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Thomas M. Menino, the longest-serving mayor in Boston’s history, has died. He served as mayor from 1993 until 2013.
The Boston Globe reports:
Thomas Michael Menino, who insisted a mayor doesn’t need a grand vision to lead, then went on to shepherd Boston’s economy and shape the skyline and the very identity of the city he loved through an unprecedented five consecutive terms in City Hall, died Thursday. He was 71 and was diagnosed with advanced cancer not long after leaving office at the beginning of this year.
“Visionaries don’t get things done,” he once said, crisply separating himself from politicians who gaze at distant horizons and imagine what might be. Leaving to others the lofty rhetoric of Boston as the Athens of America, he took a decidedly ground-level view of the city on a hill, earning himself a nickname for his intense focus on the nuts and bolts of everyday life: the urban mechanic. (via)
I met him on several occasions and every time he gave me a handshake with one of his massive hands. He started it all here in Boston proclaiming that the “car is no longer king.” And pushed for the first of many bike lanes to come. He might not have thought of himself as a visionary, but he had the guts to buck the trend and pushed cycling to the forefront as a valid urban transportation method. Mayor Menino was a good guy, and good friend to cyclists, he will be sorely missed.
I can only hope his final days were pleasant and spent with friends and family.
Tags: his honah, Mayor Menino, sad
Posted in news | No Comments »
The mayor lets us know what he is doing to help increase bicycle safety.
Last week our cycling community, and the city, was rocked by the tragic death of Boston University student Christopher Weigl. By coincidence, a hearing on bicycle safety brought the community together at City Hall later that day. Both events have many left asking what’s being done to make our city safe for cyclists, and rightfully so. Personally, I have been inspired by the outpouring of concern, support, validation, and sense of togetherness in our efforts to make Boston a world-class caliber city for bicycling.
Over the past five years, our Boston Bikes program has grown tremendously. Bicycle infrastructure is popping up in every neighborhood. A few years ago, when I announced “the car is no longer king” in Boston, it was before we had 675,000 trips on Hubway and before 9,000 young people went through bicycle education classes in schools around the city. That vision has guided the rapid growth in cycling throughout Boston.
It is the close-knit sense of community that impresses me most about bikers in Boston, and it is that community that came together last week. It is the collective force of that community and the unfortunate accidents of this summer and fall that are cemented in our minds today. Through our Boston Bikes program, we speak often about the six “E’s” of bicycle planning. And, it’s the six “E’s” that become the constant refrain when discussing solutions that can bring an end to these tragedies.
While there is certainly more work to be done, sometimes it is helpful to share some of the pieces already in action:
You can read the rest here
I don’t disagree with anything he is saying. But its not enough. My new motto is “More and Better!” More cyclists on the street, better infrastructure for those cyclists. I think if we stuck to that as our goal we will do alright.
We were so far behind here in Boston that its going to take a decade of hard work to only get us to “alright.” Lucky for us there are places in the world that have already done the hard work, the research, and the trial runs. All we need to be able to do is find these places and copy them.
Tags: boston globe, Mayor Menino, opinion, safety
Posted in advocacy, news | 6 Comments »
As I mentioned earlier today this is the mayors announcement:
press release below
I will mull this over tonight, and post more thoughts on it tomorrow, but so far it looks good.
Mayor Menino Convenes First-Ever Bicycling Safety Summit
Mayor and City Officials Call for a Shared Respect When Traveling Boston’s Roadways and Encourage Helmet Use
Today, Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced the city’s first-ever Bicycling Safety Summit at 5:30 PM on Wednesday, April 21 at Boston University’s Morse Auditorium. The Summit will gather area bicyclists and high-ranking city officials to discuss ways of improving safety for everyone who uses Boston’s roadways. The Mayor’s announcement comes in the wake of a third recent bike accident and ahead of Boston Bike Week next month.
“This is about the need for a shared, common respect amongst everyone who uses Boston’s roads,” said Mayor Menino. “We have to come together and recognize that everyone is responsible for keeping our roadways safe and that we all have the right to safe passage through our beautiful city. We can start by fulfilling the personal responsibility of wearing a helmet.”
Mayor Menino has ordered the Boston Police Department (BPD) to immediately launch a focused enforcement effort aimed at both cyclists and motorists in an effort to assist them to better share the road. Officers will more proactively seek out and fine for safety violations committed by those on a bicycle and those operating a motor vehicle. This effort will include the strict enforcement of Massachusetts laws dedicated to bicycle and pedestrian safety. The BPD is also researching the possible implementation of an enhanced reporting mechanism to document all accidents involving bikes.
Two years ago Mayor Menino developed Boston Bikes to increase cycling safety around Boston through the use of marked bike lanes and various educational campaigns. Since, Boston has seen much improvement including:
* the installation of 15 miles of bike lanes with another 20 slated for this year;
* the publication of the first-ever Boston Bikes map;
* the installation of more than 500 bike racks;
* the formation of the Boston Bikes Advisory Board designed to advise city officials on how best to implement proven safety measures such as dedicated bike lanes;
* and the passage of a city ordinance making it illegal for cars to be parked in bike lanes, the enforcement of which will be heightened by Boston Transportation Department ticket writers.
In light of the recent accidents, however, city officials encourage people to:
* Visit the Boston Bikes fanpage on Facebook or join the Boston Bikes Twitter feed to learn more about the program and share concerns about specific roads in Boston;
* Call the Mayor’s 24-hour Hotline at (617) 635-4500 if they notice a safety concern that needs immediate attention including roadway obstructions like potholes or debris;
* Visit the Boston Bikes homepage at www.cityofboston.gov/bikes to receive updates on the Cycling Safety Summit;
* Visit www.massbike.org to register for classes on bicycling safety conducted by MassBike on April 22, May 6 and May 19 at City Hall;
* Wear a protective helmet at all times when riding a bike (helmets can be bought for $5 at the Boston Medical Center gift shop);
* Come to the Bicycling Safety Summit on Wednesday.
Tags: bpd, Mayor Menino, Press Release, safety
Posted in advocacy, news | 11 Comments »
The Metro reported this morning:
Menino’s Bike Lane Demand
A week after one fatal and one near fatal bike accident Mayor Thomas Menino slammed the state for not allowing bike lanes on Mass. Ave., which is being reconstructed with state funds. “They fit on every other street,” Menino said. “Why is Mass. Ave. not able to fit bike lanes?”
This is a rather curious development as advocacy groups have been pushing very hard to get lanes on the “new” Mass. Ave. in Boston. More information when I have it.
EDIT: see above
Tags: Bike Lanes, mass ave., Mayor Menino
Posted in advocacy, infrastructure | 10 Comments »
Got this in the email….seems that Boston is
running cycling as fast as it can to catch up with more bike friendly cities like New York and Cambridge.
I for one am very impressed with the amount of effort they have put in over the last couple months. The problem was how far behind we started. If they can keep up this level of infrastructure improvement in a couple years Boston will be a pretty kick ass town to ride a bike in! Huzzah to the city, and huzzah to keeping up this pace!
Interesting things to note about this press release
“bike network currently being designed” and “This project is part of a greater project to create a complete network, with accessibility to existing facilities in the network including the South West Corridor and Arnold Arboretum.” = WEEEE! A bike grand plan yes, we have needed one of these for a long time, lets hope they involve the local neighborhood bike groups and MassBike, Livable Streets and others in the planning.
“At the northern end, 12 on-street parking spaces will be removed between Arboretum Way and Ukraine Way” = YIPPY! I have come to the conclusion that on street parking is a bane to everyone (drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, and businesses) anytime we can kill a couple is a good time.
Press release below.
Mayor Menino’s Boston Bikes to install bike accommodations on Belgrade, Corinth, South and Washington Streets
What are bike lanes?
Bike lanes are sections of road designated for exclusive use by cyclists.
What are shared lanes?
Shared lanes are sections of roadway designated to be shared between bikes and cars. A bike symbol is added, but no lines to indicate an exclusive bike lane. These are often used when there is not sufficient space for a dedicated bike lane.
Why install bike lanes?
Belgrade, Corinth, South and Washington Streets are important parts of the bike network currently being designed by the City. These roads in particular, help cyclists traveling between West Roxbury, Roslindale, Forest Hills and ultimately downtown Boston. It is only fitting to make this road as safe as possible, for all users.
What about safety?
Bike lanes are proven to make the roads safer for all users. They do so in the following ways: Provide guidance for vehicles wishing to pass cyclists; Designate safe riding zone for cyclists; Encourage cars to drive at slower, safer speeds; Encourage cyclists to bicycle more respectfully and predictably; Reduce the number of cyclists biking on the sidewalk; Make pedestrians and vehicles more aware of cyclists.
What are the project limits and scope?
The City will install bike accommodations on Belgrade, from West Roxbury Parkway to South Street; on South Street from Belgrade to Washington; on Washington from south Street to the Forest Hills T and Corinth, from Belgrade to Washington. This project is part of a greater project to create a complete network, with accessibility to existing facilities in the network including the South West Corridor and Arnold Arboretum.
What is involved with installation?
Work will take place over 1-3 days, in October, typically between 7 AM and 3 PM. Parked cars may need to be temporarily removed.
Will parking be impacted?
With the exception of the northern end of the project, parking will not be impacted by the bike lanes. At the northern end, 12 on-street parking spaces will be removed between Arboretum Way and Ukraine Way. Impacts are anticipated to be minimal as off-street parking is generally available in this area.
Will traffic be impacted?
In general, traffic will not be impacted by this project. Changes are proposed between Arboretum Way and the Ukraine Way. Currently Washington Street operates as two lanes southbound from the Forest Hills Orange Line station to just north of Arboretum Way where it becomes one lane southbound. To accommodate bike lanes in this area, the lane switch from two lanes to one will be moved north as the center southbound lane at Ukraine will become a left turn only lane and one southbound lane will be provided south of this point.
Contact Nicole Freedman, Bike Programs Director, 617-918-4456,
Boston Bikes is part of Mayor Menino’s vision for a vibrant and healthy city that benefits all its citizens. It seeks to make Boston a world-class bicycling city by creating safe and inviting conditions for all.
Tags: Bike Lanes, bike plan, Mayor Menino, Nicole Freedman
Posted in advocacy, infrastructure | 5 Comments »
Just got this in the email. Seems I am a friend of Bay State Bike Week…aww shucks guys thanks.
Dear Friends of Bay State Bike Week,
On behalf of the city of Boston, Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the Bay State Bike Week organizing committee, I would like to cordially invite you to the Bay State Bike Week Kickoff Press Announcement and mini-bike ride.
• Monday, May 11, 2009
• 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM; departing City Hall at 12:00 sharp.
• Start @ 1 City Hall Plaza, Boston, MA (at flagpole on Cambridge Street side).
• Finish @ Christopher Columbus Park, Boston, MA
Together we will bike 1 mile from City Hall Plaza to Christopher Columbus Park for the speaking portion where Mayor Menino and members of the Mass Commute team launch Bike Week. Thank you T-shirts provided to first 50 arrivals and water bottles to all who join.
R.S.V.P preferred but not required: [email protected]
The Bay State Bike Week Team
Tags: Bay State Bike Week, kick off event., Mayor Menino
Posted in fun | No Comments »
Got this from Marty over at Geekhouse Bikes.
So this is kind of crazy, but Mayor Menino is coming to the Geekhouse shop this Thursday 3/19 at 11am for a ribbon cutting ceremony. Basically I got a loan from the city of Boston a while back and this is the part where they hand me one of those big fake check things. I feel a little weird about the whole thing, but it’s pretty awesome that the city is supporting local business and especially bike related ones. Anyway, I guess they want a lot of people to show up and show support from the local bike community, so I’ll have some free coffee and donuts before the event! So everyone come on over to 15 West Sorrento St, in Allston, see you Thursday! Thanks guys!
Tags: Bike Business, geekhouse bikes, Mayor Menino
Posted in Bike Business, fun | No Comments »
This sounds like a fantastic idea…If this works out (stores don’t lose money, maybe even make more money), it would be a great bit of data to support the idea that removing cars from certain areas can actually help business not hurt it. On street parking has long been a holy icon of Boston, and it is nice to see that someone has the stones to challenge the theology of the on street parking.
As the weather gets warmer, Newbury Street shoppers may get the right of way if the mayor gets his way.
Mayor Thomas Menino is proposing that the popular shopping spot be shut down to cars and open only to pedestrian traffic on weekends in July and August.
His hope: to make the area more people friendly and allow them more room to wander freely.
It is an announcement the Martin Lawrence Gallery has been waiting for.
“People don’t have to be frustrated with motor vehicle traffic. It opens up the sidewalks, we’ve got a good crowd down here, people biding for space. Take the cars out, people have more freedom,” said Mitch Rutt, of the Martin Lawrence Gallery.
Pedestrians think it’s a great idea.(via)
Tags: awesome, Mayor Menino, Newbury, on street parking
Posted in advocacy, news | 3 Comments »