The Latest From BostonBiker.org
News, Events, Updates
Public transportation and bicycles go together like peanut butter and chocolate. New stations help everyone ditch single occupancy car rides in favor of better more sustainable travel.
Governor Deval Patrick, MassDOT Secretary Richard Davey, and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced that West Station construction will be part of the Allston I-90 Interchange Improvement Project. This new Commuter Rail station in Allston will be partially funded by Harvard, which owns the surrounding land.
Also at the announcement were Senator William Brownsberger, sponsor of the recent bicycle-friendly Act to Protect Vulnerable Road Users and Act to Protect Bicyclists in Bicycle Lanes, and Representative Kevin Honan. Both spoke about the planned West Station.
If you’ve been following (and supporting!) the People’s Pike campaign, you’ll know that construction of this new Commuter Rail station was a topic of concern that many local groups, including MassBike, cited in the letter to Patricia Leavenworth of MassDOT.
MassBike’s David Watson, who attended the announcement, called the plan to build West Station an “important step forward for this project and the neighborhood.” Of course there is more work to be done. “Now,” Watson added, “we just need to ensure that the bicyclist and pedestrian aspects of the project will be top notch!”
Tags: Commuter Rail, massbike, west station
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While I am very sad to see David go, he did an excellent job at MassBike for many years, its great that he is moving on to other challenges.
Today our Executive Director, David Watson, announced that he will be leaving MassBike. David has been with us for more than eight years and in that time has used his passion for biking to help make Massachusetts safer for all cyclists.
Watson remembers biking in the streets of Massachusetts at the beginning of his tenure at MassBike. “Bike commuters were bravely riding along, but largely limited to the strongest and most fearless among us,” he wrote in his announcement (pdf). “There were precious few bike lanes in the state, and none at all in Boston. State transportation policies were just beginning to contemplate biking and walking, but that had not yet translated to change on the streets. Little or no funding was dedicated to bicycle infrastructure or education.”
Now, eight years later, much has improved. Massachusetts has installed more bike lanes and increased state funding for bike paths. More residents have an interest in biking for transportation and health. In a time when federal funding for biking and walking has been cut, Massachusetts has created a state policy to triple biking, walking, and transit, and is providing funding to make it happen. With David at the helm, MassBike has:
- Launched our Safe Routes to School Program in 2008, which has reached more than 11,000 kids
- Championed the Bicyclist Safety Bill, which became law in 2009
- Trained MBTA bus drivers since 2010 to better prepare drivers for interactions with bicyclists
- Successfully advocated for improved bike parking at transit stations and bike racks on all buses
- Expanded Bay State Bike Week in 2010 to a statewide celebration in partnership with MassDOT
- Introduced legislation in 2011 (and again in 2013) to protect Vulnerable Road Users
- Secured expanded bicycle hours on the MBTA Blue Line in 2011
- Published bike safety information in seven languages in 2012 (now 10 languages!)
- Launched the Bikeable Communities Program in 2012, which has helped more than 40 cities and towns improve bicycling conditions
- Created the annual Massachusetts Bike/Walk Summit in 2012
- Helped educate police officers in 2014 with our training video
- In 2014 successfully advocated for increased funding for bike paths, including more than $130 million in the MassDOT capital budget and $377 million in bonding authority
“A tireless advocate – and a tireless cyclist – David has been instrumental in seeing so many wins for safe biking in Massachusetts,” said Jim Bradley, President of MassBike’s Board of Directors. “We thank him for serving MassBike, bicyclists in Massachusetts, and the community so well these last eight years. We will remember his time at MassBike as one of action, commitment, and enthusiasm.”
The Board now begins a search for a new Executive Director. The right person will capitalize on the successes of Watson’s tenure to provide Massachusetts with a future of greater acceptance of and enthusiasm for bicycling.
“I am very proud of the team, the organization, and the partnerships we have built together over the past eight years,” Watson wrote of the MassBike board, staff, and community. “This has been the most challenging and the most rewarding job I have ever had, and I thank you for giving me the opportunity to do it.”
It also means that someone can step in to take the helm and move MassBike forward even more!
Yesterday we announced that David Watson is stepping down as the Executive Director of MassBike. Now we are starting the search for a new ED. If you or anyone you know is interested, read the job description here (pdf), and send an application to [email protected]!
Tags: David Watson, massbike
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Tags: massbike, update
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Did you know you can ride your bike to Red Sox Games? Did you know MassBike will vallet park them for you? Did you know you can volunteer to help park bikes and also get to watch the game! Not only that if you volunteer enough hours you will get a free membership to MassBike which gets you even more cool stuff!
Did you park your bike with us at Fenway Park on July 19th or July 20th? If so you were one of the many who took advantage of the free Valet Bicycle Parking for Bike to the Ballpark. The launch of this program was a big hit, and we are extremely pleased to announce that MassBike is continuing to partner with the Boston Red Sox through our Valet Bicycle Parking service for #biketotheballpark.
Now through September, every Saturday and Sunday home game will offer this convenient, free way to arrive at the ballpark. Coast in, hand your bike to one of our trained staff, and enjoy some baseball. When you are done cheering on the Sox, come back, claim your bike, and ride away.
If you have tickets for this weekend’s August 2nd or August 3rd game, ride your bike and avoid the expensive parking lot down the road. After all, not only is it free to park your bike with us, the Valet Bicycle Parking offers the closest parking to Fenway during a game. In other words, if you Bike to the Ballpark this weekend, you can get the best parking and it costs nothing.
The MassBike free Valet Bicycle Parking is located by Gate D, at the corner of Yawkey Way and Van Ness Street. It is best to approach Fenway Park on your bike from the Boylston Street side of Fenway.
For any questions about Valet Bicycle Parking, please contact [email protected] or call 617-542-2453 (BIKE).
We’ll see you at the game!
And more here
We are so pleased to be working with the Red Sox by offering Valet Bicycle Parking at Fenway Park. Now, we need some enthusiastic volunteers to help us before the game. If you want to hang out at Fenway, support Massachusetts cyclists, and even get to see some of the game, please contact us today.
Volunteers help with setup, parking bikes, getting cyclists to the parking area, and ensuring a seamless and hassle-free experience for users. After your shift, you will get a special volunteer pass so you can catch some of the game.
We need immediate help for the upcoming games.
Saturday, August 16: 5:00 pm-7:00 pm
Sunday, August 17: 11:30 am-1:30 pm
During your shift, you’ll have the chance to take a break. No previous Bike Valet experience necessary – we will train you.
Volunteers make up a huge part of our success, so we want to make volunteering with us even better. Anyone who volunteers ten hours of their time will automatically earn a MassBike membership.
Tags: awesome, free game!, massbike, red sox, vallet parking
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One of the bills we filed in the Massachusetts Legislature in January 2013 has a chance to move forward, but we need your help before midnight Thursday.
The Act To Protect Bicyclists In Bicycle Lanes (S 1640) protects bicyclists by prohibiting motor vehicle operators from parking in on-street paths or lanes designated by official signs or markings for the use of bicycles, or placing the vehicle in such a manner as to interfere with the safety and passage of bicyclists. Motorists frequently endanger bicyclists by parking in bicycle lanes, forcing bicyclists to merge into traffic. There is currently no applicable state law, and some communities are passing local ordinances that will result in inconsistent rules and enforcement unless statewide action is taken. (Click here for the full text of the bill.)
The bill was reported favorably by the Joint Committee on Transportation, and has been sent to the Senate Ways and Means Committee. We want to get it out of Ways and Means this week!
- Call or email your State Senator ask that he or she ask Senator Stephen Brewer, chair of Ways and Means, to approve S 1640.
- If your Senator is one of the sponsors of the bill or is on the Ways and Means Committee, it is especially important that you contact them:
Jennifer L. Flanagan, Vice Chair
Sal N. DiDomenico, Assistant Vice Chair
Gale D. Candaras
Eileen M. Donoghue
Benjamin B. Downing
Patricia D. Jehlen
Brian A. Joyce
Thomas P. Kennedy
Thomas M. McGee
Michael O. Moore
Marc R. Pacheco
Anthony W. Petruccelli
Michael F. Rush
James E. Timilty
Richard J. Ross
Donald F. Humason, Jr.
- CC [email protected] on your emails, or send us a message telling us who you contacted.
- Share this Action Alert with your friends!
We’re sorry to report that the other bill we filed in this session, the Act To Protect Vulnerable Road Users (S 1639) would have added legal protection for bicyclists, pedestrians, wheelchair users, and other vulnerable users of the road. Unfortunately, that bill was “sent to study” by the Joint Committee on Transportation, which means it is effectively dead for this session. A new legislative session begins in January, and we will decide whether to refile the bill or take other action at that time.
Tags: action alert, massbike
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Tags: massbike, update
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5,000 bicyclists and pedestrians die on our roads in the U.S. every year.
That represents a full 16% of all roadway fatalities. These deaths are preventable through better design, policies, and implementation. So what is the United States Department of Transportation planning to do to address this issue? Effectively, nothing.
Within its recently-released proposed safety measures, USDOT does not establish any goals, accountability, nor any attempt to reduce fatalities for people who bike and walk for transportation.
According to analysis of the proposed safety measures by the League of American Bicyclists:
The overall safety performance measure lacks vision, accountability, and urgency. There is NO actual target set for reducing the number of people killed on our roads. States are asked to make “significant progress” towards two of four proposed measures, with a margin of error that could see fatality and injury numbers actually increase.
Cities like New York and San Francisco have set aggressive “Vision Zero” goals to reduce pedestrian and bicycle fatalities. Here in Massachusetts, MassBike recently announced a partnership with MassDOT and DPH on a new program to increase bicyclist and pedestrian safety.
Please take just two minutes to let USDOT know that we must have a national goal to reduce biking and walking fatalities by creating a specific non-motorized safety performance measure. Here are two easy options:
Option 2: You can submit your comments directly to Regulations.gov by clicking here, then clicking on the blue “Comment Here” button atop the right sidebar and following the prompts. In the comment section, copy and paste this message, or modify it if you prefer:
I am writing to endorse the comments submitted to Docket # FHWA-2013-0020 by the League of American Bicyclists.
I believe there should be a specific non-motorized safety performance measure – such a measure is technically feasible and timely given the increasing share of traffic fatalities represented by bicyclists and pedestrians. FHWA’s leadership in establishing such a measure will enable states to collect and analyze critical transportation data that has been needed for decades.
Further, I share the League’s view that the proposed performance measure lacks vision, accountability and urgency. State Departments of Transportation should be held accountable as active partners with the Federal Highway Administration in dramatically reducing the death toll on our nation’s roads.
Thank you for taking action. After you submit your comments, please let us know by emailing [email protected].
Tags: massbike, Take Action
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What do the Northampton Tweed Ride, Jamaica Plain Free Pancake Breakfast, Franklin Bike Rodeo, and over 170 other local bike events around Massachusetts all have in common?
They are all part of Bay State Bike Week, the annual celebration of human-powered transportation across Massachusetts. With temperatures quickly rising, it’s time to polish off that dirty bike you’ve been riding all winter, or dust off the one that’s been idling through the coldest months, and get ready for this year’s festivities.
Every year, bike enthusiasts across Massachusetts plan events in their communities. Events range from bike safety classes for children to rides of silence to commuter breakfasts and beyond. Last year’s festivities even included a tour of Pioneer Valley wineries!
This year’s Bay State Bike Week will be from May 10 through May 18. Visit theBay State Bike Week website to learn about events happening in your local area, how to plan an event, or to add your event to the calendar. Be sure to like Bay State Bike Week on Facebook, follow on Twitter, and keep up to date with the hashtag
Bay State Bike Week is a partnership between MassBike, MassDOT, and MassRIDES, in collaboration with local advocacy leaders, bike shop owners, and anyone else who likes seeing others go by bike.
Click here to view in your web browser
Last Thursday, advocates for better walking and biking came together for the 3rd annual Massachusetts Bike/Walk Summit at the Massachusetts State House on Beacon Hill. Organized in partnership between MassBike and WalkBoston, the summit was an opportunity for attendees to meet with their elected leaders and talk about about the importance of promoting active transportation around the Commonwealth.
The keynote speaker this year was Department of Public Health Commissioner Cheryl Bartlett, who talked about the Mass in Motion program and how expanding opportunities for walking and biking will be necessary for achieving important public health outcomes like reducing obesity and associated chronic diseases and bringing down health care costs.
This year’s topics of discussion with lawmakers were the two safety bills, theVulnerable Road Users Bill and the Bike Lane Protection Bill, the importance of continued funding for Mass in Motion programs, the necessity of gas tax indexing for meeting statewide mode shift goals, and increasing funding for Department of Conservation and Recreation to ensure adequate maintenance and staffing of their facilities.
Click here to read the full summary
Residents of Easthampton and surrounding communities in the Pioneer Valley will have to seek alternate routes if they are planning to travel along the Manhan Rail Trail corridor this spring and summer. MassBike’s Pioneer Valley Chapter(MassBike PV) reported the closure on Facebook yesterday.
The closure is due to construction related to the Pioneer Mills Project, and portions of the trail will be closed through June. MassBike PV has provided a helpful map of the construction area and suggested detours. The Manhan Rail Trail has a total length of 6 miles within Easthampton and continues for several miles into Northampton where it connects with a system of trails in that city.
Click here to view in your web browser
Which bike tour takes you along scenic routes through quaint Central Massachusetts towns, including stops at swimming holes, homemade ice cream stands, and even a Trappist beer brewery, and let’s you pedal along at your own pace while chatting with the new friends you just made at breakfast? The Mass BikePike Tour does, of course!
Now in it’s seventh year, this tour, designed to appeal to riders with a range of experience and abilities, proudly calls itself “The Friendliest Ride in the East”. This year’s tour will take place August 7 – 10.
The tour starts in Shirley, and riders will explore the apple country, visit the 18th century utopia of Harvard, savor the all-day breakfast at old-fashioned classic dinerin Oxford, and try to pick which town green is the most beautiful – it’s a tough call! Along with the beautiful scenery, riders can look forward to the climb to the top ofPurgatory Chasm. Beer-lovers will enjoy the chance to ride by the monastery that is the first and only certified Trappist Beer brewery in the United States!
Each evening features a pre-dinner “social hour”, a nightly campfire/stargazing, and optional field trips to local attractions. The Mass BikePike Tour is affordably priced and all proceeds benefit MassBike. The tour is fully supported with cues, arrows, sag vehicles, rest stops and staff.
|Volunteers make up a huge part of our success, so we want to make volunteering with us even better. Anyone who volunteers ten hours of their time will automatically earn a MassBike membership. TUESDAY, MAY 13: MassBike Volunteer Night
5:30 – 8:00 PM | MassBike Office | 171 Milk St, Suite 33 | Boston, MA 02109
Join us for free pizza and cold beer (generously provided by Harpoon) at our monthly volunteer night. This is your opportunity to help your state-wide bicycle advocacy group while having a good time and meeting great people. Space is limited, so please RSVP if you’d like to join us.
Volunteers help MassBike send out our monthly membership renewal reminders, prepare membership packets, and help out with other activities.
Be sure to RSVP for Volunteer Night with [email protected]!
FRIDAY, MAY 16 & SATURDAY, MAY 17: Radio 92.9 Earth Fest
Multiple Shifts | DCR Hatch Shell | Storrow Drive | Boston, MA 02116
MassBike will once again be providing free bike valet parking at Radio 92.9 Earth Fest on Saturday, May 17. Volunteers will help bike valet with bike valet setup on Friday evening and Saturday morning, and with running bike valet during the event. Multiple shifts will be available and details will be announced shortly.
This little video shows snippet of everyday life in one of our favorite cycling countries, the Netherlands, where roughly 20% of all trips are made by bicycle.
Can you picture what Massachusetts might look like with 20% of all trips made by bicycle?
|SATURDAY, APRIL 26|
Tags: Bay State Bike Week, massbike, update
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