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North End Could Get Buffered Bike Lanes

Written by Boston Biker on May 02

Video and pictures from Northendwaterfront.com

Bike Lane (Commercial St/Atlantic Ave) Meeting – April 28, 2011 from NorthEndWaterfront.com on Vimeo.

Bike Lane Meeting Q&A – April 28, 2011 from NorthEndWaterfront.com on Vimeo.

Looks like an interesting hybrid design between a fully buffered bike lane, and a “traditional” door zone bike lane. In general I am in favor of bike lanes, and this one looks like it has the potential to encourage more people to ride instead of drive. More bike riders will be valuable to the businesses in the north end, as well as lowering traffic congestion, lowering noise, freeing up more parking spaces for those who MUST drive, and in general making the north end more like it used to be, a friendly walking/biking community, not an off-ramp of 93.


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A Matter Of Worth: Red Lights, Your Life, And Several Short Moments

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 21

I propose a theory, and it is thus: “Running red lights does not significantly make you faster, and often slows you down.” One day very soon I hope to have some data to prove this (anyone got a stop watch I can borrow?), but for now, a present the following tale for your perusal.

Red Light,Green Light

I was riding today (as I am wont to do), and witnessed a man on a mountain bike/hybrid about a 100 feet in front of me. I like to look down the street a couple hundred feet just to keep a mental snapshot of what is going to be dashing out in front of me in a couple seconds. Repeatedly I witnessed this gentleman do the following: he comes to a red light, slows way down, looks both ways, darts over into the cross walk, crosses the intersection and then continues down the street. In no way is it legal to run a red light on a bicycle, there is no legal loop hole that allows you to cross against the red if you ride into the cross walk. I have no idea why this guy felt the need to ride into the crosswalk if he was interested in going fast, he should have run the red light in a nice straight line…but I digress.

I, on the other hand, stopped at the red light, waited several seconds, and then took off. He never got away from me, his crazy “slow, look, slide, cross” technique took almost as long as simply waiting for the red light. While he didn’t go significantly faster (I estimate he might have shaved 4 or 5 seconds off each red light by running it), what he did do is almost get hit by several cars, piss off several pedestrians who were legally using the cross walk, and almost hit a rather large pot hole that was over near the curb (a place he would have never been had he been stopping in the bike lane and waiting for the red light). I even witnessed him bend way over to the side in order to ride under (!!) a large cherry picker/crane thing that some workers were using to fix something(I guess the fact that all other traffic had come to a halt didn’t phase him).

So I propose the question, what is a life worth? What is the goodwill and harmony of other road users worth? 30 seconds? 5 minutes? Because this gentleman gained no more than several seconds at each red light intersection, and in the process endangered himself, others, and pissed off a fair number of people who were in fact obeying the law. He could have easily “saved” the same amount of time by simply pedaling slightly faster, and still stopping at all the red’s. He would have also gained the good will of motorists (not that that’s worth much in this town) and more importantly not endangered several law abiding pedestrians (a rare animal indeed).

Anyone who rides a bike and uses the mental justification that running red lights gets you where you are going faster is using the same mental justification that motorists use when the pass too closely, or squeeze you over as they pass, or honk at you because you are going “too slow.” In essence saying “I can break this law because it slows me down” is the same as motorists endangering cyclists because they are in such a hurry (often to get to the next red light). If you have ever found yourself complaining that motorists just need to chill out, slow down, or not be in such a hurry, yet still run red lights cause they slow you down….well lets just say your mental jigsaw puzzle might not be fitting together properly. Put simply, running red lights doesn’t make you faster, being faster makes you faster.

(I really am going to try and get some data to show that you are not significantly slowed down by red lights. I will address the “I run red lights because it is safer” argument in a future post)


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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Sponsor Us for the 2017 Bikes Not Bombs Bike-A-Thon May 26, 2017
      TweetOn Sunday, June 4,  I will be riding with my kids Kay and Peter in the Bikes Not Bombs Bike-A-Thon!   The Bike-A-Thon is always a fun event and it raise money for a terrific cause. This will be our fifth time participating. Based … Continue reading →
      Liam
    • Hubway Expanding To 70 More Locations May 26, 2017
      TweetVia U-Hub: Hubway will add more than 70 bike-rental stations over the next two years to the 127 it already operates in Boston, under a new contract with the city of Boston, Mayor Walsh’s office said today. Currently unserved areas … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • New U-Lock Holsters May 23, 2017
      TweetSome of you might know that I make stuff.  Here is my newest creation, a U-Lock Holster.  Not an original design, but I wanted something easy, devoid of logos, black (although I could put reflective fabric on in the future), … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Fighting Fire With Funny May 23, 2017
      TweetWhat do you do when you finally manage to get the city to install buffered bike lanes, but people keep parking in them anyway?  Get some awesome cartoons drawn by bikeyface, and use them to good effect! For those still … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Ride On City Hall Today For Action On Bike Safety! May 19, 2017
      TweetOn Wednesday, Mayor Walsh made public comments suggesting that safety on our streets is the responsibility of the most vulnerable – people walking and biking. This is contrary to the Mayor’s declaration of the City’s commitment to Vision Zero, which is based on … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Boston’s Bike To Work Day Festival, Women’s Classes, And Public Meetings May 15, 2017
      Tweet BOSTON’S NATIONAL BIKE TO WORK DAY FESTIVAL ONFRIDAY, MAY 19TH! A collage of photos from last year’s Bike to Work Day festival. Celebrate Bike Month at Boston’s National Bike to Work Day Festival! This year’s event will again be … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Passport To Summer Bike Fun! May 15, 2017
      TweetFrom the email: Would you like to get to know more of your biking neighbors and their favorite sites and streets this summer?    Join Dot Bike, Roxbury Rides, Mattapan Food & Fitness, Quincycles, and  Rozzie Rides for the 2017 Neighborhood … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Two Actions This Week! Brattle St./Mass. Ave. (Mon), Cambridge St. (Wed) May 15, 2017
      TweetFrom the email: Protected bicycle infrastructure is moving ahead in parts of Cambridge, and there will be two opportunities this week to show strong community support for safer streets through the Brattle Street/Mass Ave (Mon) and Cambridge Street (Wed) projects. … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Two Actions This Week! Brattle St./Mass. Ave. (Mon), Cambridge St. (Wed) May 15, 2017
      TweetFrom the email: Protected bicycle infrastructure is moving ahead in parts of Cambridge, and there will be two opportunities this week to show strong community support for safer streets through the Brattle Street/Mass Ave (Mon) and Cambridge Street (Wed) projects. … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Bike Jobs: REI Bike Shop Hiring May 15, 2017
      TweetBike Shop Mechanic – FT and PT roles  REI Reading, MA http://rei.jobs/careers/JobDetail/Bike-Shop-Mechanic/7718   Bike Shop Technician – PT roles  REI, Hingham, MA http://rei.jobs/careers/JobDetail/Bike-Tech-Specialist-I-Bike-Shop-Hingham/7633  
      Boston Biker