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News, Events, Updates
Can’t ride your bike under water! Global warming is real, its serious, and it has Boston in the cross hairs, this Monday show up and let President Obama know that we care.
As he approaches his final decision, we need to keep the pressure on President Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. In recent weeks communities in Cleveland, Stanford and Washington DC have all held actions at Presidential events calling on the President to say no to the piepelin.
Boston has played a key role in this fight against Keystone XL by consistently turning out big to tell President Obama to reject the pipeline.
On Monday, President Obama will be speaking at UMass Boston and we want a big crowd to greet him and remind him what to do: reject Keystone XL once and for all!
He’s approaching his final decision, and this could be the most important chance to bring him the message yet. The bigger the crowd, the stronger our message will be. Do you think you can join us?
Click here to RSVP: facebook.com/events/
Here are all the details:
What: Boston tells President Obama: NO KXL! A rally to tell President Obama to reject KXL.
When: 9:30 AM on Monday, March 26th
Where: UMass Boston Campus, near Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the US Senate (exact location TBD)
Who: 350 Massachusetts, 350 Cambridge, Better Futures Project and 350.org
We will have signs and banners, but need a big crowd that’s ready to make some noise. The President vetoed Congress’ Keystone XL bill last month, and is closer than ever to rejecting the project outright. Come out on Monday to help put an end to this disaster once and for all.
Let’s do this!
P.S. If you haven’t heard about it yet, students, faculty and members of the Harvard community are coming together the week of April 12th-17th for Harvard Heat Week, a week of action calling on Harvard to divest from fossil fuels. The week will include various speakers, powerful community events and principled action. Click here to learn more and get involved.
Tags: keystone xl, Obama
Posted in advocacy, news | 4 Comments »
Like New York, Mayor Walsh has outlined a ‘Vision Zero‘ philosophy for Boston. It’s something myself and many other have been saying for years. Traffic fatalities are not “accidents” they are crashes. They don’t just happen by cosmic chance, someone is at fault. Through good planning, comprehensive education, strong engineering and proper enforcement we can reduce them to zero.
Some other juicy announcements in the press release below.
March 24, 2015 – Today, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced five transportation initiatives to improve how individuals on foot, bike, or in a vehicle move around the City of Boston with a significant focus on improving public safety. The announcements include a complete streets approach to Commonwealth Avenue, featuring protected bike lane on from the BU Bridge to Packard’s Corner, the adoption of Vision Zero Boston, aimed at eliminating traffic fatalities in the city, the citywide replacement of parking meters with intelligent parking meters, and a pilot program to eliminate street sweeping towing. The initiatives are early action projects as part of Go Boston 2030 launched to imagine a bold new transportation plan for Boston for the next five, 10, and 15 years. Additionally, the Mayor and the Boston Transportation Department will begin a nationwide search for a new Active Transportation Director to think holistically about how our streets are used by people who walk, bike, and take transit.
“We’re implementing innovative and inventive transportation strategies and infrastructure upgrades in the City of Boston to improve travel safety and convenience,” said Mayor Walsh. “Whether you walk, drive, take the T, or ride a bike on our streets, we’re looking at solutions that can accommodate every mode of transportation in a meaningful way.”
Mayor Walsh announced that the City of Boston will adopt Vision Zero, based on the premise that traffic fatalities are not accidents, but rather they are crashes that can be prevented by effective policies and systematic evaluation, enforcement, engineering, education, and community engagement. By adopting Vision Zero, the City of Boston joins cities such as New York, San Francisco, and Chicago, which have committed to making traffic safety a priority. Toward that end, Mayor Walsh has convened a Vision Zero Task Force to develop an action plan for a comprehensive and coordinated strategy to eliminate traffic fatalities and injuries in Boston.
The Task Force includes representatives of Boston’s Transportation Department (BTD), the Boston Police Department (BPD), the Public Works Departments (PWD), the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), Boston Emergency Medical Services (EMS), and WalkBoston, Massachusetts’ leading pedestrian advocacy organization, and the Boston Cyclists Union. Early action items include:
BPD improvements to its electronic crash reporting system that will lead to better data collection and better crash analysis;
BPD is hiring a full-time Transportation Safety Data Analyst and a full-time DDACTS Analyst (Data Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety) to reduce motor vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle collisions. Evidence in other cities suggests that this will also reduce crime.
BPD and EMS will use crash data to identify pedestrian crash hot spots and high crash corridors with the help of researchers from BPHC and the Tufts Medical Center Division of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery.
BTD and PWD will pilot test rapid-response improvements at pedestrian crash hot spots and along high crash corridors, as well as “residential slow zones”
BPHC will assist with education and outreach to educate residents on safe road behavior.
Commonwealth Avenue Multi-Modal Redesign
At a public meeting held at Boston University, the City of Boston last night unveiled the new Commonwealth Avenue Phase 2A Redesign Plan, which will transform the portion of this busy thoroughfare that extends between the BU Bridge to Packard’s Corner. The built roadway will be innovative and provide bicyclists with physically protected bike lanes on both the inbound and outbound sides of the avenue. It will also offer the MBTA and its patrons with fully ADA compliant crossings at all intersections along the project route and will create a framework for the construction of wider platforms that will be safer and more efficient for trolley riders. The design affords motor vehicle drivers and pedestrians with numerous enhanced amenities.
The Complete Streets design incorporates a “Protected Intersection” approach to make Commonwealth Avenue one of the most progressive multi-modal corridors in the country, and the first time that this design component will be used on Boston’s public streets. This utilizes a sizeable separation between bikes and cars at intersections to reduce “right hooks,” a common cause of bicycle/motor vehicle crashes where motor vehicle drivers turning right crash with cyclists continuing straight. This is a cutting edge safety feature built into the design along with bike boxes and a corner deflection island to maximize safety while accommodating turns and providing better visibility for both motor vehicle drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.
A collaborative process between Boston’s bicycle advocates, pedestrian groups, the Boston University community, as well as others with an interest in Commonwealth Avenue, helped formulate the design with the City.
Commonwealth Avenue in the project area will also receive new street lighting, landscaping, repaving and new street furniture. Construction financing for this $17 million project is being funded 80% by the federal government and 20% by the state. The city expects to have another public meeting in the fall of 2015 before bidding begins on the project contract. Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2016 with a completion date of late fall of 2017. The design process for this project began in 2009.
Adding protected bike lanes has shown positive economic impacts on surrounding businesses in cities across the country, including New York City, San Francisco, and Portland. A redesign of NYC’s Union Square to include a protected bike lanes resulted in nearly 50% fewer commercial vacancies, and the construction of a protected bike lane on 9th Avenue saw a nearly 50% increase in retail sales. Studies have shown that adding a protected bike lane increases cycling traffic on the roadway, boosting retail performance, with nearly 70% of merchants on San Francisco’s Valencia Street seeing a positive impact on business. Studies have shown that customers who arrive at retail stores by bike spend the same amount per month as comparable people who arrive by car, making smaller purchases but returning more frequently
Intelligent Parking Meters
The Boston Transportation Department will be making parking at the curb smarter and easier for people who park at the 8,000 metered spaces across the City. With the addition of new intelligent multi-space and single space parking meters, drivers can pay through mobile phone, a credit card, or pocket change. This next generation of meters will also provide real-time data to the City to help BTD better manage the space at the curb. The information provided by an upgraded parking system and an analysis of current on-street parking regulations will allow the City to make decisions based on data, not just intuition. Credit card and mobile payment enabled meters have shown increased revenue with drivers more likely to pay for the maximum length of stay.
Multi-space meters will be deployed in new locations in the Back Bay and in the Innovation District to improve City operations. A typical multi-space meter allows for more vehicles to fit on a blockface than a block demarcated with single space meters. In addition to the approximately 145 new multi-space meters that will replace some single space meters, current multi-space meters throughout the Back Bay and parts of Downtown will be upgraded, reducing annual maintenance costs for the aging equipment.
The remaining single space parking meters will be replaced with smart single space parking meters that can also be paid for with a mobile phone, credit card, or pocket change. A current pilot of credit card enabled single space meters in the Back Bay and around the Public Garden has shown positive results since deployment. This next generation of meters will provide the potential for collecting occupancy and turnover rate of vehicles, critical data that gives the City insight on how to better manage the curb space around Boston.
Street Sweeping Pilot
Mayor Walsh will file a City Council ordinance to pilot a new street sweeping initiative in one of Boston’s neighborhoods. The ordinance, which is being drafted now, will propose eliminating towing for street sweeping, and increase the fine for not moving a vehicle from $40 to $90. The City plans to use the pilot to determine whether this initiative should be extended to other neighborhoods.
Tags: mayor walsh, vision zero
Posted in advocacy, infrastructure, news | No Comments »
Nicole Friedman the long serving (two terms actually) bike czar is leaving (for good this time), heading to Seattle. I knew and worked with Nicole personally and I have to say she was a one woman force for change in this city. She expertly navigated the tricky political streets of Boston and brought a heap of good to our city. With the new mayor in office, and his unproven record around bikes I am sad to see a known ally leave, but I wish her the best and this city is all the better for her time here.
Thank you for your hard work Nicole, we will miss you!
This is from her announcement about her leaving:
As you may or may not know, my final day with the City of Boston will be March 27, 2015. I have decided to take a position with the City of Seattle leading their Active Transportation initiative.
When I began working for the City in 2007, Mayor Menino pledged to transform Boston into a world-class cycling city. Under Mayor Walsh, the city has continued to move Boston forward for cycling. There will be an exciting announcement about Commonwealth Avenue on Tuesday, cycletracks on Connect Historic Boston should break ground in the spring, and New Balance Hubway is expanding in Boston in late summer 2015.
I am proud of how much we have accomplished together for cycling here in Boston. Since launching we have added 92 miles of bike lanes and nearly 2,000 bike racks. We have an award winning Community Biking Program which has donated 4,015 bikes and trained 23,000 youth. And of course, the New Balance Hubway system has become a new Boston institution.
Kim Foltz from Boston Bikes will be the immediate point person on issues related to bicycling, supported by a remarkable, dedicated, enthusiastic and tireless Boston Bikes team that includes Program Managers Najah and Jenny, mechanics Nate and Jonat, interns Meghann and Mar, and our many youth cycling instructors. They are the quiet champions behind Boston Bikes’ success.
I am honored and humbled to have had a chance to serve you and all the residents of Boston these last 8 years. I hope I have contributed to making Boston a great place to live, work, and visit. Since many of you have become friends over the years, please do stay in touch. My personal email is thefirstsnerf at gmail dot com.
With utmost respect and appreciation,
Tags: Bike Czar, leaving, Nicole Friedman, seattle
Posted in advocacy, news | No Comments »
A female cyclist was struck and killed by a container truck around 1:40 p.m. Wednesday at the corner of Allston and Pleasant streets.
The victim, whose name will not be released until next of kin is notified, was pronounced dead at the scene. No charges have been made at this time against the male driver of the truck, who remained at the scene.
“If there were any witnesses, we ask them to call us at 617-349-3300,” said Jeremy Warnick, director of communications for the Cambridge Police Department.
This is horrible, more information when I get it. My heart goes out to her friends and family.
Edit: Update, she may have been walking her bike, it is unclear at this point
a dump truck hit a 65-year-old Cambridge woman as she either rode or walked her bicycle from a parking area onto Putnam Avenue between River and Pleasant streets, near a Whole Foods Market, where she may have been shopping, authorities said.
The woman was pronounced dead at the scene, Cambridge police spokesman Jeremy Warnick said. Authorities did not release the names of the driver or the victim.
Edit: The name of the woman killed was Marcia Deihl, there is a lovely piece on her at the globe here is a bit:
Friends say Marcia Deihl was always the first person to think up a witty song that perfectly captured the moment, and to encourage the same lyrical invention in others with her “Bizarre Song Parties,” where the price of admission was a ditty of one’s own.
Deihl was a Cambridge activist who spent her life fighting — and singing — for what she believed in, and who had embarked upon retirement with joy that she could finally dedicate all her time to her art.
And she loved to ride her bicycle, a clunky old three-speed decorated with paper flowers and streamers. With her long hair streaming behind her, she cut a distinctive figure, one familiar to many Cambridge residents.
On Thursday, friends mourned the untimely death of the 65-year-old, who was killed Wednesday after being hit by a dump truck while riding her bike on Putnam Avenue.
“She was an icon of Cambridge life. She was a very colorful figure, beloved by the people who knew her,” said Pam Chamberlain, a longtime friend who described Deihl as “a riot” with a keen sense of irony and a gift for bonding with people. “It’s a great loss for the folk community and the feminist movement.”
Edit: MassBike Has responded, read it here.
Tags: cambridge, cyclist killed, death, fatality, Marcia Deihl
Posted in news | 3 Comments »
Lots of good stuff in here:
|Boston Bike Week Festival & Bike Fridays
From April-August, on one Friday a month we’ll host a party on City Hall Plaza for cyclists. In May we’ll hold a special Boston Bike Week Festival to celebrate the end of Bay State Bike Week. You can join a convoy or bike over on your own.
Register now for the 2015 Boston Bike Week Festival and Bike Fridays.
Volunteer to lead a convoy: http://bit.ly/
|2015 Boston Bike Friendly Business Application
All Boston-based businesses are encouraged to apply to be named as a Boston Bike Friendly Business.
Last year we recognized almost 50 businesses for the work they’ve done to help make Boston more bike friendly.
Not sure if your business is bike-friendly enough? Click here to read about all the ways to earn points towards your application, and take a pre-assessment.
|We’re getting ready to hire Youth Cycling Instructors!
We are preparing to hire Youth Cycling Instructors to join our team. Youth Cycling Instructors teach in-classroom and on-bike workshops to students in grades 2-12 during the school day in the Boston Public Schools. For more information, visithttp://www.bostonbikes.org/
|2014 Roll it Forward Survey
“Keeps my body fit and pockets thick!”
“It had a very good impact in my life, it got me to work on time everyday without any pollution to our world and had fun while doing it.”
“[the bike] just made it less stressful to get to destinations – much more simple”
|ICYMI: New Community Space for Biking
Image credit: Beta BostonFortified, a local bike light company, has received a $150,000 grant through the Mission Main Streets Grants program, which they plan to use to create “a community space for Boston biking.”
You can read the full artcile from Beta Boston here.
|ICYMI: Bike Part Vending Machine & Repair Station
Image credit: BikestockBikestock has partnered with Whole Foods to place a bike part vending machine at their South End location. Along with items that can be found in regular vending machines, this machine offers bike-specific items such as: inner tubes, patch kits, lights, locks, and multi-tools. A bike pump and bike repair stand have also been made available for use 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.
Tags: bike program, City of Boston, update
Posted in advocacy, news | No Comments »
Currently the world is drowning in snow, but this is huge news!!
From Livable Streets.
Example of a protected bike lane.
|LivableStreets co-founder Jeff Rosenblum presenting a vision for a Comm. Ave. that prioritizes walking, biking, and public transportation.
Photo BU Free Press
Tags: big deal, Bike Lanes, Comm. Ave, livable streets
Posted in advocacy, Commuting, infrastructure, news | 2 Comments »
Lots going on over at BNB, check it out below!
Tags: bikes not bombs, bnb, news
Posted in advocacy, news | No Comments »
I look forward to seeing what the new executive director of MassBike has to offer.
From the press release:
Experienced Promoter, Announcer, and Journalist Will Lead Statewide Advocacy Group As Bicycling is Growing in Popularity.
BOSTON (Jan. 6, 2015) – After an extensive search and interview process the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition (MassBike) has named Richard Fries to serve as its new executive director. His appointment comes as new investments in infrastructure and education have encouraged more people than ever to explore bicycling as a safe, healthy, accessible transportation option.
“I’ve never been so excited about a professional opportunity before. From its compact urban centers and world-class transit system to its beautiful countryside, Massachusetts has all the ingredients we need to build a truly first-rate bicycle culture,” said Fries. “Whether you’re starting a new bike business, riding for the first time, or logging your thousandth mile, we can all work together to build a state where everyone has access to a safe, smooth ride.”
Fries’ experience in the bicycling community is both broad and deep. For the past eight years he has served as the marketing director and later the cycling experience director for Best Buddies International, where he helped promote as many as four charity cycling events per year. He has also served as a development advisor for People for Bikes, where he helped launch Tim Johnson’s Ride on Washington, and he spent two years as the director of the Bicycle Leadership Conference.
“Richard comes to MassBike with the perfect blend of advocacy, leadership, and industry experience that, combined with his passion for cycling, will help us continue to make bicycling better in every corner of the state,” said Jim Bradley, President of MassBike’s Board of Directors.
Fries is co-founder of the Providence Cyclo-cross Festival, which has grown to become the largest cyclo-cross event in America and one of New England’s largest cycling events. Fries will stay on as director of that event, now known as the KMC Cyclo-cross Festival.
Having raced at the pro level both in America and Europe, Fries left racing to become a journalist. He co-founded The Ride Magazine, a regional cycling publication that focused on all facets of bike culture in the Northeast. He also developed a reputation as both a live announcer and a television commentator. Fries has called countless national championships and several UCI World Cups and the UCI World Championships in both road and cyclo-cross. He has been an event consultant for the past five years.
Fries will join MassBike on January 15 and succeeds David Watson who held the post for eight years. “I am honored to be joining MassBike at such a critical time, and that excitement only grew when I dug into the details of how well David Watson ran this organization,” said Fries. “I could not have received a better lead-out. This board, this staff, this membership, and many of our strategic partners have set Massachusetts up to become the gold standard for bicycling in the United States. ”
A native of Pittsburgh, Fries received a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of South Florida, and a masters degree in journalism from Northeastern University. A passionate bicycle commuter, Fries lives alongside the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway in Lexington, Mass. He and his wife, Deborah, have three children.
Tags: massbike, news
Posted in advocacy, news | No Comments »