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The New Longfellow Bridge “Bike Path” Is Horrible

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 29

 

(Please forgive me for the first 30 seconds as I wasn’t paying attention).

So whats wrong with the situation depicted in this video?

There are giant “NO PEDESTRIAN” signs at both ends of the bike path, and yet the path is full of human pedestrians (and some dogs).

The path is far too narrow for bi-directional cycling, let alone strollers, dog walkers, joggers, etc.

The green stuff on the side billows out in the wind, catching on your handle bars (I almost crashed avoiding a walker).  I am guessing that stuff is put up to stop debris from the building site from flying into the water, but the zip ties have come loose and it now poses a serious hazard to cycling traffic.

The surface is very uneven, to the point of discomfort.  You can actually hear my bike rattle as I hit each bump, and see the camera shake.

The approaches have received all sorts of marking and road paint, but they are still horrible.  Filled with curbs to fall off, ramps to miss, and in general hard turns that put you into conflict with lots of traffic (car, bike, and pedestrian).

I still think that the bridge should be closed to car traffic, and opened up to cycling/public transit/emergency traffic.  The bridge is one way as it is, and gets modest car traffic even at rush hour.

The traffic patterns approaching and leaving the bridge have already more or less adjusted to not having the bridge.  This elaborate and poorly constructed bike path is a solution that was only necessary because we are so car-focused in our thinking.

I can say with some certainty that far more people cross the Longfellow bridge in ways that don’t involve cars, and in fact always have.  Even when it was two travel lanes in both directions the amount of walkers/public transit/cyclists users of that bridge far outnumbered the amount of folks moving over it in cars.  The fact is that the bridge would be far more productive if they just took the cars off it during the time of the construction, freeing it up for emergency/public transit/walkers/cyclist traffic.


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Longfellow Bridge Now Has A Dedicated Bike Lane Going Both Ways

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 13

It’s a little tricky (you have to wrap around under the bridge and the path is far from clear), but it sure beats walking your bike northbound battling pedestrians.  The BCU has released this video to help you figure it out.

I have used it a couple of times, and found it confusing all of those times, you are put into conflict with traffic both pedestrian and car at odd points, but with a bit more signage it might be ok.  I still think they should just close the bridge to cars, and let cyclists/pedestrians take the whole thing until it’s done being fixed.

 

I disagree with the video that this path is an improvement…at best it is a temporary compromise.  The path is crazy bumpy, the approaches are a mess, I have already noticed pedestrians on it, the interaction with cars are all from blind directions, you literally have to look behind you at most intersections to see the cars coming, there is all sorts of curbs with ramps that have gaps and its pretty easy to exit the ramps into the curb which will cause accidents.  It’s also a functioning construction zone, I got a mouth full of cement dust yesterday because they are still breaking up concrete on the bridge. Just watch the video again and look at how much the camera shakes going over the bridge, and pay attention to all the times the cyclists is put in conflict with cars coming from strange angles, there are just too many problems here.

Final verdict…well at least I wont have to walk my bike over the bridge anymore…


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Somerville Community Path To Be Extended All The Way To Boston

Written by Boston Biker on Apr 30

This is pretty awesome!

From the city of Somerville:

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The Community Path is heading to Boston. Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey announced today that the MBTA will build an extension of the path along the future Green Line from Lechmere Station to the forthcoming Lowell Street Station, connecting to the current path and bringing the total length of Somerville’s bicycle and pedestrian path to 2 miles.

Under an agreement between the MBTA and the City of Somerville, the MBTA will first build the path along the future Green Line from Lechmere Station to the forthcoming Brickbottom Station at Washington Street as part of Phase II of the Green Line Extension, which is scheduled for completion in late 2017 with the opening of the new Lechmere, Brickbottom and Union Square stations.

As the Green Line Extension project continues, the MBTA and will build the remaining stretch of the Community Path from Brickbottom Station to the future Lowell Street Station. Last May, MassDOT began work on extending the Community Path from Cedar Street to Lowell Street.

Once the Community Path is fully built, it will create a seamless link from the Minuteman Bikeway to the Charles River paths, creating a 48-mile continuous path network connecting 11 cities and towns in the Greater Boston region. The Community Path will also provide emergency egress and a utility corridor for the Green Line Extension.

“When construction began last May on the Cedar Street to Lowell Street extension of the Community Path, I said it was only the beginning and that we would extend the path to Boston. That day is here thanks to the determination of so many,” said Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. “This project is about much more than biking and walking. It’s about building a community and a region that is equitable, connected and vibrant. When we create connections between neighborhoods and communities, economic health follows as our squares thrive, local businesses get busier and a resilient, self-sufficient economic base is built for our city and the region. That is the connectivity and vibrancy that will also help us bring back our historic neighborhoods like Brickbottom and Inner Belt.”

“Today’s announcement of funding for the GLX Community Path further demonstrates our vision for the future of transportation in the Commonwealth,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “Investment in transportation infrastructure that provides better access to more healthy, sustainable and cost-efficient options is necessary to continue to move Massachusetts forward.”

Bicycle infrastructure is an integral component of the Green Line Extension, which upon completion will have 1,100 bicycle parking spaces throughout the seven stations, including dedicated Pedal and Park enclosed bicycle storage units that can be accessed using a Bike Charlie Card. Last June, MassDOT agreed to fund a complete design of the Community Path from Lowell Street to Lechmere as part of the Green Line Extension; previously, the design ended at Inner Belt.

“MassDOT’s vision for sustainable, healthy, accessible transportation has no better example than the commitment made to the GLX Community Path made here today,” said Secretary Davey. “The Patrick Administration’s continued investment in transportation infrastructure is key to the future of transportation in cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth, and I’m proud to be here in the City of Somerville today celebrating what that will mean for its citizens.”

Somerville’s bike network has more than doubled under Mayor Curtatone’s administration, bringing the city’s total to more than 30 liner miles of bike lanes in a 4.1 square mile city, along with the installation of 75 new bike racks and 10 bike corrals. The City has also updated and added pedestrian safety infrastructure such as street trees, curb bump-outs and ADA-accessible ramps that make the city more walkable. Somerville is now the 7th most walkable city and the 9th most transit-friendly city in the nation, regardless of population size, according the 2014 national Walk Score ratings, and a Silver Bicycle Friendly Community according to The League of American Bicyclists, a designation the city earned only two years after earning a Bronze level designation.

– See more at: http://www.somervillema.gov/news/community-path-extending-boston#sthash.60jzntz2.dpuf


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Tonight: Public Hearing For Game-Changing Cycle Track Loop In Downtown Boston

Written by greg on Feb 26

stay a kid thumbGreg Hum plays drums on his bike, gets people together for really big midnight and monthly bike rides, and smiles too much. He shares stories and more on his personal blog, The Humble Cyclist. Tweet at him, bro: @thehum
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Tearsheet-CHB-Bike-Trail_Page_1
Imagine being able to bike around the heart of downtown Boston on completely safe and separated from car-traffic bike paths, or cycle-tracks. This is the goal of the Tiger Grant-funded Connect History Boston Trail

Tonight is the public hearing to present plans for a protected bike path loop around downtown Boston to the public. Here’s the info about the hearing from the Boston Bikes event calendar, so definitely show up to voice support, comments, or concerns:

A Public Hearing will be held by the City of Boston Public Works Department to discuss the proposed Connect Historic Boston project that is being funded through a Federal Highway Administration Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grant.

WHERE: City Hall, Boston
One City Hall Square, Room 801
Boston, MA 02201

WHEN: Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Open House 6:00 PM
Meeting 6:30PM

The City of Boston Public Works Department will be holding a public hearing to present the City’s Connect Historic Boston Project at the location and time shown above. The public notice which provides additional information relative to the hearing and project can be found here.

The plans for this path sound almost too good to be true:

The Connect History Boston Trail will be a family-friendly bicycle loop around downtown Boston, providing access to major transit hubs, regional trails, and National Park Service visitor centers and National Park service Partner sites.

A loop that provites two-way travel will simplify navigating Boston’s complex one-way street system. The trail will make it easier to connect from North Station to offices in the Downtown or Seaport District, or between the two stations themslves. For people just getting to know Boston, the out and back nature of the trail will make it easy to go from site to site and return along the same route.

The trail will be separated from traffic, such as a cycle track or path, in order to appeal to the broadest range of people and abilities. Trail users will be able to ride comfortably in small groups.

The trail will be buffered from sidewalk path by street furniture, special paving, or a curb where appropriate.

Wayfinding will direct bicyclists from the Connect History Boston trail to NPS sites and the regional shared-use path system.

Bikeshare, bike rental, and bike parking will be conveniently located to the trail.

If these plans go forward, we can expect to see a very different landscape for bicycling in Boston once completed.


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Neponset Greenway Completion State Funding Commitment

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 13

Got this in the email from DotBike, pretty awesome that they have agreed to fund this project, its been in the works a long long time. If you have never ridden on the green-way, you should its gorgeous pretty much year round.

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Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Department
Office of Governor Deval L. Patrick
Press Release
Contact: Heather Johnson, Bonnie McGilpin, Juli Hanscom – 617-725-4025; SJ Port (DCR) – 617-626-1453; Cyndi Roy (MassDOT) – 857-368-8500
Follow us on 
Twitter – View our Photos – Watch our Videos
PATRICK ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES FUNDING FOR THE COMPLETION OF THE NEPONSET RIVER GREENWAY CORRIDOR
$1.9 million for design to complete bicycle and pedestrian path; connecting communities and improving the transportation network
BOSTON – Tuesday, June 11, 2013 – The Patrick Administration today announced $1.9 million in capital funding to design the completion of the Neponset River Greenway Corridor. The project will complete the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR) bicycle and pedestrian commuter system that follows the Neponset River from the outer suburbs, through Boston neighborhoods and into downtown.
“Investing in healthy, alternative modes of transportation will benefit residents today, and leave a lasting impact on the Neponset River Greenway Corridor for generations to come,” said Governor Deval Patrick.
“Working together with our partners at MassDOT, we are going to get this important project completed,” said Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Rick Sullivan. “The path will provide a safe alternative for bicyclists and pedestrians. Increased use of cleaner transportation options will protect our environment and serve our Greater Boston communities better.”
In addition to the design costs, MassDOT has committed to fund the construction of the project which is estimated between $11-15 million.
Making it a convenient commuter option, the project route lies within a half mile of 11 rail transit stops and connects its users to jobs, higher education, cultural institutions and recreational facilities in Boston. The current Greenway Corridor is nearly 10 miles long and contains a bicycle and pedestrian network that hosts more than 10,400 users each day. Once construction is complete, usage is expected to double.
“One of our primary goals at MassDOT and the MBTA is to effectively tie all modes of transportation together to provide travel choices, improve the environment and preserve capacity on our highways,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard Davey. “By working together, DCR and MassDOT will be able to construct the final links to the Neponset Greenway and take a major step toward meeting the area’s travel demands.”
The completed network will make bicycle and pedestrian travel safer by creating off-road segments and bridges that take walkers and riders safely past Expressway ramps and over trolley tracks through Hyde Park, Mattapan, Milton and Dorchester.
“DCR considers the completion of the Neponset River Corridor to be a signature project that will connect our Blue Hills Reservation to Boston Harbor, while providing more access to public spaces for residents in urban neighborhoods, connecting communities and improving the transportation network,” said DCR Commissioner Edward Lambert. “Parks and pathways are priority investments for the Patrick Administration because they provide healthy and alternative forms of recreation and transportation.”
The design of this project is the result of partnerships formed over 20 years ago between residents of Boston and Milton, as well as the sponsoring state agencies at DCR and MassDOT, and community organizations such as the Boston Natural Areas Network.
The project’s local match includes contributions from corporate neighbors such Stop & Shop and National Grid. That match reflects the partnership that underlies this project and that will continue to make it successful. 
This partnership is a part of the Patrick Administration’s larger efforts in transportation planning for all modes of travel. One of MassDOT’s priorities is completion of the Bay State Greenway (BSG). The completion of the Neponset River Greenway is one of the BSG 100 – MassDOT’s highest priority shared-use paths: 100 miles of new paths that would make additional connections to urban centers, extend existing paths and maximize the transportation network.

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Signs Of Life, Signs Of A Revolution

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 14

IMG_20130111_080639

I took this a couple days ago when it was really cold. It’s often hard to tell how many cyclists are out on the streets. They leave traces though.

With the recent warmth I have noticed a storm of new riders in the morning, and I am sure for every four or five I see there are 10-20 that are riding at slightly different speed/times than me.

There is a revolution out there, all year, all weather, lots and lots of people on bikes!


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Emerald Necklace Bike Path Under Construction

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 06

I have gotten reports that the emerald necklace bike path between longwood and park st is under construction (see map here).

Anyone else notice this? Anyone got a good detour route for people?

(thanks Geoff for the heads up)


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Milton Plans To Build Giant Wall To Keep Poor Masses In Boston Where They Belong

Written by Boston Biker on Nov 29

Today the globe reported that Milton, our rich pale neighbors to the south, plan on building a giant wall around their town. When asked why every Milton resident was out putting sand in bags, and hauling cinder blocks to the border, Milton police chief Richard G. Whiteguy said “We worry about opportunities not only for those on the bike path but also for criminal perpetrators to now have an easy opportunity to cross into.” (via)

Mattapan Invasion Plan

When the reporter ran that phrase through the politically correct translator here is what the computers printed on the screen “We don’t want any black people coming into our neighborhood.” Wall started construction started immediately. When residents heard that black people could now enter their town by bike path, they realized they might also be able to enter via road, train, or even walking.

“A giant wall is the only thing that can save us.” Added one particularly melanin free resident, “With giant spikes!” added another helpfully. When asked what they were worried about Brian O’Caucasian repplied “The people who come and go here — we know them all,’’ he said in a phone interview. “If you put a bike path through the neighborhood, it would take that sense of safety away.’’ (via) Translated through the PC-o-matic that roughly translates to “We don’t want any black people coming here, because we think they are all criminals, only the people who live here now are OK.”

Local bikers, and pedestrians of Mattapan have lamented that the new wall will cut right through the proposed bike lane that would complete the Neponset River Green Way path. “I guess with the advancement in technology that allowed bridges to cross the river, the Milton residents had no choice but built a wall, I mean how else would they keep us out?” Said Mattapan resident Peter Cyclist. When informed that bridges have been around for thousands of years, and that several currently exist that will allow Boston residents to travel into Milton Mr. Cyclist responded “Seriously? Well ain’t this some racist bullshit then.”

Full report here.


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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Dot Bike May Events! May 2, 2016
      TweetFrom Dot Bike: ————- Bikes are in bloom! With the celebration of Bay State Bike Week, Boston Bike to Work Festival and thereturn of the Hubway fleets May can feel like a burst of new energy for bicycling in Boston. Maybe you can … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • The 5th Annual Christina Clarke Genco Mother’s Day Memorial Ride May 2, 2016
      TweetOne of the saddest parts of running this website is reporting about cyclist deaths, way back in 2012 we reported about that Christina Clarke Genco was struck and killed while making the world a better place.   But that tragic … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Council Unanimously Approves Lower Speed Limit, Now Goes To Mayor For Approval April 27, 2016
      TweetThe city council Unanimously approved the 20 mph speed limit, it now goes to the mayor, and then (strangely) to the state…stay tuned.
      Boston Biker
    • Report From The Lowering The Speed Limit Public Hearing April 25, 2016
      TweetLynn gave this great report on how the hearing to lower the speed limit to 20 mph in Boston went (the report was from 4 days ago, I am just now getting around to reading it).  Looks like things are … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Rozzie Bikes Repair Day May 14th April 25, 2016
      TweetGot this in the email, looks like it could be a lot of fun. Are you good with kids? Can you pump up a tire or oil a chain? If so, please support Rozzie Bikes by coming to one (or … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • April Ghouls Day Ride April 30th! April 25, 2016
      TweetUnbeknownst to me there is another holiday at the end of April called April Ghouls day…or at least that is what the good folks at Dot Bike would have us believe. From the email: You heard it here first! — … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • America’s Absurd Fascination With Cars April 14, 2016
      TweetI was having a discussion with someone this morning and we realized that at every stage in the development of automobile infrastructure in America, other, consistently better, choices for infrastructure were available, but we continued to choose the car every … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Boston City Council Hearing On Lower Speed Limits In Boston April 8, 2016
      TweetGot this in the email.  Very interesting proposal!  If we really could make speeding enforcement and lowering speeds a priority we would be much better off.   ————————– On April 20th there will be a hearing on Councilor Frank Baker’s … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Shop Soap! April 5, 2016
      I have been making my own soap for a couple of years now, mostly as gifts for friends and family.  We have made all sorts of nice smelling, very good soaps, but something was missing.  I wanted a soap that was strong enough to blast off the various shop related gunk from my hands, but […]
      Boston Biker
    • After School at Open Shop! April 3, 2016
      Recently at a Wednesday Open Shop, a boy came up to me and introduced himself as Philip, a fifth grader from up the street. He said his gym teacher told him about CommonWheels and that he could learn about bikes and he was just wondering if he could fi... Continue reading →
      commonwheels