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Somerville Bike Lanes Get The Green Paint Treatment

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 29

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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.


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Help DotBike Count Bikes!

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 25

Got this from DotBike, if you have some time and live in Dorchester give it a read!

 

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Hi DotBikers!

Great news, Dorchester is on the map!  Please help keep us there! Dorchester has been included in the annual bike counts organized by BostonBikes.  However, we need volunteers to do the actual counting.

Counts need to be completed on any weekday between today and Oct 3. Morning shifts are from 7 am – 9 am and evening shifts are from 4 pm – 6 pm.  Basically, you just pick a shift and location and then do the count on a day of your choice.

If you are able to volunteer please check this map of locations (http://bit.ly/1tVNSjh), and then e-mail Najah Shakir: [email protected] your preferred locations and shifts. Volunteers are needed for all locations marked with green. Please click on individual markers to see which shifts are available.

The locations are:

1) Dot Ave and Freeport St

2) Dot Ave and Columbia Rd

3) Blue Hill Ave at Glenway

4) Codman Sq.

5) Four Corners

This is really, really important.  We need to provide the data to show that yes, people do bike in Dorchester and also that our numbers are growing!  If we can’t get bike count data, we risk slipping back into obscurity.

Please email Najah with your preferred shift and location.

See you on the street!


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Brookline Asking For Feedback About Idaho Stops

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 17

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.

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?


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Posted in advocacy, infrastructure | 7 Comments »

More Bikes Than Cars

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 12

Twice in the last two weeks I have been a part of a lovely thing.  While riding to work I look around and see way…way more bikes than cars.   I think it is a product of the lovely riding weather we have been having, the increase in ridership, the infrastructure, and an overall shift in mode share.  It was Utopian, it felt good to outnumber the cars, it made me feel powerful, and safer.

There were perhaps 25 cyclists, and maybe 10 cars on the road, and yet the cars still monopolized most of the space, but the cyclists had carved out most of the right hand lane, and were in large enough numbers that we could hold it easily.  Traffic moved much better, and many more people were able to travel on the limited amount of streets available.

That is after all what streets are for, they are a public utility designed to move people around.  It just so happens that the most popular way to use them (one person in one car), is the worst way to use that public utility.  But that seems be changing.


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FREE! Bike Hangers With Security Cable’s FREE!

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 12

Howdy folks, I have roughly 10 Mini Mum Vertical Bike Hangers with Security Cable.

 

 

Free to whoever wants one or all of them.  They don’t have mounting screws, but you can get those at any hardware store.

 

The only catch is you have to come pick them up down town around the park street T stop between 9-5 Monday through Friday.  I can meet you in the common with a box of them (they are heavy so if you are going to bike off with them bring a rack or a trailer or a big back pack.

Contact me if you want them, they all have to be out of here by next Friday September 19 2014.

 


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More Coverage Of Side Guards

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 10

From Boston Magazine:

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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.

Read more here.


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David Watson Steps Down As Executive Director Of MassBike

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 10

While I am very sad to see David go, he did an excellent job at MassBike for many years, its great that he is moving on to other challenges.

From MassBike:

Today our Executive Director, David Watson, announced that he will be leaving MassBike. David has been with us for more than eight years and in that time has used his passion for biking to help make Massachusetts safer for all cyclists.

David1Watson remembers biking in the streets of Massachusetts at the beginning of his tenure at MassBike. “Bike commuters were bravely riding along, but largely limited to the strongest and most fearless among us,” he wrote in his announcement (pdf). “There were precious few bike lanes in the state, and none at all in Boston. State transportation policies were just beginning to contemplate biking and walking, but that had not yet translated to change on the streets. Little or no funding was dedicated to bicycle infrastructure or education.”

Now, eight years later, much has improved. Massachusetts has installed more bike lanes and increased state funding for bike paths. More residents have an interest in biking for transportation and health. In a time when federal funding for biking and walking has been cut, Massachusetts has created a state policy to triple biking, walking, and transit, and is providing funding to make it happen. With David at the helm, MassBike has:

  • Launched our Safe Routes to School Program in 2008, which has reached more than 11,000 kids
  • Championed the Bicyclist Safety Bill, which became law in 2009
  • Trained MBTA bus drivers since 2010 to better prepare drivers for interactions with bicyclists
  • Successfully advocated for improved bike parking at transit stations and bike racks on all buses
  • Expanded Bay State Bike Week in 2010 to a statewide celebration in partnership with MassDOT
  • Introduced legislation in 2011 (and again in 2013) to protect Vulnerable Road Users
  • Secured expanded bicycle hours on the MBTA Blue Line in 2011
  • Published bike safety information in seven languages in 2012 (now 10 languages!)
  • Launched the Bikeable Communities Program in 2012, which has helped more than 40 cities and towns improve bicycling conditions
  • Created the annual Massachusetts Bike/Walk Summit in 2012
  • Helped educate police officers in 2014 with our training video
  • In 2014 successfully advocated for increased funding for bike paths, including more than $130 million in the MassDOT capital budget and $377 million in bonding authority

“A tireless advocate – and a tireless cyclist – David has been instrumental in seeing so many wins for safe biking in Massachusetts,” said Jim Bradley, President of MassBike’s Board of Directors. “We thank him for serving MassBike, bicyclists in Massachusetts, and the community so well these last eight years. We will remember his time at MassBike as one of action, commitment, and enthusiasm.”

The Board now begins a search for a new Executive Director. The right person will capitalize on the successes of Watson’s tenure to provide Massachusetts with a future of greater acceptance of and enthusiasm for bicycling.

“I am very proud of the team, the organization, and the partnerships we have built together over the past eight years,” Watson wrote of the MassBike board, staff, and community. “This has been the most challenging and the most rewarding job I have ever had, and I thank you for giving me the opportunity to do it.”

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It also means that someone can step in to take the helm and move MassBike forward even more!

 

From MassBike:

bikes1000Yesterday we announced that David Watson is stepping down as the Executive Director of MassBike. Now we are starting the search for a new ED. If you or anyone you know is interested, read the job description here (pdf), and send an application to [email protected]!

 


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Mayor Walsh Proposes A Truck Safety Bill For Cyclists

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 09

From The Boston Cyclists Union:

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The City of Boston took a big step forward for the country today as Mayor Marty Walsh presented an ordinance to the City Council that will make truck design far safer for pedestrians and bikes.

“We believe this is the first ordinance of it’s kind in the country,” wrote Mayor Walsh’s press secretary Kate Norton. “The ordinance requires side guards, convex mirrors, cross-over mirrors, and blind-spot awareness decals on all vehicles over 10,000 pounds awarded a city contract. There is a fine for those not in compliance — escalating from $100 for the first offense, to potential termination of the contract.”

The Bike Union began pushing for the ordinance through Councillor Ayanna Pressley’s office in the wake of Eoin McGrory’s tragic death in Charlestown in early April. (Please contribute to a charity fund in his memory.) At the same time, the city’s office of Urban Mechanics was talking to the city’s new mayor about the success of a pilot program that required sideguards first on the city’s public works truck fleet, and subsequently on all trash hauling trucks that contracted with the city. The results of the pilot were positive and all parties agreed that a move toward design requirements for all trucks contracting with the city was the best next step.

Click image for pdf of Sideguards Save Lives fact sheet.

Today the Bike Union is also releasing a new“Sideguards Save Lives” fact sheet that illustrates the benefits side guards and blind spot mirrors. The fact sheet is that will give residents in other municipalities, the state, and the country a tool to push forward similar ordinances and legislation.

“The Bike Union knows who’s who and they set up a face to face meeting with Councillor Ayanna Pressley’s staff,” said Alex Epstein, one of the nation’s expert on truck safety design who works at USDOT at the Volpe Center in Cambridge, and also helped advise the Mayor’s staff. “I don’t think it would have been possible without that insider connection.”

Read more here.  I can’t wait to see this passed into law.  There is no reason such a simple and cost effective way to save lives is not mandatory.


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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Compass Rose Head Badge Attached September 29, 2014
        Looks great!  I am still super impressed with how this came out.  Looks even better on the bike.  More here. Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Somerville Bike Lanes Get The Green Paint Treatment September 29, 2014
      Tweet   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.
      Boston Biker
    • City Streets Are Not Bicycle Race Tracks September 29, 2014
      TweetThere are times when city officials consent to closing city streets to traffic for the purpose of allowing a sanctioned bicycle race to take place. The purpose of closing the streets to traffic is to protect the safety of pedestrians, … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • Help DotBike Count Bikes! September 25, 2014
      TweetGot this from DotBike, if you have some time and live in Dorchester give it a read!   —————– Hi DotBikers! Great news, Dorchester is on the map!  Please help keep us there! Dorchester has been included in the annual bike … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Visibility When The Sun Is Low In The Sky In Autumn September 25, 2014
      TweetVisibility is often a problem when driving a car. Many things can reduce visibility. Some of them are man-made and others are caused by nature. Driving in autumn is an example of the latter. Late in the day, the sun … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • Visibility When The Sun Is Low In The Sky In Autumn September 25, 2014
      TweetVisibility is often a problem when driving a car. Many things can reduce visibility. Some of them are man-made and others are caused by nature. Driving in autumn is an example of the latter. Late in the day, the sun … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • Bicycles As Part Of A Business Model September 22, 2014
      TweetOver the summer, I read a series of articles written by a member of bicycle advocacy group in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I was surprised to see how different Philadelphia was in terms of their approach to incorporating cycling into everyday life, … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • Commonwealth Ave, Phase 2A: “to, through, or around” September 20, 2014
      TweetA lot of bright people have been discussing the upcoming rebuild of Commonwealth Avenue lately, because the city plans to forge ahead blindly with a bad design.  The fundamental issues are these: The city is refusing to even attempt to … Continue reading →
      mattyciii
    • The CX-Files September 19, 2014
      Tweet Scenic Hartford, Connecticut was the center of New England cyclocross last weekend. Silk City (also the CT state championships) had a good deal of firepower in the elite race, with Austin Vincent headlining a robust field of very fit-looking … Continue reading →
      geekhousebikes
    • Vehicle Operators Salmoning By Car September 18, 2014
      TweetThe term “salmoning” has become quite popular for describing the act of bicycling the wrong way down a one-way street. Salmon are known for swimming against the tide. They do this because fresh water is required for them to lay … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist