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News, Events, Updates


Vote NO On Question 1!

Written by Boston Biker on Nov 03

With the election only a day away, we are reaching out today to remind you why we urge a NO vote on Question 1.

 

Photo courtesy of LivableStreets Alliance

Question 1 is bad news for cyclists and pedestrians. Safe biking and walking require good planning and investments, and Massachusetts has a long way to go to design and build streets, bikeways, trails, and walkways that are safe for everyone. Question 1, which eliminates the gas tax indexing law, puts $1 billion in transportation investments in jeopardy.

 

After years of neglect, roads and bridges in Massachusetts are now a major public safety crisis. This is something we can no longer ignore. Passage of Question 1 would mean our roads and bridges will continue to deteriorate, threatening the safety of Massachusetts cyclists and all residents.

For all of these reasons, MassBike urges you to vote NO on Question 1.

Say NO to sacrificing new infrastructure.

  • Question 1 threatens to cut $1 billion in transportation investments over the next decade.
  • Question 1 would reduce or eliminate new walking and biking paths.
  • Question 1 would reduce or eliminate road / bridge projects with new bike facilities.

Say NO to unsafe bridges.

  • 53% of all bridges in the state are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.
  • The ten busiest structurally deficient bridges in the state carry more than 1 million cars every day.

Say NO to traffic fatalities.

  • Massachusetts roads are unsafe for too many cyclists.
  • Roadways conditions are a significant factor in one-third of all traffic fatalities in Massachusetts.
  • Motor vehicle crashes cost Massachusetts $6.3 billion a year in medical and other costs.

Say NO to cutting public transit improvements.

  • Indexing the gas tax helps to improve our public transit system.
  • Question 1 risks investments in aging subways, rail, and buses.
  • Question 1 risks improvements in the MBTA and Regional Transit Authorities.

Say NO to risking environmental benefits.

  • Question 1 will hurt our ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Question 1 will limit our ability to invest in low- and non-polluting transportation projects such as biking, walking, and public transit.

Say NO to Question 1. If you are eager to help stop Question 1, please spread the word. You can forward this email, tell your followers on Twitter, or share on Facebook. There’s only one day left to let your friends know that you will be voting NO on Question 1.

Click here to read the full ballot question.


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David Watson Leaves MassBike

Written by Boston Biker on Nov 03

I can personally attest to the many fine things David did over at Massbike, he will be sorely missed, but we all wish him the best in his new adventures.

—–

Dear MassBike Members and Friends

This is it – my last day as your Executive Director. I wanted to take a moment to thank you for making these last eight years so great for bicyclists in Massachusetts, and for me as your advocate. Together, we’ve made real progress for bicycling transportation, recreation, and fun!

I’m leaving this role, but I’m not going away. I will continue to work for you as a consultant promoting active living and transportation. I am pleased to say that MassBike is one of my first clients, so I will keep working on some of the projects that are so important to all of us.

One of the last things I will do today before I leave the office is to renew my own MassBike membership. Without this organization, Massachusetts would not have seen so many big wins for bicyclists in the last few years. I am proud to support MassBike in its efforts to make the Commonwealth an even better place to ride a bike.


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New Commuter Rail Stop: West Station

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 14

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.

From MassBike:

—————

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!”

 


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David Watson Steps Down As Executive Director Of MassBike

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 10

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.

From MassBike:

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.

David1Watson 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!

 

From MassBike:

bikes1000Yesterday 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]!

 


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MassBike Update

Written by Boston Biker on Aug 27

From MassBike:

 

———–

Photo courtesy of Mass in Motion

Big news this week when the Healthy Transportation Compact (HTC) met in Boston. At the meeting, MassDOT announced an initial investment of up to $5 million for the critical Complete Streets Certification Program. The program provides competitive funds to cities and towns to create streets that are safe and welcoming for all users. Led by MPHA and MAPC, MassBike and other advocates succeeded in incorporating the program and its funding into the Transportation Bond Bill passed in April. But MassDOT still had to budget the money, and now they have – thank you MassDOT! 

The HTC was created by the 2009 transportation reform law and requires the Secretaries of Transportation, Health and Human Services, and Energy and Environment (and the agencies under their supervision) to work together to get more people walking and biking in Massachusetts. Last year, the HTC added the Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, recognizing the link between land use decisions and healthy transportation options. 

MassBike’s Jimmy Pereira at the DSNI Playway

 

Imagine what it would be like to have a street dedicated to bicycling and walking. This street is not a shared bike lane. It is a neighborhood block with houses and open spaces for play and community engagement.

What you are picturing is a playway. Playways are temporary street closures in a residential neighborhood that get community members, especially kids, active. Playways utilize street spaces for people rather than cars. They can be done in many places, from dense urban areas to suburban and rural towns.

Although playways might sound like just another simple, fun event, they have a serious purpose. They create opportunities for activities and exercise, rally communities around open spaces, and connect neighborhoods. Playways allow children to be creative with play. Of course we especially love playways because they promote bicycling to all generations. In addition, by virtue of their simplicity, playways are sustainable in a way that other neighborhood events, such as carnivals, are not. 

Read the full article

 
What does it mean to be a MassBike member?

 It means you have joined us at any one of our membership levels to support our programs, such as our Bikeable Communities Program that works with local advocates to improve bicycling conditions in their cities, towns, and neighborhoods. It also means that you can bring your MassBike member card to many local businesses and bike shops throughout the state for a discount.

Join today to support this important work and get access to an exciting array of membership benefits statewide.

 

Organizers of the 9th Annual Boston Bike Film Festival have asked filmmakers with a cycling habit to submit their work to be shown October 24, 2014, at the historic Regent Theatre in Arlington. Film submissions are due September 1, 2014. The event is a fundraiser for state-wide and national cycling advocacy groups, including MassBike and Bikes Not Bombs. Film concepts from last year’s festival ranged from a young man attempting re-learn to ride, to an animated film about a cute bike that moves in next door, a couple of international documentaries, and everything in between. Among the benefits for acclaimed and amateur filmmakers, the Festival offers a chance to get their films in front of audiences who are intrigued and influential to the quality of cycling nationwide. So Come Pedal Your Film! And see the next generation of cycling films!

 Contact The Boston Bike Film Festival or visit them online.

A restful stop along the route.

On August 7-10 we rode the 8th Annual Mass BikePike Tour, and as usual it was a lot of fun. We started in Shirley, MA and went through many picturesque towns. Every day seemed to reveal landscape and scenery more beautiful than the last.

Each year we especially enjoy the feeling of community we get from spending time with so many dedicated cyclists during the tour. We see familiar faces along with fresh ones. We greet old friends and meet new bicycling enthusiasts and advocates.

Read the full article


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Volunteer Parking Bikes At Fenway Then Get To Watch The Game!

Written by Boston Biker on Aug 12

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!

 

From MassBike:

———————–

Bike Parking

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

———————————-

Bikes parked by MassBike staff and volunteers at Fenway Park

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.

If you are interested, please email [email protected] for more information. If you can’t help out on the 16th and 17th, email [email protected]to ask about other Fenway Park Bike Valet opportunities.

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.


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Action Alert: Help Move Bill Before Legislative Session Ends!

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 31

From MassBike:

—————–

We have a chance to move the bike lane protection bill forward this week!

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.)

This is not a theoretical problem – we all encounter it every day on roads across Massachusetts. Just this week, we heard about a bicyclist being attacked by a motorist after complaining that he was parked in a bike lane.

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!


It would significantly increase the chances of passing the bill this year if we can get it approved by Ways and Means before the formal session ends on Thursday.

We need you to do the following TODAY or TOMORROW:
    1. Call or email your State Senator ask that he or she ask Senator Stephen Brewer, chair of Ways and Means, to approve S 1640.
    2. 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:

 

Sponsors:

Committee Members:

  1. CC [email protected] on your emails, or send us a message telling us who you contacted.
  2. Share this Action Alert with your friends!
Don’t know who your State Senator is? Find out here.

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.

Sincerely,

David Watson

Executive Director

MassBike


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MassBike Update

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 10

From MassBike:

 

Dear MassBiker,
 
In May, we celebrated Bay State Bike Week – a week of fun bike-related events all across Massachusetts. Now, our partners at MassDOT and MassRIDES have put together the results, and here they are!
This year, 7,084 bike trips were made as a result of Bay State Bike Week – that’s2,416 more trips this year than last year! 11.2 tons of emissions were kept out of our air, and Bay Staters saved over $14,000 through one week of biking. And that’s not all – together we burned 1 million calories.
Pretty impressive stuff!
If you participated in a Bay State Bike Week event – or even if you didn’t – we’d love to hear your feedback through our survey. It takes just two minutes to fill out, and will help us make Bike Week even better next year. Click here to fill it out!

Thanks as always and happy riding,

The MassBike Team
Biking on Cape Cod. Photo: MassBike

Back in February, we reported about our ongoing work to improve bike safety for seasonal workers who flock to Cape Cod every summer. Bicycling is often the most convenient, or only mode of transportation available for these workers who come from around the world on J-1 visas to work in area restaurants and resorts.

 

MassBike has been working with a coalition of partners including the Barnstable County Commissioners office, Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority, and various local police departments across Cape Cod, and we are pleased to announce the launch of the Regional Bike Safety Education and Awareness Campaign.

 

Plans call for a busy season of outreach and activities to ensure that seasonal workers, and all people who ride a bike on Cape Cod, have the knowledge and equipment to travel safely and enjoyably by bicycle.

 

Visibility while riding after dark has been an ongoing concern, so making sure people who rides bikes have lights is a top priority. MassBike made the connection between light vendor Planet Bike and coalition partners, who secured a discounted purchase of approximately 2,000 lights. These lights will be distributed at various outreach events. In addition, police officers will have a supply of lights in their cruisers, and will be instructed to distribute them to people they identify who are riding at night without lights.

 

Photo: The People’s Pint

Training Wheels is a delicious new session IPA by The People’s Pint with an extra special bonus: a percentage of profits will be donated to support MassBike’s work and mission to make bicycling better across Massachusetts!

The People’s Pint, a brewpub located in downtown Greenfield, has been serving up their own delicious craft beer and locally sourced food since 1997. The People’s Pint has been promoting bicycle transportation in Western Massachusetts in its own unique way since 2003. Participants earn credit for every mile traveled by bike, which can be redeemed for gift certificates to be used in the brewpub. To date, they have recorded over 63,000 miles traveled by bike instead of by car.

According to The People’s Pint, Training Wheels is a “hop forward American session ale, low on alcohol but big on hop aroma, with generous additions of local and west coast hops which impart an aroma of tropical fruit and resin.”

So where can you enjoy a glass of Training Wheels? If you live in or are visiting the Pioneer Valley, stop by The People’s Pint in downtown Greenfield, open daily for lunch and dinner. You can also order a cold pint of Training Wheels from the tap atThe Foundry in Northampton.

Training Wheels is also available by the bottle in stores. Click here for the full list.

Click here to view this story in your web browser
 
Not a MassBike member yet?
Our members make it possible for us to continue the education, infrastructure, and advocacy work we are doing to promote active transportation across Massachusetts.
If you like what you see, please consider membership today.
Join today to support this important work, and you’ll get access to an exciting array of membership benefits statewide.
Is a system like Boston’s Hubway bike share in the future for the Pioneer Valley? Photo: MassBike

The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC) is currently working to determine the feasibility and interest in a bike share program for the Pioneer Valley. As part of this process, they have launched a new online survey to help gauge demand for such a program in the region.

Bike share systems, like Boston’s Hubway, allow riders to check bikes out from self-service kiosks and use them for short, “point A to point B” trips. When implemented successfully, bike share systems can compliment existing transit systems to give people greater car-free mobility, and boost the number of bike trips in a particular city or region.

According to their website, PVPC is working with the communities of Holyoke, Springfield, Amherst, and Northampton, as well as the colleges UMASS Amherst, Springfield College, Springfield Technical Community College, Mt. Holyoke College, Hampshire College, Amherst College, and Smith College to complete a feasibility study for establishing a pilot-scale Regional Bike Share program.

If you are a resident of the Pioneer Valley resident, or know somebody who is, we encourage you to take 2 minutes to fill out the survey.

Click here to fill out the survey in English.

Click here to fill out the survey in Spanish.

 

Click here to view in your web browser

 

 
 
Looking for the perfect century ride this summer while also supporting your statewide advocate for better bicycling? BikeMass journeys through the lush rolling hills of the Concord and Assabet River valleys of Central Massachusetts. Rides start and finish from NARA Park in Acton.
All proceeds support MassBike’s mission to promote better bicycling across Massachusetts. 100, 62, and 30 mile routes available. The longer you ride, the more you support MassBike!
Non-rider tickets are also available, so you can bring the whole family to partake in the food, drinks and activities!
Photo: MassBike
Did you know that MassBike offers free bike safety trainings to children grades 4 – 8? Each school year, MassBike’s Safe Routes to School Tranings teaches thousands of elementary and middle school children how to ride their bikes more safely. Since beginning our youth education outreach, we’ve brought our school-age workshops to schools in Worcester, Cambridge, Salem, Franklin, Framingham, and dozens of other communities around the Commonwealth.

Would you like your local school to be next?

 

If so, we are currently scheduling classes before the end of the 2013-2014 school year, and for the coming 2014-2015 school year. To get the wheels spinning, contact Erin Reed at MassDOT by email at [email protected] or by phone at857-719-5489.

 

The MassBike Safe Routes to School curriculum reviews basic maintenance, rules of the road, proper helmet fitting, and overall visibility. Our instructors tailor the message to age-level to ensure that these critical safety lessons are most appropriate, effective and empowering. Classes are made possible throughMassRIDES, a program of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation that promotes biking, walking, and transit use.

 

Click here to view in your web browser

 


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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

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    • Narrow-Gauge Rail Trail, Bedford: safer to walk across the street? December 17, 2014
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    • Narrow-Gauge Rail Trail, Bedford: safer to walk across the street? December 17, 2014
      TweetThe photo below, from summaer 2011, is a cylindrical panorama: Hillside Road, at the right, is at a right angle to Route 4-225 (the Great Road) at the left. The Narrow Gauge Rail Trail runs from front to rear in … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Narrow-gauge trail, Bedford: safer to walk across the street? December 17, 2014
      TweetThe photo below is a cylindrical panorama: Hillside Road, at the right, is at a right angle to Route 4-225 (the Great Road) at the left. The Narrow Gauge Rail Trail runs from front to rear in the photo, alongside … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Narrow-Gauge Rail Trail, Bedford: safer to walk across the street? December 17, 2014
      TweetThe photo below, from summaer 2011, is a cylindrical panorama: Hillside Road, at the right, is at a right angle to Route 4-225 (the Great Road) at the left. The Narrow Gauge Rail Trail runs from front to rear in … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Narrow-gauge trail, Bedford: safer to walk across the street? December 17, 2014
      TweetThe photo below is a cylindrical panorama: Hillside Road, at the right, is at a right angle to Route 4-225 (the Great Road) at the left. The Narrow Gauge Rail Trail runs from front to rear in the photo, alongside … Continue reading →
      jsallen