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The Future Of Boston Is In Your Hands

Written by Boston Biker on Mar 08

From Livable Streets:

After two years of outreach, dozens of workshops, and thousands of comments from people like you, the City of Boston has released its GoBoston 2030 Vision & Action Plan, an unprecedented roadmap for the region’s mobility future.

We are proud that this ambitious plan is a reflection of our vision for a Boston where streets are safe, equitable, and vibrant places for people to live, work, and play.

Now the future of Boston is in your hands. Will you help us make this plan a reality? 

Volunteer as a Street Ambassador to help us build support for Go Boston 2030 projects and policies. We’re holding two training sessions this spring and will be deploying Street Ambassadors throughout the year. Click here to learn more.

Other ways you can support us include joining our Advocacy Committee, becoming a LivableStreets member, or making a donation.

You can review the Go Boston 2030 Vision and Action Plan here. Here are some key proposals LivableStreets is especially excited to see included:

Better Buses

  • Overall bus service reliability improvements on 30 busiest routes

  • Rapid bus service along Washington St in Roslindale, Mass Ave, between North Station and the South Boston Waterfront, between Mattapan and the LMA, and more!

  • Transit signal priority along key bus and Green Line routes

  • Implementing a network of neighborhood mobility hubs

Emerald Network

  • All three of our Boston Greenway Partners’ projects are part of the Action Plan, including Roxbury to Fenway, Arboretum to Roslindale, and the American Legion Parkway

  • Improving Columbia Road so that it better serves the surrounding community and completes Olmsted’s vision of the Emerald Necklace

  • Southwest Corridor extension to Back Bay and MGH via Charles St

Vision Zero

  • Expansion of Neighborhood Slow Streets program

  • Complete streets overhauls for Dorchester Ave in South Boston, Washington St/Columbus Ave in JP & Roxbury

  • Implementing better bike corridors by rebuilding streets with protected, low-stress bicycling facilities


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Community Preservation Act Up For A Vote In Boston This November

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 25

Yet another reason to get out there and vote.  From Livable Streets:


This November, Boston voters (as well as those in Springfield and Holyoke) will decide if their cities will join the roughly 160 others across the state in adopting the Community Preservation Act. A positive CPA vote (item number 5 on the Boston ballot) will raise money that can only be used for open space preservation (including greenways), development of affordable housing, the acquisition and development of outdoor recreational facilities (including playgrounds, bicycling, and pedestrian facilities), and the preservation of historic resources.

If adopted, the average single-family Boston homeowner will pay about $28 per year – about $2 per month. Small business owners would pay between $100 and $250 a year. Including the projected state match, the city is expected to have roughly $20 million every year for CPA projects. It’s a small amount to pay for a very large return in increased quality of life. And voters can see exactly what their money is being used for via a database set up by the non-profit Community Preservation Coalition.

The program has been a huge success in those municipalities that have already adopted it since the enabling act passed in 2000; state-wide raising over $1.4 billion which has paid for over 8,500 units of affordable housing, 1,250 recreation projects, 21,800 acres of open space, and 3,6000 historic preservation projects. Once adopted, no city has ever voted to repeal the CPA program.

FOLLOW THE MONEY

The money comes from both the city and a state match. Cities start the process by adopting a 1-to-3 percent property tax surcharge. Boston is proposing only 1% and, like many other cities, is excluding the first $100,000 of assessed valuation and exempting both low-income homeowners and low-moderate income seniors. Boston can also add other revenues (such as linkage fees, impact fees, hotel taxes, etc.) to their CPA Fund, in order to qualify for a higher CPA state match. The state matches the city money, originally dollar-for-dollar but more recently, as additional cities join, a declining percentage – now a bit below 30% but still amounting to millions of dollars for Boston.

By law, at least 10% of annual CPA funds must be used for projects in each of three areas: affordable housing, open space (excluding recreational uses), and historic preservation. Beyond that, the local Legislative body (e.g. Boston’s City Council) decides on how to divide the remaining funds among the four categories. Cambridge, for example, uses most of the money for affordable housing.

A FUND FOR LIVABILITY

Whether your priority is the environment, public health, physical activity or resilience, adopting the CPA – Yes on Question 5 in Boston – is a no-brainer. There is no significant opposition, not even from the real estate or construction industries. Mayor Walsh and nearly every office holder has expressed their support. Why not: the real estate market in adopting municipalities has not slowed; corporate investment in new facilities has not disappeared. If anything, the Boston-area real estate market has become over heated and too expensive – making the CPA even more important as a small but important counter to the profit-driven destruction of open space, the painful explosion of housing costs, the connection of increased recreational opportunities to both better public health and workforce retention.

It’s important to remember that even in this time of anger and cynicism, there are public programs that are transparent and good.


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Awesome Ad Featuring Boston Bike Polo Players!

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 09

Let the Games Begin from Rule Boston Camera on Vimeo.

If you have never watched or played bike polo you are missing out, lots of fun, one of the most fun things you can do.


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Join The Vision Zero Movement

Written by Boston Biker on May 10

Got this in the email. For far far too long Americans have had an at best un-examined relationship with the effects of the cars they drive. Vision Zero highlights the most tragic effect of our transportation choices.  We should commit to zero deaths on our streets.


 

A Tough Start to the Year: How you can get Involved

There have been more than two dozen pedestrian fatalities statewide in 2016, including the tragic death of a child near Tufts Medical Center last Saturday. Another person was hit this morning at the corner of Mass Ave & Albany Street – part of the 1.6 mile stretch of Mass Ave from Melnea Cass Blvd to Beacon Street that has been highlighted as a Vision Zero Priority Corridor. While we are seeing some positive incremental progress, we still have a tremendous amount of work to do to bring the number of fatalities and serious crashes down to zero in Boston and throughout the state.

To help you can:

  • Submit your safety concerns on the City of Boston’s new interactive Vision Zero safety concerns map. You can pick a location and comment on specific street safety concerns in Boston with this tool. Now you can report safety concerns, near misses, and incidents – valuable data that can be added to existing police and EMS crash data.

  • Read the City Of Boston’s Vision Zero Action Plan and share it with others via Facebook, email or Twitter. Spreading the word is an important first step in making sure everyone is working to reduce traffic fatalities.

  • Contact your city councilors, legislators and other local leaders to encourage them to pass and support the legislation and policies above related to Vision Zero, and to focus efforts and funding on infrastructure that is safer for people walking and biking.
  • Share this email with your friends and encourage them to sign up for updates from the Vision Zero Coalition.


Boston City Councilors Support Lowering the Speed Limit to 20 MPH

Vision-Zero-logo-transparent-2.pngBoston city councilors held a hearing two weeks ago to lower the default speed limit to 20 miles per hour on city streets.

The measure would decrease the speed limit from 30 miles per hour in residential areas and thickly populated business districts where there are no posted signs. In school zones, the speed limit would be lowered from 20 miles per hour to 15 miles per hour.

Several members of the Vision Zero coalition spoke at the hearing: Jackie DeWolfe from LivableStreets, Wendy Landman from WalkBoston and Becca Wolfson from the Boston Cyclists Union.

The City Council has unanimously passed the proposal, which now goes to Mayor Martin J. Walsh. The measure will also also require the State Legislature’s approval, because speed limits are set by state law.

Giving communities the option to set lower default speed limits is one more tool that can help make our streets safer for everyone.  It should be paired with real infrastructure improvements to change driver behavior and force driving at safer speeds.

We’ll keep you updated as this progresses!


Boston Commits Funds to Vision Zero

Just a few days ago, the City of Boston announced they would set aside $3.1 million for Vision Zero in their 2017 budget, a significant increase from the $500,000 that was in this year’s budget. Another $9.3 million will go toward the project over the next three years.

“The underlying philosophy of Vision Zero is that our streets should be welcoming and safe,” said Boston Transportation Commissioner Gina Fiandaca.

Increasing the Vision Zero budget was one of the key recommendations the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition made to the city. Click here to read the full list of recommendations.


Cambridge Announces Commitment to Vision Zero

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Joe Barr, Director of Traffic, Parking, and Transportation for Cambridge, announcing the commitment to Vision Zero

In March, the Cambridge City Council unanimously passed resolutions to formally adopt Vision Zero and Complete Streets policies! Cambridge follows more than a dozen other cities nationally that committed to Vision Zero.

To read the full text of the resolution click here (resolution starts on p.54)

We are excited that Cambridge has committed to Vision Zero and hope that other towns and cities throughout the state will follow suit!


Video Shines Spotlight on Dangerous LMA streets

Check out this great video highlighting the often dangerous streets conditions for people biking in the Longwood Medical Area.

Recent studies show that more than 20 percent of rush hour traffic in the LMA is on bicycle. The video highlights the needs for better street designs that will accommodate emergency vehicles as well as everyone moving to and through the LMA no matter how they get around.

Thank you for helping make our streets safer for everyone!


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Report From The Lowering The Speed Limit Public Hearing

Written by Boston Biker on Apr 25

Lynn 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 going well for the effort:


Hi folks,
A few take aways from yesterday’s hearing at City Hall:
– City Council was unanimously in support of Baker’s 20 mph proposal. The Council will officially vote on the proposal next week. Assuming it passes in City Council, it would then need to be approved by the Mayor, and next would go to the statehouse.  It’s filed as a Home Rule Petition, meaning while the state would need to approve it, it provides allowance for the City of Boston only.
-While the City Council has put forth similar proposals before, they have failed to pass at the state level. The question of who/why/how the measure was previously blocked was brought up at the hearing, but no one had any definitive answer.
– BTD’s Chris Osgood, Gina Fiandaca and Vineet Gupta all highlighted that the lowering of the speed limit intersects with the City’s Vision Zero Action Plan and the work currently underway (Neighborhood slow zone pilot:Talbot-Norfolk Triangle, Priority Corridor for re-design: Mass Ave)
– The City recently installed “speed boards” and “rapid flash beacons” on cut-through streets and others noted for speeding/high crash areas. BPD noted that the speed boards capture data in real time, allowing them to know when and where they need to provide better enforcement.
– BTD said that after the intial Neighborhood Slow Zone Pilots, the plan is to create an open application process for neighborhood groups to request specific traffic calming measures in a focused area.
Read Globe coverage of the hearing here.

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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Bike!Bike! Southeast 2017 March 23, 2017
      This past weekend Sophie and Brian took a trip to Alexandria, BA for Bike!Bike! Southeast a “conference” of community bike projects. Bike!Bike! serves as a way for a wide variety of groups that use bikes to make a social impact to engage wi... Continue reading →
      commonwheels
    • Bike!Bike! Southeast 2017 March 23, 2017
      This past weekend Sophie and Brian took a trip to Alexandria, BA for Bike!Bike! Southeast a “conference” of community bike projects. Bike!Bike! serves as a way for a wide variety of groups that use bikes to make a social impact to engage wi... Continue reading →
      commonwheels
    • Hubway Introduces Unicorn Madness March 19, 2017
      Tweet Vote today for your favorite in Round 1! This month, Hubway is introducing a tournament of its own by celebrating its 8 uniquely wrapped bikes, also knows as “unicorns.” Get to know the unicorns, join the fun, win prizes … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Historic Middlesex Canal Bike Tour – Saturday April 1st March 19, 2017
      TweetThe Middlesex Canal Association Presents: Spring Bicycle Tour of Historic Middlesex Canal   On Saturday, April 1, 2017, the Middlesex Canal Association will present its spring bicycle tour of the Middlesex Canal.  The Canal was the “big dig” of the … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Call And Email The Mayor, Let Him Know You Want A Better Bicycling Budget! March 15, 2017
      TweetFrom 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 … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Hubway Will Be Closed For The Crazy Weather March 13, 2017
      TweetDuh, but you know still a heads up. Hello Hubway rider, Due to the inclement weather, Hubway will temporarily close at 10 AM on Tuesday, March 14th, for the safety of our riders and staff. Once the closure has begun, no bikes can … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Livable Streets Update March 13, 2017
      TweetWhat’s happening Become a Street Ambassador We are launching our Street Ambassador program for 2017 to directly engage the public in our Better Buses and Longwood Areacampaigns. We need volunteers who are passionate about improving transportation and are willing to help us … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Thing A Week 10: Rubber Stamp March 12, 2017
      I needed a rubber stamp to mark the packages I was sending out from my etsy store, so I figured…why not make one. I didn’t have any stamp rubber laying around, or the tools to carve it…so I started by making both of those. I had a little bit of mold max 60 left over […]
      Boston Biker
    • The Future Of Boston Is In Your Hands March 8, 2017
      TweetFrom Livable Streets: After two years of outreach, dozens of workshops, and thousands of comments from people like you, the City of Boston has released its GoBoston 2030 Vision & Action Plan, an unprecedented roadmap for the region’s mobility future. … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Bikes Not Bombs Gets New Executive Director March 8, 2017
      Tweet Meet Elijah Evans, Our New Executive Director! Bikes Not Bombs is pleased to announce that Elijah Evans will be joining us as our new Executive Director. Elijah has a lifelong commitment to social justice and has the passion, vision, … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker