The Latest From BostonBiker.org
News, Events, Updates
Public Meeting for Proposed Cycletrack on Mt. Vernon Street
Wednesday June 19, 2013 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
270 Mt. Vernon Street, DorchesterSUBJECT: DISCUSSION TO UNDERSTAND NEIGHBORHOOD INTEREST IN CYCLE TRACKS ON MT. VERNON STREET
What are cycle tracks?
Cycle tracks are sections of road designated for exclusive use by cyclists, physically protected from motor vehicle traffic. Paint or thermoplastic lane markings and flexible bollards plus accompanying signage mark the cycle tracks. Green paint is occasionally added for emphasis on select segments.
Why install cycle tracks?
Mt. Vernon Street’s proximity to University of Massachusetts Boston, the Walter Denny Youth Center, UMass/JFK MBTA Station, and elementary and middle schools, makes bicycling a very desirable transportation choice. Currently few people bicycle because of fear of cars and high speeds on Mt. Vernon Street. Cycle tracks dramatically improve comfort and allow new people to bike.
What about safety?
Cycle tracks are proven to make the roads safer for all users. All proposed plans would improve safety in the following ways.
Designate a safe riding zone for cyclists;
Encourage cars to drive at slower, safer speeds;
Encourage cyclists to bicycle more respectfully and predictably; and,
Make pedestrians and drivers more aware of cyclists.
What are the project limits?
The bike facilities being discussed would extend from William T. Morrissey Boulevard to University Drive.
What does the City do for education and enforcement?
The City supports facilities through education and enforcement of the rules of the road for cyclists and drivers. Boston Police are key partners.
What is involved with installation? Work typically occurs during the day or at night over 3-5 days.
Will parking be impacted? Parking is currently not permitted on Mt. Vernon Street.
Will traffic be impacted? One motor vehicle lane will be removed in each direction with this project.
Boston Bikes is part of Mayor Menino’s vision for a vibrant and healthy city that benefits all its citizens. It seeks to make Boston a world-class bicycling city by creating safe and inviting conditions for all residents and visitors. For more information please call Nicole Freedman, Boston Bikes, <617-918-4456.
Tags: cycle tracks, Dorchester, DotBike
Posted in advocacy, infrastructure | No Comments »
The Boston Globe got it slightly wrong with its “Cycle Tracks Vs Parking Spaces” Headline, mostly because there is no reason that both can’t coexist. Assuming you reduce lane widths, lower speed limits, and in general design streets for people and not cars. Parking spaces can even be integral parts of cycle tracks. So called parking buffered, or parking separated tracks use parked cars to protect cyclists from traffic.
During peak commuting times, over 300 bicycles travel Somerville’s Beacon Street an hour, making it Greater Boston’s busiest cycling corridor. It’s also considered to be the most dangerous in the state, with 154 bicycle accidents in the Inman Square area between 2002 and 2010, according to a state Department of Transportation report.
The street is riddled with potholes, and in certain areas cyclists are frequently exposed to the danger of being “doored:” struck by an opening door of a parked vehicle. But despite the dangers, it has become increasingly popular as a direct bicycle route from Porter Square to Kendall Square.
Using a combination of federal and state grants, Somerville and state transportation planners have devised a $5.5 million project aimed at addressing safety issues and making the street more bike-oriented. It will reconstruct 1.1 miles of Beacon — from Oxford Street to the Cambridge city line, including creating a cycle track, which separates bicycle traffic with a barrier dividing it from cars — and give cyclists their own traffic signals.
City officials and proponents say the plan will enhance bicycle safety without impacting vehicle traffic. But it has become a divisive issue as some residents and business owners have objected to the sacrifice of parking spaces to make room for the cycle track. As currently drawn up, the plan will eliminate about 100 street parking spaces.
But if you MUST eliminate parking spaces in order to increase the number of cyclists, local business owners should be happy. Increased cycling and pedestrian traffic (a side effect of designing streets for people and not cars) leads to more business.
I know people get upset when there is change, but they should relax. Other cities (in fact many many other cities) have implemented these changes before. In almost every case they found that lessening traffic, reducing parking, and generally making streets more people friendly led to higher property values, less pollution, increased business, and happier residents.
We are not re-inventing the wheel here, we are following the example of decades of European (and to a lesser extent American) city planning research. These designs have been tested in lots of places, they work and Somerville should be commended for installing them.
Tags: cycle tracks, somerville, stupid debate
Posted in advocacy, infrastructure | 37 Comments »
The city of Boston is eying Roxbury for a cycle track.
Although no money has been dedicated to the project, Boston Bikes, the city’s cycling department, has been buzzing about the track, which would be similar to the one installed on Western Avenue in Allston.
“There are a lot of benefits to having people out on the street riding,” said Kristopher Carter, interim director of Boston Bikes. “We’ve been looking for a concept for Malcolm X Boulevard.”
Carter said Boston Bikes, as well as the Harvard School of Public Health and Boston Public Health Commission, have been surveying the neighborhood with the goal of creating a track exclusively for bikes, stretching from Dudley Square to Roxbury Crossing.
“We are in the early phases; it’s certainly in the work plan for next year, but there are a lot of things to check off internally,” Carter said. (read the rest here)
We should have a cry in this city: More infrastructure! Better Infrastructure!
Tags: cycle tracks, malcolm x blvd
Posted in infrastructure | 1 Comment »
If you want to see cycle tracks on Beacon street in Somerville click here.
I support installing a cycletrack on the full length of Beacon Street in Somerville!
I believe the community can work together to find creative ways to preserve parking for businesses and residents by improving parking regulations and sharing Beacon Street’s many parking lots, and thus be able to install a cycletrack that will help reduce cyclist injuries.
Tags: Beacon, cycle tracks, petition, somerville
Posted in advocacy | 16 Comments »
I got this press release in the email today, this looks amazing! More info when I get it.
Its about time something like this happened!
Taking a break from his annual Palm Sunday breakfast fundraiser, Mayor Menino announced today at a press conference in Dorchester that the city of Boston will be partnering with Somerville and Quincy to fund a multi-year push to improve cycling infrastructure. He was joined by the mayors of Somerville, and Quincy, Joseph Curtatone, and Thomas P Koch.
The multi-city consortium plans on setting aside $28.25 million dollars over the next five years to develop world class cycling infrastructure, with a goal of allowing rapid cycling transit between the various cities.
“Our first push will be to remove a lane from 93 and devote it entirely to cycling.” Said Nicole Freedman, head of the city of Boston’s bicycle programs.
This revolutionary design will replace the right most south bound lane, replacing is with a two way high speed cycle track system. Removing one lane of traffic from the chronically congested highway is expected to reduce asthma rates in the surrounding cities by 25%, while at the same time reducing the number of people stuck in traffic by 33%.
“Beantown might be Greentown, but Somerville, is going to be Superville and Quincy is going to be, well Quincy is still going to be Quincy, but it will still be awesome to be able to ride your bike on the highway.” Said Mayor Joseph Curtatone
“We have partnered with Boloco to provide what we are calling ‘Cycle stops.’ These little stands will take up another lane on 93, but we felt it was important to provide support for cyclists.” Said the mayor “Plus have you tasted these things, they are wicked good” Prompting a chuckle from the audience. The Cycle Stops will provide showers, bicycle repair, and of course delicious burritos.
“Taking two lanes off 93 is just the first in our what we are calling the ‘war against cars’ said mayor Koch. “We are going to be banning private automobiles from the down towns of all of our cities, and instituting an annual $300 congestion fee on all automobile owners.”
Supplemental material released at the press conference showed the full extend of the plan:
- Parking to be removed from 75% of city streets
- Parking fines raised to 5% the blue book value of the car
- 85% of RMV offices to be closed in the metro area, and the cost of owning a license to be increased
“By the time we are done with them, everyone who currently drives a car will be more or less forced to ride a bicycle.” Said Nicole Freedman sighting several hundred studies showing the damage of car ownership. “We were going to just put in a few bike lanes, and hope for the best, be after a couple of drinks we figured, aww fuck it, lets get this done.” This prompted a great cheer from the lycra bound and hipster styled audience.
The three mayors plan on signing this initiative into law on Monday, and work should start in early April. “You would have to be a fool not to realize the value of a plan like this” Said Mayor Koch.
For Immediate release, April 1 2012.
Tags: 93, april, awesome, Bike Lanes, cycle tracks, fools, mayors, war on cars
Posted in advocacy, Bike Business, Commuting, fun, infrastructure, news | 4 Comments »