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Penny In Yo Pants!

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 07

A fun and easy solution to the accidental skirt flash when getting on your bike. Easy and cheap!


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The Invisible Danger

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 07

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 abstract: Impact of bicycle route type on exposure to traffic-related air pollution

Read Boston Globe coverage: Cyclists, don your gas masks


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How To Get Away With Murder, Grand Jury Doesn’t Charge Driver In Hit And Run Case

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 01

They say if you want to kill someone wait until they get onto a bicycle.  In a tragic state of affairs a Suffolk grand jury has decided that running someone over with a truck and then leaving the scene caries with it no consequences, if that person is riding a bicycle.

A Suffolk County grand jury declined to press charges against a garbage truck driver who struck and killed a bicyclist on Sullivan Square in April, according to The Boston Globe.

Police had initially charged Ricky Prezioso, 41, with leaving the scene of a crash after he struck and killed Owen McGrory, 34, on April 3. At the time, Prezioso said he never felt the impact of the collision. Last week the grand jury declined to press the charge further. (via)

What the fuck…shouldn’t you at least be charged with poor driving, if what you say is true YOU DIDN’T NOTICE YOU RAN SOMEONE OVER!

This is the second time someone has run over a cyclist in broad daylight drove off and not gotten any charges, the same thing happened to a Dana McCoomb in Wesllesley.

The real reason I think these things happen is not that the police and prosecutors are not trying hard enough, its that most of the people on the jury drive cars. They all see themselves sitting accused of the same thing. They looked at their phone, or was not paying attention, but for the grace of luck they could be the one who ran someone over without noticing. So they let these people walk because they don’t think its a serious thing, they think it’s an “accident.”

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It’s not an accident, its the same as shooting someone “by accident” you are in control of a deadly object, a huge powerful vehicle, and any lack of concentration on your part can and will result in the deaths of other people. Its just that guns by their design are killing machines so responsible people handle them with care. Cars are no less deadly, in fact they kill far more people than guns. (roughly 12,000 gun deaths in 2013, vs 30,000+ car deaths).

Prezioso should have been charged with something, you can not run someone down, and then leave the scene and not have broken SOME law. The members of this grand jury should all have to look Owen McGrory‘s family in the eye and explain to them why they felt no laws were broken. I assure you had McGory been driving a car and been killed by a guy in a truck that truck driver would have gotten charged with something.

For McGrory’s family, explanations are hard to come by.

“My mother — she doesn’t want to face it,” said John McGrory. “When I phone her, she keeps talking about the weather.”

John McGrory described his brother as popular both in Boston and his native Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

“He was such a likable, down-to-earth sort of lad,” said McGrory, who had visited his brother in November. Owen McGrory married his wife, Shannique, in December, and lived in Chelsea with Shannique and her son. He worked in construction and had been an avid bicyclist since childhood.

Shannique McGrory said in an e-mail that her husband was fun-loving and playful and cared deeply for her children.

“I am shocked and disappointed at the grand jury’s decision, but I believe that the truth of what happened that day will come out through the civil justice system,” she said.

“We believe that there is overwhelming evidence of gross negligence on the part of the truck driver in this case,” said Valerie Yarashus, a lawyer representing the McGrory family in the civil suit.

Prezioso and Capitol Waste Services did not respond to requests for comment.(via)


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Posted in Bike Business, news | 4 Comments »

New Bike Lanes Popping Up All Over The Place

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 30

Not only have the cities of Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston been out in force re-painting old bike lanes, but I have seen some new ones go in as well. School street in Somerville  got a new one, Mass Ave in Central saw a slight modification to some old one (see below), and there have been other small and large changes around town.

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These are the new Central Square treatments. I like how they have tried to make sure the parked cars get right up against the curb, leaving just that much more space for non-door zone bike lane.

Have you noticed any new bike infrastructure? Tiss’ the season to be laying down thermo-plastic it seems.


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World Naked Bike Ride Saturday Boston Common

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 27

worldnakedbikes

 

Its that time of year again, get naked, get on your bike and ride around!  I know for some of you this is just another weekend, but now is your chance to do it with a bunch of other cyclists! (without getting arrested ha ha). Meet at the boston Common band stand at 9pm, ride at 10pm.

he World Naked Bike Ride is coming to Boston for its fifth consecutive year.

The yearly ride takes place in cities across the world and aims to highlight the vulnerability that cyclists experience daily, albeit in a slightly shocking way. That’s right, cyclists will take to Newbury Street and Massachusetts Avenue sans clothing on June 28 at 10 p.m. (via)

 

More details here and here.

Are you going? Are you going in your birthday suit?


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Hubway Hits 2 Million Trips!

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 26

It’s been less than a year, and they have racked up another million rides!  Its nice to see the growth is not only continuing but getting faster.

 

Hello Hubway riders!

In Hubway’s first season of operations in 2011, you took more than 142,000 rides. In 2012, more than 533,000 rides. And last year, over 910,000 rides! If it seems like less than a year since we were celebrating Hubway’s 1,000,000th ride, that’s because it was! You’ve already taken over 375,000 more since this season’s full system reopening in April, and we’re anticipating Hubway’s 2,000,000th trip to be taken sometime this weekend.

Will you be Hubway’s 2 millionth rider? If you are, you’ll receive a $130 gift certificate from New Balance! That’s enough for a brand new top-of-the-line pair of shoes to keep you riding in style!

Plus, with a newly deployed station, a bunch of events on the horizon, and more system expansion on the way, you’ve got plenty of places and reasons to ride! Congratulations in advance of 2 million rides! 3 million is right around the corner.


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Posted in Commuting, infrastructure | 1 Comment »

What Intersections Do You Want Improved?

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 24

Livable streets is collecting data on which intersections need to be made better, see below for details.

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Do you walk out of your way to avoid unsafe intersections?

Help increase safety in Boston by telling us which intersections you think need improvement.

Do you poke at walk-signal buttons and wonder if they’re connected to anything?

The LivableStreets Safer Streets Campaign is deepening the city’s commitment to safety and advocating for better infrastructure – like cycle tracks and improved traffic signalization – to allow people to confidently explore the city on bike, foot and public transit.

 

Safety is particularly important at intersections, where people in cars, on foot, on bike, and in transit interact together. 

 

That’s why LivableStreets is working to survey and recommend changes for specific crossings in the City of Boston. And, we need your help to identify intersections with pedestrian signals that need improvement.

 

We are surveying dozens of crossings and working with engineers in the City to implement fast fixes that improve signal timing, phasing and sequencing.
Together, we can make sure those everlasting Don’t Walk signals are a thing of the past.

Best,

 

Mike

 

Mike Sanders

LivableStreets Alliance Lead Volunteer

E:

P: 617.621.1746   
F: LivableStreets
T: @StreetsBoston/#SaferStreetsBoston

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Bikes Not Bombs: A Night At Flatbread, July 1st

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 24

Bikes not bombs is awesome, and Flatbread pizza isn’t half bad, put the two together and wham lovely fundraiser for a lovely cause:

See below:

 

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Join Bikes Not Bombs for a night of pizza, a raffle & bowling at Flatbread Somerville!  Flatbread has generously offered to donate a portion of each flatbread sold (dine-in & take-out) to BNB.

The event will be from 5-10pm at Flatbread Somerville at 45 Day St. Somerville, MA 02144.  The Bikes Not Bombs staff will be riding over from the BNB Hub (284 Amory St. Jamaica Plain, MA 02130) at 4pm if you would like to join!

See you there!

FB Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/499995370102150
Bikes Not Bombs: https://bikesnotbombs.org
Flatbread Somerville:
http://www.flatbreadcompany.com/FlatbreadSacco2010.html


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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • #boston bike polo by bostonbikepolo July 22, 2014
      Tweet Posted by Instagrate Pro v1.5.1 The post #boston bike polo by bostonbikepolo appeared first on Boston Hardcourt Bike Polo.
      polonick
    • Don’t Blow Red Lights. July 21, 2014
      TweetYeah – the title says it all. Don’t Blow Red lights. You know why, because for every light you blow off – there is a driver who sees me and thinks of you, and your actions. Now – you may … Continue reading →
      altbiker
    • Speed Up Slow Down Cyclists July 21, 2014
      TweetToday I will take a break from the recent discussions on this blog about where cyclists should position themselves when sharing the road with cars, to discuss — OK, rant — about something that really irks me. As a long-time … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • #boston bike polo by bostonbikepolo July 20, 2014
      Tweet Posted by Instagrate Pro v1.5.1 The post #boston bike polo by bostonbikepolo appeared first on Boston Hardcourt Bike Polo.
      polonick
    • #boston bike polo by papi_facil July 19, 2014
      Tweet Posted by Instagrate Pro v1.5.1 The post #boston bike polo by papi_facil appeared first on Boston Hardcourt Bike Polo.
      polonick
    • #boston bike polo by rydono July 18, 2014
      Tweet Posted by Instagrate Pro v1.5.1 The post #boston bike polo by rydono appeared first on Boston Hardcourt Bike Polo.
      polonick
    • FROM BETTER TO WORSE ON COMMONWEALTH AVE: City Leaders Need To Step Up For Their Own Policies July 17, 2014
      For a while it was feeling like stodgy Boston was jumping back into the elite group of city’s whose actions around transportation (and its joined-at-the-hip land-use twin) set the pace for the rest of the country. Our environmentally-based Smart Growth policies were state-of-the-art, which became even more valuable as climate-change storms and rising sea lev
      Steve Miller
    • Headstarts At Traffic Lights July 17, 2014
      TweetDespite years of debate, there is still disagreement about where a cyclist should position him or herself when stopping at a traffic light. Different groups of cyclists have arrived at various conclusions about what constitutes the safest and most efficient … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • Headstarts At Traffic Lights July 17, 2014
      TweetDespite years of debate, there is still disagreement about where a cyclist should position him or herself when stopping at a traffic light. Different groups of cyclists have arrived at various conclusions about what constitutes the safest and most efficient … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • If You Want To Empower African American Children, Give Them A Bicycle July 16, 2014
      TweetI thought this article from Grist was pretty good.  Its a model followed by Bikes Not Bombs, also Boston Bikes, and Hub on wheels.  All to great results.  I would go one further and say that if you want to … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker