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Call And Email The Mayor, Let Him Know You Want A Better Bicycling Budget!

Written by Boston Biker on Mar 15

From The BCU:

Email Script

Below is a template for emails to Mayor Walsh. Please personalize it and add your own information. The more personal details, the more effective the letter will be. Don’t forget to forward it to your your local district city councilor and the four at-large (city-wide) councilors with a brief note asking them to support the Boston Bike Budget. Thanks!

To:

[email protected]

CC:

[email protected]joyce.[email protected]budget@boston.gova&[email protected]ch[email protected]gina.[email protected]btd@boston.govinfo@bostoncyclistsunion.org

Dear Mayor Walsh,

As a resident of [YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD] who bikes [OR who would bike in Boston if it were safer], I’m writing to ask you to include the Boston Cyclists Union’s Boston Bike Budget in your FY18 budget.

The City of Boston has made real progress toward changing its official policies to make riding a bike in the city easier and safer, but changes to our physical infrastructure have been slower. For many people who bike in Boston today — or would if it were safer — there has been little visible progress on the ground. The City’s Transportation Department is doing what it can, but insufficient staffing and resources are holding us back.

[WRITE A SENTENCE OR TWO ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE RIDING A BIKE IN BOSTON]

This year, Boston allocated just $3.1 million for its Vision Zero Action Plan. That’s less than $5 per capita per year towards ending traffic deaths in our city. Meanwhile, New York City has dedicated approximately $13 per capita and San Francisco about $75. Boston is trailing behind cities that have been aggressive about building safe, protected bike infrastructure. In New York City, Mayor De Blasio recently proposed an additional $66 million per year for Vision Zero street projects, bringing NYC’s funding to over $20 per capita.

If Boston is going to end traffic fatalities, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and make our city more livable, we need a drastic increase in the city’s funding for safe, protected bike infrastructure.

Please include the Boston Bike Budget in your FY18 budget:

  • Increase the capital budget for Vision Zero from $3.1 million in FY17 to $12 million in FY18.
  • Increase the capital budget for the Strategic Bicycle Network Project from $900,000 in FY17 to $4 million in FY18.
  • Increase the capital budget for Transportation Planning from $200,000 in FY17 to $800,000 in FY18.
  • Increase the operating budget for Transportation Department Policy and Planning from $1,074,431 in FY17 to $2 million in FY18.

With our proposed Boston Bike Budget, we could build more than a dozen miles of protected bike lanes each year. Today, 2% of Bostonians regularly bike to work, and with just 2% of the City’s $898 million streets budget, we could make major strides towards allowing people of all ages and abilities to bike safely in every neighborhood of Boston.

[WRITE A SENTENCE OR TWO ABOUT BIKING IMPROVEMENTS YOU’D LIKE TO SEE]

In both the GoBoston 2030 Vision Framework and the City’s Vision Zero Action Plan, Boston set forth several positive goals to achieve by 2030, including increasing bicycling mode share fourfold, ensuring that all households are within a 5-minute walk of a protected bicycle facility or shared use path, and eliminating traffic deaths. If we are to reach those goals, we need increased funding for safe, protected bike infrastructure.

I hope you will include the Boston Bike Budget in your FY18 budget and help make Boston safe and friendly for people riding bikes.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]


Call Script

Below is a script for calls to Mayor Walsh and City Councilors. Mayor’s office: 617-635-4500.

Hi,

I live in [YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD] and I’m calling to ask Mayor Walsh to include the Boston Cyclists Union’s Boston Bike Budget in his budget.

[SAY SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE RIDING A BIKE IN BOSTON]

If Boston is going to end traffic fatalities, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and make our city more livable, we need a drastic increase in the city’s funding for safe, protected bike infrastructure.

With our proposed Boston Bike Budget, we could build more than a dozen miles of protected bike lanes each year. Today, 2% of Bostonians regularly bike to work, and with just 2% of the City’s $898 million streets budget, we could make major strides towards allowing people of all ages and abilities to bike safely in every neighborhood of Boston.

I hope the Mayor will include the Boston Bike Budget in his FY18 budget and help make Boston safe and friendly for people riding bikes.

Thank you.

(If asked for details on which budget line items you are calling about:

  • Increase the capital budget for Vision Zero from $3.1 million in FY17 to $12 million in FY18.
  • Increase the capital budget for the Strategic Bicycle Network Project from $900,000 in FY17 to $4 million in FY18.
  • Increase the capital budget for Transportation Planning from $200,000 in FY17 to $800,000 in FY18.
  • Increase the operating budget for Transportation Department Policy and Planning from $1,074,431 in FY17 to $2 million in FY18.)

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Support The Vision Zero Bill!

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 01

From Boston Cyclists Union:

The Bike Union, along with our partners in the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition including MassBike, Livable Streets Alliance and WalkBoston, have been working with State Legislators, led by Senator Brownsberger and others, to file a road safety omnibus bill!

The bill, An Act to Reduce Traffic Fatalities, would take a number of steps to improve safety for people biking, walking and driving.  We’re thrilled that two policies that the Bike Union championed at the local level that have been adopted by the City of Boston – side guards and truck safety measures as well as improved bicycle crash reporting – have been elevated to be adopted state-wide in this legislation. The numerous other pieces of this omnibus bill make this the most impactful step towards bike safety since the last Bike Safety Omnibus Bill was passed in 2008!
 
In order for this bill to move forward it needs co-sponsors! Our friends at MassBike have a list of current co-sponsors that you can see here. You can click here to generate a letter that you can send to your State Legislators! The linked form will also allow you to figure out who your Legislators are by entering your address.
It only takes a few minutes! Help us make our streets safer for everyone! 

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Boston Area Research Initiative Releases Crash Data Map

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 19

From the Boston Cyclists Union:

 

Screen-Shot-2014-06-17-at-2.53.37-PM

 

The Boston Area Research Initiative (BARI), the Boston Cyclists Union, the Boston Police Department and other partners, led by Rappaport Fellow Dahianna Lopez, have released two new tools for bike advocates everywhere. One is aninteractive online crash map  that allows people to identify crash clusters and see potential patterns. Two is a public release of the raw data that helped create that map. The raw data however contains much more data than the map—including narrative police reports that are our best indication of cause and a number of facts derived from them.

The release of the data opens the door for researchers around the world and allows Boston to join just a handful of cities in the country that provide public access to police crash data, and a very select few that include narrative police reports with that data. Accessing the data requires a LinkedIn profile and approval by BARI.

More from BARI:

This instance of BostonMap illustrates patterns in bicycle collisions across Boston, MA between 2009 and 2012. The data are derived from Boston Police Department (BPD) incident narrative reports, as organized and compiled by Dahianna Lopez (Harvard Injury Control and Research Center) and partners at BPD, BARI and the Boston Cyclists Union. Visitors can also download the raw data, including narrative reports, and documentation at the BARI Data Library.
The Boston Research Map
Boston Research Map is an open source web mapping system that is an ongoing project of the Boston Area Research Initiative (BARI) in conjunction with the WorldMap team. It is intended to help faculty and their students, policymakers and practitioners, and community members to explore the neighborhoods of Boston from their computer. Visitors to BostonMap can:

1. Interact with the best available public data for the Boston region, while also uploading their own data.
2. See the whole Boston area but also zoom in to particular places.
3. Accumulate both contemporary and historical data supplied by researchers and make it permanently accessible online.
4. Work collaboratively across disciplines and organizations with spatial information in an online environment.

Check out the map here

The obvious benefit of data like this is that it allows a glance to see the “hot zones” of bicycle crash areas. Its obvious that Huntington Ave. and Mass. Ave. are where most of the crashes happen, and that should be where most of the effort is put to reduce them.

I was also not surprised to see that there are many crashes on the green-way bicycle path in JP. After having spent years riding on that path I can tell you that it is deceptively dangerous and could use some serious upgrades/safety changes. I wouldn’t mind seeing the existing bike path given over to pedestrians (they basically use it like a walking path anyway, even though there are signs telling them every 100 feet not to). With the current sidewalk could be turned into a buffered cycle track with a permanent cement buffer. This would keep cyclists out where turning cars can easily see them.

Big data can lead to safety, but there are some drawbacks to these maps. They need context, it would be super helpful if I could easily sort by deaths, minor skinned knee, car caused, cyclist causes, pot holes, etc. To a non-cyclist looking at this map might scare them rather badly about the safety of cycling. These issues are easy enough to solve, the data simply must be segmented properly.

Overall, these sort of projects are amazing and I can’t wait to see more of them. The next step might be a smart phone app that can help cyclists donate anonymous data to a project like this. Keep up the good work BARI, and I look forward to data like this driving future planning and policy choices.


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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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