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MBTA Says No Dedicated Train For Cyclists For This Years Midnight Marathon Ride

Written by Boston Biker on Mar 04

Edit: More info here and here.  This ride is still going to happen!

In a head scrathing decison the MBTA has announced it wont provide a train for this years Midnight Marathon Ride.

 

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Cyclists who rely on a special Commuter Rail train to travel between Boston and Hopkinton for the annual Midnight Marathon Bike Ride will have to find a new way to get to the starting line for this year’s event.

After the Boston Athletic Association allegedly asked the organizers of the ride to derail their annual 26.2-mile trek, the MBTA announced that a set of train cars reserved last year for shipping hundreds of cyclists to the starting line would not be arriving at South Station in 2014.

“A special train, dedicated to bikes, will not be provided this year,” said MBTA Spokesman Joe Pesaturo in an email to Boston. Pesaturo said the train would not be giving rides to the cyclists “at the request of local public safety officials,” not the BAA. Standard rules for bikes on off-peak Commuter Rail trains will be in effect, which means a maximum of four bikes will be allowed per coach.

The BAA asked Midnight Marathon Bike Ride organizers not to host the event, citing safety concerns. Last week, the BAA put out a set of specific security guidelines in response to last year’s bombings at the finish line.

Peter Judge, spokesman with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, the state office that works with BAA officials to address security issues both prior to the marathon, and on race day, said the reason for asking cyclists to cancel their trip “dove tails” on last year’s bombing, but it’s actually just a general concern voiced by officials in municipalities that the riders pass through. “Anytime you are going to send 1,000 people out at midnight on bikes, you have the potential for issues. [The bombings] aside, this is something that has been discussed every year, and there has been concerns,” he said. “It’s strictly a public safety issue and the timing of it. It’s a cool idea, but it’s just raw with potential. That being said, we are asking them not to have the ride.”

I feel like this is the worst possible response to a terrorist act. “They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” We are basically saying that if you do something horrible to us, we will change our entire way of life and relinquish basic freedoms.  I guess 9/11 and the response to it has taught us nothing.

You are allowed to take your bike on the train, you are allowed to ride your bike on the road, and neither act is a danger to anyone. If the powers that be are concerned that people bike riding on a road at midnight with no crowds is more dangerous than having 26.2 miles of packed human beings watching the actual marathon than they are not thinking straight.

I simply don’t see how they are going to lock down all 26.2 miles of the course. I don’t see how they are going to search every person who wants to watch the marathon. Crowds if anything will be bigger this year. No cowardly act of violence is going to keep Bostonians from participating in a symbol of unity and international togetherness.

I don’t know where the person in the story above is getting this 4 bikes per car thing (that rule is not listed here), but if that is how they are going to play it, we simply show up as soon as rush hour is over (7pm), and cram every car with 4 cyclists all night until midnight.  Folding bikes are also allowed at all times on any train, so bring your folder if you got one.

I say we all show up at south station and buy a ticket.  And then we cram ourselves onto any train available, we rent some buses, carpool, get a U-haul,  hell lets make this 26.2 mile ride into a 52.4 mile ride and do it out and back.  This sort of panic and fear based foolishness shouldn’t keep us from enjoying our legal rights to use the trains and roads.  Feel free to use the comments below to set up ride shares, truck rentals, etc.

I think its important that we make this ride bigger and better than ever as a symbolic gesture, to raise a big middle finger to anyone that would use fear as a tool of persuasion.  Don’t be confused, train or no train this ride is going to happen this year.  Bring a friend because its going to be huge!

Fuck fear mongers, fuck terrorists for using violence against innocent people, and fuck them both for trying to make us afraid.  Lets come together and show everyone that love and bicycles are stronger than bombs and fear.


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This…This…This Is Amazing!

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 27

As a wise person once said, “haters gonna hate.” But Hate aside, this is amazing. I am SOOOO SICK of the same old boring ass stick in the mud shit that comes out all the time. This, and the recent urban cycling guide, both display a sense of humor that is sorely lacking in these gloomy times.

Do the MBTA safety dance!

(And yes I know this has nothing to do with cycling, but just look at it! How could I not post this?!)


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Bike Lane Changes In Roslindale

Written by Boston Biker on Aug 26

A reader David sent in the following report about bike lanes in Roslindale/JP Area:

In the October 2009, bike lanes were added to Washington Street between Ukraine Way (just south of Forest Hills) and Roslindale Square. They added some convenience, and (some people feel) safety to the ride, and were generally perceived to be a useful development – an example of the city bringing bike facilities out into the neighborhoods.

In June 2013, the city added a handful of parking spaces on either side of Washington Street, just south of Ukraine, where previously there was no parking and just the bike lanes. They routed the southbound lane (the one in the video) around the parking spaces (you can still see the remains of the original lane). The northbound bike lane was replaced by sharrows when they added parking spaces to that side.

As you can see, to avoid the bike lane, vehicles need to make a pretty sharp swerve into a pretty thin car-and-bus-lane, and in the video taken at the time, almost none of them do. Same is true today, two months later, so there doesn’t seem to be any progress along the learning curve among the car-and-bus-enthusiasts who use the road. (Some might argue that without actual parked cars, there’s no need to respect the bike lane, but at the least, it means the paint will soon be worn off.)

The two buildings that the parking spaces were added for were built on MBTA-owned land, and (I thought) were considered transit-oriented development. Both buildings already have off-street parking, so there should be no need to put parking on the street.

This decision was made, I’m told, a while back, during the time that Boston had only an interim bike coordinator. I’m not aware of anyone in the bike community who was consulted, nor any public discussion of the change before it was implemented. Rumor has it that the decision to trash the lanes will not be changed.

I am not familiar with any of the facts surrounding the changes made to these bike lanes, or the people involved with them. But it is clear from the video that motorists have not “responded well” to the changes, aka they are driving in the bike lanes. This is a clear sign of poor planning, enforcement, or both.

If the car is truly no longer kind in this town, why do we continue to put on-street parking in? Especially considering this location is about a 3 minute walk to the T.

Anyone else have any information on these lanes, or how they got into their current configuration?


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Have You Seen This Man? MBTA Needs Your Help Catching A Bicycle Thief.

Written by greg on May 28

stay a kid thumbGreg Hum plays drums on his bike, organizes the annual Midnight Marathon Bike Ride, and rides bikes after eating too much. He shares stories and more on his personal blog, The Humble Cyclist. Tweet at him, bro: @thehum

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From the MBTA Transit Police Blog:

Transit Police detectives are seeking the identity of the male subject depicted within. If you know the whereabouts or the identity of this individual please contact our Criminal Investigations Unit at 617-222-1050 or (as always) if you wish to assist our investigators but seek to remain anonymous you can simply text your tip to us at 873873

On Monday, May 20, 2013, at approximately 9:45 AM, the male subject depicted below arrived at the Holland Street side of Davis MBTA Station on a bicycle. He was observed loitering near the bicycle racks for approximately 30 minutes, before placing his bicycle next to another bicycle, which he subsequently stole, leaving the original bicycle behind.

davis sq bike thief 1

davis sq bike thief 2

Always great to see surveillance video and social media being put to good use. It’s difficult to tell what kind of bicycle was stolen from the photos, but these photos may come in handy for anyone with vigilant Craigslist eyes.


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MBTA Offers Bicycle Amenities On Capeflyer Boston To Cape Cod Train

Written by greg on May 22

stay a kid thumbGreg Hum plays drums on his bike, organizes the annual Midnight Marathon Bike Ride, and rides bikes after eating too much. He shares stories and more on his personal blog, The Humble Cyclist. Tweet at him, bro: @thehum

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capeflyeramenities

The MBTA’s new CapeFlyer train service, which offers an easy alternative to driving or taking the ferry between Boston and Cape Cod, includes some pretty awesome bike amenities, including no charge for bringing your bike on the train and some bike tools on the actual train for bike adjustments:

Not only is this exciting because there has not been a Boston to Cape Cod train since 1959 (or 1996 if you count the Amtrak’s discontinued Cape Cod service), but also because bicycles accommodations are becoming more and more a part of Massachusetts’ transportation infrastructure.

Thanks to the CapeFlyer, getting to the beach with your bicycle, a Boston terrier, and a few beers has never been easier!

P.S. I can’t tell you how excited this makes me personally; the enthusiasm and support from the MBTA/MBCR while working with them to accomodate 700 bicycles on an express train for this year’s Midnight Marathon ride was not only monumental, but absolutely phenomenal. It’s an exciting time to be a bicyclist in Massachusetts, my friends. 

-Greg

 


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MBTA Going To Let Some Trains Have Bikes On Them During Rush Hour

Written by Boston Biker on May 10

Its as if someone finally realized there is no difference between a double wide stroller, a wheel chair, a bunch of bags of groceries, and a bicycle. Its still not full access but hey its a start. Lets hope they will see that bikes are easily accommodated on the trains (also if you are going to take your bike on the train don’t be a dick head).

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from the email: (thanks John)

Newburyport/Rockport Line
Pilot Bike Program
Effective Monday, May 13th
A pilot program permitting bikes to be transported on peak period trains
between specific stations will begin on Monday, May 13th.
Passengers with bikes must board at the mini high platform.
Passengers with bikes will get off the train first or as directed by a train
crew member.
Preference will always be given to wheelchair passengers. If there is not
enough room for wheelchair passengers and passengers with bikes, the
passengers with bikes will not be permitted to board the train with their
bikes,
This pilot program will apply to the following stations:
Rockport Line
Bikes will be carried, as specified above, between Rockport, Gloucester,
West Gloucester, Manchester, Beverly Farms, Prides Crossing and Montserrat
stations.
Inbound peak service trains: 102, 104, 106, 108 and 110
No bikes will be allowed to go beyond Montserrat Station.
Outbound peak service trains: 127, 129, 131 and 133
Newburyport Line
Bikes will be carried, as specified above, between Newburyport, Rowley,
Ipswich, Hamilton/Wenham and North Beverly stations.
Inbound peak service trains: 152, 154, 156, 158 and 162
No bikes will be allowed to go beyond North Beverly Station.
Outbound peak service trains: 177, 181, 183 and 185


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Riding Your Bike To Work Saves You A S#!tload Of Money

Written by Boston Biker on Nov 21

A recent report out shows that taking the MBTA to work every day saves you a whopping $12,834 a year by riding the T. So logically riding your bike would save you even more than that.

According to the November Transit Savings Report from the American Public Transportation Association, individuals who ride public transportation instead of getting behind the wheel can save, on average, $816 a month, and $9,798 annually.

For MBTA riders, those numbers are even higher.

The November study revealed that T travelers saved an average of $1,069 this month, and will pocket an extra $12,834 this year that would have otherwise been wasted on a parking spaces and gas for a car.

Boston transportation users also came in third for most money saved annually on a list of the top 20 major cities with the highest public transit ridership, the report said.

The Hub fell just behind New York City and San Francisco.

So congratulations, if you rode your bike to work every day this year you saved a minimum of 12 grand, but factoring in the cost of a monthly T-pass (of which you didn’t buy) you actually saved closer to 13 grand, or over 1,000 a month. Take that money and buy yourself a new bike!


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New Bike Shelter At Suffolk Downs T Station

Written by Boston Biker on Nov 20

George sent in these pics of the snazzy new bike shelter at Suffolk downs. Anyone try them out yet?


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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Bikey Face Has A Book! October 21, 2014
      TweetOh Man!  This thing looks awesome, buy five and give them out to every cyclist you know! Go here right now, buy them! ———–   Announcing the first Bikeyface book, Bike There! Bike There is a 24 page mini-comic on how to bike … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • It Might Be Better To Insure Your Bicycle Than To Insure Your Life October 20, 2014
      TweetThe market for cyclists’ lives isn’t very good right now. Apparently, you can buy a cyclist’s life for a mere $1,500. That’s right. For less than $2,000 you can kill a cyclist and face no additional penalties. In case you … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • Vote No on Question 1 October 19, 2014
      Tweet“[The gas tax] is the only tax in Massachusetts that goes up without a vote” -State Representative Geoff Diehl of Whitman. Supporters of Question 1 on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ November 2014 ballot want to frame their argument this way.  They want … Continue reading →
      mattyciii
    • Commonwealth Avenue and the BU campus October 17, 2014
      TweetThe Boston cyclists Union and Livable Streets are promoting cycle tracks for Commonwealth Avenue. The bicycle industry’s astroturf advocacy organization, Peoplefor Bikes, is asking people to sign a petition in support of them. Not a good idea. Cycle tracks on … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Commonwealth Avenue and the BU campus October 17, 2014
      TweetThe Boston cyclists Union and Livable Streets are promoting cycle tracks for Commonwealth Avenue. The bicycle industry’s astroturf advocacy organization, Peoplefor Bikes, is asking people to sign a petition in support of them. Not a good idea. Cycle tracks on … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Commonwealth Avenue and the BU campus October 17, 2014
      TweetThe Boston cyclists Union and Livable Streets are promoting cycle tracks for Commonwealth Avenue. The bicycle industry’s Astroturf advocacy organization, Peoplefor Bikes, is asking people to sign a petition in support of them. Not a good idea. Cycle tracks on … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Commonwealth Avenue and the BU campus October 17, 2014
      TweetThe Boston cyclists Union and Livable Streets are promoting cycle tracks for Commonwealth Avenue. The bicycle industry’s astroturf advocacy organization, Peoplefor Bikes, is asking people to sign a petition in support of them. Not a good idea. Cycle tracks on … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Commonwealth Avenue and the BU campus October 17, 2014
      TweetThe Boston cyclists Union and Livable Streets are promoting cycle tracks for Commonwealth Avenue. The bicycle industry’s Astroturf advocacy organization, Peoplefor Bikes, is asking people to sign a petition in support of them. Not a good idea. Cycle tracks on … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Frosti the Snowbike October 17, 2014
      Tweet Frosti the Snowbike took her first ride today, I brought her back to life after a long time she spend under a tarp in my backyard. Prior to that she was a work bike – commuter bike – and … Continue reading →
      altbiker
    • Frosti the Snowbike October 17, 2014
      Tweet Frosti the Snowbike took her first ride today, I brought her back to life after a long time she spend under a tarp in my backyard. Prior to that she was a work bike – commuter bike – and … Continue reading →
      altbiker