The Latest From BostonBiker.org
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 »
The city wanted a shitty plan, a plan based on old ideas, on the idea that the car would always be the main form of transportation in the city, and the entire bike community stood up and said “Hell no!” and you know what? It worked!
The new design has smaller travel lanes, which will keep speeding down, BUFFERED cycle tracks! I can not wait to give this a try when its done! Congratulations everyone who worked hard on this. It’s not over yet, and we are going to need to keep a close on the plans right up till the cement is poured, but
From livable streets (read more here):
The stretch of Comm. Ave. from the BU bridge to Packard’s Corner is about to get an $18 million dollar upgrade, with the project going to bid in fall 2015. The original plan, since 2009 and as of fall 2014, called for wider car lanes that would encourage speeding, narrower sidewalks, and no protected bicycle lanes. The city has since updated its plan to include crucial improvements…
Tags: Comm. Ave, Commonwealth Ave, cycle tracks, improvements
Posted in advocacy, Commuting, infrastructure | 1 Comment »
If so please vote to spend some of that sweet sweet Cambridge tax monies on some awesome bike friendly projects!
Welcome to the participatory budgeting (PB) ballot for the City of Cambridge, courtesy of the Stanford Crowdsourced Democracy Team.
If you’re a Cambridge resident 12 years of age or older, YOU can help decide how to spend $500,000 from the City’s Capital Budget when you cast your ballot.
You can vote here if you have a cell phone that can receive a text message. Click “Vote” to cast your vote.
If you don’t have a cell phone, you can vote in person. Please see below for information on voting dates and locations. You can familiarize yourself with the project proposals for voting by clicking “See Projects.”
Visit www.cambridgema.gov/yourbudget for more information.
Tags: cambridge, participatory budget
Posted in advocacy, infrastructure | No Comments »
The big Comm. Ave. public meeting is tomorrow, make sure you show up to give your input!
From Livable Streets.
Don’t miss your opportunity to weigh-in on the city’s updated design for Comm Ave!
|An example of a more complete street design with protected bike lanes.|
Tags: Comm. Ave, public meeting
Posted in advocacy, Commuting, infrastructure | 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 »
or is New England creating new and horrible types of precipitation to hurl at my face? What exactly was that flying out of the sky around 5:30 pm today. Ice snow? Rain Hail? Tiny spike ice? It was like small bundles of ice knives flying into my eyes…totally awesome. In the biblical sense (the parts about destruction).
Tags: rant, snow ice thing
Posted in Bike Business | 1 Comment »
If you live/bike in Brookline you should be going to this!
From the email:
Tuesday, March 17, 2015, 6:30 PM
Meeting Room, Coolidge Corner Library
31 Pleasant Street, Brookline
Brookline has made many bicycle safety and infrastructure improvements in recent years, but there is still much to be done to make bicycling safe for all. There are also conflicts among users of the public roads and sidewalks that can be addressed through respectful discussion.
Join Town officials as they review recent town activities affecting bicycling, summarize Brookline’s Green Routes Bicycle Network Plan, describe education and enforcement to improve public safety and balance the needs of users of all modes of transportation. Open facilitated discussion will follow.
Add your voice and ideas on what should happen next for Bicycling in Brookline.
Presentations and Discussion with
Scott Cassel, Moderator
Brookline Bicycle Advisory Committee
Cynthia Snow, Chair
Brookline Transportation Board
Joshua Safer, Chair
Brookline Transportation Department
Todd Kirrane, Transportation Administrator
Brookline Police Department
Lt. Philip Harrington
Tags: Brookline, meeting
Posted in advocacy | No Comments »