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Bike Safety Bills Hearing Report: What’s Next?

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 11

from MassBike:

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Our two bicyclist safety bills had their first hearing in the Joint Committee on Transportation on June 26th. In case you missed our Action Alert, the bills are:

  •  The Act To Protect Vulnerable Road Users (S1639) defines vulnerable users and puts more responsibility on motorists to be careful around bicyclists and pedestrians. (Click here for the full text of the bill).
  • The Act To Protect Bicyclists In Bicycle Lanes (S1640) prohibits motor vehicles from parking in bike lanes. (Click here for the full text of the bill).

For more information on the bills, please see our Legislative Fact Sheet.

MassBike Executive Director David Watson, Representative Denise Provost, Lewis Howe of The Safety Institute, and Hillary Borcherding of WalkBoston all testified in support of the bills. We know other senators and representatives were communicating their support for the bills but could not attend the hearing. We also submitted a letter of support, joined by the Massachusetts Public Health Association, Transportation for Massachusetts, the Boston Cyclists Union, WalkBoston, and The Safety Institute.

Many thanks to all of you who contacted your legislators  - your efforts definitely won more support for the bills!

So what exactly happened at the hearing? The committee did not comment on the bike lane bill. The Vulnerable Road Users bill is a bit more involved, and committee members both expressed support and raised questions. As is the practice in Massachusetts, the committee did not take action on any bills during the hearing. Our plan is to focus our advocacy efforts on members of the committee to respond to their concerns and build support to take action on the bills.

It’s not too late to ask your state representative and state senator to ask the committee to report favorably on these bills. If you want to do so, see our Action Alert for instructions.

If you are represented by a member of the committee (particularly co-chairs Senator McGee and Representative Straus), it’s even more important to let them know you support these bills. Click here to see who is on the committee.


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Bikes Not Bombs Mega Update

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 27

From BNB:

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BNB Job Opening: International Programs Coordinator

The International Programs Associate will support BNB’s partners abroad, including Ability Bikes, pictured here.

The International Programs Coordinator will work closely with the International Programs Director, and will be responsible for coordinating technical assistance and support to BNB international partners. This position includes extensive cross-cultural communication, relationship building, training and facilitation, management of project monitoring systems, container loading logistics organizing and some international travel.

Details: Full-time with benefits
Start Date: September 1 – October 15, 2013
Application Process: Rolling

For more information on the International Programs Coordinator position and how to apply, please refer to theJob Description on the BNB website.

Bike-Based Businesses in JP – Negocios Ciclistas en JP

Join us as we discuss the future of Bike-Based Businesses in JP. (Photo Courtesy of Boston Collective Delivery)

JP NET, Bikes Not Bombs, The Boston Collective Delivery & Metro Pedal Power invite you to participate in a potluck on June 27 at 6:30pm at Nate Smith House in Jamaica Plain, a few blocks from the Stony Brook T Station.

Come hear from BNB Executive Director Jodi Sugerman-Brozan, James Bachez & Wenzday Jane as they set the stage to envision bike-based businesses in JP. Hear entrepreneurial ideas from youth employees of Bike Not Bombs as they join the conversation along with a representative from Boston Pedicab.

RSVP and invite your friends on Facebook!

Come Explore Bikes Not Bombs at our Summer Open House

BNB’s Founder, Executive Director, and Board Treasurer chat at a recent Open House. Join them at the next one on July 27th.

Want to learn more about BNB’s programs? Want to volunteer or become more involved? Want to meet members of the BNB staff and board? Join us for an Open House on Saturday, July 27th from 1-4pm.

In addition to learning about BNB’s work, open houses are a fun way to explore our main program space, the Hub! We’re going to have a number of interactive activities including “guess that bike part” and we’ll be making smoothies with our pedal-powered blender.

Spread the word! Open houses are also a great way to introduce your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors to Bikes Not Bombs. We hope you can join us! Drop in anytime between 1 and 4pm at the Bikes Not Bombs Hub at 284 Amory Street, Jamaica Plain, MA. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, contact Erica Rotman, Director of Fundraising & Events at [email protected] or 617-522-0222 x106

Help BNB Load Bikes to CESTA in El Salvador!

Photo Courtesy of CESTA

Join us on Sunday July 21st to help load a container of 500 bikes to CESTA in El Salvador! RSVP online.

CESTA (El Salvadoran Center for Appropriate Technology) works towards the sustainability of El Salvador through programs that include bicycle mechanics training for young people, environmental education and conservation, training people in the use of sustainable appropriate technology and supporting the Movement of Victims and People affected by Climate Change and Mega-projects (MOVIAC) in El Salvador. CESTA also contributes a critical voice to international discourse on the social and environmental impacts of carbon emissions, and is the El Salvadoran branch of the international organization Friends of the Earth.

Help BNB load bikes to CESTA! RSVP online.

TIME: Sunday July 21st from 10am to 5pm. Drop in for an hour or stay all day!
PLACE: The BNB warehouse at 10 Harvard Street in Dorchester
DETAILS: Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Equal Exchange coffee is generously donated by City Feed & Supply!

Pizza & Bowling Benefit Night at Flatbread & Sacco’s Bowl Haven in Somerville!

YOU and everyone you know are invited to Flatbread in Davis Square on Tuesday July 2nd from 5-11pm for a night of pizza and bowling! Hang out with Bikes Not Bombs folks while showcasing the best of your bowling skills.

Flatbread has offered to donate a portion of each pizza sold to Bikes Not Bombs. Their famous flatbreads are absolutely delicious and made in a wood burning oven with local ingredients (gluten-free and vegan options available).

Please help us spread the word and invite your friends on Facebook. Can’t wait to see you there!

July Free Clinics, New Bike, and Welcome to Corrina!

We are now selling the Bianchi Camaleonte 3 at the BNB Shop

This July we will be offering a number of free clinics at the Bike Shop. Our Flat Fixing Clinic will be Tuesday July 9th from 8-9pm. We’ll also be offering a Know Your Bike Clinic Thursday July 25th from 8-9pm. Know Your Bike will be a beginner’s clinic going over different parts of the bike and what they do. More info online. No need to sign up just show up at 8pm!

Tool Time is Monday July 1st from 7-9pm and does require both a BNB Membership and sign-up ahead of time.

Earlier this year the Shop started stocking the Bianchi Camaleonte 2, a flat bar road bike with disc brakes great for recreational rides and faster commutes. We now also have the Camaleonte 3, which has an upgraded 9-speed drive train, and Hydraulic Disc Brakes. Stop by and try it out if you’ve been looking for the ultimate speedy around town bike.

We’ll be closed this July 4th but wish everyone a happy Independence Day (and Happy 29th Birthday to Bikes Not Bombs!), and we’re pleased to announce that Corrina Roche-Cross, a BNB Youth Programs graduate, is our newest shop employee! Say hi the next time you’re in.

Enrolling for Fall Earn-A-Bike and Girls In Action

Youth participants are all smiles in our Earn-A-Bike and Girls In Action programs.

(Note: our Summer programs are already fully enrolled.)

Girls In Action: September 9 – October 10, 2013
Earn-A-Bike: October 21 – November 21, 2013

Bikes Not Bombs is currently enrolling applicants for the Fall 2013 sessions of Earn-A-Bike and Girls In Action. In these programs, young people ages 12-18 choose a bike and not only learn the skills to build it up, but maintain it as well. At the end of the program, once the bike is built, it is theirs to take home! Additionally, we go on bike adventures to explore some of the fascinating places Boston has to offer, and look into various environmental and social justice issues. Earn-A-Bike is co-ed, Girls In Action is for girls only.

Applications are available online. There are a limited number of spots available. Applicants are chosen based on application date, and the applicant’s availability and willingness to commit. To qualify for enrollment, BOTH the completed application and payment (cash, check, money order or fee waiver) need to be submitted. If you are not accepted into the program for any reason, you will be notified and your program fee will be returned.

If you have any questions please contact Ashley Leary, Co-Director of Youth Programs, at 617-522-0222 x101 or email [email protected]

Volunteer to Teach in BNB Youth Programs

Adult Instructors are taught the basics by BNB Youth Employees before volunteering to teach in our Youth Programs. Photo By Stacy Rupolo

Fall 2013 Adult Instructor Training is currently accepting applications. The program will run fromAugust 19th – 30th. It meets Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday each week from 6-9PM.

Anyone who is interested and dedicated to youth work is encouraged to apply! We’ll give you a free course in methods of teaching bike mechanics to youth, and then you will help teach young people to rebuild and earn a bike of their own! Volunteers of all identities are welcome. Spanish language skills are helpful. No previous mechanics experience is required.Adult Instructors are REQUIRED to volunteer a minimum of one program day from 3pm-7pm, and are of course welcome to volunteer more than that.

Girls In Action: September 9 – October 10, 2013
Earn-A-Bike: October 21 – November 21, 2013

If you have any questions please contact Ashley Leary, Co-Director of Youth Programs, at 617-522-0222 x101 or email [email protected] Applications are available online.

Benefit Concert for BNB on the Cape, Sunday August 4th

David Wax Museum is one of two artists performing at a BNB benefit concert on the Cape this summer.. Photo Courtesy of David Wax Museum

Spending time on the Cape this summer? Bikes Not Bombs will be partnering with Payomet Performing Arts Center for a fantastic show on Sunday, August 4th. Catch the David Wax Museum and local singer/songwriter, Sarah Swain, for a night of folky-fun music and outdoor entertainment. The David Wax Museum fuses traditional Mexican folk with American roots and indie rock, while Sarah Swain carries a country folk tune. All proceeds from this show will benefit BNB, so if you are thinking of hitting a concert on the Cape this summer, make sure you consider this one! For more info and tickets available online.

Feature Your Art at Bikes Not Bombs During JP Open Studios

Bikes Not Bombs is looking for 5-10 artists to feature in our JP Open Studios group show at the BNB Hub in the Brewery Complex. We’re looking for bicycle-themed art, or art that highlights an aspect of Bikes Not Bombs’ mission, history, or programs. We are hoping to showcase several types of media (painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, jewelry, photography, video, spoke-card art, etc) and we’re especially looking for art made with recycled bike parts and photographs of our programs. We’re happy to coordinate opportunities for photographers to take photos of our programs or to provide access to old parts bins at BNB.

This is a great opportunity for artists, cyclists, and BNB fans to get creative, have some fun, and support our bicycle-based programs! Even if you do not already have bicycle-themed artwork, we encourage you to create a piece (or more than one piece) to include in this group show. In addition to the exposure of being featured at the event, artists will be listed on the BNB website and JP Open Studios website.

During the event, we’ll hold a silent auction to support Bikes Not Bombs’ local and international programs and all artists will be asked to donate one or more pieces for the auction. In addition to the auction, artists can sell their artwork and elect to donate either 50% or 100% of profits back to Bikes Not Bombs.

If you are interested in showcasing your bicycle-themed artwork, please fill out our brief artwork submission form by August 23rd. Spaces are limited and preference will be given to artists that apply early. If you have any questions, contact Erica Rotman, Director of Fundraising & Events, at[email protected]. Thanks!!

Join BNB for the Third Annual Building Momentum Breakfast

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013 at 8am
at: Space with a Soul
281 Summer Street, 7th floor
Boston, MA 02210

Save the date! Bikes Not Bombs’ third annual Building Momentum Breakfast will take placeWednesday, October 23rd at 8am at Space with a Soul in the Fort Point Channel area of Boston. The Building Momentum Breakfast is designed to raise critical financial support for Bikes Not Bombs and spread the word about our innovative work using donated bicycles as a tool for self-empowerment and community transformation. The event will feature breakfast from our friends at Ula Café, inspiring stories from individuals who have been impacted by our work, a short video, and more. While attendees will be asked to consider making a donation to support Bikes Not Bombs, there is no obligation to give!

Call for Table Captains! Signing up as a Table Captain is a great way to increase your impact at Bikes Not Bombs and ensure that the third annual Building Momentum Breakfast is a success! As a Table Captain you will be responsible for bringing nine people to the Building Momentum Breakfast – friends, family, and colleagues – who you think will connect with the mission and work of Bikes Not Bombs. In August, we will host a kick-off event for Table Captains to guide you through the process and provide you with all the information and materials you’ll need. Again, while this is a fundraiser, there is no obligation for Table Captains or guests to donate at the event.

If you would like to receive a formal invitation to the Building Momentum Breakfast or get more information about becoming a Table Captain, contact Erica Rotman, Director of Fundraising & Events, at [email protected]. Also, read about last year’s Building Momentum Breakfast.

Bikes Not Bombs’ 26th Annual Bike-A-Thon a Huge Success

JPeeps, the winner of the Best Costume Prize, rode with actual Peeps candies on their helmets! One of many amazing moments at the 2013 Bike-A-Thon. Photo By: Diane Simpson

Full results of our outstanding 26th annual Bike-A-Thonare now posted on our website (with links to many more photos). Here are some of the record-breaking successes we’re proud to share with you:

We are so thrilled to report that this year’s Bike-A-Thon had 559 registered riders and has raised $162,000 to support the work of Bikes Not Bombs! In addition to providing critical funds for BNB’s youth and international work, the Bike-A-Thon is important because it helps strengthen the movement for environmental sustainability and social justice. We could not have done it without the amazing support of our volunteers, riders, event sponsors, and dedicated members of the BNB community. From all of us at BNB, thank you so much to everyone from the BNB community for making it happen!

Between the four routes, Bike-A-Thon riders collectively rode 21,330 miles on June 2nd! Equal to over 3 trips between Boston and our partner in Amuru Uganda (6,753 miles per trip).

The Bike-A-Thon simply would not have been possible without support from our sponsors and community partners. A HUGE thanks is certainly in order! The full list of event sponsors is up on our website, but we want to specifically thank our Title Sponsors: Amir’s Natural Foods, City Feed & Supply, Ula Cafe, Pedro’s, Vita Coco, and Jason & Fischer.

See much more results, thank yous, and photos on the Bike-A-Thon results page.


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LivableStreets Update

Written by Boston Biker on May 10

From LivableStreets:

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Rush Hour Race: And the winner is…

 

On Tuesday morning, we hosted the second annual Rush Hour Race sponsored by Plymouth Rock Assurance, with the Somerville Bicycle Committee. Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone sent the racers off in Davis Square on their routes to the finish line at Dewey Square across from South Station.

“Rush Hour Race is an event to raise awareness about all the ways we get
around our city. More and more people want transportation options and investing in them is critical. By investing in many different ways to get around, such as biking, walking and public transit, everyone’s commute can improve,” said Jackie Douglas, Executive Director of LivableStreets. 

The MBTA proved to be the fastest way to get to work Tuesday at 8 AM. The MBTA rider took 25 minutes; roller blader 28 minutes; cyclist 30 minutes; runner 39 minutes; and the driver 50 minutes.

“At Plymouth Rock we care very deeply for the city of Boston. That’s why it’s so

important to us that our city has the safest, easiest and most efficient transportation options. Alternate forms of transportation are a great way to reduce traffic congestion, automobile miles driven and automobile crashes, which is why Plymouth Rock offers great rates for people who drive less than their peers. We’re proud to work with LivableStreets to promote the growth of all transportation options in Boston through events like the Rush Hour Race,” said Chris Olie, President of Plymouth Rock Assurance.

Longfellow Bridge: Imagine if…    

Too good to not share. This photo was captured by one of our members Tuesday morning, coming off of the Longfellow Bridge entering Charles Circle in Boston. Years ago, LivableStreets advocated for you and won a bike lane there (at least sort of), instead of just vehicle lanes.Now, imagine if there was a wider separated bike lane on the bridge. Imagine if this separated bike lane continued to Cambridge and Charles Street. Don’t worry, we are working on it! Become a member today, and support our Better Bridges campaign.

Excellence in Advocacy for Better Bridges Campaign  

 

We are excited to share that LivableStreets is one of four 2013 Excellence in Advocacy finalist. We were nominated and chosen because of our Better Bridges Campaign. Massachusetts Nonprofit Network received a record number of nominations, representing 177 organizations and individuals across the state. Award winners will be announced at the Nonprofit Awareness Day celebration at the State House on June 10.

LivableStreets on WGBH “Right of Way” TV series  

LivableStreets Executive Director Jackie Douglas was on Emily Rooney’s “Right of Way” show on WGBH Monday, May 6. Also on the show was filmmaker Kris Carter and Harvard University professor Noah Feldman,

to discuss bicycling in Boston.
Tell us what you think about the show on Twitter @StreetsBoston #RightofWay and on our Facebook page.

RSVP for 5th Annual Boston Bike Update event 

with Nicole Freedman, Director of Boston Bikes, City of Boston

 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

@ Boston Public Library, Rabb Hall & conference room, 700 Boylston St Boston
5:30 PM Doors Open – bike valet provided
6:00-8:30PM Presentations followed by Q & A

8:30-10:00 PM

LivableStreets Member Social @ Solas Irish Pub
Hosted by LivableStreets Alliance

Free & open to the public.RSVP please.

For the fifth year in a row, LivableStreets Alliance will host the annual Boston Bike Update event with the Director of the Boston Bikes Program, Nicole Freedman. Yes, she left for a little while, but she’s back! Find out how Nicole has jumped back in to keep all of the City’s goals on track. Hear the latest on the Bike Network Plan, Climate Action Goal, Hubway bike share, parking facilities, youth programs, festivals and more.

 

Join us at this public forum on bicycle planning in Boston, and get your questions answered.  

> Invite friends on Facebook

> Volunteer at the event – email [email protected] for more details.

Bike4Life ride September 15  

Fundraiser for LivableStreets   

 

Last year, you helped us raised $40,000 through our Bike4Life fundraising bike ride. Thank you! This year, the ride will take place on Sunday, September 15th. The ride will have 20 and 40 mile routes from Newton, as well as a kid’s route. Save the date and more details coming soon!

Street Ambassador Training   

Tuesday, June 11, 12-1pm and 5:30-6:30pm  

@ LivableStreets office, 100 Sidney St, Cambridge

[email protected] to RSVP
  

There’s more than one way to think about our streets, use our streets, and to enjoy our streets. As a LivableStreets Street Ambassador, you’ll be helping people shift their perceptions about what our communities could be.

 

Represent LivableStreets in neighborhoods, at festivals and at other public events. Share how our campaigns and programs are helping to improve the quality of life for people in and around metro Boston. Livable streets are achievable, but only when you get involved.

 

Last year, our 25 Street Ambassadors made national news and helped win short-term improvements in our Remove McGrath Campaign! Help make change this summer. Find out more information here and RSVP for a training today!

Matter of Facts: Parking   

 

Parking plays a big role in the way streets are designed and how our public space is used. Here are some facts on parking. Weigh in, what do you think about parking? Share your comments on Twitter, Facebook or send to [email protected]   

 

Did you know? 

  • Ninety-nine percent of U.S. car trips begin and end in a free parking space.*
  • The average automobile is parked 95 percent of the time.*
  • Although many businesses today believe they benefit from free parking, curbside parking meters were actually introduced in 1935 by an Oklahoma City department store owner. He wanted to increase parking turnover so that there would always be spaces available for his customers.*
  • Boston does not charge for residential parking permits, and issues about 350,000 permits every two years.**

*StreetsBlog.com

**Parking consultant, Mark Chase.

Volunteer Spotlight with Paul Sohn

Where are you from?

I’m from Chicago, IL. I grew up in Hyde Park, a neighborhood on the south side of the city near the University of Chicago, and my family later moved to Wilmette, a suburb on the north side. So I got both the city and suburban experience growing up.

 

  What is your favorite street in greater Boston?

I love Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge, especially near Central Square, where I live. It’s a good example of how reducing travel lanes on a major street can make it easier for pedestrians and cyclists to navigate.

 

What do you like about volunteering for LivableStreets Alliance?

Because LivableStreets is so volunteer-driven, there’s tons of opportunity to help out should you choose to pursue it. On the advocacy committee, if you have a good idea, more experienced volunteers (who have an incredible wealth of knowledge about transportation issues) will help you take it as far as you can.

What would your bumper sticker say?

“Yeah, my bike is in the shop”

 

> Watch the Remove McGrath video Paul created and read the full Spotlight here.

> If you are interested in volunteering with LivableStreets, come to our Volunteer Fridays from 12-2pm at our office, 100 Sidney Street, Cambridge! Next one happening tomorrow!

Public Meetings and Events

 

Bike Week

Saturday, May 11-Saturday May 19

@ all over Massachusetts!

See all the events here>> 

 

Grounding McGrath: Determining the Future of the Route 28 Corridor

Wednesday, May 15, 6-8pm

@ Albert F. Argenziano School, 290 Washington St, Somerville  

Meeting details here>>

Open Streets on the Avenue of the Arts

Sunday, July 14th, 11am-4pm

@ Huntington Avenue, Boston

Open Streets on Blue Hill Avenue

Sunday, September 29th, 11am-4pm

@ Blue Hill Avenue, Boston

Presented by Circle the City

Event details here>>


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Bike News Roudup

Written by Boston Biker on May 08

With the warmer weather, the bikers are out, and with them the bike news.  Here is a roundup of local bike news.

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Harvard gets award for being bike friendly:

As the number of cyclists on Harvard’s campuses continues to grow, so too does the infrastructure to support them.  New bike racks and repair stations are being set up, expanded bicycle benefits for commuters have been rolled out, and the University has made a major investment in the Hubway bike-sharing network by supporting the installation of 12 stations in Boston and Cambridge. The national advocacy organization League of American Bicyclists has recognized that progress by naming Harvard a silver-level Bicycle Friendly University.

Bike advocates push for more use, safety in Newton:

An effort is underway to make cycling a more appealing alternative to driving in Newton.

Advocates and city officials, who see cycling as a way to improve the health of the population and reduce road congestion, are working on plans to better enforce existing laws for sharing the road and to extend bike lanes throughout the city.

Building new infrastructure is key to getting more people to get out of their cars, according to Andreae Downs, chair of the Transportation Advisory Group.

“Unless Newton is the outlier, once you start building bike infrastructure you get more cyclists,” said Downs.

Boston man to cycle from London to Brussels for children’s charity:

THE efforts made by paralympians last summer have inspired a Boston man to take part in a bike ride from London to Brussels.

Paul Maddison was also inspired by his son Nick to take part in the 340-mile cycle challenge for a charity that helps children with disabilities, A Smile for the Child.

Connolly: Let’s Talk About Bike Infrastructure and Safety
The mayoral candidate is calling for a public hearing to discuss the future of city cycling
:

As the warm weather slowly begins to creep back to Boston, more bikes will begin popping up along the roadways and paths connecting various city points, which makes it a perfect time to start discussing bike safety once again.

City Councilor and mayoral candidate John Connolly has filed a request to convene a public hearing to talk about Boston’s bike infrastructure and how it can be improved. According to Connolly, the purpose of the hearing will be to devise a long-term strategy for planning, funding, and implementing projects to expand the current cycling infrastructure. In a statement, he said that the city’s budget for bicycle infrastructure is “insufficient to fully implement all essential new projects,” including cycle tracks on Malcolm X Boulevard and around the Boston Public Garden.

How to protect cyclists HSPH team stresses data collection in meeting with city councilors:

How do you make Boston bike-safe? First you find out where it’s unsafe.

Answers to that and other key questions would provide the foundation for effective policy, a team of four Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) students told Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley on Wednesday.

The four — Aaron Pervin, Temitope Olukowi, Claire Albert, and Marie McIntee — were the winners of an annual spring exercise at HSPH in which student teams examine a health policy issue and devise recommendations on how to address it. Professor of Health Policy David Hemenway and doctoral student Dahianna Lopez advised the team.

In their presentation, the students told Pressley that dealing with Boston’s bike-safety problem — made apparent by a string of fatal accidents last year — is especially difficult because information on ridership, common routes, and even accidents is scattered among reports by the Boston Police Department, ambulance teams, emergency rooms, and a variety of city departments.

Justice Breyer Has Shoulder Surgery After Bicycle Accident:

According to Supreme Court spokesperson Kathleen Arberg, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer underwent reverse shoulder replacement surgery for a proximal humerus fracture at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital on the morning of April 27th.

The fracture was sustained in his right shoulder after a fall from his bicycle on the afternoon of April 26th, where he was taken to the hospital by an ambulance.

This is the third biking mishap for Justice Breyer. Two years ago, he fractured his right clavicle (collarbone) after he fell near his home in Cambridge, Mass.


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City To Install New Bike/Ped Infrastructure, Hire “Cycling Ambassadors”

Written by Boston Biker on Apr 01

Boston Bikes announced today that it will be installing new cycling and pedestrian infrastructure designed to improve bicycling safety, mostly by “slowing cycling and walking to a manageable speed”

From the cities website:

“We think cycling and walking are great ways to see our city, but have been disappointed in the high speed that pedestrians and cyclists are traveling through our city.”

Pedestrian_Speed_bumps

Consisting of a series of “pedestrian speed bumps” and “cycling sand pits” these additions are being installed now as the snow fall we had this winter and spring made it impossible.

Standing 3 feet tall the pedestrian speed bumps must be vaulted over slowing the pedestrian considerably, while the sand pits are 4 foot by 6 foot pits of sand placed near the intersections on streets that have bike lanes.

“Our hope is the sand will slow the cyclists enough that they are no longer a danger to cars turning in the intersection.” Said one city official.

In an effort to make sure that motorists don’t feel left out the city has also hired 32 “cycling ambassadors,” highly fit cyclists in spandex to wander the streets encouraging more people to cycle.

“Basically we hang around highly trafficked areas and approach people we see getting out of cars. Then we let them know how much better for the earth and for their health cycling is, and how much nicer they would look in pants, how they could eat more chocolate and not feel guilty, how they wouldn’t have to deal with traffic, how parking is always a breeze, how much better they will feel as parents, how it helps reduce air pollution, how it can help stop wars for oil, how it encourages more efficient urban planning, how it decreases outbursts by children in school, how it helps prevent diabetes, did I mention global warming? That sort of thing. I think its working because I followed one guy around for so long yesterday that he told me he wished he had a bicycle right now so he could get away from me.”

The ambassadors will be around until mid-summer, when they will be replaced by extra meter attendants and mascots for our local sports teams.

“We are going from Bean Town to Green town” Said outgoing Mayor Menino. He then added “GREEN TOWN” speaking slowly and clearly enunciating each syllable.


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The Stupid: It Burns!

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 20

For the record: first cycling isn’t dangerous, getting hit by a car is dangerous. Second, cycling is a lot less wimpy than sitting at your desk and talking out your ass about stuff you don’t know anything about (listen again, both people admit to not knowing anything about what they are talking about multiple times). Third, is there no lengths to which these people will go to harp on the president (don’t get me wrong, there are a millions things to harp on him about, so why these completely insignificant ones?).

The state of current politics, where the WSJ will spend time talking about the “wimpification” of America, instead of, say an in-depth discussion about the use of drones to kill American citizens, or the approaching extinction danger facing the human species due to global warming saddens me. It doesn’t surprise me, but it does sadden me.


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Globe Highlights Failure Of Justice In Wellesely Fatal Hit And Run

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 15

The globe had a front page article today about the lack of an indictment for Dana McCoomb, the truck driver who killed cyclist Alex Motsenigos last year.

It’s a common refrain among local ­cyclists: Want to kill someone and get away with it? Run them over while they’re on a bicycle.

Within Boston’s growing cycling community, a perceived lack of criminal prosecution of motorists involved in fatal bike crashes has been a regular source of outrage in recent years. That ire came to a ­fever pitch last week, when a grand jury investigation of a Wellesley bike crash with seemingly copious evidence — video footage, witnesses defending the deceased bicyclist, a truck driver who had fled the scene and had an extensive history of driving infractions — came back with no charges.

The grand jury’s decision, bicyclists contend, is evidence of a wider problem: Most people do not respect the rights of bike riders.

“The message that we got from this particular case,” said David Watson, executive director of the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition, “is that, clearly, members of the general public still don’t care enough about bicyclists’ safety.”

(VIA)

As if to prove the entire point of the article, the comment section is a wasteland…depressing.


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Bike News Roundup

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 11

Here is what is going on around town.

Winter Bike Harvest:

Hello Friends!

Boston Bikes is looking for a few good volunteer bike mechanics to join us for our Winter Bike Harvest. Whether you are professionally trained or just the handy DIY type, we could use your help! 
Volunteers will “harvest” usable parts from busted frames for our community bicycle giveaway program, Roll It Forward. In the last two years, Roll It Forward has collected, repaired, and distributed over 1,600 bikes to Boston residents who might not be able to afford bikes otherwise. Come help us clear out our warehouse space to make room for more bike donations!
When? Wednesday, January 23rd, 6-9pm
Where? 12 Channel Street, South Boston (2nd Floor)There is plenty of space to park a car and you can bring your bike inside (and accessible by bus).
Perks! Free pizza, soda, and beer from Harpoon Brewery 
If possible, BYO-Bike Tools. We have a limited number of tools to go around so if you have a travel set of wrenches and allen keys, please make sure to bring them. We can only handle a small group of volunteers, so please RSVP here! We’ll send you a confirmation and reminder before the event.
See you there,

Boston Bikes Staff

Braving the Winter Cold:

For most cyclists, winter is a time to get in some cross-training. When it’s well below freezing and the wind-chill makes it feel close to zero, anyone with an ounce of common sense knows not to ride outdoors.

And then there’s the 1-percenters, the cyclists who think that snow and sleet and ice and cold make life interesting. For those weirdos on two wheels (I include myself in this category), winter is a perfect time to channel our inner-Shakleton and keep on trucking no matter what Mother Nature throws our way.

Friends ask us how we can pedal through the cold and the snow. When the mercury dips below freezing, layers and Windbloc will keep you warm. Many a winter morning I’ve had to unzip my jacket to keep from overheating. As to dealing with the snow and the ice, I am grateful for studded tires: they are truly a gift from the Gods of cycling. The 294 tiny studs embedded in my tire keep me glued to the ground. Sure, they look kind of strange (like some sort of Medieval weapon), but they keep me upright.

Harvard Reimburses Employees Who Bike to Work, Paving a Path Other Schools Should Follow:

Harvard is helping curb car use, by rolling out a new initiative that will not only offer University employees tax-free reimbursements for bike-related expenses, but will also entitle the cycling-inclined to Emergency Ride Home (ERH) services.

Reimbursements are now in effect as part of the Bicycle Commuter Benefits Act, according to the Harvard Gazette. To receive a reimbursement, all faculty and staff members need to do is be able to provide proof of bicycle registration through the Harvard University Police Department. The only employees not eligible are those who have been granted a subsidized monthly MBTA pass or parking permit from the University already.

Running the Charles River Paths This Winter? This Boston Company is Footing the Plowing Bill

If you’re like me, you have no idea who is responsible for clearing the public pedestrian paths that run from the Museum of Science in Cambridge to the Galen Street Bridge in Watertown, assuming instead that the snow there just clears itself, or, Biblically, never falls at all, as if in homage to those dedicated enough to pound pavement during the bitter winter months.

Like me, of course, you’d also be wrong. There’s a phantom force behind the snow removal of the Charles River Paths: While the muscle is provided by the state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation, Boston.com reports, the funds are shoveled over by Brighton-based shoe giant New Balance.

2013 marks the fourth consecutive year New Balance has paid for the snow removal, which runs the state $10,000 on average annually. The shoe company gave Massachusetts $10,000 in the first year of the collaboration, and has reportedly forked over $20,000 the past two winters.

Bike Score Website Ranks Boston’s Bikeability Good But Not Great

Depending on who you ask, Boston is either a progressive roadmap for bike enthusiasts and amateurs alike, or it’s a city that places too-high a premium on two-wheeled commuting only for the well-to-do, urban core. Either way, with the proliferation of Hubway and addition of miles of bike-friendly trails, Boston has earned its ranking as the third-best major biking city in the U.S. But how does Boston rank among all U.S. cities in terms of bikeability? A new website says good, but not great.

Bike Score, offshoot to the popular website Walk Score, seeks to educate riders on how bikeable their city, neighborhood or block is based on a specific set of criteria and an easily digestible scoring system on a scale of 1-t0-100. A score of 90-100 is a “Biker’s Paradise,” meaning daily errands can be easily done on your bike; 70-89 signifies “Very Bikeable”–a bike can be used for most trips; 50-69 is “Bikeable,” or middle of the road in terms of bike infrastructure; finally, a score of 0-49 earns your city the label of “Somewhat Bikeable,” a nebulous catch-all for cities with minimal bike infrastructure in place. Boston scored a 68. So our city is about as bikeable as a city can get without being very bikeable.

Bummer.


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