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The Longfellow Bridge Sucks For Cyclists, Let MassDOT Know We Are Pissed

Written by Boston Biker on Dec 20

The longfellow bridge has gone from pretty awesome (one lane of traffic and two lanes of bikes), to bad (wrong side bike path on the pedestrian walkway), to atrocious (one very narrow bike lane, and a bike/pedestrian traffic heading north).

Personally I see a lot more people going over the bridge on foot and on bicycle than I do in cars, shut the car traffic down and reserve the road for emergency and bike traffic, at least until the end of construction.

 

From The BCU:

The current conditions on the Longfellow Bridge are unsafe and unacceptable for people on bikes.  As you may know, the outbound bike lane was removed and cyclists are being asked to walk their bike on the sidewalk heading into Cambridge.  The inbound lane was narrowed so that large vehicles cannot safely pass cyclists in the bike lane.  Please see our letter to MassDOT, below, and send in your own!  Tell your story of traveling on the Longfellow and tell MassDOT and your elected representatives that this is an untenable situation, and cyclist accommodations must be addressed!

___________________________________

Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack

Department of Transportation
10 Park Plaza, Suite 4160
Boston, MA 02116

CC: Representative Jay Livingstone
CC: Chris Osgood, Chief of Street, City of Boston

RE: Longfellow Bridge Modified Phase 2 Construction

Dear Secretary,

On behalf of our members, the Boston Cyclists Union, the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition and LivableStreets Alliance would like to bring to your attention the increasingly hazardous conditions for people riding bicycles over the Longfellow Bridge, and we request that these hazards be addressed immediately.

Recently, due to the need to construct a temporary track for the Red Line, the inbound travel lane and bike lane have both been narrowed, and outbound cyclists no longer have a street­level contraflow bike lane and instead are being required to walk their bicycles on the sidewalk.

The current accommodations for the hundreds of people on bicycles* crossing the bridge daily are unacceptable to us and our members. The bike and travel lane widths heading inbound into Boston do not adequately provide a safe way for motorized vehicles to overtake people riding bicycles in the bike lane. Trolley buses, trucks and other large vehicles regularly travel in the bike lane, putting people riding bicycles at extreme risk of being side­swiped or struck from behind. Construction activities also routinely negatively impact the roadway condition with gravel and debris, and cones and markers are often moved into the path designated as the bike lane. (Please see the image attached below of current conditions heading inbound. Notice the bike lane is blocked by jersey barriers, forcing people riding bicycles into the travel lane.) Moreover, instructing outbound cyclists to walk their bikes on the sidewalk does not fulfill MassDOT’s promise to provide two ­way bike travel for the duration of the project.

From what we understand, this situation is temporary and two­way bicycle travel will switch to the upstream side of the bridge sometime early next year, but that does not make the current situation permissible to the hundreds of people biking over the Longfellow everyday. Moreover, we are concerned that the project will not follow the anticipated project schedule, and the current situation will persist throughout the winter. If that is the case, snow accumulation in the inbound bike lane will force people riding bikes into the travel lane with vehicular traffic, making an already dangerous situation even worse. We have provided a video, attached, demonstrating the approach of a trolley bus to a cyclist in the bike lane. Please note the bus’s right wheels overlapping with the bike lane, and the closeness during the pass.

We look forward to hearing how MassDOT plans to address these hazards.

Sincerely,

Rebecca Wolfson, Interim Executive Director, Boston Cyclists Union Richard Fries, Executive Director, MassBike
Charlie Denison, Advocacy Committee Chair, LivableStreets Alliance

* On Tuesday, Dec. 8 the Boston Cyclists Union conducted a count of users on the Longfellow Bridge and observed 333 people riding bicycles and 713 motorized vehicles going inbound between 7:35 AM and 9:15 AM. The fact that people riding bicycles represent approximately 32% of the rush­hour inbound vehicle traffic on the Longfellow Bridge demonstrate how important of a connection the bridge is for people riding bicycles between Cambridge and Boston.

__________________________________

Watch this VIDEO demonstrating unsafe riding conditions!

(See the full letter here: Longfellow Phase 2 Comments-2)

Please write to MassDOT at [email protected] CC [email protected],[email protected]@bostoncyclistsunion.org so we can see that you’ve taken action and can help amplify your voice!

 


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Support Cycle Tracks On The Arborway Feb 2nd

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 29

From the Boston Cyclist Union

——-

A rendering of a possible Bikeway for Everybody on The Arborway in Jamaica Plain. Rendering created by the Bike Union.

Since 2011, the Bike Union has helped lead local residents and other orgs to reconnect the Emerald Necklace for bicycles. Over the past 4 years, the coalition has successfully promoted an at-grade solution for the reconstruction for the Casey Overpass, and a buffered bike lane on Morton Street that now reaches halfway to Mattapan. One of the last remaining problems to solve is the connection between the Casey Arborway project and Jamaica Pond. Next week we have an opportunity to bridge one of the last gaps!The Arborway cycletrack discussions were sparked last year shortly after the #WinterBiker campaign created by the many neighborhood groups in the Bike Union’s Organizing Group took place. The momentum started by that campaign birthed the new Urban Paths & Parkways Committee at the Department for Conservation and Recreation, and then, due to an internal communication breakdown, the DCR’s maintenance crew painted inadequate bike infrastructure on the Arborway. This sparked a Bike Union letter campaign that asked the agency to remove the dangerous new bike facility to make space for a more thorough discussion of how this portion of the Arborway (from Eliot Street to South Street) could be made comfortable for cyclists. Now, the DCR is moving forward with that discussion!

There will be two public meetings for this project within one week. At the first (Feb. 2) the DCR will seek community input on what kind of bike facilities would work along the Arborway. This includes Kelly and Murray traffic circles. At the second (Feb. 5), the DCR will present alternatives and gather more input.

It is extremely important that the DCR hears from people like you who would prefer cycletracks on Mon., Feb. 2, and also that you or your friends or family also show up on Thurs., Feb. 5 to support the cycletrack alternative moving forward.

Show up, speak up for Bikeways for Everybody!

Arborway Bicycle Facilities Public Meeting
Mon., Feb. 2 6:30 to 8:30pm
and
Thurs., Feb. 5, 6:30 to 8:30pm
Arnold Arboretum Visitor Center/Hunnewell Building
125 Arborway, Boston


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Boston Cyclist Union Presents: Tour De Grave

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 16

 

What: A Boston Cyclists Union trip to some of the Boston area’s famous and lesser-known graveyards in honor of Halloween. Trip leaves at9:30am in order to avoid the majority of ghosts, and will be about 25 miles and take about 5 hours.  Steady rain cancels.  Helmets required.  Appropriate costumes are encouraged for this ride!

Where: We will meet in Franklin Park at theGiraffe Entrance to the Zoo

<When: Saturday October 26, 2013 at 9:30AM

This year we will be exploring cemeteries north and west of Franklin Park, some of which we have never visited on previous rides, including the Brookline Old Burying Ground, the Walnut Hills Cemetery, Evergreen Cemetery, Mt. Benedict, St. Joseph’s, the Baker Street Jewish Cemeteries, the Gardens at Gethsemane, the Westerly Burying Ground, the Walter Street Burying Ground, the Tollgate Cemetery, St. Michael’s Cemetery, Mt. Calvary Cemetery, New Calvary Cemetery, Mt. Hope Cemetery, and Forest Hills Cemetery.

From more information, contact:

[email protected]
857-540-6293

or Jessica Mink
[email protected]


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See You Tonight At The Boston Cyclists Union Soul Party!

Written by greg on Apr 25

hummugGreg Hum plays drums on his bike, organizes the annual Midnight Marathon Bike Ride, and shares stories and more on his personal blog, The Humble Cyclist. Tweet at him, bro: @thehum

____________________________________________________________________

Tonight, the Boston Cyclists Union is hosting their Second Annual Spring Kickoff Party. Here’s the scoop from the Facebook event page:

———

Order tickets via Eventbrite:

buc_soul_party_poster

On Thursday, April 25 we’re expecting over 300 guests at our second annual Spring Kickoff party and this year it’s all about the soul of the bike movement. What brought you to where you are today? What got you so all-fired interested in making Boston the best biking city in the world? Where is all that fire coming from?
Be thinking about this as you enjoy free beer, free food, and Northern Soul you can really move to. You know we always throw a good party and this time we’re hoping to pack this venue with people, but keep you’re eyes here or on our Facebook page to hear about our special guests, DJs, beer donors, and food donors as they express their support for a Boston that’s safe for everyone to mount a bike and ride, from 6 years old on up to 97.
If you come, you’ll enjoy free beer from Cambridge Brewing Co. and Boston Beer Co., free food from El Pelon, M&M Ribs, Chow Thai and other awesome local businesses, and you can take a peek at some amazing bikes from Boston Classic Bikes.
You’ll also have a chance to enter the raffle and win a new bike or other gear with a $750 gift certificate from Ashmont Cycles in Dorchester. Before and after a crazy short 15-minute presentation about what we’ve accomplished and the year ahead, join the Soul Dance Party with DJ Trislam and DJ Dandy Dan.

bcu_dance_party

(Photo Source)

Please thank our fantastic event sponsors for supporting better biking in Boston:

  • Jason & Fischer Attorneys at Law
  • Ashmont Cycles
  • Buckle Farm
  • Cambridge Brewing Co.
  • El Pelon
  • M&M Ribs
  • Boston Beer Co.
  • Chow Thai Café
  • DuVine Cyling & Adventure
  • Flat Top Johnny’s
  • Katalyst Kombucha
  • M&M Ribs
  • Noelle Janka Yoga
  • Nola’s Fresh Foods
  • Sarah Freeman and Sam Sherwood
  • Siva Cycle
  • Spindrift Soda
  • Phi Tran, Bike Union Board president
  • Van Shabu & Bar
  • Zipcar

The event is free to all Union members over 21–if you are not yet a member or need to renew your membership, buying an Eventbrite ticket makes you a member

We hope to see you there!!!

Please note that this is a 21+ event. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause to our members. Refunds for those under 21 are available by calling 617-620-1989—but our future events will be all ages and your membership will be good for entry to those for one year.

———

I’ll be volunteering at the registration table from 7-8pm. Be sure to say hi or give me a high-five! I’ll see you all there!

 

 


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BCU Hiring Membership And Development Director

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 31

From the BCU website:

———

Membership and Development Manager – Boston Cyclists Union
The Membership and Development Manager is the main generator and organizer of the Boston Cyclists Union’s rapidly growing membership and volunteer corps, also overseeing other fundraising and development opportunities.

  • Hours: Full time
  • Reports to: Executive Director

About the Boston Cyclists Union:
The Boston Cyclists Union works to make the city healthier and more enjoyable by promoting the bicycle. Our fast growing 1,000-member grassroots organization is becoming one of the most active and effective advocacy groups in the city. In 2012, our membership doubled. In 2013, we hope to double it again. The Boston Cyclists Union’s work is helping to increase ridership in Boston, Cambridge, Brookline, and Somerville. We want to Connect the City with a complete system of physically separated bikeways designed so that anyone, from an 8-year old child to an 80-year old grandmother will feel safe and comfortable riding a bike.

Responsibilities:

  • Lead and manage programs and events designed to retain, maintain and grow Bike Union membership.
  • Identify grant opportunities, communicate with foundation officers, and create drafts for grant proposals.
  • Identify contract opportunities, communicate with contractees, and create drafts for contract proposals.
  • In collaboration with the Executive Director, develop and guide major donor strategy.
  • Set membership strategy, membership numbers and budget goals to produce desired results.
  • Develop targeted membership materials and campaigns with diverse communities and partners (e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Phone-A-Thons, events, etc).
  • Manage lead generation and customer retention programs.
  • Collect and analyze historic and survey data to create new programs and refine existing membership programs.
  • Champion new practices in membership maintenance and recruiting and implement new strategies.
  • Develop and conduct volunteer trainings focused on member recruitment and increased member engagement in Union activities.
  • Develop and manage business and employer membership and member discount proragrams.
  • Work with the Executive Director and Development Committee to improve upon existing and create new programs and outreach for membership.
  • Responsible for a wide variety communications involving all facets of membership including new programs, weekly and ongoing communications, and all member messaging and branded materials.
  • Collaborate with Development Committee and skilled volunteers on membership materials.
  • Create organization-wide themes, talking points and messaging across all trainings and membership materials.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Qualifications:

  • Deep commitment to the Boston Cyclists Union mission.
  • 3-5 years experience in a similar field.
  • Strong interpersonal and relational skills.
  • Demonstrated track record of successful project planning and goal reaching.
  • Ability to work individually and as part of a team.
  • Excellent communicator.
  • Superior analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Experience with direct mail, e-mail campaign marketing, phone banking, and social media communications.
  • Organized, and detail oriented.
  • Professional, positive, outgoing, friendly demeanor.
  • Desire and ability to implement systems that will allow your work to scale quickly and significantly to be able to reach more people.
  • Extra points for working knowledge of Salesforce, Constant Contact, Vertical Response and/or InDesign.

Salary
Starting salary is $32,000. We are a small, extremely fast-growing non-profit and strong performance will be rewarded as our budget allows. Full-time, exempt position.

How to Apply:
Send a compelling cover letter and resume to [email protected] Please include “Membership and Development Manager Candidate, YOUR NAME” in the subject line, and be sure to mention where you saw the job advertised. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled. We strongly encourage applicants to submit their application by February 20, 2013. People of color and women are strongly encouraged to apply.

Boston Cyclists Union is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, age, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political orientation.


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Promoting Cycling And Walking For Sustainable Cities: Lessons From Europe And North America

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 04

From the email

———————-

“Promoting Cycling and Walking for Sustainable Cities: Lessons from Europe and North America”

by John Pucher, Co-sponsored by LivableStreets

Mon, Oct 15, 4:30-6:00pm @ Piper Auditorium, Gund Hall, 48 Quincy St. Cambridge

Free and open to the public

Pucher will inspire you with a comprehensive look at changes happening around the country and the world. What makes cycling and walking so safe and convenient for daily travel in Dutch, Danish, and German cities? And what are US cities doing to catch up? Get highlights from his new book City Cycling and hear his advice on how to promote cycling and walking locally. Click here for more info>>

Co-sponsored by Harvard Kennedy School Transportation Seminar, MIT Department of Urban Planning and Design, WalkBoston,

LivableStreets Alliance, MassBike & Boston Cyclist Union


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BCU’s Second Annual Party!

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 17

Got this in the email:

Boston Cyclists Union’s Second Annual Party (Meeting)

On Thursday, Sept. 27 we’ll be hosting our second fabulous Annual Party (Meeting) and fundraiser for our members to celebrate another year of great advocacy and programming, to welcome and meet a new board slate, hear from some bigwigs, and enjoy good music, free food and free beer.

Guest speaker: Nicole Freedman, Olympian and former Bike Czar for the city of Boston!

DJ Riobamba of Pajaritos and DJ Shabbakano (of Sonido Bestial @ River Gods) will get you on the dance floor!

Free beer from Cambridge Brewing Company, Cisco Brewery, Blue Hills Brewery, and Boston Brewing Co.

Massive taco mania from El Pelon plus vegan food from Life Alive, B. Good, Haley House, and others…

Raffling off a folding bicycle from fBike, two full winter bike commuting outfits from Ibex and Patagonia (from the socks to the cap!), a gift basket from Slumbrew and more!

Second Annual Party (Meeting)
Thurs., Sept. 27
Benjamin Franklin Institute of Tech’s
crazy big ballroom (to hold all of you)
41 Berkeley Street
Boston, MA 02116
6:30pm-10:30pm

 

RSVP HERE
The event is free to all Union members–if you are not yet a member or need to renew your membership, you can do that here.  Not sure about your membership status? Send a note to [email protected]org 

This is one of the Union’s largest fundraisers of the year so bring your checkbook and cash for raffle tickets. We are now an official 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, so all contributions will be tax-deductible.


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Evening Group Ride With Ben Sollee On August 2nd

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 30

Got this from the BCU. Looks like fun.

———————

Please join the Boston Cyclists Union for an evening group ride with special guest musician Ben Sollee http://bensollee.com/ Thursday, August 2nd

This will be an easygoing group ride from downtown to Jamaica Plain. Leaving from 290 Congress Street http://goo.gl/maps/oii4 (Boston Society of Architects gallery currently showing “Let’s Talk About Bikes” http://www.architects.org/ ), we will ride to Jamaica Pond http://goo.gl/maps/pxWG for a concluding acoustic performance at the boathouse pavilion.

Join us at the BSA by 6:15 for a 6:30 departure or at the Christian Science Center http://goo.gl/maps/61L4K by 7:00 for a 7:15 departure. Helmets and lights required.


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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

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    • Is it all right? May 23, 2016
      TweetAt the Boston Bicycle Safety Summit, February 23, 2016, in a small breakout group, Cyclist Jonathan Traum drew a sketch like this: (Thanks to John Schubert for this version, which looks like Traum’s, only neater.) Traum indicated that the right-hook … Continue reading →
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    • Is it all right? May 23, 2016
      TweetAt the Boston Bicycle Safety Summit, February 23, 2016, in a small breakout group, Cyclist Jonathan Traum drew a sketch like this: (Thanks to John Schubert for this version, which looks like Traum’s, only neater.) Traum indicated that the right-hook … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Is it all right? May 23, 2016
      TweetAt the Boston Bicycle Safety Summit, February 23, 2016, in a small breakout group, Cyclist Jonathan Traum drew a sketch like this: (Thanks to John Schubert for this version, which looks like Traum’s, only neater.) Traum indicated that the right-hook … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Is it all right? May 23, 2016
      TweetAt the Boston Bicycle Safety Summit, February 23, 2016, in a small breakout group, Cyclist Jonathan Traum drew a sketch like this: (Thanks to John Schubert for this version, which looks like Traum’s, only neater.) Traum indicated that the right-hook … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Is it all right? May 23, 2016
      TweetAt the Boston Bicycle Safety Summit, February 23, 2016, in a small breakout group, Cyclist Jonathan Traum drew a sketch like this: (Thanks to John Schubert for this version, which looks like Traum’s, only neater.) Traum indicated that the right-hook … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Is it all right? May 23, 2016
      TweetAt the Boston Bicycle Safety Summit, February 23, 2016, in a small breakout group, Cyclist Jonathan Traum drew a sketch like this: (Thanks to John Schubert for this version, which looks like Traum’s, only neater.) Traum indicated that the right-hook … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Is it all right? May 23, 2016
      TweetAt the Boston Bicycle Safety Summit, February 23, 2016, in a small breakout group, Cyclist Jonathan Traum drew a sketch like this: (Thanks to John Schubert for this version, which looks like Traum’s, only neater.) Traum indicated that the right-hook … Continue reading →
      jsallen