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Boston Area Research Initiative Releases Crash Data Map

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 19

From the Boston Cyclists Union:

 

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The Boston Area Research Initiative (BARI), the Boston Cyclists Union, the Boston Police Department and other partners, led by Rappaport Fellow Dahianna Lopez, have released two new tools for bike advocates everywhere. One is aninteractive online crash map  that allows people to identify crash clusters and see potential patterns. Two is a public release of the raw data that helped create that map. The raw data however contains much more data than the map—including narrative police reports that are our best indication of cause and a number of facts derived from them.

The release of the data opens the door for researchers around the world and allows Boston to join just a handful of cities in the country that provide public access to police crash data, and a very select few that include narrative police reports with that data. Accessing the data requires a LinkedIn profile and approval by BARI.

More from BARI:

This instance of BostonMap illustrates patterns in bicycle collisions across Boston, MA between 2009 and 2012. The data are derived from Boston Police Department (BPD) incident narrative reports, as organized and compiled by Dahianna Lopez (Harvard Injury Control and Research Center) and partners at BPD, BARI and the Boston Cyclists Union. Visitors can also download the raw data, including narrative reports, and documentation at the BARI Data Library.
The Boston Research Map
Boston Research Map is an open source web mapping system that is an ongoing project of the Boston Area Research Initiative (BARI) in conjunction with the WorldMap team. It is intended to help faculty and their students, policymakers and practitioners, and community members to explore the neighborhoods of Boston from their computer. Visitors to BostonMap can:

1. Interact with the best available public data for the Boston region, while also uploading their own data.
2. See the whole Boston area but also zoom in to particular places.
3. Accumulate both contemporary and historical data supplied by researchers and make it permanently accessible online.
4. Work collaboratively across disciplines and organizations with spatial information in an online environment.

Check out the map here

The obvious benefit of data like this is that it allows a glance to see the “hot zones” of bicycle crash areas. Its obvious that Huntington Ave. and Mass. Ave. are where most of the crashes happen, and that should be where most of the effort is put to reduce them.

I was also not surprised to see that there are many crashes on the green-way bicycle path in JP. After having spent years riding on that path I can tell you that it is deceptively dangerous and could use some serious upgrades/safety changes. I wouldn’t mind seeing the existing bike path given over to pedestrians (they basically use it like a walking path anyway, even though there are signs telling them every 100 feet not to). With the current sidewalk could be turned into a buffered cycle track with a permanent cement buffer. This would keep cyclists out where turning cars can easily see them.

Big data can lead to safety, but there are some drawbacks to these maps. They need context, it would be super helpful if I could easily sort by deaths, minor skinned knee, car caused, cyclist causes, pot holes, etc. To a non-cyclist looking at this map might scare them rather badly about the safety of cycling. These issues are easy enough to solve, the data simply must be segmented properly.

Overall, these sort of projects are amazing and I can’t wait to see more of them. The next step might be a smart phone app that can help cyclists donate anonymous data to a project like this. Keep up the good work BARI, and I look forward to data like this driving future planning and policy choices.


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MAPC 2012 Bike Map

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 03

Don’t know why I didn’t see this sooner, but still pretty awesome!


View larger Trailmap

MAPC is proud to present our walking and cycling map with a nearly complete inventory of the regions bicycling and walking facilities.  This map includes on road cycling facilities including bike lanes and cycle tracks, rail trails and other shared use paths, plus hiking trails.

Access our online map, download a copy of our print map, or pick up a free copy of the print map at the MAPC office in downtown Boston.


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Posted in Commuting, routes | 3 Comments »

Tell The City Where To Put The New Hubway Bike Rental Stations

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 11

The city is taking feedback on where they will put the hubway bike rental stations. If you want one near your your commute now is the time to speak up.

The New Balance Hubway Team is excited to announce the service area for our July 2011 launch.

We want your input! On the map below, please click on a maximum of 5 station locations to tell us where you would like to see a station.

They also have a map of the service area, for phase one of the project.

Go here and let them know where you want your bike rental stations.


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Posted in infrastructure | 5 Comments »

Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Maps

Written by doored on Apr 15

In our continuing series of guest blogs for the front page here is another good one from Doored from a couple days ago.

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My only preparation for this morning’s ride involved googling “How to bike in the rain.” No maps, no intense study of the route. I didn’t even have my GPS. True, I’d never ridden in from Brighton (I rode from the city outwards on my last commute).  I’d already decided not to bike in on Commonwealth Avenue. Although there is a bike lane, I still felt like I was taking my life into my hands last time on my ride home. I was plotting a new route as I went, exploring parts of the city I’d only ever ridden below, without any guidance above my sense of direction and the ever present Hancock building.

I coasted along comfortably in the warm humid weather, following the spacious bike path down tree-lined Beacon Street, following the C-line. My pleasant cruise ended, however, when the bike lane did. Now I was in traffic, dodging between the parked cars and the driving ones, at points in the travel lane. Luckily, the many bike commuters gave me some guidance about how to behave. I was following hard-core bike commuter, and as we came across several garbage trucks blocking the road, I planned to follow his lead. He swerved around the first truck, I swerved around the first truck (throwing a “please don’t kill me!” grin to the car behind me). To get around the second truck, though, he somehow slipped through a 6” gap between the truck and a car’s rear-view mirror. I stopped short, then walked my bike across the side-walk in defeat.

My map-less navigation served me well until I hit the Citgo sign. A few months ago on foot, I’d spent a freezing hour lost around Fenway at night and that familiar panic was setting in. However, I knew the bike afforded me the ability to get slightly lost and recover more quickly. I followed the majority of the cars and, as I crested the bridge over the Pike, the Kenmore canopy came into view and I felt at least mostly orientated.

Peddling hard in the direction of the Commons, I found myself at a strange intersection where the bike path, with no warning or signage, move from the right-hand side of the road to the left-hand side. I crossed carefully, and continued riding on the left-hand side until I came to the Public Gardens. My relief was followed by confusion: There is no good way to ride one’s bike around the Commons and Public Gardens. The one-way streets, lack of bike lanes, and temporary insanity that hits all drivers in the area again led me to walk the bike the last several blocks to school.

Were I walking, or even riding the T, I would be loathe to attempt a commute without knowing the route turn for turn. I’m the person who usually maps the route, checks for landmarks at every turn, and has a print-out of directions if there’s the slightest chance that I’ll get lost (and I still get lost). However, on the bike, that level of preparation seems less important. If I turn down a wrong street, it’s easy enough to turn around when I realize it and retrace my route. I’ve got a great general sense of direction (Am I heading North or South? Towards the water or away?) So far, that’s all that I’ve needed to get me where I’m going.

Although walking started the process, biking has gone a long way towards connecting the T-stops in my mind. Sure, I know what stuff is directly around Aquarium, but before I started biking and actively exploring the streets, I didn’t really know what was between the Government Center and the Aquarium stops. You don’t really get a sense of where Kendall is in relation to Davis until you actually go from Kendall to Davis above ground. Now, instead of isolated islands or land in my mind, the T stops are navigational points that I can use to orient myself in the city. I’m discovering a side of the city I’ve never seen before, and I look forward to seeing more of it as Spring progresses.

 


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Mapping Boston’s Bicycle Infrastructure

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 17

I am looking for some help. I want to create a google map of every single piece of bike infrastructure in Boston and the surrounding area. Every bike lane, every bike box, every cycle track, every off road path, the works. I will be including large bike parking facilities like the bike cages at T-stops, but skipping (for now) individual bike racks.

To do this I need all of your help. I have created a map (see below) that ANYONE can add to. Simply click on the link here, or below the map and add away. Try to label your points/lines/shapes with something useful, and also try not to delete anyone’s information.

I figure if we all add our little parts we will have the whole business mapped up in no time. Then we can use this map to show new bikers where all the bike lanes etc are.

The map is getting a lot of attention! Which means it takes a while to load, to speed up the page I have put it below the fold. I noticed that some lanes are on there multiple times, feel free to prune them off if you accidentally double up.

If you want to see the entire map continue reading.

If you want to see the whole map with all the edits on one page click here.

Read more »


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Posted in infrastructure | 21 Comments »

The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Dear Boston Developers, Build These Awesome Bike Friendly Buildings September 30, 2014
      TweetSeriously check these amazing bike friendly buildings out! from the WSJ: A bike valet will offer tuneups and tire changes to spandex-clad commuters and residents at Hassalo on Eighth, a multiuse residential and office complex in Portland, Ore., expected to … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Silver Maple Forest Ride September 30, 2014
      TweetThis looks pretty awesome, especially around this time of year. From the email: ———- Friends of the Alewife Reservation (main contact)[email protected]ifereservation.orgOctober 18th, 11 amMeet at the Alewife T entrance near Jerry’s Pond.Join the Friends of Alewife Reservation, Green Cambridge, and … Contin
      Boston Biker
    • Compass Rose Head Badge Attached September 29, 2014
        Looks great!  I am still super impressed with how this came out.  Looks even better on the bike.  More here. Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Somerville Bike Lanes Get The Green Paint Treatment September 29, 2014
      Tweet   A whole bunch of bike lanes in Somerville are getting painted green.  I am not totally sure how I feel about this, but they do seem to be more visible.
      Boston Biker
    • City Streets Are Not Bicycle Race Tracks September 29, 2014
      TweetThere are times when city officials consent to closing city streets to traffic for the purpose of allowing a sanctioned bicycle race to take place. The purpose of closing the streets to traffic is to protect the safety of pedestrians, … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • Help DotBike Count Bikes! September 25, 2014
      TweetGot this from DotBike, if you have some time and live in Dorchester give it a read!   —————– Hi DotBikers! Great news, Dorchester is on the map!  Please help keep us there! Dorchester has been included in the annual bike … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Visibility When The Sun Is Low In The Sky In Autumn September 25, 2014
      TweetVisibility is often a problem when driving a car. Many things can reduce visibility. Some of them are man-made and others are caused by nature. Driving in autumn is an example of the latter. Late in the day, the sun … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • Visibility When The Sun Is Low In The Sky In Autumn September 25, 2014
      TweetVisibility is often a problem when driving a car. Many things can reduce visibility. Some of them are man-made and others are caused by nature. Driving in autumn is an example of the latter. Late in the day, the sun … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • Bicycles As Part Of A Business Model September 22, 2014
      TweetOver the summer, I read a series of articles written by a member of bicycle advocacy group in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I was surprised to see how different Philadelphia was in terms of their approach to incorporating cycling into everyday life, … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • Commonwealth Ave, Phase 2A: “to, through, or around” September 20, 2014
      TweetA lot of bright people have been discussing the upcoming rebuild of Commonwealth Avenue lately, because the city plans to forge ahead blindly with a bad design.  The fundamental issues are these: The city is refusing to even attempt to … Continue reading →
      mattyciii