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Get Off That Vicious Cycle, And Onto A Bicycle!

Written by Boston Biker on Mar 12

3

Once you get stuck in a car centric way of life its hard to get out. See more here.


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Posted in advocacy | 8 Comments »

Now We Know Who To Blame For All That Traffic

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 18

The dark blue on the map shows the neighborhoods whose residents spend the most time stuck in traffic. The red outlines identify 15 census tracts whose drivers disproportionately clog traffic, because they all tend to travel on the same small number of roads at the same time. When commuters from these census tracts clog the roads, the congestion ripples throughout the entire metro area, making everyone’s commutes longer.

The dark blue on the map shows the neighborhoods whose residents spend the most time stuck in traffic. The red outlines identify 15 census tracts whose drivers disproportionately clog traffic, because they all tend to travel on the same small number of roads at the same time. When commuters from these census tracts clog the roads, the congestion ripples throughout the entire metro area, making everyone’s commutes longer.

A recent study by MIT and UC Berkely using anonymous cell phone data and gps have determined that it is just 15 areas in the Boston metro area (out of 750 tracked by the census) are causing almost all of the traffic jams in Boston.

What they found, perhaps surprisingly, is that during rush hour, 98 percent of roads in the Boston area were in fact below traffic capacity, while just 2 percent of roads had more cars on them than they could handle. These congested roads included short stretches of I-495 southbound and Route 128 southbound, a number of downtown streets, and a wide scattering of suburban arteries, such as Bridge Street in Lowell (southbound) and Water Street in Haverhill (northbound). Each of these roads has what the engineers term a high degree of “betweenness”—that is, they’re essential for connecting one part of the metropolitan area to the others.

The backups on these roads ripple outward, causing traffic to snarl across the Hub. Marta Gonzalez of MIT, one of the lead engineers on the study, explains the effect this way. “The analogy we make is of your circulatory system,” she says. “When you have one artery that is blocked, it will affect your entire circulation.”

By tracking the cell records, they found that it’s just a small number of drivers from a small number of neighborhoods who are responsible for tying up the key roads. Specifically, they identified 15 census tracts (out of the 750 in Greater Boston) located in Everett, Marlborough, Lawrence, Lowell, and Waltham as the heart of the problem, because drivers from those areas make particularly intensive use of the problematic roads in the system.(via)

What this says to me is that, if we could connect these areas to decent public transportation and cycling options we could eliminate large amounts of traffic in this town. By working smarter, not harder, we could burst the bubble of traffic with laser guided improvements to our infrastructure.

The study demonstrated that “canceling or delaying the trips of 1 percent of all drivers across a road network would reduce delays caused by congestion by only about 3 percent,” MIT wrote. ” But canceling the trips of 1 percent of drivers from carefully selected neighborhoods would reduce the extra travel time for all other drivers in a metropolitan area by as much as 18 percent.”

The effectiveness of this “selective strategy” is attributed in the study to the facts that “only [a] few road segments are congested” and that these road segments are clogged by people originating largely from only a few areas. Even though data was anonymous, researchers were able to infer drivers’ home neighborhoods “from the regularity of the route traveled and from the locations of cell towers that handled calls made between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m,” UC-Berkeley said.(via)

If we can get drivers in these targeted areas to bus/train/cycle to work, we could dramatically reduce traffic in the rest of the town. Combined with some sort of congestion tax to keep otherwise non-car drivers from filling in the empty space made by the reduction of traffic, and using the money from that and a re-organized tax system to fund improvements in public transportation infrastructure, we could be living in a very pleasant city devoid of most single occupancy car drivers.

Science!


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Posted in advocacy, Commuting | 6 Comments »

The Dutch Are Developing External Air Bags To Protect Cyclists And Pedestrians

Written by Boston Biker on Nov 12

Love it, all cars should have something like this.


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Posted in news, video | 1 Comment »

Everyone Is Guilty

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 08

3-Way Street from ronconcocacola on Vimeo.

I have said a million times on this website, everyone is breaking the law all the time. If you ever hear anyone start complaining about just one group of road users be sure to remind them that basically its everyone’s fault, and that everyone is breaking the law in a rather rampant fashion.

One thing of note here is how much smoother the law breaking between the pedestrians and cyclists are in the video above. Not to say its a good thing, but at least when you are smaller you have a better ability to share limited space. Cars it would seem are just too big for their own good.


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Posted in advocacy, education, video | 3 Comments »

2009 One Of the Safest Years On Record For Bikers

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 29

2009 was almost the safest year on record if you drove, cycles, or walked in America, at least that is what the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) numbers show.

In 2009, 33,808 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the United States – the lowest number of deaths since 1950 (33,186 fatalities in 1950). This was a 9.7-percent decline in the number of people killed, from 37,423 in 2008 to 33,808, according to NHTSA’s 2009 Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) (see Figure 1). Fatalities declined among all categories of vehicle occupants and non-occupants as shown in Table 1 below. Motorcyclist fatalities broke the continuous 11-year increase with a large decline of 850 fatalities (24% of the total decline of 3,615). Motorcyclist fatalities now account for 13 percent of total fatalities. Passenger car occupant fatalities declined for the seventh consecutive year, and are at their lowest level since NHTSA began collecting fatality crash data in 1975. Light-truck occupant fatalities dropped for the fourth consecutive year, and are at their lowest level since 1997. The largest percentage reduction of people killed was among large truck occupants (26%) compared to any other vehicle category, followed by motorcyclists with a 16-percent reduction.

There was also a reduction in Pedestrian and Cyclists Fatalities.

You can read the full report here (pdf)

Alcohol still plays a large part in crashes and fatalities, but overall the roads are safer than they have ever been, so go ride your bike!


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Posted in advocacy, news | 1 Comment »

Your Car Is Killing You

Written by Boston Biker on Mar 12

And I don’t just mean from the global warming emissions. Car crashes account for millions of people killed and injured every year. More than most wars, more than terrorist attacks, more than many well known medical illnesses, so why don’t we have a war on cars?


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Posted in education | 5 Comments »

You Know What Is Funny?

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 21

Calling a car a shitbox. I know it is childish but I giggle every time I hear someone call a car this. What fun names do you have for cars?


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Posted in fun | No Comments »

I Would Say This Is About Right

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 29

Beware the car effect!


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Posted in education, video | No Comments »

The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • a little back ground March 1, 2015
      Tweetplease excuse my grhamer and spelling i was never a shakespear,or a hawthorn. for the past eight years i have been working in paper mill’s throught mass. and on and off i have substituted my income working for a security … Continue reading →
      intentionalmessenger
    • City Of Boston Bikes Program Update February 26, 2015
      TweetLots of good stuff in here: ——————– Boston Bike Week Festival & Bike Fridays From April-August, on one Friday a month we’ll host a party on City Hall Plaza for cyclists. In May we’ll hold a special Boston Bike Week … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • I Feel Like I Need One Of These, Fake Bamboo Cars For Bikes February 26, 2015
      TweetJust because you can slide past me with an inch or two to spare, while you race forward to get to that next red light, doesn’t mean you should. Maybe if we all drove around with these car’s would afford … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • London Approves City Wide Bike Super Highway February 26, 2015
      TweetThis is exactly what Boston needs. From the web Catering to some of the 170,000 cyclists that ride across London every day, this segregated bicycle lane will stretch from west to east, pass through the heart of the city and … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Power To The Pedals Screening February 25, 2015
      TweetWenzday and the folks at Metro Pedal power are awesome, check out this great movie about their efforts to revolutionize the way goods are delivered in big cities. Power to the Pedals: Wenzday Jane and the Culture of Change Trailer … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • This…This Is Awesome, 40 ft Snow Tunnel Built By Cyclists February 25, 2015
      Tweet From Youtube: The MBTA blocked access to a bike path with a giant snowbank when they plowed the parking lot at Wellington Station. We decided to do something about it! more awesome back story here. This is a great … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Cycling Adds Redundancy To A Transportation Network February 18, 2015
      TweetI sometimes have odd thoughts on my ride into work.  Today’s were mostly around how nice the sun was, and how great it was to be riding, but as I locked up my bike (after an effortless commute), I realized … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Protected Bike Lanes Coming To Comm. Ave. Redesign! February 12, 2015
      TweetCurrently the world is drowning in snow, but this is huge news!! From Livable Streets. ———- We did it!    Example of a protected bike lane. After years of advocating for a balanced redesign plan for Commonwealth Avenue,the city has now … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Bikes Not Bombs Winter Update February 12, 2015
      TweetLots going on over at BNB, check it out below! ———————————– Youth Programs Accepting Applications The next session of Earn-A-Bike will be March 23rd – April 30th, Mondays through Thursdays from 4:00m-7:00pm. The program is open to youth ages 12-18 … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Hello world! February 10, 2015
      Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging! Continue reading →
      thecommunityspoke