The Latest From BostonBiker.org

News, Events, Updates


Livable Streets March Update

Written by Boston Biker on Mar 09

Lots of good stuff From Livable Streets:

 

peak up for the Greenline Extension and Community Path

images.jpegSpeak up to remind MassDOT, the MBTA and the Governor that we need a fully functional Green Line Extension and the integrated Community Path project.

MassDOT and the MBTA have scheduled five public meetings to receive public input/suggestions on ways to reduce the cost of construction for these projects.

Construction of the Green Line Extension and Community Path will provide long needed air quality, public health, transportation and economic development improvements for our communities.

 

Attend ones of these meetings and remind MassDOT, the MBTA and the Governor that we need these very important projects:

 

Upcoming Public Meetings on the Green Line Extension
Meeting times:

Open House: 5:30pm – 6:30 pm
Presentation and Q&A: 6:30 pm – 8:00pm

  • March 2: Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Avenue – Somerville
  • March 23: Tufts University, 51 Winthrop Street – Medford
  • April 13: Argenziano School, 290 Washington Street – Somerville
  • April 27: St. Anthony’s Parish Hall, 400 Cardinal Medeiros Avenue – Cambridge
  • May 5th: St. Clement’s Parish Hall, 579 Boston Avenue – Medford

MBTA late night service cut, but fare increases still in play

mbta_control_board_mtg.jpg

We are disappointed to report that the MBTA Control Board voted 4-0 yesterday to cancel late night service. While this is an unfortunate development, we were inspired by the hundreds of impassioned advocates who packed the meeting room to speak up for better transit.

Next week the MBTA control board will vote on possible fare increases. We hope that they will seriously consider the overwhelming public support for keeping fare increases at or below 5% in their vote next Monday, March 7.

We will be there next week for this important vote and keep you up-to-date over the next few weeks as the Control Board considers cost saving measures for the Greenline extension.

 


New Emerald Network website launched!

EN_homepage.jpg

Since launching the Emerald Network in September 2015, we’ve made strides toward achieving our vision of a 200-mile seamless network of greenways across Metro Boston.

To highlight this important initiative we’ve launched a brand new website:www.emeraldnetwork.info.

On the new Emerald Network website you can:

  • Learn about the progress we’ve made and see some examples of in-progress and future project to complete the network

  • Apply for the Greenway Partners Program, to request capacity-building support to advance a proposed greenway project

  • Sign up to receive email updates specific to the Emerald Network

We hope you’ll take a few moments to learn more by exploring thewebsite!


LivableStreets and Vision Zero featured on PRI’s “The World”

stacy_and_brendan.jpg

LivableStreets’ Stacy Thompson hit the streets of Boston last week with Brendan Kearney of WalkBoston and PRI “The World” reporter Jason Margolis to talk about safety on our streets. At the corner of Mass Ave and Beacon Street the trio discussed the hurdles and hopes for Boston’s commitment to Vision Zero.

“What does Boston have to learn? It already is one of the safest major cities in the US. Still, you’re about three times more likely to be killed on the roads in Boston — walking, cycling or traveling in a car — than in Stockholm.”

Click here to hear how Stacy and Brendan answered this question and learn more about Sweden’s successful campaign to dramatically reduced traffic crashes.


I-90 Interchange project prompts bigger questions about connectivity and livability

10391835_10153512308923111_972039618001533192_n.jpgOn Sunday the Boston Globe highlighted the need to look toward the future and prioritize transit and broader connectivity for the proposed West Station – an important piece of the I-90 interchange project. The following evening Brookline residents packed a Transportation Board meeting to learn about the 1-90 project and how it might impact their community.

LivableStreets Advocacy Committee member Ari Ofsevit presented an alternative design to MassDot’s current proposal that prioritizes people, place-making and better options for walking, biking and transit. Many of the residents highlighted the need for better buses and better connections to Boston and Cambridge.

Given the enormous long-term impact of this project, we can’t agree more with the Globe, “it’s not too soon to decide what the basic purpose of West Station ought to be — a 21st-century multimodal transportation center, or just another commuter rail stop.”


MA Bike Safety Forum re-cap

ma_bike_safety.jpg

The room was packed with people who care about making biking safer at Suffolk University last Tuesday night, as bicyclists gathered with legislators, policy makers, and stakeholders to talk about changing state laws to make cycling safer. Representatives from the trucking industry, Boston, Cambridge, the Carmen’s Union and the MBTA gave brief presentations followed by breakout sessions where ideas for possible legislation were presented.

LivableStreets’ Board members Steve Miller and Megan Ramey each led a break-out session engaging attendees in discussion around lowering speed limits and safe bicycle crossings. At the conclusion of the event attendees were asked to vote on their preferred solution for better bike safety.

Senator William Brownsberger posted the results of the survey on his website in “Bike Safety Forum Take Aways–?” and is requesting additional public input. You can comment on the event’s website mabikesafety.com.


Opportunties

Join LivableStreets’ Advocacy Committee

advocacy_committee.jpg

LivableStreets Advocacy Committee is tracking more than 90 street projects in Metro Boston and we need your help! The group meets once monthly and consists of new and seasoned advocates working together to tackle issues big and small. Joining the Advocacy Committee is a great way to keep up to date on key projects and initiatives, learn from our volunteer advocates who’ve won dozens of campaigns (like bringing down the Casey Overpass, securing the new design for Comm Ave!) and share your ideas for better streets in your neighborhood.

Please contact [email protected] to learn more and get involved.

Sincerely,
LivableStreets Alliance

livablestreets.info


submit Livable Streets March Update to reddit.com Add to Reddit.

Tags: ,
Posted in advocacy, news | No Comments »

Livable Streets Ten In One Street Talk Is Soon

Written by Boston Biker on Nov 25

From Livable Streets:

Our 2015 StreetTalk 10-in-1 promises to be the biggest and best yet, and it’s taking place right in the heart of Boston at the Old South Meeting House. Building on the Meeting House’s long tradition of hosting spirited, thought-provoking discussions, the event will feature 10 short-form presentations highlighting innovative ideas to transform our streets.

10th Anniversary StreetTalk 10-in-1
Tue. December 9, 2015 6:00 – 8:30PM
@ Old South Meeting House
310 Washington St, Boston, MA 02108
Cost: $15 general admission; LivableStreets members get in for FREE

Over the years, our StreetTalk series has grown from a couple dozen people crowding into the LivableStreets office to a 230+ sold out crowd in 2014. Clearly when it comes to transportation in metro Boston, there is a hunger for new ideas! Join the conversation and register today!

register.png

Our full line up of 10-in-1 speakers will be announced soon here. Stay tuned for updates.

We hope to see you at the Old South Meeting House on December 9th!

LivableStreets Alliance

http://www.livablestreets.info/


submit Livable Streets Ten In One Street Talk Is Soon to reddit.com Add to Reddit.

Tags: ,
Posted in advocacy, fun | No Comments »

October 25th 2-5PM “Reimagining Columbia Road” With Livable Streets

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 20

Livable Streets Alliance is hosting a workshop at Fairmount Innovation Lab in Uphams Corner. Come share your ideas for transforming the Columbia Road corridor into a more welcoming space for cyclists and pedestrians.

submit October 25th 2-5PM “Reimagining Columbia Road” With Livable Streets to reddit.com Add to Reddit.

Tags: , , ,
Posted in advocacy, Commuting, education, infrastructure | No Comments »

Livable Streets Update

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 20

From Livable Streets:
—————–

We are excited to announce two opportunities – a StreetTalk featuring our Emerald Network Initiative and a limited time discount on some amazing bikes. See below to learn more!

 


Emerald_Network-logo.jpgStreetTalk: Connecting our Urban Greenways – Building the Emerald Network 

Our fall StreetTalk will explore what role the Emerald Network can play in not only increasing mobility options for people in the Metro area, but also tackling challenges like economic development, equity, climate change and public health in urban Boston. To learn more click here.

Event Details
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
5:30 – 6:30 pm   Emerald Networking Reception (cash bar)
6:30 – 8:00 pm   StreetTalk: Connecting our Urban Greenways

@ Boston Society of Architects
290 Congress St #200, Boston, MA 02210

Cost: $10 general admission; LivableStreets members get in for FREE

StreetTalks sell out quickly. What are you waiting for, register today!

register.png


gazelle_image1.jpg
photo credit: Kyle Ramey

Get a Gazelle and support LivableStreets in October

Our friends at Urban AdvenTours are selling a limited number of Royal Dutch Gazelle bikes. And in the month of October they are offering a $50 discount to anyone who mentions LivableStreets. They’ll also give LivableStreets $50 for every bike sold!

For more information or to purchase a Gazelle call Urban AdvenTours at (617) 670-0637 and be sure to mention LivableStreets!

These are sturdy, comfortable bikes made for every day riding in the city. They include built in lights, bells, a rear wheel lock …and happen to be LivableStreets orange! Swing by the LivableStreets office if you’d like to check one out before purchasing.

And don’t forget, this offer is only available during October – so get your Gazelle today!


StreetTalk2.jpgSave the date for our annual StreetTalk 10-in-1

Last, but certainly not least, we hope you’ll save the date forDecember 1, when we’ll hold our annual 10-in-1 StreetTalk.

We are planning an extra special 10-in-1 as part of our 10th Anniversary celebration and we hope you’ll join us. Look out for more details soon!


We hope to see you at our StreetTalk on November 3rd. Perhaps you’ll ride your brand new Gazelle there!
LivableStreets Alliance

http://www.livablestreets.info/


submit Livable Streets Update to reddit.com Add to Reddit.

Tags: ,
Posted in advocacy, education, fun, infrastructure, news | No Comments »

Public Meetings About Walking And Biking Paths

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 30

Join in these DCR sponsored meetings and let your voice be heard to support more walking and biking paths.

———–

From Livable Streets:

Please join us for a series of public meetings where the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the Emerald Necklace Conservancy will present and obtain feedback on options for improving safety and accessibility for all people walking, running, biking, and driving, at three key areas:


Perkins St and Parkman Dr – Perkins St Pedestrian Crossing Study
Thursday, October 1, 6:30 – 8:30pm
@ Arnold Arboretum Visitor Center, Hunnewell Bldg
125 Arborway, Boston


Centre St from the VFW Parkway to Murray Circle – Centre St Corridor Study
Wednesday, October 7, 6:30 – 8:30pm
@ Arnold Arboretum Visitor Center, Hunnewell Bldg
125 Arborway, Boston


The Arborway between Eliot St and South St, including Kelley and Murray Circles – Arborway Multi-modal Improvement Project
Wednesday, October 14, 6:30 – 8:30pm
@ Arnold Arboretum Visitor Center, Hunnewell Bldg
125 Arborway, Boston


This project is an important piece of the Emerald Network, a vision for 200 miles of seamless greenways across the urban core to create a 21st-century recreation and transportation system that is safe and convenient for all. To learn more about our initiativeclick here.


submit Public Meetings About Walking And Biking Paths to reddit.com Add to Reddit.

Tags: , ,
Posted in advocacy, Commuting, infrastructure | No Comments »

Traffic Congestion: How To Fix It

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 27

Here is a great email I got from Liviable Streets

———-

The statistics show that each of us is driving less.  So why do our roads feel more jammed up?  Why does it take longer to get anywhere?  And what can we do about it?  Some politicians have begun blaming Traffic Calming and bicycle lanes for the backups; saying that Complete Streets and pedestrian bulb-outs are making roads less safe because less accessible for emergency vehicles.  Is there any truth to this?  More fundamentally, is car congestion a problem to be solved or a solution to a problem?

A 2013 report from US PIRG showed that the average number of miles driven by the average American has been falling for about a decade, through economic booms and busts, and was down to mid-1990s levels.  Millennials, our nation’s largest-ever generational cohort, are using transit and bikes more and taking fewer and shorter car trips, resulting in a 23% drop in the average number of miles driven.  The percentage of high school seniors with a driver’s license fell 12%.  Walkable city life is increasingly attractive to both young people and retiring baby boomers.  The rise of on-line shopping, social media, and telecommuting has meant fewer quick car trips.

Despite these trends, as every driver knows, our roads are increasingly congested – not everywhere or all the time but for increasing periods at a growing number of key intersections and road segments.  Congestion radically reduces the volume of traffic passing through a road section, the through-put, thereby creating a negative feedback loop that creates more backups.   It’s estimated that USA drivers spend about 14.5 million hours every day stuck in traffic.  Congestion not only costs us time – in 2011 Boston drivers collectively lost about 137 million hours, or about 53 hours per commuter per year – but also fuel and therefore pollution, health, and money.  Not to mention frustration and occasionally murderous road rage.  Although we Bostonians believe we’ve got it worst, car congestion seems to be clogging roads like kudzu in nearly  every city in the country – and, by some reports, across the globe .

It’s true that a new report has said that the first four months of 2015 has set a new record in total vehicle miles in the US – up nearly 32 billion since the previous high in 2007, pushing gas consumption as well as prices upward. Lower gasoline prices and a recovering economy (consumer spending in May, 2015 had the highest month jump in six years) are two reasons for the jump, probably augmented by the continuing lack of viable alternatives to car driving for many people.  But a four-month blip is not enough to explain years of delays.

We do know some things that are contributing to the larger problem – land use patterns and population growth are the most important.  The low-rise dense designs that make older urban areas walkable and transit-efficient is illegal to build in many places today due to parking requirements, anti-mixed use and other zoning requirements, etc.

We know some things that may appear to be causative but actually aren’t – making roads safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, prioritizing bus and trolley traffic, even reducing the average speed of cars.

We know some things that (counterintuitively) do not help reduce congestion – most notably building more roads or adding lanes, all of which eventually fill up as our additional drivers decide to move into the new space.

And we know some things that do improve the situation, but usually only when they are applied as a group rather than singularly – improving road use efficiency using technology (signal timing, access controls, central monitoring) and other methods (car pools, HOV lanes, car sharing, perhaps driverless cars), increasing alternative options (transit both regional and downtown, bicycling), changing land-use patterns (Smart-Growth style transit-orientated development), requiring corporate and municipal  Transportation Demand Management programs (incentives to not drive alone or to not drive at all), and (most effective of all) congestion pricing of various kinds.

What is needed is the cultural and political willingness to accept this knowledge and act upon it – while also coming to grips with the reality that the continuing imbalance of potential drivers to current or any plausible future amounts of road space means that congestion is a permanent part of a car-based reality.

Read more »


submit Traffic Congestion: How To Fix It to reddit.com Add to Reddit.

Tags: , , ,
Posted in advocacy, Commuting | No Comments »

Livable Streets Update

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 07

from Livable Streets:
———–

Happy Birthday to you

bday_thanks_1sq.jpg
bday_thanks_3sq.jpg

June was a big month for LivableStreets! We kicked off our 10th anniversary celebration with a Birthday Bash at Aeronaut (see photos from the party here!) and launched a new membership program.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the new program, learn more by visiting our brand new website and become a member today!

join.png

We have a membership level for everyone. Whether you are able to contribute $5 a month (yep, just 5 bucks!) or $1000 a year, by becoming a member you aren’t simply donating to a cause, you are demonstrating your support for creating a world-class transportation system in metro Boston.

And don’t worry if you missed the Birthday Bash, we’ll be celebrating our anniversary throughout the remainder of 2015, so stay tuned for other opportunities to get involved!


Get to Watertown on September 12

unnamed.jpg

unnamed.png

unnamed-2.jpg

Registration is live for Tour de Streets (formerly Bike4Life), our annual family-friendly ride and BBQ! Whether you are a lifelong biker, or you haven’t touched a bike in decades, Tour de Streets has a route for you.

register.png

The start and end location of the ride will take place at a beautiful green space on The Arsenal on the Charles in Watertown. The routes will be scenic and comfortable for both new and experienced riders. And if you prefer not to ride, you are welcome to join the BBQ and post-ride activities. To learn moreclick here.

We hope you’ll save the date for September 12th and join us this year as a rider or supporter of this important fundraiser for LivableStreets!


It’s time to rethink buses

brt.jpg

After a tough winter, more and more people are recognizing how vital public transit is to moving people efficiently and effectively in and around the region.

A new report, Better Rapid Transit for Greater Boston, recognizes buses as a key piece of our transit system and highlights Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) as an option that should be considered for Greater Boston’s transportation future.

The report identifies five corridors ripe for BRT. As CityLabhighlighted, Gold Standard BRT in these corridors has the potential to dramatically cut commute times and connect communities. To read the full report click here!

LivableStreets has been exploring BRT for more than two years as a member of the Greater Boston BRT Study Group–a group made up of transportation experts, planners, and community leaders. This report is a result of the study group’s work and part of LivableStreets broader effort to prioritize transit on our streets.

To learn more and get involved in making our transit system better for everyone in metro Boston, visit our Transit Priority Page.


Carshare in Cambridge, bike lanes in Brookline and rethinking the I-90 interchange

Screen_Shot_2015-07-03_at_3.03.41_PM.png

A vision of Allston from the NBBJ team

In June LivableStreets advocates stepped up in a big way to help make Brookline, Allston and Cambridge more livable and enjoyable for everyone.

In Brookline Mark Tedrow and Rebecca Albrecht spoke up for creating a safer and better design solution for Babcock street and secured a bike lane on Newton Street.

In Cambridge several LivableStreets members showed their support for increased carshare capacity and Steve Miller and Chris Taylor helped dispel misconceptions about carshare in a letter to the editor.

In Allston dozens of community members shared their thoughts on a major project to renovate the Allston entrance and exit of the Mass Pike. LivableStreets members asked for a design that could result in 60 new acres of developable land, a new commuter rail station, a new neighborhood, and an unparalleled opportunity to improve connectivity for everyone walking, biking, driving and taking public transportation throughout the region. To learn more about this effort visit our I-90 project page.

These are just 3 of the more than 80 street project our Advocacy Committee is involved with. If you’d like to learn more about how you can get involved in the committee and make a street, intersection or neighborhood you care about more livable contact Jeff Dietrich at [email protected]info


Win

Connect Historic Boston Groundbreaking

Screen_Shot_2015-07-03_at_3.15.00_PM.png
Pedestrian bridge over the Charles River

Friday, July 10, 1pm
@ Union Street in Blackstone Block, Boston

The City of Boston will be breaking ground on construction for Connect Historic Boston this Friday—come celebrate! You may remember hearing from us about this project a couple of years ago. LivableStreets was a member of the advisory committee that helped shape this initiative and we are excited to see it finally being built!

The goal of Connect Historic Boston is to make walking, biking, and taking the T to National Park Service sites and other destinations in downtown Boston easy and fun.

 To learn more visit Connect Historic Boston’s page.

We hope you will join us in celebrating this important step in connecting historic Boston on Friday!


Opportunities

Boston Women’s Bike Ride & Bites Festival

bike.jpg

Saturday, July 18
@ Daisy Field, Willow Pond Road and Jamaicaway, JP, Boston

Join New England’s largest cycling event for women! This year the event will celebrate active, healthy living with fabulous food provided by some of the top women in Boston’s food businesses, like Jody Adams and Joanne Chang. To register and learn more click here.


Job opportunities in Cambridge and Boston

skate.jpg

Are you looking for a job that will contribute to making our streets and community more livable? The cities of Cambridge and Boston are hiring!

Cambridge is hiring for anAssistant Director for Street Management. This new position supervises the Engineering, Operations, Street Occupancy and Planning units within Traffic, Parking, and Transportation.

And the City of Boston is hiring for two positions, Director of Communications and Community Engagement and aGreenovate Boston Program Manager.

Please share these jobs with your networks and consider applying today! 

Sincerely,
LivableStreets Alliance

 


submit Livable Streets Update to reddit.com Add to Reddit.

Tags: ,
Posted in advocacy, fun | No Comments »

Livable Streets 10th Year Birthday Party!

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 20

Livable Streets is turning 10!  Got the email below.
————–
unnamed
What do BBQ and bowties have in common?
They are a couple of the many raffle prizes and activities we have in store for you at our birthday bash next Wednesday, June

Anniversary Launch Party details:

Date: Wednesday, June 24th

Time: 5-8pm
Location: Aeronaut Brewery, 14 Tyler St., Somerville, MA

This celebration won’t just be a walk down memory lane. It’s the kickoff to our next decade of creating safer streets and vibrant communities, making the Boston region a better place to live, work, and play for everyone.

 

There is something for everybody at the celebration, including:
  • An interactive map and table activities
  • A photo booth for kids (and kids at heart!)
  • Complimentary snacks
  • Aeronaut beer (brewed onsite!) for purchase
  • Birthday cake, of course!

We’ll be scattering shoutouts and announcement throughout the evening, so swing by at anytime and feel free to stay for 3 minutes or 3 hours. Our party will wind down around 8pm, but you are welcome to stick around for the after party featuring a live band. To learn more and see the event schedule visit our event webpage.

 

If you are planning to join the celebration, please RSVP. The event is free, family friendly and open to the public, but its helpful for us to have a sense of how many people are coming.

 

All are welcome. We hope to see you there!

 

LivableStreets

 

p.s. wearing orange to the party is highly encouraged!

Thanks to our host:


submit Livable Streets 10th Year Birthday Party! to reddit.com Add to Reddit.

Tags: , ,
Posted in advocacy, fun | No Comments »

The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Dot Bike May Events! May 2, 2016
      TweetFrom Dot Bike: ————- Bikes are in bloom! With the celebration of Bay State Bike Week, Boston Bike to Work Festival and thereturn of the Hubway fleets May can feel like a burst of new energy for bicycling in Boston. Maybe you can … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • The 5th Annual Christina Clarke Genco Mother’s Day Memorial Ride May 2, 2016
      TweetOne of the saddest parts of running this website is reporting about cyclist deaths, way back in 2012 we reported about that Christina Clarke Genco was struck and killed while making the world a better place.   But that tragic … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Council Unanimously Approves Lower Speed Limit, Now Goes To Mayor For Approval April 27, 2016
      TweetThe city council Unanimously approved the 20 mph speed limit, it now goes to the mayor, and then (strangely) to the state…stay tuned.
      Boston Biker
    • Report From The Lowering The Speed Limit Public Hearing April 25, 2016
      TweetLynn 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 … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Rozzie Bikes Repair Day May 14th April 25, 2016
      TweetGot this in the email, looks like it could be a lot of fun. Are you good with kids? Can you pump up a tire or oil a chain? If so, please support Rozzie Bikes by coming to one (or … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • April Ghouls Day Ride April 30th! April 25, 2016
      TweetUnbeknownst to me there is another holiday at the end of April called April Ghouls day…or at least that is what the good folks at Dot Bike would have us believe. From the email: You heard it here first! — … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • America’s Absurd Fascination With Cars April 14, 2016
      TweetI was having a discussion with someone this morning and we realized that at every stage in the development of automobile infrastructure in America, other, consistently better, choices for infrastructure were available, but we continued to choose the car every … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Boston City Council Hearing On Lower Speed Limits In Boston April 8, 2016
      TweetGot this in the email.  Very interesting proposal!  If we really could make speeding enforcement and lowering speeds a priority we would be much better off.   ————————– On April 20th there will be a hearing on Councilor Frank Baker’s … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Shop Soap! April 5, 2016
      I have been making my own soap for a couple of years now, mostly as gifts for friends and family.  We have made all sorts of nice smelling, very good soaps, but something was missing.  I wanted a soap that was strong enough to blast off the various shop related gunk from my hands, but […]
      Boston Biker
    • After School at Open Shop! April 3, 2016
      Recently at a Wednesday Open Shop, a boy came up to me and introduced himself as Philip, a fifth grader from up the street. He said his gym teacher told him about CommonWheels and that he could learn about bikes and he was just wondering if he could fi... Continue reading →
      commonwheels