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More Shared Priority Lanes Installed On Brighton Ave!

Written by greg on May 15

stay a kid thumbGreg Hum (Contributor) plays drums on his bike, gets people together for really big midnight and monthly bike rides, and is easily distracted by shiny things and fried potatoes. He shares stories and more on his personal bike blog, The Humble Cyclist.
Connect with Greg on  Twitter | YouTube 

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Just a little while ago, Jasmine Laietmark snagged these shots of city workers laying down the thermoplastic for more priority use lanes on Brighton Ave. in Allston!

Screen Shot 2014-05-15 at 12.14.50 AM

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Priority lanes are as Globe Reporter Martine Powers called “Sharrows on Steroids.” Kind of like shared lane use markings you’ve seen around town but with dotted lines to indicate to bicyclists and drivers where bicycles safely belong (in the middle of the car lane)

Looks like these go from Packard’s Corner to Harvard Ave. And if these look familiar, it’s be because you may have noticed these same priority lane markers farther down Brighton Ave. on the between Harvard Ave. and Cambridge St. since they were installed a few months ago).

On my first ride down the priority bike lanes, I immediately noticed more cars changing lanes to pass me rather than queuing up behind me and riding up close to my tail. It felt less stressful and a lot safer to bike on Brighton Ave. which was both strange and a huge relief.

According to Boston Bikes plan for priority lanes on Brighton Ave., we’re still
in Phase 2 of this plan. During Phase 3 of this plan this coming Fall, these dotted priority bike lanes will get painted green.

phase-4j

This is pretty exciting since this type of shared priority lane is an idea born from local Northeastern Civil Engineering Professor Peter Furth and Boston is still one of the first cities to put it into practice.

And I’m not just excited for Boston being one step closer to a complete network of bicycle infrastructure that one day I’ll get to ride on – I’m also excited for the thousands of college students who will inevitably return to Allston in the fall will have a much safer bike commute up and down Brighton Ave. than I once did.


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Public Meeting On Cambridge Street Overpass In Allston

Written by Boston Biker on Nov 15

If you have ever ridden over this beast you know it could be better, see below for details on how you can make your voice heard!

from the email, thanks Paola for the tip!

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You may have heard that a group of community advocates in Allston have been mobilizing to help improve the Cambridge Street Overpass, which is scheduled for MassDOT work. A public hearing is scheduled on Tuesday, November 19th at 6pm at the Jackson Mann Community Center. Please share this with your subscribers and help us get signatures and encourage submission of separate comments demanding better pedestrian and cycling facilities in our neighborhood.  You can find our letter and more information about the project and how to get involved here: www.tinyurl.com/CambridgeStreet


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New Apartments In Allston Just For Cyclists? (And Pedestrians Who Take The T)

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 28

Bostinno reports:

Apartment buildings are designed for cars. More specifically, these buildings are designed for parking cars: 40 available parking spots means 40 correlating apartments, and so on. But what if parking was removed from the equation entirely? How would that change the landscape and functionality of a building, or a neighborhood, or a city?

Architect Sebastian Mariscal has been working on plans for an 18,000-square-foot apartment building in Allston that doesn’t have on-site parking, either in a lot or underground, flying in the face of city codes requiring a specific ratio of parking spots to tenants. In fact, the building plans to ban cars entirely.

And the real kicker? Mariscal plans to require tenants to sign a special addendum to the lease promising that they don’t own a car, or at least won’t be bringing one to the neighborhood.

Amazing. Requirement to have cars holding back your ability to design the kinds of houses people want to live in? Fuck em! Build an apartment complex for people who want to live car free. Study after study shows that today’s modern city dwellers are increasingly turning away from the car, this looks like a great place for those people to live. It is also a much more efficient use of space, why waste all that money/space building parking spaces for cars people rarely use? Instead pack in some more living space for the actual human residents. I hope this gets built.


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Posted in infrastructure, news | 8 Comments »

Police Identify Man Killed In Allston

Written by Boston Biker on Nov 16

From The BPD Website:

The victim has been identified as 21 year old Chung-Wei Yang.

The facts and circumstances surrounding the accident are as follows:

On November 12, 2012 at 6:36pm officers from D-14 (Brighton) responded to a motor vehicle accident involving a bicyclist at Brighton Avenue and Harvard Avenues.

Upon arrival officers found a seriously injured male victim. EMS transported the 21 year old victim to Beth Israel Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

Update: Preliminary investigation suggests an MBTA bus did come in contact with the victim. There is no indication that the driver or any of the passengers on the bus knew anyone was struck. At this time, no charges have been filed

The Boston Police Department is continuing to investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding this incident. Anyone with information is asked to call Homicide Detectives (617) 343-4470.

Community members wishing to assist this investigation anonymously can do so by calling the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1(800) 494-TIPS or texting the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463). The Boston Police Department will stringently guard and protect the identities of those who wish to remain anonymous.

I am going to wait until more information comes out before I pass judgement, but I am very suspicious. I can only hope that these incidents of cyclists being killed by large vehicles leads to some serious change in the way things are done in this town. The killing must stop.


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Posted in advocacy, news | 4 Comments »

Cyclist Hit And Killed In Allston

Written by Boston Biker on Nov 12

I am getting reports of a cyclist hit and potentially killed in Allston.

Here are the details I have so far:

Happened around 6:15pm tonight
Corner of corner of Harvard Ave and Brighton in front of Redneck BBQ
some say it involved an MBTA bus
No Helmet
Rider is male, wearing a Red Sox hat
white Giant bike with Knog lights
rider had a new Kryptonite lock on the handlebars

Apparently the ambulance didn’t rush off after loading him in, which means he is either ok, or dead. I am hoping he is ok.

Does anyone else have any information about this incident? More information when I get it.

EDIT: I am getting more reports that the cyclist has been killed, nothing confirmed yet though.

EDIT:

It was fatal sadly.

from here.

A 21-year-old bicyclist was fatally struck by a vehicle in Allston tonight, and authorities are trying to determine if an MBTA bus was involved, police said.

Boston police Officer Neva Coakley, a department spokeswoman, said the man was struck just before 6:30 p.m. near the corner of Harvard and Brighton avenues, and witnesses reported that the vehicle may have been a T bus.

Joe Pesaturo, an MBTA spokesman, said Transit Police are working closely on the investigation with Boston police and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office, but he declined further comment.

Jake Wark, a spokesman for District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, said a prosecutor from the office was at the scene tonight, but authorities have not confirmed that it was a T bus that hit the man.

More than a dozen plainclothes and uniformed Boston police officers were at gathered at the intersection tonight directing traffic and telling pedestrians passing through the busy intersection to move along.

The eastbound lane of Brighton Avenue was cordoned off, just outside Redneck’s Roast Beef, and a twisted white bicycle was visible just off the sidewalk at the corner.

This is tragic, so young. If he was hit by a bus it will be yet another in a string of cyclists killed by large vehicles. This has to stop.

EDIT:More images of the scene here.

Bostonino reports that a bus driver has been taken out of service and questioned:

A 58-year-old MBTA bus driver has been taken out of service while the Boston Police Department and officials from the T investigate the circumstances of a bicycle accident in Allston that killed a man in his twenties.

“A Route 57 bus operator has been taken out of service while police investigators work to establish facts in this matter,” according to T spokesman Joe Pesaturo. “[The driver] is 58, and he has been with the T for six years.”

According to reports, witnesses said an MBTA bus may have been involved in the accident, which happened on the corner of Harvard and Brighton Avenues on Monday evening, just after 6 p.m.

Jake Wark, a spokesman from the Suffolk District Attorney’s Office, said the cyclist was killed, but no charges have been filed at this time.

“It is still under investigation,” said Wark, via e-mail to BostInno.

Wark did say, however, it was a “bus and [bic]cycle collision.”

EDIT: Seems the bus driver didn’t realize he had hit the cyclist.

The bus driver was unaware he struck the bicyclist, according to police, but witnesses at the scene said the bus did hit him.

EDIT: Seems it was a BU Student.

Authorities are investigating the facts surrounding the death of a 21-year-old bicyclist who was struck by a vehicle in Allston Monday night, officials said.

“Everybody is still out, and the investigation is still ongoing,” said Neva Coakley, a Boston Police Department spokeswoman.

The accident occurred at 6:36 p.m. on the corner of Brighton Avenue and Harvard Avenue, Coakley said.

News outlets report that the bicyclist was a Boston University student, although BU officials did not confirm this information.

EDIT: NPR Reports that the cyclist was hit by a bus driver, and that the driver may have not known that he hit a cyclist.


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Dear Allston

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 26

Dear Allston,

I didn’t want to have to do this over the internet, but I am breaking up with you. This shouldn’t come as a surprise as we have been fighting a lot lately, and frankly I just can’t take this anymore. I know people say “it’s not you, it’s me” well this time its totally you.

Seriously I don’t know how you manage to stay in relationships with anyone. Judging by the way you act I think you need to take a break from seeing people and get yourself a good city planner. I know it might seem mean, but in order to help you improve yourself I have included this list of things that drove me away from you. You seem like a nice little section of town, and perhaps with a little bit of self reflection and a lot of road work you could love again.

Your Citizens

Seriously is every single person that lives or travels within your confines a total moron? Why is it that the students that call you home are smart enough to go to Harvard, but can’t figure out how to cross the damn street? Does EVERY motorist have to drive in the bike lane, or make turns with no signals, and whats with all the moms dropping kids off at school and nearly dooring me every damn day. Who instructed your delivery truck drivers that the best possible way for them to drop off goods is by first cutting me off while honking at me and then stopping directly in front of me in the bike lane to scream profanity (PS. Biga Breads tell your drivers not to be such assholes while they are driving your vehicles, bad PR).

Lastly, what have you done to the other bikers who use your roads? They all seem to be rude inconsiderate helmet-less dunces. If they aren’t dressed all in black while riding around at night with no lights, they are busy pretending their commute home is a time trial and pedestrians and red lights are just a waste of time.

In short I think you might want to call the CDC because it seems everyone within your confines has contracted terminal stupid.

The Roads

Baby I thought you were making progress, really I did. You repaved, you bike laned, you sharrowed, but it just wasn’t enough. Your bike lanes are great, and the sharrows do seem to help a little, but its like trying to put a forest fire out with a squirt gun. The sheer torrent of morons has overwhelmed them. Perhaps if you went and repaved the rest of North Harvard, got a whole lot more bike lanes, did something about those giant train track covered intersections on Comm. Ave. and I don’t know…tased anyone who j-walked or parked in the bike lane, well maybe then we could get back together.

Last Straw

Just so you don’t think I am being cruel let me illustrate what happened just today on my way to work.

After fighting for my tiny patch of road by slowly edging my way out of the door zone (which incidentally was full of people who for some reason seem to enjoy sitting in their car with the door all the way open), I was honked at for having the audacity to only follow the car in front of my by 5 feet instead of 1. I guess when you’re in a hurry you only look at the person in front of you and not the other multitude of cars backed up in traffic.

A couple MBTA buses took a swing at me, I know their tricks, but they had backup today. Several yellow school buses also got into the fray moving into the bike lane for no apparent reason on several occasions.

Delivery trucks were set up every 100 feet parked on the right hand side of the road (or in some cases right out in the middle of the lane) the drivers unloading box and box walking right into the street with nary a glance to see if they are about to be run over.

Mothers and fathers sprung forth from their vehicles in a symphony of dooring to drop off their children, college kids walked out from between parked cars at random, and I even had one guy get out of his car in the middle of the street and run across traffic so that his driver wouldn’t have to turn to let him out. Luckily he managed to not be run over by three lanes of moving traffic and myself. Plus I had the added bonus of nearly getting plowed into by a semi-truck who failed to yield to oncoming traffic (me).

All this and some douche bag on a folding bike cut me off after he ran a stop sign and then had the marbles to say “your welcome” as he ‘allowed’ me to pass him on the left. Really buddy, what exactly should I be so thankful for? That I was able to stop in time so that when you ran that stop sign and cut me off we didn’t run into each other? Here is a little pro-tip, only run out in front of fast moving objects if you are going to go faster than they are. Next time it might be a car you cut off, and I am pretty sure they don’t swerve over to one side to avoid you.

In short Allston, you’re a hot mess. I never had this kind of trouble when I was with Dorchester, or Somerville, or even Down Town (and DT is wild). I think I might be forced to start dating the BU Bridge area just to avoid you…yea its gotten weird between us.


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Posted in bostonbiker | 28 Comments »

New Bike Lanes On Harvard Ave. In Allston

Written by Boston Biker on Apr 12

I have been getting reports of new bike lanes on Harvard Ave. in Allston. Does anyone have pictures of this yet? Anyone ride down it yet?

Update: pictures!


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North Harvard Street Getting Repaved!

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 30

We all know it, we all hate it, the ass pounding that is North Harvard street is finally getting repaved…and not a moment too soon.

I got this from a semi-reliable source…the internet

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From an email from Dan Roan, in charge of that shit in allston-

The Boston Public Works Department (PWD) is preparing to begin the roadway resurfacing of the section of North Harvard Street, from Western Avenue to Soldiers Field Road. Work on this section by Aggregate Industries is anticipated to begin on July 15, 2009 and be substantially completed by July 25. As always, projected schedules are dependant on the weather.
The scope of work includes:

Grind the existing roadway down to a depth of 3 inches. Please note that this phase only of the project will be conducted during two consecutive nights between the hours of 7:00PM and 5:00AM, tentatively scheduled for July 15 and 16. This will enhance our ability to greatly accelerate the project completion. All other work will take place between the hours of 7:00AM and 5:00PM

Reset all manholes and castings.
Install base asphalt binder course.
Apply top surface layer of asphalt.
Install all lane markings including bike lanes.

Please note that traffic lanes will be open at all times and Boston Police details will be on site to coordinate pedestrian and traffic flow. Temporary parking restrictions will be posted in advance. Please contact the Project Manager, Kevin Linskey, at 617-438-8507 with any issues that arise during construction.

Meeting July 6th at 6pm at the Honan allston library on north harvard to discuss with community members. I plan on being there to ask they don’t place manholes and metal slabs in the bike lane, like happened on the Comm Ave project.


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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Quantifying The Amount Of Public Support For Investing In Bicycle Infrastructure October 23, 2014
      TweetUnless people have been living under a rock, they are aware of the growing demand for bicycle infrastructure. How they perceive this demand, and whether they are in favor of it or against it, depends on many factors, some of … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • Ayanna Pressley To Hold Hearing On Safeguarding Cyclists, Introduces New Draft Legislation For Side Guards On Trucks October 21, 2014
      TweetGot this in the email, Ayanna Pressley has been diligently working to ensure safer conditions for cyclists in Boston, here is her latest, welcome effort.     ————- In conjunction with Mayor Martin J. Walsh, City Councilor Ayanna Pressley has … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Bikey Face Has A Book! October 21, 2014
      TweetOh Man!  This thing looks awesome, buy five and give them out to every cyclist you know! Go here right now, buy them! ———–   Announcing the first Bikeyface book, Bike There! Bike There is a 24 page mini-comic on how to bike … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • It Might Be Better To Insure Your Bicycle Than To Insure Your Life October 20, 2014
      TweetThe market for cyclists’ lives isn’t very good right now. Apparently, you can buy a cyclist’s life for a mere $1,500. That’s right. For less than $2,000 you can kill a cyclist and face no additional penalties. In case you … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • Vote No on Question 1 October 19, 2014
      Tweet“[The gas tax] is the only tax in Massachusetts that goes up without a vote” -State Representative Geoff Diehl of Whitman. Supporters of Question 1 on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ November 2014 ballot want to frame their argument this way.  They want … Continue reading →
      mattyciii
    • Commonwealth Avenue and the BU campus October 17, 2014
      TweetThe Boston cyclists Union and Livable Streets are promoting cycle tracks for Commonwealth Avenue. The bicycle industry’s astroturf advocacy organization, Peoplefor Bikes, is asking people to sign a petition in support of them. Not a good idea. Cycle tracks on … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Commonwealth Avenue and the BU campus October 17, 2014
      TweetThe Boston cyclists Union and Livable Streets are promoting cycle tracks for Commonwealth Avenue. The bicycle industry’s Astroturf advocacy organization, Peoplefor Bikes, is asking people to sign a petition in support of them. Not a good idea. Cycle tracks on … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Commonwealth Avenue and the BU campus October 17, 2014
      TweetThe Boston cyclists Union and Livable Streets are promoting cycle tracks for Commonwealth Avenue. The bicycle industry’s Astroturf advocacy organization, Peoplefor Bikes, is asking people to sign a petition in support of them. Not a good idea. Cycle tracks on … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Commonwealth Avenue and the BU campus October 17, 2014
      TweetThe Boston cyclists Union and Livable Streets are promoting cycle tracks for Commonwealth Avenue. The bicycle industry’s astroturf advocacy organization, Peoplefor Bikes, is asking people to sign a petition in support of them. Not a good idea. Cycle tracks on … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Commonwealth Avenue and the BU campus October 17, 2014
      TweetThe Boston cyclists Union and Livable Streets are promoting cycle tracks for Commonwealth Avenue. The bicycle industry’s astroturf advocacy organization, Peoplefor Bikes, is asking people to sign a petition in support of them. Not a good idea. Cycle tracks on … Continue reading →
      jsallen