doesn’t make much tax revenue. Then what are you left with? A city that is a traffic jam twice a day, a parking lot during the work day, and a ghost town at night and on weekends. You also have lots of ugly highways and overpasses that make it impossible for the people left to enjoy the city…in short building cities for cars is a nightmare.

I am uplifted by the fact that there has been a big trend in tearing down overpasses, making it more expensive to commute by car into cites, and removing, or reducing the number of parking spaces built. But we have a long way to go, our cities are still not designed for people, they are designed for cars. Hopefully people will follow the money and replace the parking spaces with something useful, like a garden, park, business, home, or bike lane!


submit Cities Lose $1000 Or More Per Year For Every Parking Space They Have to reddit.com Add to Reddit.

Tags: , ,
Posted in advocacy, news | 5 Comments »

Cyclist Killed By Hit And Run In Charlestown

Written by Boston Biker on Apr 04

Our sincerest thoughts go out to his family.

It seems they have found the garbage truck driver they think was involved in the crash. And charged them.

Update: Police have charged the driver of a sanitation truck who allegedly killed a cyclist and left the scene of the accident Thursday in Charlestown.

Ricky Prezioso, 41, of Swampscott, has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident after causing death.(via)

From the BPD

At about 1:40pm, on Thursday, April 3, 2014, officers from District A-15 (Charlestown) responded to a call for a pedestrian struck in the area of Cambridge & Spice Streets in Charlestown. On arrival, officers located a male victim suffering from what appeared to be life threatening injuries. The victim was pronounced deceased on the scene.

The Boston Police Department is actively investigating the facts and circumstances surrounding this incident and is asking for the public’s help in an effort to locate and identify a vehicle seen leaving the area shortly after the accident. The vehicle in question is described as a sanitation truck, white in color with black lettering.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Boston Homicide Unit at (617) 343-4470.

Community members wishing to assist this investigation anonymously can do so by calling the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1(800) 494-TIPS or by texting the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463). The Boston Police Department will stringently guard and protect the identities of all those who wish to help this investigation anonymously.

Charlestown has a history of being less than amenable to cycling safety improvements. And this horrible tragedy comes on the same day that the MassBike and WalkBoston are introducing a cyclist/pedestrian safety bill.

I am deeply saddened that one of our own has been killed. More information when I get it.

EDIT:

Some pictures from the scene, does anyone know this bicycle?

BkUr2kcIQAARahf

3459078_G

EDIT: Warning this might make you hate all humanity.

05bike106

The Swampscott garbage truck driver who fatally struck a bicyclist in Charlestown allegedly told Boston police that he did not know he had struck someone with his vehicle, and completed his trash pickup a few feet from where the bicyclists crumpled body was found.

The name of the bicyclist has not been released.

Ricky Prezioso, 41, today pleaded not guilty to one count of leaving the scene of an accident after causing death in Charlestown Municipal Court where bail was set at $5,000 cash and Judge Lawrence McCormick refused to ban him from driving.

The bicyclist was pronounced dead at the scene. His crumpled bike was found by police on Spice Street close to the Cambridge Street intersection; his body was about 10 feet further down Spice Street and remained there for several hours while police collected forensic information.

….

Prezioso’s attorney, William Cintolo, said that his client was not responsible for the fatal incident.

“Instead of the truck hitting the bike, the bike hit the truck,’’ Cintolo said. “There is not one scintilla of evidence that there was anything negligent about his operation.”

Suffolk Assistant District Attorney Ian Leson asked for $15,000 cash bail and that Prezioso be held without bail for an assault and battery case in Woburn District Court from last year.

Leson also asked the judge to suspend Prezioso’s right to drive.

But Cintolo told the judge that Prezioso supports his three children who live in Everett, as well as his fiance’s three children who live in Swampscott.

McCormick said he was convinced by Cintolo’s argument that Prezioso should be allowed to continue to earn a living behind the wheel.

“If he’s dependent upon his position to keep six children fed and clothed, I don’t find it necessary to prevent him from doing that,’’ the judge said from the bench.

You can read the rest here…its pretty depressing. Like they say, if you want to murder someone wait until they get onto a bicycle.

EDIT:
A better picture of the bike, anyone know who this is?

DSC_0126.JPG

EDIT:
UHub is reporting that the victim was a 30 yar old man from Chelsea, but his name has not been released yet.

EDIT:
UHub is reporting that the victim was Owen McGrory, 30, of Chelsea.


submit Cyclist Killed By Hit And Run In Charlestown to reddit.com Add to Reddit.

Tags: , , ,
Posted in news | 8 Comments »

Bikes Not Bombs Update

Written by Boston Biker on Mar 10

Bike-A-Thon Registration is Open

Join over 400 riders at our Bike-A-Thon and check out our new routes! Photo by Wayne Chinnock

Register now for Bikes Not Bombs’ biggest and most exciting event of the year! Our 27th annual Bike-A-Thon will be heldSunday, June 8th, 2014. (Rain date: Sunday, June 22nd.) Join hundreds of riders for an amazing day of cycling and fun while raising critical funds to support Bikes Not Bombs’ work in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and right here in Boston. The Bike-A-Thon brings together riders of all ages and skill-levels and every rider makes a difference! This year, we’re releasing fourBRAND NEW routes: 80 miles, 50 miles, 30 miles, and 10-miles (very family friendly!) In the afternoon, riders meet back in the Stony Brook Park for an After Party which includes fun activities, music, and free food!

Sign up today to take advantage of our early registration special! We’re offering half price registration during the month of March, it’s only $10 for adults and $5 for youth!

Be sure to stop by our event website, Hub, or Bike Shop to register to ride and find out more about Bike-A-Thon 2014!

Also, you can RSVP to the Bike-A-Thon Facebook event, share it on your wall, and invite your friends to join in the fun!

Register to ride! Or read more online.

Help BNB Load Bikes to Guatemala

Bici-Tec is an appropriate technology social enterprise in Guatemala that repairs and sells bicycles, designs, builds and distributes bicycle-powered machines such as water pumps and corn grinders, and also trains other people to design and build bicycle machines. These bicycle machines offer an economic and environmentally sustainable energy alternative to rural families and communities, as well as being a locally produced and locally repairable technology. In the words of Carlos Marroquin, Bici-Tec founder, “bicycle machines offer a middle ground between the artisanal and the industrial.”

Please join us to help BNB load bikes to Bici-Tec in Guatemala!
TIME: Sunday, April 13th from 10am to 5pm. Drop in for an hour or stay all day.
PLACE: The BNB warehouse at 10 Harvard Street in Dorchester
DETAILS: Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Equal Exchange coffee will be generously donated by City Feed & Supply.

You can RSVP to the event on our website.

Uganda Shipment Arrived: Thank You Pedros!

Photo by Mark Odoch

This January, BNB’s shipment to the Village Health Workers in Amuru, Northern Uganda, arrived without a scratch. In addition to the 400 adult mountain bikes, BNB loaded tons of parts and tools, including an AMAZING donation of tools from PEDRO’S, filling multiple tool boxes. These super high-quality PEDRO’S tools will be used to repair the 550 Village Health Workers’ bicycles for many years to come, equipping them with the transportation to provide rural health care to the 40,000 residents of post-conflict Amuru Sub-County. THANK YOU PEDRO’S for contributing toward these life-saving impacts of bicycles in Northern Uganda!

Youth Bike Summit and World Bicycle Forum Report Back

BNB’s youth bike summit team in NYC

On Thursday, March 13th from 5-7pm Bikes Not Bombs’ youth will join together with International Programs Coordinator, Charlotte Fagan, to give a report back and presentation from their respective travels. BNB youth will share the skills and lessons gained from the Youth Bike Summit in New York City and Charlotte will present the highlights from the World Bicycle Forum she attended in Brazil in February. This is a wonderful opportunity to share and learn community organizing strategies from around the world. We’ll hold a Q&A session following the presentations. Light refreshments will be served. RSVPs are not required but encouraged. Feel free to drop in for a couple of minutes, or stay the entire time! Email[email protected] with any questions.

Host a Lunch Brake at Your Workplace

Want to take a fun “Lunch Brake” with Bikes Not Bombs and your coworkers? We are traveling to workplaces for brown-bag lunches – or “Lunch Brakes” – to talk about our work and impact. Lunch Brakes are a great way to introduce your colleagues to Bikes Not Bombs and connect them with ways to get involved. We will share stories from inspirational leaders, videos about our work, information about upcoming events, and open up the space for Q&A. If you are interested in spreading the word about BNB and hosting us at your office, please contact Erica Rotman, Director of Fundraising & Events, at [email protected].

Sweatshirts Back In Stock, Winter Glove Blowout, Tool Time, and New Hours!

BNB hoodies are back in stock and still totally awesome.

The popular BNB hoodie is back in stock. We now have a full size run of Small to XXL as well as Youth Large. Hoodies are $40 and can be shipped worldwide ($7 domestic/more for international). Just stop by to pick one up or call the shop if you’d like to order one.

The BNB Shop is having a Winter Glove Blowout! Select styles marked down up to 50% off. This includes many of our warmest gloves and some less bulky Springtime gloves as well.

The BNB Shop is now open 7 days a week. Our hours are Monday 11am-7pm; Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 8am-8pm; Friday 11am-7pm; Saturday 10am-6pm; and Sunday 12 noon-5pm.

Youth Programs Update

Mykala Jordan

We are still accepting applications to Spring Earn-A-Bike and Girls In Action.

Visit our website for program descriptions and dates.

The February Youth Employee of the Month is: Mykala Jordan!

Mykala Jordan is a first time Youth Instructor, but you wouldn’t know it from watching her. She steps up to take leadership opportunities whenever she can. From fundraising to send youth to New York for the Youth Bike Summit or waking up on a Saturday morning to recruit youth for programs. She takes charge in fundraising, outreach, and learning new skills. Mykala gets along well with everyone, is up for doing any task, and brings a positive and happy perspective to BNB’s Youth Programs. Without a doubt Mykala deserves the spotlight for her work. Congrats, Mykala.

Welcome Natalie Brady

Natalie Brady, BNB Communications Manager

We are thrilled to announce that Natalie Brady has joined our team as the new Communications Manager! Natalie originally hails from Kansas City, KS but has come to love Boston while attending Northeastern University. Natalie brings experience working at a local non-profits, and has served as a manager at Urban AdvenTours. At Bikes Not Bombs, Natalie is responsible for media connections and outreach, and is a critical part of the Bike-A-Thon and Development & Communications teams. When she’s not Instagraming her new favorite pictures, she can be found reading/watching Game of Thrones, trying new vegetarian dishes and hanging out with her roommate’s dog. Please join us in giving Natalie a warm welcome! She can be reached at 617-522-0222 x 104 or[email protected].

Volunteer of the Month: Lauren Forbes

Lauren Forbes

With the tremendous community support that BNB has, we’re forced to keep up with a rushing volume of incoming donations, especially during year-end. The paperwork is no simple task, but luckily we have Lauren Forbes, whose diligence and commitment to BNB has helped us plow through the mountains of data entry and donation receipts. She has been volunteering every week in the office since last summer and now has become our most experienced active office volunteer. She’s also been to several container loadings! And as a cyclist, she enjoys utilizing our volunteer credit system to earn used parts for her bike. Thanks for all your help, Lauren!

Seeking Small Business and Corporate Bike-A-Thon Sponsors

Bikes Not Bombs’ 27th annual Bike-A-Thon is on June 8th and we’re looking for local companies and businesses to support the event by signing on as sponsors. Becoming an event sponsor is a great way for companies to advertise their support of Bikes Not Bombs. We can feature company logos on event signage, our website, and depending on the level of sponsorship, there are opportunities to be included in our Jamaica Plain Gazette ads as well as on our t-shirt. And, this year we’re offering free Bike-A-Thon registration to a limited number of sponsors’ employees as a way to encourage staff to get involved with the event.

While we are seeking in-kind gifts for our raffle, we’re most interested in fiscal sponsorship because unrestricted funds provide us with the greatest flexibility and have the deepest impact on our work. Check out the 2013 Bike-A-Thon results which lists all sponsors at the bottom of the page.

Download the sponsorship details and contact Eric Mearns, Sponsorship Coordinator at[email protected] to become a sponsor.




News outside of BNB:

 


Boston Bike Update

Monday, March 31, Fanueil Hall, Great Room. Doors Open at 5:45, presentations begin at 6:15. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has confirmed his attendance! Biking has doubled in Boston in the last 6 years. Want to know how, why and who helped make this happen? Wondering how biking fits into larger transportation network? Join us for this sixth annual event with Boston Bikes Director, Nicole Freedman. Register for this event to hear Nicole discuss the future of biking in Boston, including end of year surveys, Connect Historic Boston, the Network Plan, and the path forward under Mayor Walsh.


NOBPIFA Bill

The New Opportunities for Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure Financing Act of 2014 (NOBPIFA) will allow communities to take advantage of low-cost financing for projects that make streets and sidewalks safer for all users through a new federal credit assistance program that would direct millions specifically for low-income communities. The NOBPIFA bill would create a new low-interest, long-term loan program for communities to build out their bicycling and walking networks – and would require 25% of the funding be spent in low income neighborhoods. Please tell your representative to support the bill


EcoLogic hiring

EcoLogic Development Fund is now hiring a Communications Officer! EcoLogic collaborates with the rural poor in Central America and Mexico and helps local communities identify, evaluate, and prioritize their conservation and natural resource needs. They then work with these communities to get them what they need to restore and conserve the tropical ecosystems where they live and on which they rely for basic necessities and well-being. This can include skills, financing, materials, access to decision makers and experts, hands-on experience, and other forms of support.


submit Bikes Not Bombs Update to reddit.com Add to Reddit.

Tags: ,
Posted in advocacy, news | No Comments »

MBTA Says No Dedicated Train For Cyclists For This Years Midnight Marathon Ride

Written by Boston Biker on Mar 04

Edit: More info here and here.  This ride is still going to happen!

In a head scrathing decison the MBTA has announced it wont provide a train for this years Midnight Marathon Ride.

 

midnightmarathon_feat1

557706_10100712044020039_83788089_n

Cyclists who rely on a special Commuter Rail train to travel between Boston and Hopkinton for the annual Midnight Marathon Bike Ride will have to find a new way to get to the starting line for this year’s event.

After the Boston Athletic Association allegedly asked the organizers of the ride to derail their annual 26.2-mile trek, the MBTA announced that a set of train cars reserved last year for shipping hundreds of cyclists to the starting line would not be arriving at South Station in 2014.

“A special train, dedicated to bikes, will not be provided this year,” said MBTA Spokesman Joe Pesaturo in an email to Boston. Pesaturo said the train would not be giving rides to the cyclists “at the request of local public safety officials,” not the BAA. Standard rules for bikes on off-peak Commuter Rail trains will be in effect, which means a maximum of four bikes will be allowed per coach.

The BAA asked Midnight Marathon Bike Ride organizers not to host the event, citing safety concerns. Last week, the BAA put out a set of specific security guidelines in response to last year’s bombings at the finish line.

Peter Judge, spokesman with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, the state office that works with BAA officials to address security issues both prior to the marathon, and on race day, said the reason for asking cyclists to cancel their trip “dove tails” on last year’s bombing, but it’s actually just a general concern voiced by officials in municipalities that the riders pass through. “Anytime you are going to send 1,000 people out at midnight on bikes, you have the potential for issues. [The bombings] aside, this is something that has been discussed every year, and there has been concerns,” he said. “It’s strictly a public safety issue and the timing of it. It’s a cool idea, but it’s just raw with potential. That being said, we are asking them not to have the ride.”

I feel like this is the worst possible response to a terrorist act. “They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” We are basically saying that if you do something horrible to us, we will change our entire way of life and relinquish basic freedoms.  I guess 9/11 and the response to it has taught us nothing.

You are allowed to take your bike on the train, you are allowed to ride your bike on the road, and neither act is a danger to anyone. If the powers that be are concerned that people bike riding on a road at midnight with no crowds is more dangerous than having 26.2 miles of packed human beings watching the actual marathon than they are not thinking straight.

I simply don’t see how they are going to lock down all 26.2 miles of the course. I don’t see how they are going to search every person who wants to watch the marathon. Crowds if anything will be bigger this year. No cowardly act of violence is going to keep Bostonians from participating in a symbol of unity and international togetherness.

I don’t know where the person in the story above is getting this 4 bikes per car thing (that rule is not listed here), but if that is how they are going to play it, we simply show up as soon as rush hour is over (7pm), and cram every car with 4 cyclists all night until midnight.  Folding bikes are also allowed at all times on any train, so bring your folder if you got one.

I say we all show up at south station and buy a ticket.  And then we cram ourselves onto any train available, we rent some buses, carpool, get a U-haul,  hell lets make this 26.2 mile ride into a 52.4 mile ride and do it out and back.  This sort of panic and fear based foolishness shouldn’t keep us from enjoying our legal rights to use the trains and roads.  Feel free to use the comments below to set up ride shares, truck rentals, etc.

I think its important that we make this ride bigger and better than ever as a symbolic gesture, to raise a big middle finger to anyone that would use fear as a tool of persuasion.  Don’t be confused, train or no train this ride is going to happen this year.  Bring a friend because its going to be huge!

Fuck fear mongers, fuck terrorists for using violence against innocent people, and fuck them both for trying to make us afraid.  Lets come together and show everyone that love and bicycles are stronger than bombs and fear.


submit MBTA Says No Dedicated Train For Cyclists For This Years Midnight Marathon Ride to reddit.com Add to Reddit.

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in news | 4 Comments »

Two New Studies Show Moving Away From Cars Improves Business

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 28

And not just business but a lot of other things, safety,health, quality of life.  But no one really cares about any of that unless it makes you more money…so the headline reads “improves business” not “makes you feel less horrible.”  But hey if it takes an increase in earnings to get people to abandon cars (and car parking), so be it.  Any port in a storm right.

——————–

From Livable Streets:

Myth: Businesses need parking spaces in front of their store to thrive

Debunked: Complete streets are increasing economic vitality across the country.

Improved accessibility and a more welcoming street environment are now proven to generate higher sales. In particular, studies find that protected bike lanes and increased bike parking promote economic growth.

Check out the Protected Bike Lanes Mean Business report by PeopleForBikes and the Alliance for Biking & Walking, and the Economic Benefits of Sustainable Streets study by New York City Department of Transportation for more stats and facts on this topic.

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

 

 


submit Two New Studies Show Moving Away From Cars Improves Business to reddit.com Add to Reddit.

Tags: , , , ,
Posted in advocacy, Bike Business, Commuting, education, news | 2 Comments »

Livable Streets Update

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 28

From Livable Streets:

———–

Spring member party at District Hall.

A party is springing up and we want you there! 

 

Join the LivableStreets community at Boston’s newest event space: District Hall. Meet and chat with members, staff and board members about the latest innovative thinking on transportation in Boston’s innovation district.

 

Already a member? Register for event now.

 

Want to become a member? Join/renew for only $35 for free event entry.


Save the date: Bike4Life, September 14

Bike4Life will be on Sunday, September 14, 2014

Bike4Life – a ride that benefits LivableStreets, will be on Sunday, September 14, from 8:30-2pm. 24 and 40 mile routes, 4 and 8 mile guided kid and family routes, and BBQ celebration!

 

Save the date and more details coming soon.

#Bike4LifeBoston

Wins

MassDOT’s new engineering directive

MassDOT has recently published a new Engineering Directive (E-14-001) to clarify and strengthen minimum pedestrian and bicycle accommodations required in roadway and bridge projects. The directive also encourages engineers to look beyond the minimums when designing for pedestrians and bicycles. MassDOT leadership reached out to LivableStreets, WalkBoston, and MassBike when preparing this new directive and incorporated extensive input.
Major changes in this directive include:

  • requiring new 5-foot-minimum shoulders or bike lanes recommended for bicycle accommodation (compared to the prior 4-foot-minimum shoulder or 15-foot-wide outside lane)
  • mandating sidewalks on all bridge and roadway projects in urbanized areas as required by the new Healthy Transportation Directive

For more information about the new Engineering Directive check out the Babystate Roads Program Blog. This directive is the result of the Design Standards Working Group, which LivableStreets sits on, and is just one way we advocate for safer and more livable streets for you.

MassDOTbusesMassDOT board votes to fund new buses

$355 million for new buses
Photo credit: Boston Business Journal

On February 19, the MassDOT board voted to include a total of $355M for bus replacement in its capital plan, $150M of which is new funding. More than 10% of the MBTA buses have reached the end of their useful life (12 years), and 85% of the MBTA bus fleet will reach their end in the next five years.

LivableStreets has been working on increasing statewide transportation funding with Transportation for Massachusetts. This is huge win for Transportation for Massachusetts and all those who live, work and play in the MBTA area.

Newsworthy

BansAutosBoston going carless

Call it pie in the sky, just plain crazy, or something to consider also?

 

Major cities across Europe from Brussels to Hamburg hope to go car-free.

Madrid, Spain is just one of the cities to swear off cars.

Brussels: ”The move would transform a handsome but car-snarled four-lane boulevard and a string of squares into a long, café-filled promenade. This new zone will join up with an existing pedestrian zone in the narrow streets around the city’s Grand Place and Rue Neuve, turning Brussels’ core into a spacious, rambling open-air living room.” Read more here>>

 

Madrid: “Trees, bikes, and walking are in. Cars, historical protection, and new apartments are out. This is the gist of a new plan Madrid has hatched to help it catch up with its European neighbors… The plan calls for 24 major Madrid streets to be radically overhauled, with car lanes removed, bike lanes added and trees planted to make them cool and shady.” Read more here >>

 

Hamburg: “Germany, home of the high-speed autobahn, is perhaps one of the few countries that has had as intense a love affair with the automobile as the U.S. But in an effort to go green, the country’s second-largest city is studying ways to eliminate cars by 2034. The northern city of Hamburg has laid out an initial concept, named the Green Network Plan, that would expand public transportation and add more routes for pedestrians and bicyclists.” Watch CNBC segment here >>

 

Read more about the plans, pros and cons. Share and discuss @StreetsBoston /Faceboook.com/LivableStreets / [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you!

What do you think about Boston going carless?

publicmeetingsPublic meetings & other opportunities

Boston MPO calls for hosts of livable streets communities workshops

Help educate communities on how to incorporate livability concepts and promote thinking about how design influences livability.

Fill out application here>>

Public Transit and Youth in the MBTA: Discussion and Briefing

Thursday, February 27, 4-6pm

@ SEIU 32BJ, 26 West Street, 3rd Fl, Boston

More details here>> 

 

LivableStreets Volunteer Friday

Friday, February 28, 12-2pm

@ LivableStreets, 100 Sidney St, Cambridge

More details here>>

For full list of events on our calendar see here>>

Sincerely,

LivableStreets

E: [email protected]
P: 617.621.1746
W:www.LivableStreets.info


submit Livable Streets Update to reddit.com Add to Reddit.

Tags: ,
Posted in advocacy, news | No Comments »

Boston Or Austin Taking Your Bike Is Faster

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 27

Once upon a time I lived in Austin, then Boston, if any of you know of a city like Costin, Dustin, Eustin…I am kind of trying to go in order.

But enough of that, seems even in a city more or less designed for cars (as Austin is), biking is still faster.  Mostly because cars are too damn big, and there are too many of them, and everyone wants to get into them all at the same time.

———————–

 

From the AustinPost:

 

It was a simple enough idea. Last Friday, five Austin Post reporters set off across the center of town around 5 p.m. to see how our city’s transportation options stack up: just a little more than four miles through rush hour hell.

 

We avoided the parking lot that was I-35 and the river of cars known as Mopac. No, we were in the mood for a multi-modal race, and we also wanted to test the powers of the new MetroRapid bus. We chose Guadalupe as our race route because it traverses the living, breathing (if not always moving) heart of the city and can be traversed any way you like, short of water travel. And so: 38th and Guadalupe to South Congress and Monroe.

Five travelers, five modes:

  • MetroRapid Bus
  • Regular Bus
  • Car
  • Bike
  • On Foot

We assumed our pedestrian would come in last. Austin traffic might be horrendous, but there’s no way a not-particularly-athletic person can walk 4.5 miles faster than a car can drive it, right?

Well, you know what they say about assumptions: don’t make any when it comes to how bad Austin traffic can be. We’ll let the results speak for themselves:

 

Yes, that graph is correct: the driver came in last place and took an hour and a half to get 4.5 miles through town. That’s half the time it takes to get to Dallas on a good day. The regular bus didn’t do much better, clocking in at just under 80 minutes.

- See more here:

Amazing, really.  Even the pedestrian beat the car driver…

Best part is this timelapse of the car drivers experience,

(note how different this is than a car commercial)


submit Boston Or Austin Taking Your Bike Is Faster to reddit.com Add to Reddit.

Tags: , ,
Posted in fun, news | 1 Comment »

The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Open Letter from Midnight Marathon Originator April 18, 2014
      Dear Midnight Marathon Riders, Now is a good time to fill you in on what's going on with the Midnight Marathon bike ride this year (it's still happening, but after months of questions and back and forth). But first, a few words about last year, the most successful Midnight Marathon bike ride to date... Continue reading → […]
      greg
    • Open Letter from Midnight Marathon Originator April 18, 2014
      Dear Midnight Marathon Riders, Now is a good time to fill you in on what's going on with the Midnight Marathon bike ride this year (it's still happening, but after months of questions and back and forth). But first, a few words about last year, the most successful Midnight Marathon bike ride to date... Continue reading → […]
      greg
    • The Rise Of Bicycling In Suburban America April 17, 2014
      TweetIn America, cars have always been associated with affluence. Early in the days of the automobile, only the wealthy could own cars, since they were prohibitively expensive. It wasn’t until mass production began, which lowered prices significantly, that cars were … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • Bikes Not Bombs’ 27th Annual Bike-A-Thon April 16, 2014
      TweetIt’s that time of year again! Event Name: Bike-A-Thon (https://bikesnotbombs.org/bike-a-thon) Time/Date/Location: Sunday June 8th (June 22nd Raindate) Rides leave in AM; Festival goes 12 – 5:30 @ Park across from Stony Brook MBTA Station 100 Boylston Street Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 Event Details: … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Is This Street Wide Enough? April 16, 2014
      TweetI have posted a video of a group of avid recreational cyclists riding on Hampshire Street in Cambridge, in the middle of the day. Ah, once again, bostonbiker.org won’t let me embed a video, but you may view it in … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Is This Street Wide Enough? April 16, 2014
      TweetI have posted a video of a group of avid recreational cyclists riding on Hampshire Street in Cambridge, in the middle of the day. Ah, once again, bostonbiker.org won’t let me embed a video, but you may view it in … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Is This Street Wide Enough? April 16, 2014
      TweetI have posted a video of a group of avid recreational cyclists riding on Hampshire Street in Cambridge, in the middle of the day. Ah, once again, bostonbiker.org won’t let me embed a video, but you may view it in … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Is This Street Wide Enough? April 16, 2014
      TweetI have posted a video of a group of avid recreational cyclists riding on Hampshire Street in Cambridge, in the middle of the day. Ah, once again, bostonbiker.org won’t let me embed a video, but you may view it in … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Is This Street Wide Enough? April 16, 2014
      TweetI have posted a video of a group of avid recreational cyclists riding on Hampshire Street in Cambridge, in the middle of the day. Ah, once again, bostonbiker.org won’t let me embed a video, but you may view it in … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Is This Street Wide Enough? April 16, 2014
      TweetI have posted a video of a group of avid recreational cyclists riding on Hamphire Street in Cambridge, in the middle of the day. Ah, once again, bostonbiker.org won’t let me embed a video, but you may view it in … Continue reading →
      jsallen