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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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Make Biking A Priority For Federal Transportation Dollars

Written by Boston Biker on Mar 11

Got this in the email, the MPO is where the money is, so this is kind of important, I would urge as many of you as possible to let them know that we need biking to be a serious part of our plans moving forward.

———

Boston Region MPO Begins Development of New Long¬-Range Transportation Plan;
Invites Ideas from the Public on Title for New Plan

The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is beginning work on a new Long-¬Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) that will establish a 25¬year vision for the transportation system in the MPO’s 101¬-municipality area in eastern Massachusetts. The LRTP will provide a foundation for future transportation planning in the region, since the MPO members will look at the visions and policies defined in that planning document when making decisions about which transportation projects and programs to support with the federal transportation dollars they are charged with allocating. The development of the LRTP will involve a robust public participation process, as the MPO aims to develop a plan that addresses the transportation needs of residents of the region and supports regional priorities.

Federal transportation legislation requires MPOs to prepare a new LRTP every four years. The LRTP describes the MPO’s visions and policies, and includes a network of transportation projects and programs that are consistent with those visions and policies. As a fiscally constrained document, the LRTP includes only projects and programs that can be funded by projected revenues. The Boston Region MPO’s last LRTP, JOURNEY TO 2030, was adopted in 2007, and was amended in the fall of 2009. The MPO must adopt the next LRTP by April 2011.

In the new LRTP, the MPO will establish strategies for addressing regional priorities, including: enhancing livability; promoting healthy transportation alternatives; improving mobility, safety, and security for users of the transportation system; advancing environmental justice; addressing climate change and air quality; and improving operations and management of the transportation system. Many of these themes were also a focus in the current plan.

The MPO will approach the development of the new LRTP by conducting a needs assessment that identifies mobility challenges in the region. For this work, the MPO plans to make use of data and analyses from the MPO’s Congestion Management Process, which is used to monitor the performance of the region’s transportation system, and other planning work that has been completed. It will also fold in ideas gathered from other outreach initiatives, such as youMove Massachusetts. The MPO will also invite members of the public to give feedback about their transportation needs.

This work will lead to the development of various networks of projects, programs, and strategies designed to help meet the region’s transportation needs. These networks will be evaluated by using the MPO’s computerized transportation models. With input from the public, the network that would best meet the region’s transportation needs will be selected for the LRTP.

For more information about the development of the LRTP and how members of the public can participate, please visit the MPO’s website, www.bostonmpo.org.

The MPO staff also invites members of the public to help name the new LRTP. The title should reflect the MPO’s desire to promote sustainability in the region. It should also include “2035,” which is the date used as the “planning horizon” for the next LRTP. Title suggestions should be submitted via e¬mail to [email protected] by Friday, March 26.

The Boston Region MPO is responsible for conducting regional transportation planning and for programming federal capital funding for transit and highway projects in 101 municipalities in eastern Massachusetts. The MPO members include transportation and planning agencies and organizations, and municipalities.


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Geekhouse Hitting The Big Time!

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 23

Marty over at Geekhouse Bikes has been doing some AMAZING stuff lately (here and here). I am not just talking about his amazing bike, seems he is getting his business side of things moving as well.

From the geekhouse website. (I know this is mad late in posting this, but I thought it was such a cool development that I couldn’t let it pass)

So I got an email on Sunday night saying that Mayor Menino was going to mention Geekhouse in his annual State of the City address which took place last night (I’m at the 8:27 section). At first I didn’t really know much about it. But then Monday I found out that the whole event would be broadcast live on Chanel 5 Boston, and that I had a reserved seat in one of the front rows at the event, which would be held in prestigious Faneuil Hall in downtown Boston.

If I haven’t mentioned this before in December I got a loan from the City of Boston to help purchase some necessary manufacturing equipment, and also provide the ability to hire 1-2 employees to help out with fabrication. This whole process involved a lot of time and effort. I sought out help from Score a division of the Boston SBA in reviewing a detailed business plan I wrote myself. And of course I had a lot of support from my amazing lawyer Joel Kinney of Goldstein and Herndon in Chestnut Hill. So after about 6 months of planning and effort I was finally approved for the loan. Also, a big thanks to Bill Nickerson and everyone from the BLDC for all their help with getting that done!

So back to the event last night. I ended up bringing my girlfriend Andrea, my Mom and two sisters Corie and Katty, and also Josh from Open Bicycle. I was told we had reserved seating, but when we walked in there were two levels, and upper and lower. The security guard blocked us when I tried to walk into the lower section, and I told him the I was Marty Walsh and we had reserved seating. His response was, “Oh yes Mr. Walsh, someone will show you to your seats.” Now, there’s also a state rep named Marty Walsh, so my response to him was “No, I’m the other Marty Walsh, not the State Rep Marty Walsh.” And he then said. “Oh no, we know who your are, I’ll have someone show you to your seats.”

The whole thing was pretty surreal. We had 4 seats which all had Marty Walsh written of them in the front row of the right side of the room. Then there were two seats for me and Andrea only a few rows back from the front row, which included Gov Deval Patrick, and the Mayor’s wife. My thoughts through the whole thing were; holy crap why the hell am I here with all these important people? Sitting right next to me was a guy who was first on the scene to the firefighter accident last week, I believe he actually saved one of the firefighters lives. And on the other side was a guy giving away like a million dollars to the Boston public schools. So out of all the people in the city who did amazing things this past year, we were the three that the Mayor mentioned. I still feel that I don’t deserve that kind of attention, and this isn’t something that I sought out. But hey I’ll take the free press, haha!

After the event my sister Corie made me go get a picture with the Mayor, and I told him thank you. I then met the Allston Rep, who went and introduced me to the State Rep Marty Walsh. I also shook hands with Secretary Galvin and a few other respectable Bostonians. The whole thing was really pretty amazing but also a little ridiculous. A few Boston firefighters shook my hand and said nice job and thank you. My response no them was “No, thank you guys, your awesome!” haha, like I said the whole thing was just pretty surreal.

Anyway, after all that I couldn’t sleep last night and I got in the shop a little after 7am this morning and I’m anxious to just get back to business as usual. Now I just have to see if my fat head still fits in my welding helmet. Anyway, thanks for listening!

-Marty Walsh (not the State Rep)


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Designing The 21st Century Street

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 08

streets

I know this is in New York City, but come on a $6,000 prize to create the post-automobile streets! Thats real money. Lets show them that we here in Boston got some smahts as well.

Transportation Alternatives yesterday announced the launch of “Designing the 21st Century Street,” an open design competition that will challenge New Yorkers to safely accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists, transit, trucks and cars on the same “complete street” – something that still eludes New York City street design. Those interested in entering must register by July 18th and submit their entries by August 18th.

“Cities in the 21st Century are competing to be the greenest, most livable, most sustainable places possible, and we can’t do that until we have better streets,” says Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. “This design competition is about unleashing the talent of New Yorkers and developing those streets today.”

The competition focuses on the intersection of 4th Avenue and 9th Street in Brooklyn, a dangerous crossing that divides surrounding neighborhoods and inhibits street life. Competitors must re-imagine this intersection as a healthy, safe and sustainable street that serves pedestrians and bicyclists first, while functioning as a transit hub and truck route.

The jury includes artists, architects, City commissioners and local residents with a fierce interest in seeing their neighborhood streets become safer and more vital. In particular, the expertise of Danish planner, Jan Gehl, and former NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner “Gridlock” Sam Schwartz will ensure the viability of finalists as a potential template for New York City’s unique streets.

The competition is open to the entire public. Entrants ranging from local students to career city planners are encouraged to submit designs. Prizes range from $2,000 to $6,000, thanks to the generous support of a Brooklyn business owner, who wishes to remain anonymous.

Entrants can learn more about the competition and submit entries at www.21stCenturyStreet.org.


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Bikes Not Bombs Cleeeeeaaaaans Up!: Makes Over 100k In One Day!

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 18

Nice work BNB, your bike-a-thon was AWESOME. To all the riders that braved the near 100 degree heat and suffocating humidity to ride your little fannies off for a good cause here is a message from the good folks at Bikes Not Bombs for you. With your help they raised over 100,000 dollars!

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU BIKE-A-THON RIDERS AND VOLUNTEERS! Over three hundred of you riders braved the sweltering heat on Sunday June 8th and made heroic rides. What a day! At 8:30 in the morning people were already sweating and looking for shade from the punishing sun as the line to check in for the 62 miler stretched across the field (we had about double the riders this year than last). Heat and humidity made the hard pedaling on the rides all the more challenging for all you 15, 25, and 62 riders, but reports are pouring in from riders who had a great day, who kept cool with fun and camaraderie.

You all accomplished an amazing thing for Bikes Not Bombs with your fundraising – $95,000 has come in so far and when the remaining pledges come in we’re looking at $105,000! Our most successful Bike-A-Thon before this raised $42,000, so we’ve more than doubled that record. This is an unbelievable success for Bikes Not Bombs! With your help, BNB is keeping up with its expansions in youth leadership and international work.

* Top fundraising riders were: JON McCURDY, JIM CAMPEN, VINCA JARRETT, JOHN-PAUL FERGUSON, and ESTHER CERVANTES
* A special thanks to BNB supporter STAN CHEN, who matched all BNB youth fundraising!
* Top fundraising team: ARON BOROS, ESTHER CERVANTES, JOHN-PAUL FERGUSON, RICHARD GRIJALVA, WILLIAM HUTCHINSON, PAULIE PENA IV, RACHEL TABAK, & SCOTT THOMSON as BIKES OVER BAGHDAD.

A great big thanks also to the VOLUNTEERS who made June 8th possible: and there were a lot of you, every one so vital to pulling off such a large event!

We still want to hear from more of you on your experience – what went well and what we need to improve, and thanks to you who had to deal with the problem spots. Email Jasmine, Carl, and/or Arik. OR just fill out an online survey for Bike-A-Thon riders here.

The Green Roots Festival afterparty was fabulous, Elijah Evans, David McDonald, Nzhinga Webster, and Darren Fenty of BNB’s youth programs were amazing with the 30+ piece Branches Pan Groove Steel Orchestra (Dave and Elijah even rode the Bike-A-Thon before they played), and the keynote speakers: Bill McKibben, Khalida Smalls, City Councilor Chuck Turner, and BNB Director Kim Foltz made inspiring speeches – tying together the workshops’ themes. The Green Roots Festival was a great sharing place for folks of all different walks of urban life to explore ways to deepen their environmental knowledge and action, and it made some true connections for BNB to work with other environmental organizations more closely in the future.

Thanks to all of you who helped lead an environmental workshop, and to groups who came out to spread the word from info tables.
(see a list of workshops and organizations involved at http://www.bikesnotbombs.org/greenroots)

Have a look at some of the some of the first photos to hit the web! These were taken by the photographer Silke Hase (of creativemomentz.com). Let us know if you have more to share.

An edited overview of Bill McKibben’s speech at Green Roots can be seen here:

Laurie Dougherty, Bike-A-Thon rider, posted a video and information about the Green Roots Festival on Dot Earth, a blog at the New York Times online run by NY Times science reporter Andrew Revkin. Dot Earth is about sustainability, energy, population, and environmental impacts of human behavior. Laurie’s great video covers some of the history of the SW corridor park (where the festival was held) which was saved from plans to put the interstate through Roxbury and Jamaica Plain, and instead became the park with bike paths, walking paths, green space, and submerged public transit and regional rail. Here’s the link to her blog post.


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Help MassBike Win 4 Grand!

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 15

money

Everyone needs a couple extra grand right? I mean them carbon fiber track bikes cost a lot of cheese. This is your chance to help the broke ass’s over at MassBike fire up some of their programs. Check this out.

MassBike has been chosen to compete for a $4000 donation from Patagonia, and we need your help to win! With its Voice Your Choice (VYC) program, Patagonia asks its customers to decide which local group will receive the donation. VYC offers a multitude of options and
opportunities to learn more about local environmental groups and issues, join a particular organization, write a letter, donate money, learn more about our current campaigns and programs, and more.

More Education, More Outreach: If MassBike is chosen, we plan to use the $4000 to expand our education and outreach programs this year. We’ve noticed that a lot more people are bicycling these days, so we want to get advice and information out to as many bicyclists and motorists as possible. (One way we’re doing this is our new Guide for New Riders, so if you know anyone who just got back on a bike, please let them know.) Many bicycling projects take years to come to fruition, but information can have an immediate impact – we need to get it out there!

Here’s how the VYC program works:

From June 10th through July 19th, visit the Patagonia store at 346 Newbury Street in Boston, and cast a vote for MassBike! One vote per customer per visit. There is no purchase necessary and no age limit to participate, so bring the whole family! If you live or work near the Patagonia store, please vote on as many days as you can.

We’ll be at the store on Saturday, June 21st, so drop by to say hello!

Seems pretty easy, I know I will be going to vote a couple of times, go support bike advocacy, DO IT!


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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Cranks Giving! November 20, 2014
      TweetFrom the F-book: ————– Saturday, November 22 at 1:00pm in EST Copley Square Copley Sq, Boston, Massachusetts 02116 First annual Cranksgiving Boston bike ride! Bring a bike, a bag, and a lock. This event is FREE but you’ll need about … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Action Alert: Allston I-90 Interchange Project November 20, 2014
      TweetLets make sure we don’t end up with just another highway, see below From Livable Streets: ———-   We have a vision for something more than just a new highway.  After months of MassDOT I-90 Allston Interchange task force meetings, … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • THE DANGERS OF SAFETY: Why Focusing on Car Accidents May Hurt Our Health November 18, 2014
      Everyone officially puts “safety first.” Everyone wants to prevent accidents. Car crashes are treated as lead stories on TV news – the images are horrific and we all fear our vulnerability. But, in fact, our roads are safer than ever. In 1956, when Interstate construction began, the national fatality rate was 6.05 per 100 million […]
      Steve Miller
    • rain, wind and cold. ride anyway. November 17, 2014
      Tweetwell yeah, rain, wind, cold, dark, traffic – it beats driving a car, and def beats riding the ever so depressing Boston Subway system. Plus it makes you feel strong to be out in the elements. Ha, bad weather… ride … Continue reading →
      altbiker
    • Building Sidewalks For Children November 17, 2014
      TweetWhat have our societies become when local authorities are forced to apply for grants to build sidewalks for children? While this is a good thing, as it allows the children to engage in healthier options for traveling to school, it … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • Help MIT Students Test Outdoor Bicycle Training Device November 14, 2014
      TweetFrom the email, looks like fun! ———- We are engineering students at MIT who are building a device (Terrainer) for competitive cyclists to train outdoors.  To further improve our project, we are looking for competitive cyclists to help test and provide feedback … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Cambridge To Follow Boston’s Lead On Side Guards For Trucks November 14, 2014
      TweetI have talked about this a couple of times (here and here and here), and its great to see Cambridge moving forward with this simple and awesome plan.  Via On Monday, November 10, the City of Cambridge took a major step … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Is An Advertised Bicycle Sting Really A Sting? November 13, 2014
      TweetComplaints about bad bicycle behavior almost always get a response from the police. Compare this to the many times pedestrians, bicyclists or motorists complain about bad driving; it rarely results in any action at all. In many places, Boston included, … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • Cold weather glove review November 13, 2014
      TweetCold weather riding has it’s advantages. If you ride the paths, you begin to notice that there is much less traffic on the bike paths. The people out there tend to be more experienced and cordial that the fair weather … Continue reading →
      altbiker
    • Cold weather glove review November 13, 2014
      TweetCold weather riding has it’s advantages. If you ride the paths, you begin to notice that there is much less traffic on the bike paths. The people out there tend to be more experienced and cordial that the fair weather … Continue reading →
      altbiker