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The Longfellow Bridge Sucks For Cyclists, Let MassDOT Know We Are Pissed

Written by Boston Biker on Dec 20

The longfellow bridge has gone from pretty awesome (one lane of traffic and two lanes of bikes), to bad (wrong side bike path on the pedestrian walkway), to atrocious (one very narrow bike lane, and a bike/pedestrian traffic heading north).

Personally I see a lot more people going over the bridge on foot and on bicycle than I do in cars, shut the car traffic down and reserve the road for emergency and bike traffic, at least until the end of construction.

 

From The BCU:

The current conditions on the Longfellow Bridge are unsafe and unacceptable for people on bikes.  As you may know, the outbound bike lane was removed and cyclists are being asked to walk their bike on the sidewalk heading into Cambridge.  The inbound lane was narrowed so that large vehicles cannot safely pass cyclists in the bike lane.  Please see our letter to MassDOT, below, and send in your own!  Tell your story of traveling on the Longfellow and tell MassDOT and your elected representatives that this is an untenable situation, and cyclist accommodations must be addressed!

___________________________________

Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack

Department of Transportation
10 Park Plaza, Suite 4160
Boston, MA 02116

CC: Representative Jay Livingstone
CC: Chris Osgood, Chief of Street, City of Boston

RE: Longfellow Bridge Modified Phase 2 Construction

Dear Secretary,

On behalf of our members, the Boston Cyclists Union, the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition and LivableStreets Alliance would like to bring to your attention the increasingly hazardous conditions for people riding bicycles over the Longfellow Bridge, and we request that these hazards be addressed immediately.

Recently, due to the need to construct a temporary track for the Red Line, the inbound travel lane and bike lane have both been narrowed, and outbound cyclists no longer have a street­level contraflow bike lane and instead are being required to walk their bicycles on the sidewalk.

The current accommodations for the hundreds of people on bicycles* crossing the bridge daily are unacceptable to us and our members. The bike and travel lane widths heading inbound into Boston do not adequately provide a safe way for motorized vehicles to overtake people riding bicycles in the bike lane. Trolley buses, trucks and other large vehicles regularly travel in the bike lane, putting people riding bicycles at extreme risk of being side­swiped or struck from behind. Construction activities also routinely negatively impact the roadway condition with gravel and debris, and cones and markers are often moved into the path designated as the bike lane. (Please see the image attached below of current conditions heading inbound. Notice the bike lane is blocked by jersey barriers, forcing people riding bicycles into the travel lane.) Moreover, instructing outbound cyclists to walk their bikes on the sidewalk does not fulfill MassDOT’s promise to provide two ­way bike travel for the duration of the project.

From what we understand, this situation is temporary and two­way bicycle travel will switch to the upstream side of the bridge sometime early next year, but that does not make the current situation permissible to the hundreds of people biking over the Longfellow everyday. Moreover, we are concerned that the project will not follow the anticipated project schedule, and the current situation will persist throughout the winter. If that is the case, snow accumulation in the inbound bike lane will force people riding bikes into the travel lane with vehicular traffic, making an already dangerous situation even worse. We have provided a video, attached, demonstrating the approach of a trolley bus to a cyclist in the bike lane. Please note the bus’s right wheels overlapping with the bike lane, and the closeness during the pass.

We look forward to hearing how MassDOT plans to address these hazards.

Sincerely,

Rebecca Wolfson, Interim Executive Director, Boston Cyclists Union Richard Fries, Executive Director, MassBike
Charlie Denison, Advocacy Committee Chair, LivableStreets Alliance

* On Tuesday, Dec. 8 the Boston Cyclists Union conducted a count of users on the Longfellow Bridge and observed 333 people riding bicycles and 713 motorized vehicles going inbound between 7:35 AM and 9:15 AM. The fact that people riding bicycles represent approximately 32% of the rush­hour inbound vehicle traffic on the Longfellow Bridge demonstrate how important of a connection the bridge is for people riding bicycles between Cambridge and Boston.

__________________________________

Watch this VIDEO demonstrating unsafe riding conditions!

(See the full letter here: Longfellow Phase 2 Comments-2)

Please write to MassDOT at [email protected] and CC [email protected][email protected] and [email protected] so we can see that you’ve taken action and can help amplify your voice!

 


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MassDOT South Station Bike-Ped Survey

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 08

Got this survey in the mail, help MassDOT making downtown less of a snarl.

 

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People who regularly walk and bike in Downtown Boston will help MassDOT identify ways to make it easier, safer, and more convenient to travel in the South Station/Dewey Square area on foot or on a bicycle.

Would you please ask your members and supporters to fill out our online questionnaire, available here?

http://fluidsurveys.com/s/SouthStation/?l=en

We’d like their impressions and experiences – both positive and negative – of walking and bicycling in the South Station area, as well as ideas on how to make improvements for all who travel there. That information, which will all be kept anonymous, will help to inform MassDOT’s planning work. The online questionnaire is also available in Spanish and Chinese (select the language via the dropdown menu)


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Why You Should Attend MassDOT’s Capital Investment Plan Meetings

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 27

Wondering why you should go to what sounds like a super dry meeting:

From Massbike:

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Like what you see? Tell MassDOT to fund bicycle and pedestrian projects. Photo: John Phelan

Like what you see? Tell MassDOT to fund bicycle and pedestrian projects. Photo: John Phelan

Bicycle and pedestrian advocates across Massachusetts are excited and encouraged by Governor Patrick’s and MassDOT’s efforts to ensure long term investments in infrastructure that encourages more bicycle and pedestrian trips in the Commonwealth.

Earlier this month, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) released its draft Capital Investment Plan (CIP) for the 2014-2018 fiscal years. Within the plan, bike and pedestrian capital funding is set to increase from around $4 million in FY 2014 to over $17 million in FY 2015, with investment totaling $130 million over the plan’s five year period.

The good news is that this $130 million in proposed investment represents a huge opportunity for Massachusetts residents to see many long dreamed-of projects come to life. This funding will be used for construction and reconstruction of bikeways and bike paths, including rail trails and scenic byways. There is also room for funding of bicycle facilities within roadway and bridge spending. Additionally, the CIP outlines significant investments in transit projects around the Commonwealth.

In the coming weeks, MassDOT will be hosting series of public meetings throughout the Commonwealth to gather input on the CIP. We strongly encourage you to attend the meeting closest to you to let MassDOT know how important it is that the proposed bicycle and pedestrian investments are included at their full levels in the finalized CIP. And, if you have questions about why certain projects were included – or not included – in the CIP, now is the time to ask. We can, and should, thank MassDOT for proposing significantly increased investment in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, while at the same time letting them know we want them to do even more!

What’s in the CIP

Bicycle and Pedestrian: $130 million over five years for rail trails, bikeways, multi-use paths and related projects. Some highlights include portions of the Cochituate Rail Trail in Framingham, segment 7 of the Blackstone River Bikeway in Worcester, segments of the Columbia Greenway in Westfield, and much more. We encourage you to read the full list within the draft CIP.

Transit:  $3.5 billion over five years including flagship projects such as the Green Line extension to Medford, South Coast rail expansion, making Cape Cod rail service permanent, and more. This investment will encourage multimodal trips that include a combination of bicycling, walking, and transit.

When and Where

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 29
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 3
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 5
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 10

We understand that the draft CIP document is very dense and full of information. If you have any specific questions about understanding which projects are included in the draft plan, please feel free to email us at [email protected].

– See more at: http://massbike.org/blog/2014/01/27/why-you-should-attend-massdots-capital-investment-plan-meetings/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=why-you-should-attend-massdots-capital-investment-plan-meetings&utm_reader=feedly#sthash.xGVdOnv3.dpuf


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Public Meetings On Mass. Transportation Planning And Investment

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 27

From the email:

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MassDOT is hosting a series of public meetings in Boston, Worcester, Amherst, Pittsfield, Dartmouth and Lynn, beginning on Wednesday, January 29, to get feedback on weMove Massachusetts: Planning for Performance (WMM) and the MassDOT Capital Investment Plan (CIP).  Together, WMM and the CIP are responding to Transportation Reform and our customers’ need to create a safer and more effective transportation system. MassDOT welcomes your ideas and comments on the reports.

The meeting locations and dates are as follows:

Boston – Wednesday, January 29, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Transportation Building, 2nd floor
10 Park Plaza

The Transportation Building can be reached by public transportation via the MBTA Green Line (Arlington and Boylston), MBTA Orange Line (Chinatown and Tufts Medical Center), Silver Line 4 and 5, and Bus Routes 9, 11, 43, and 55.

Worcester – Wednesday, January 29, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Union Station, CMRPC Meeting Room (2nd floor)
2 Washington Square

Union Station can be reached by public transportation via MBTA Commuter Rail and WRTA Bus Routes 15, 16, 33, and 42.

Amherst – Monday, February 3, 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Bangs Community Center, Activity Room
70 Boltwood Walk

The Bangs Community Center is served by public transportation via PVTA Bus Routes Gold 30, Pink 31, G32, Blue 43, G45, and G46.

Pittsfield – Monday, February 3, 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Berkshire Athenaeum
1 Wendell Avenue

Dartmouth – Wednesday, February 5, 6:00 – 8:00 PM
UMass Dartmouth, Law Building, Moot Court Room
333 Faunce Corner Road

Lynn – Monday, February 10, 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Lynn City Hall, Council Chambers
3 City Hall Square

Lynn City Hall can be reached by MBTA Bus Routes 426, 429, 431, 435, 436, 441, 442, 455, 456, 459, and MBTA Commuter Rail (Newburyport/Rockport Line).

weMove Massachusetts: Planning for Performance (WMM) is the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). The report summarizes MassDOT’s new approach to multimodal capital planning and the use of scenario planning. The Planning for Performance tool can be used to calculate the performance outcomes resulting from different funding levels available to MassDOT. The WMM tool also begins to incorporate MassDOT’s important policy initiatives, such as mode shift and sustainability, into the capital planning process.  In the future, MassDOT will use the tool to update and refine investment priorities. The performance tool also allows our customers and stakeholders to understand the impacts of investment or disinvestment in our transportation system

http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/Portals/22/Docs/WWM_Planning_for_Performance.pdf

MassDOT Capital Investment Plan (CIP): The $12.4 billion CIP program makes long-term investments that will create growth and opportunity for residents across the Commonwealth and represents the first unified, multi-modal capital investment plan covering all MassDOT highway and municipal projects, regional airports, rail, and transit, including the MBTA and Regional Transit Authorities. The plan makes investments across the entire state, is flexible and spends wisely while creating thousands of jobs over the next several years.

http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/Portals/0/docs/infoCenter/docs_materials/cip_FY14_FY18.pdf

MassDOT welcomes your comments on the two documents.  You can send comments to Scott Hamwey at MassDOT, Office of Transportation Planning, 10 Park Plaza, Room 4150, Boston, MA, 02116; or[email protected].


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MassDOT Public Information Meeting On Casey Overpass

Written by Boston Biker on Mar 31

Also from DotBike.

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MassDOT Public Information Meeting on the Casey Overpass – Wednesday April 6th 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Agassiz School Community Center 20 Child Street Jamaica Plain

The purpose of this meeting is to provide the public with the opportunity to become fully acquainted with the proposed Planning Study for the Replacement of Monsignor Casey Overpass project. All views and comments made at the meeting will be reviewed and considered to the maximum extent possible.


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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Do You Want Protected Bike Lanes On The Longfellow? April 13, 2018
      TweetFrom Cambridge Bike Safety: The Longfellow Bridge, a critical bike connector to Boston, is going to be restriped and reopened in May. You may be surprised to learn that in the final design, the inbound bike lane will be similar … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • #30DaysofBiking Day 7 April 7, 2018
      TweetThis is better! A sunny, somewhat cool spring day. Me on my bike, my daughter on a trail-a-bike, and my son on his bike. We rode down the Southwest Corridor, stopped at Ula Cafe for lunch, rode over by Jamaica … Continue reading →
      Liam
    • Riding Lexington Street, Waltham, July 4, 2015 April 7, 2018
      TweetIt should be noted that bike lanes have been installed on much of the stretch of Lexington Street shown in the videos. Videos showing the new conditions are in preparation. Two videos, for now: A demonstration of lane control in … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Riding Lexington Street, Waltham, July 4, 2015 April 7, 2018
      TweetIt shoudl be noted that bike lanes have been installed on much of the stretch of Lexington Street shown in the videos. Videos showing the new conditions are in preparation. Two videos, for now: A demonstration of lane control in … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • #30DaysofBiking Days 3,4,5, and 6 April 6, 2018
      TweetIt’s been cold, rainy, windy, and I’m not sleeping well. These days of biking are short rides on Hubway to get from here to there, head down, and shivering. This is not the joyous Days of Biking I signed up … Continue reading →
      Liam
    • #30DaysofBiking Day 2 April 3, 2018
      Tweet Easter Monday.  The first work day of April.  Today is the day I’m going to start riding my bike to work again! Or not.  Because it’s snowing.  And I’m tired and lazy. But every bit of biking counts no … Continue reading →
      Liam
    • #30DaysofBiking Day 1 April 2, 2018
      TweetI didn’t think I was going to go for a bike ride on Easter Sunday.  As tends to be my habit, I ride less and less in the winter time and then find it hard to get back into the … Continue reading →
      Liam
    • Police Seek Driver Who Struck Cyclist In Hit And Run March 23, 2018
      Tweet Cambridge police are asking for the public’s help in finding a driver who allegedly struck a 14-year-old boy on the morning of March 15 and fled the scene. A silver Toyota Prius struck the boy around 7:22 a.m. that … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Pewter Cast “Gem” Earrings March 9, 2018
      Carved, cast and made these pewter (lead free) “gem” earrings.  They have a lovely faceted surface that catches the light and has a lot of depth and interesting texture.  My first real effort at making my own beads.  If you lik... Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Silver “Rock” Earrings March 9, 2018
        I carved and cast these silver “rock” earrings for my partner. The hardest part was getting those little jump rings soldered to the top of the “rock” without melting them or the rock…but I did it and she loved them. Continue reading →
      Boston Biker