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OH MY GOD! Can We Please Have This Right Now!

Written by Boston Biker on Aug 05

In Stockholm they have a lottery for good drivers funded by the fines given to bad drivers!  THIS IS THE BEST IDEA EVER!

 

Dear city of Boston,

Please please please set up a system by which citizens can submit fun ideas to help make the city better, and then DO THEM!

<3 Boston Biker

Via the star:
The winning idea of the fun theory award, The Speed Camera Lottery, is tested on the streets in Stockholm, Sweden.

The winning idea of the fun theory award, The Speed Camera Lottery, is tested on the streets in Stockholm, Sweden.

The mere mention of photo radar can set motorists’ teeth gnashing, but what if a portion of the money collected from speeders went into a lottery for law-abiding drivers?

Lifted your foot off the pedal a bit?

Meet the Speed Camera Lottery designed by Kevin Richardson: Senior Producer at Nickelodeon by day and innovative traffic controller by night.

“All the attention seems to go on the bad apples – the people who are breaking the law – and there’s really no attention given to the people obeying the law,” said Richardson in an interview with the Star. “In fact, I would posit that obeying the law is a pretty lonely endeavour.”

Richardson’s speed camera photographs the licence plates of drivers doing the speed limit, as well as those who are speeding.

“The people who are obeying the law will have one of their licence plates pulled (in a lottery) and receive a portion of the money collected from those who were speeding,” explains Richardson.

Earlier this year, the Speed Camera Lottery won The Fun Theory contest. Devised by advertising agency DDB for Volkswagen, the contest challenges inventors to solve a social problem, such as littering and speed-limit adherence, in a way that is, well, enjoyable.

Remember last year’s Internet hit the Piano Staircase? It’s that competition.

Richardson, a father of three who lives in San Francisco, was inspired to create the Speed Camera Lottery after seeing three children struck by cars while riding their bikes.

“Applying the Fun Theory to traffic safety, I asked myself: Could we get drivers to slow down through fun?”

It seems the answer is yes.

Richardson’s design was placed on a street in Stockholm in an experiment that ended in November. The average speed of traffic on the street before the experiment was 32 kilometres per hour. The average speed during the experiment was 25 km/h, a 22 per cent reduction.

“This is a really positive thing – drive legally and earn money. Perfect!” one motorist is heard saying on a Fun Theory video.

One lucky motorist received a $20,000 krona ($3,000) cheque.


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Boston Bike Party! This Friday!

Written by Boston Biker on Aug 05

Our very own Greg Hum, besides making it into just about every local media outlet (serious way to go man!), has also been integral in organizing the Boston Bike Parties.  This Friday the theme is Boston T Party (get it, MBTA… Boston T Party…so good).

 

From Boston Magazine:

Community event organizer Greg Hum said throwing an MBTA-themed bike ride together for this Friday, the same month that the transit agency celebrates its 50th birthday, wasn’t intentional.

“It’s a coincidence. But it’s a perfect coincidence; while they are celebrating, we will be out celebrating too,” he said.

Hum helps bring together hundreds of cyclists every month as part of the ongoing “Boston Bike Party” series, which got its start in the city just over a year ago.

On August 8, Hum expects the usual crowd—and possibly more—to show up for a free tour of some of the group’s favorite T stations, dressed head-to-toe in transit-specific attire. “We are going to encourage people to come and dress appropriately as their favorite T line,” Hum said of the event, called “The Boston ‘T’ Party.”

Get your costumes ready and be sure to be at Copley sq. at 730 Friday Aug 8th!


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You Wait On The Side Walk And Wait For The Little Man Signal

Written by Boston Biker on Aug 04

I never thought I would see the day when car drivers are now no longer the main source of frustration in my daily commute…Pedestrians we need to talk.

I feel like there has been a lot of effort to get cyclists and motorists to act less like assholes, and to my untrained eye it seems like it is working.  I see far less rule breaking from these two road using classes than I did 5 years ago.  The change has been slow, and we certainly have a LONG way to go, but its working.

There is one user group however that hasn’t kept up with the “new normal” of road use here in Boston, yes I am talking about you pedestrians.  If anything the more orderly traffic patterns, and more well behaved motorists and cyclists seem to have emboldened you to act even worse.

In the same way that cops will pick an intersection and hand out bike tickets, and motorist tickets its time for some targeted enforcement of pedestrians.  Even written warnings will do.  The time it takes the cop to write out the warning is enough of a punishment to get most peoples attention.

 

Until that starts to happen, here are some tips for pedestrians, please stop doing the following.

These people are in traffic, you can see the cars going by in the background, they just kept inching out.  The light didn't change for another 2-5 minutes.

These people are in traffic, you can see the cars going by in the background, they just kept inching out. The light didn’t change for another 5 minutes.

Wait on the sidewalk for the light to change, do not stand in the street:

Cyclists need every inch of road we can wrestle from cars and if you are standing in the road it forces us into conflicts with much bigger more dangerous things.  If its a choice between hitting you and getting hit by a car the choice is clear.

 

Don’t walk from between parked cars:

I feel like this is street crossing 101, but for fucks sake do you want to be hit by something?  What is worse is that you are putting other people in danger with your foolishness.  You will eventually be hit by something doing this, its just a matter of time.  Please don’t be a jerk, don’t hurt yourself or others, walk the extra ten feet to the cross walk and cross with everyone else.

 

Just because the car traffic is stationary that doesn’t mean the cyclist traffic is: 

Cyclists move down the bike lane, or down the right hand side of the road, just because the cars are stopped doesn’t mean the cyclists are.  Playing frogger through a bunch of car traffic that isn’t moving is the same thing as jumping out from behind a parked car.  You will be hit, it will hurt, you will break something.   Oh by the way, just because the cars are not moving now doesn’t mean they wont start moving in a second.

 

If you must J walk, look both ways first!

Knowledge is knowing the street is one way, wisdom is looking both ways anyway.  You might think nothing is coming, you might not hear anything, but you can’t be sure unless you look both ways.  Cyclists don’t make much noise, but it will still hurt if they hit you.

You have to wait your turn:

If you want motorists and cyclists to stop at red lights, and stop signs you can’t just go when the red hand is up.  Whats worse is when you look both ways,  see a bunch of traffic coming,  and walk out anyway.  Its exactly the kind of behavior that would frustrate you if you were in a car or riding a bike, but you seem to have no problem doing it when you are walking around.  You are needlessly putting yourself and others in danger, and being a jerk at the same time.

I don’t think these are unreasonable demands.  Nor are they burdensome to the pedestrians that want to use the street.  I understand signal timing can be wrong, or that walk times are too short, but none of that has anything to do with what I have mentioned above.

In short, stop being such an asshole and start being more invested in your own safety and the safety of those around you.


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Posted in Bike Business | 11 Comments »

Action Alert: Help Move Bill Before Legislative Session Ends!

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 31

From MassBike:

—————–

We have a chance to move the bike lane protection bill forward this week!

One of the bills we filed in the Massachusetts Legislature in January 2013 has a chance to move forward, but we need your help before midnight Thursday.


The Act To Protect Bicyclists In Bicycle Lanes (S 1640)
 protects bicyclists by prohibiting motor vehicle operators from parking in on-street paths or lanes designated by official signs or markings for the use of bicycles, or placing the vehicle in such a manner as to interfere with the safety and passage of bicyclists. Motorists frequently endanger bicyclists by parking in bicycle lanes, forcing bicyclists to merge into traffic. There is currently no applicable state law, and some communities are passing local ordinances that will result in inconsistent rules and enforcement unless statewide action is taken. (Click here for the full text of the bill.)

This is not a theoretical problem – we all encounter it every day on roads across Massachusetts. Just this week, we heard about a bicyclist being attacked by a motorist after complaining that he was parked in a bike lane.

The bill was reported favorably by the Joint Committee on Transportation, and has been sent to the Senate Ways and Means Committee. We want to get it out of Ways and Means this week!


It would significantly increase the chances of passing the bill this year if we can get it approved by Ways and Means before the formal session ends on Thursday.

We need you to do the following TODAY or TOMORROW:
    1. Call or email your State Senator ask that he or she ask Senator Stephen Brewer, chair of Ways and Means, to approve S 1640.
    2. If your Senator is one of the sponsors of the bill or is on the Ways and Means Committee, it is especially important that you contact them:

 

Sponsors:

Committee Members:

  1. CC [email protected] on your emails, or send us a message telling us who you contacted.
  2. Share this Action Alert with your friends!
Don’t know who your State Senator is? Find out here.

We’re sorry to report that the other bill we filed in this session, the Act To Protect Vulnerable Road Users (S 1639) would have added legal protection for bicyclists, pedestrians, wheelchair users, and other vulnerable users of the road. Unfortunately, that bill was “sent to study” by the Joint Committee on Transportation, which means it is effectively dead for this session. A new legislative session begins in January, and we will decide whether to refile the bill or take other action at that time.

Sincerely,

David Watson

Executive Director

MassBike


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Boston By Bike…At Night Ride 2014

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 29

This years Boston By Bike At Night Ride has been announced! This is a good time, and I hear they are looking for HAM radio operators, so if you are one, get in touch at the info below.

———

Boston By Bike…At Night

Midnight ’til dawn
Saturday, August 16, 2014
NEW ROUTE!
Twenty-sixth Annual Tour of Architectural and Historic Sites
Meet at *11:15pm* in front of Trinity Church in Copley Square
Bring a bicycle with a light and wear something reflective; helmet recommended.
Commemorative T-shirts available.
Bring something for pot luck breakfast Sunday in Christopher Columbus Park.
–> Please bring a spare inner tube that fits your tires.
Sponsored by the Back Bay Midnight Pedalers
For information call 617-522-0259

 

 

 


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Back From The Corn!

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 28

I spent last week riding my bike across the fair state we call Iowa, or as the natives of Iowa call it, Iowa.

 

I had a really good time, and am in the process of catching up on things, expect a post with pictures soon!

 

 


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If You Want To Empower African American Children, Give Them A Bicycle

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 16

I 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 empower anyone give them a bicycle.  Its basically free/low cost transportation, and in a city like Boston that could be the difference between being able to take a job or not.  Also having a bicycle saves you a significant amount of money on T-passes, gas, insurance, etc, which is also very important to lower income people.

Not only that but the sense of empowerment can go a long way towards giving people the confidence to thrive when they may be facing challenges.

 

cyclists
iStockphoto

Cycling has a reputation for being a white man’s sport, hobby, and mode of transportation. It’s an image rooted in truth — white people accounted for about 80 percent of the cycling population in the U.S. as of 2009 — but it’s far from a complete picture. From 2001 to 2009, the rates of cycling among African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians grew far more than among whites.

Ed Ewing is working hard to keep that trend going. He’s the director of diversity and inclusion for the Cascade Bicycle Club and co-founder of the Major Taylor Project, a program that uses cycling to empower underserved youth in the Seattle area. The program is named after Major Taylor, the first African-American to win a cycling world championship race.

Ed Ewing.
Cascade Bicycle Club
Ed Ewing.

I sat down with Ewing at his office to talk about his work, his history in bike racing, racism he’s experienced as an African American cyclist, the importance of diversity, inclusion, and equity in cycling and bike advocacy, and much more. Through the course of our conversation, Ewing dove deep. He discussed the systemic issues of race and discrimination, policies like neighborhood redlining, and poverty that shape the lives of the students he works — and he explained how cycling is connected to all of it.

Read the rest of this nice article here.


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Action Alert: Comm Ave Needs You!

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 16

From Livable Streets:

 

My name is Matt and I’m a BU grad student, active Allston community member, and

Make Comm Ave better for people biking, walking, driving and using public transit

LivableStreets Commonwealth Avenue project lead. I’m writing to you for the first time today to ask for your help making Commonwealth Avenue safe for everyone to use.

The City of Boston is redesigning a section of Comm Ave, between Packard’s Corner and the Boston University Bridge. We need your help to make sure that the City takes advantage of this opportunity to create a model street that serves the large and growing population of people who bike, walk, drive, and use transit.

My fear is that the current designs for the Comm Ave project actually make the street less safe – and less enjoyable – for people to use. The plans widen street lanes (which encourages speeding), narrow the already overcrowded sidewalks, and do not improve the bike lane (which has already been the site of many injuries and at least one fatality in recent years).
Tell the City of Boston that the designs for Commonwealth Avenue must protect people who bike, walk, drive and use transit.
LivableStreets, Boston Cyclists Union, WalkBoston, MassBike and many other advocates, students and people from the neighborhood are working on this project because it impacts all of us around the City that use Comm Ave.
Thanks for your help,

Matt

 

 

Matthew Danish

LivableStreets Alliance Project Leader

E: reply@livablestreets.info

F: LivableStreets
T: @StreetsBoston/#SaferStreetsBoston

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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Bicycle Repair And Liability September 1, 2014
      TweetSome tragic accidents are the result of a freak accident. Others are the result of negligence on the part of some party. The former is sad, but understandable. The latter is not. An example of a cycling death that is … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • Massachustts Motorized Bicycle and “Motorized Scooter” Law — a Mess August 29, 2014
      TweetMassachusetts law about motorized bicycles is a confused and disorganized mess. I’ll delineate the problems and make recommendations here. the law makes no distinction between electrically-assisted bicycles and ones with gasoline engines; definitions overlap; there are provisions which contradict the … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Massachusetts Motorized Bicycle and “Motorized Scooter” Law — a Mess August 29, 2014
      TweetMassachusetts law about motorized bicycles is a confused and disorganized mess. I’ll delineate the problems and make recommendations here. the law makes no distinction between electrically-assisted bicycles and ones with gasoline engines; definitions overlap; there are provisions which contradict the … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Massachustts Motorized Bicycle and “Motorized Scooter” Law — a Mess August 29, 2014
      TweetMassachusetts law about motorized bicycles is a confused and disorganized mess. I’ll delineate the problems and make recommendations here. the law makes no distinction between electrically-assisted bicycles and ones with gasoline engines; definitions overlap; there are provisions which contradict the … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Massachusetts Motorized Bicycle and “Motorized Scooter” Law — a Mess August 29, 2014
      TweetMassachusetts law about motorized bicycles is a confused and disorganized mess. I’ll delineate the problems and make recommendations here. the law makes no distinction between electrically-assisted bicycles and ones with gasoline engines; definitions overlap; there are provisions which contradict the … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Massachusetts Motorized Bicycle and “Motorized Scooter” Law — a Mess August 29, 2014
      TweetMassachusetts law about motorized bicycles is a confused and disorganized mess. I’ll delineate the problems and make recommendations here. the law makes no distinction between electrically-assisted bicycles and ones with gasoline engines; definitions overlap; there are provisions which contradict the … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Massachusetts Motorized Bicycle and “Motorized Scooter” Law — a Mess August 29, 2014
      TweetMassachusetts law about motorized bicycles is a confused and disorganized mess. I’ll delineate the problems and make recommendations here. the law makes no distinction between electrically-assisted bicycles and ones with gasoline engines; definitions overlap; there are provisions which contradict the … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Massachustts Motorized Bicycle and “Motorized Scooter” Law — a Mess August 29, 2014
      TweetMassachusetts law about motorized bicycles is a confused and disorganized mess. I’ll delineate the problems and make recommendations here. the law makes no distinction between electrically-assisted bicycles and ones with gasoline engines; definitions overlap; there are provisions which contradict the … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Massachusetts Motorized Bicycle and “Motorized Scooter” Law — a Mess August 29, 2014
      TweetMassachusetts law about motorized bicycles is a confused and disorganized mess. I’ll delineate the problems and make recommendations here. the law makes no distinction between electrically-assisted bicycles and ones with gasoline engines; definitions overlap; there are provisions which contradict the … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • #comeridewithus Twitter Campaign to @marty_walsh as well as any elected officials August 28, 2014
      TweetSo Dotriderblog has been evolving in our involvement in Twitter. It has been about six months or a year of being in the Twittersphere and we’re learning our way. The other social media format is fun but it is more … Continue reading →
      dotriderblog