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Bikes In Cuba!

Written by Boston Biker on Apr 23

Regardless of why or how people came to use bikes in Cuba, they do, and they use them for just about everything. Charlie sent in these beautiful photos of his recent trip to Cuba, and the awesome way in which bikes are part of the culture there.  If a relatively poor nation like Cuba can integrate bicycles into the fabric of commerce, we shouldn’t have any problems at all.

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From Charlie:

I just got back from a two week trip to Cuba where I found that bikes play a
significant economic role in the country.
I have some pictures posted here:


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Detroit Dreamcyclers Hit Detroit Auto Show

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 26

19 art students walking around an auto show with imaginary bikes. I really liked this video, mostly because I think a lot about how automobiles are marketed to people, and how reality doesn’t match up very well with that marketing (see here and here and here and here and here for examples of my past thoughts on the subject).

The dada like absurdity of the imaginary bikes highlights the absurdity of Detroit continuing to put its eggs in the automobile industry basket. Plus it looked like fun.


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Bikes Vital In Post Sandy Rebuilding And Aid Distribution

Written by Boston Biker on Nov 21

Once again bikes kick ass. I will say it again, add “bicycle” to your list of disaster preparedness items, you wont be sorry.


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Federal Funding For Bicycles In Danger!

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 18

Via MassBike Act now to keep these idiots from removing the tiny amount of federal money currently spent on bicycles.

———–

Last week, the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee released its proposed six-year transportation bill, which would cut funding to critical bicycle and pedestrian programs such as Transportation Enhancements and Safe Routes to School.  These programs have been essential in improving bike safety around the state. The Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program has provided $2.4 million for bike and pedestrian infrastructure at schools since 2007, and over 1,200 students participated in SRTS bike safety courses in Spring 2011 alone. The second important funding source, Transportation Enhancements, has been used for multi-use paths, rail trails, and other improvements around the state – over $15 million in bike and pedestrian investments since 2005.

 

The current proposal would not only eliminate dedicated bike and pedestrian funding, but also cut overall federal transportation spending levels by 33% and reduce federal transit funding by 34%.  At a time when our roads are crumbling, trains and buses are breaking down, and communities struggling to build bike and pedestrian facilities, this proposal will erase decades of progress.  We need you to call your representative and senators and urge them to preserve dedicated bicycle funding.

When you call, you can use these talking points:

  • Funding For Bicycling And Walking Is At Risk We are concerned that this proposal will lead to the elimination of funding for programs such as Transportation Enhancements and Safe Routes to School.
  • We Already Underinvest In Biking And Walking Just 1.5 percent of federal transportation dollars currently support bicycling and walking, although these two modes represent 12 percent of all trips in the United States. Bicycling and walking are growing in significance to our transportation system and yet only a tiny fraction of transportation funding is allocated to these essential and affordable modes.
  • Bicyclists And Pedestrians Make Up A Disproportionate Number Of Roadway Fatalities 14 percent of roadway fatalities are bicyclists or pedestrians. Small investments in improving roadway safety not only make our roads safer for bicyclists and pedestrians but also make drivers feel more comfortable and reduce conflicts among all road users.
  • Biking And Walking Are Great Investments Bicycling and walking improvements are relatively inexpensive, highly cost-effective investments that produce more jobs per dollar than road repair and upgrades; they also boost local small businesses and increase real estate values.
  • Biking And Walking Help Solve Many Problems In these tough economic times, we must invest in solutions that solve multiple problems: biking and walking are low-cost transportation options that improve safety, health and air quality; they reduce dependence on foreign oil.

All of our representatives and senators expressed support for bicycling when we visited them in Washington, DC, in March for the National Bike Summit. Now more than ever it is important to remind the Congressional delegation to step up and defend these programs and current funding levels. Please contact your Congressional Representative asking that they maintain dedicated bicycle and pedestrian funding in the transportation bill. Here are the phone numbers for all the U.S. Representatives for Massachusetts:

 

District Rep Name Office Number Email
1 Rep. Olver, John 202-225-5335 Contact Rep. Olver
2 Rep. Neal, Richard 202-225-5601 Contact Rep. Neal
3 Rep. McGovern, James 202-225-6101 Contact Rep. McGovern
4 Rep. Frank, Barney 202-225-5931 Contact Rep. Barney
5 Rep. Tsongas, Niki 202-225-3411 Contact Rep. Tsongas
6 Rep. Tierney, John 202-225-8020 Contact Rep. Tierney
7 Rep. Markey, Edward 202-225-2836 Contact Rep. Markey
8 Rep. Capuano, Michael 202-225-5111 Contact Rep. Capuano
9 Rep. Lynch, Stephen 202-225-8273 Contact Rep. Lynch
10 Rep. Keating, William 202-225-3111 Contact Rep. Keating

 

Don’t know who your U.S. Representative is? Click here and enter your address to find out.

And our two U.S. Senators:

 

Senator Name Office Number Email
Senator Kerry, John 202-224-2742 Contact Sen. Kerry
Senator Brown, Scott 202-224-4543 Contact Sen. Brown

Take action and stand up for bike/ped programs and restoration of funding to transportation!


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The World Has Changed

Written by Boston Biker on Apr 14

Love it.


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The New Face Of BP

Written by Boston Biker on May 29


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Bicycles Now Allowed In Franklin Park

Written by Boston Biker on May 26

Got the below email from Dot Bike, awesome news!

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Good news!!

The Franklin Park Coalition presented a proposal at the Boston Parks Commission on Monday to make bicycling legal in Franklin Park. While there were several questions, both the Parks Department and the Commissioners expressed their support and appreciated the efforts and enthusiasm of Dot Bike and other volunteer bike groups involved.

Although the ban on bicycling in the park (other than on the road) was not enforced, having bicycling authorized in the park removes possible barriers to continuing to have bike events in the park, or to improvements related to bicycling such as bike racks or path stewardship that addresses biking concerns.

Measuring path widths was a fun group effort with volunteers from Dot Bike, Rozzie Bike, and JP Bikes along with children from a nearby school. Dot Bike was a key partner with the FPC in developing the proposal.

The cooperation of the Parks Dept. on this is very much appreciated, and I can’t thank the Franklin Park Coalition enough for their incredible efforts on behalf of bicyclists and everyone who enjoys and appreciates the park.


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Martha Coakley On Bikes

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 19

I was sent this email, which apparently originated with Jeff Roth of the Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee. Personally I am shocked that Scott Brown (who if you don’t know is a very right wing republican teabagger) is even close in this election. Does Massachusetts really want to have a republican representing them in congress?! Get out on your bikes, and vote for Martha, the future of transportation funding, gay rights, women’s right, abortion rights, health care reform, environmental reform, and a whole host of other issues will be thrown down the drain if Scott Brown wins. That simply can not happen.

From Bike Lexington list:

Hi All – For the US senate election tomorrow, I queried Scott Brown and Martha Coakley to find out their positions or support for bicycle transportation in the Commonwealth and nationwide. I got a response back from Martha Coakley, but not from Scott Brown. I contacted Scott Brown in multiple manners by email and phone, but he neglected to respond with any statement of his support or his position.

The response below is from Martha Coakley’s campaign committee. She even mentioned the Minuteman Bikeway!

From: Issues Issues
To:
Sent: Sat, January 16, 2010 4:18:32 PM
Subject: Re: bicycle transportation: seeking Martha Coakley position for Bay State and nationwide

Dear Mr. Roth,

Thank you for writing into the campaign about this issue. We appreciate hearing from you.

As a person who cares very much about the environment and public health, Martha’s interests and priorities are in line with the Massachusettscycling community. Martha cares deeply about developing alternative forms of energy and about energy conservation, both to promote a healthy environment and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. (see her energy & environment plan here). She understands that a commitment to protecting the environment and a commitment to alternative forms of transportation certainly go hand-in-hand.

In short, Martha agrees that promoting cycling as a transportation alternative is good for the Commonwealth’s economy, businesses, environment, and public health. She is proud that Massachusetts is home to the most used rail-to-trail bikeway in the country (The Minuteman Trail) and she knows that we need to make main thoroughfares, not just dedicated bikeways, safer for all.

If she is victorious on Tuesday, she looks forward to working with your group and others with similar interests to see what kind of federal support and policies will be productive — for example, you mention wheel friendly draining gates. We admit that is not on our radar screen, which is why dialogue like this is so important.

Also, we agree that having something on the website about this may have been useful, but at this late date with the election so close it won’t be possible to put your suggestion into action. Thanks for it nonetheless.

Thanks again for writing.

Please don’t forget to vote on Jan. 19.

Cordially,

The Martha Coakley for Senate Committee


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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Misinterpreting Statistics To Show Cyclists As Causing More Bike-Car Crashes Than Drivers November 24, 2014
      TweetYet again, the passage of a 3 foot passing law, designed to protect cyclists as drivers pass them, sparked a debate. This time, the debate ensued in San Diego, California. The argument was over sharing the road, not surprising given … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • Capitalizing On The Death Of Cyclists November 21, 2014
      TweetSometimes it seems as if advertising people will do anything to sell us their wares. Many of the things they do are outrageous, and if the rest of us did these things, we would be admonished for being unethical or … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • Cranks Giving! November 20, 2014
      TweetFrom the F-book: ————– Saturday, November 22 at 1:00pm in EST Copley Square Copley Sq, Boston, Massachusetts 02116 First annual Cranksgiving Boston bike ride! Bring a bike, a bag, and a lock. This event is FREE but you’ll need about … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Action Alert: Allston I-90 Interchange Project November 20, 2014
      TweetLets make sure we don’t end up with just another highway, see below From Livable Streets: ———-   We have a vision for something more than just a new highway.  After months of MassDOT I-90 Allston Interchange task force meetings, … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • THE DANGERS OF SAFETY: Why Focusing on Car Accidents May Hurt Our Health November 18, 2014
      Everyone officially puts “safety first.” Everyone wants to prevent accidents. Car crashes are treated as lead stories on TV news – the images are horrific and we all fear our vulnerability. But, in fact, our roads are safer than ever. In 1956, when Interstate construction began, the national fatality rate was 6.05 per 100 million […]
      Steve Miller
    • rain, wind and cold. ride anyway. November 17, 2014
      Tweetwell yeah, rain, wind, cold, dark, traffic – it beats driving a car, and def beats riding the ever so depressing Boston Subway system. Plus it makes you feel strong to be out in the elements. Ha, bad weather… ride … Continue reading →
      altbiker
    • Building Sidewalks For Children November 17, 2014
      TweetWhat have our societies become when local authorities are forced to apply for grants to build sidewalks for children? While this is a good thing, as it allows the children to engage in healthier options for traveling to school, it … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • Help MIT Students Test Outdoor Bicycle Training Device November 14, 2014
      TweetFrom the email, looks like fun! ———- We are engineering students at MIT who are building a device (Terrainer) for competitive cyclists to train outdoors.  To further improve our project, we are looking for competitive cyclists to help test and provide feedback … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Cambridge To Follow Boston’s Lead On Side Guards For Trucks November 14, 2014
      TweetI have talked about this a couple of times (here and here and here), and its great to see Cambridge moving forward with this simple and awesome plan.  Via On Monday, November 10, the City of Cambridge took a major step … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Cold weather glove review November 13, 2014
      TweetCold weather riding has it’s advantages. If you ride the paths, you begin to notice that there is much less traffic on the bike paths. The people out there tend to be more experienced and cordial that the fair weather … Continue reading →
      altbiker