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Vote NO on Question 1

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 10

I will gladly pay taxes if it means I get benefits.  Indexing the gas tax makes perfect sense.  Roads and bridges are mostly demolished by cars, cars run on gas.  Removing this tax will allow cars to destroy our roads and bridges and remove an important means of funding them.  Vote NO on question 1.

I would go so far as to say we need to figure out other funding methods, the rise in electric cars will see a dramatic reduction in gas tax revenue, but no reduction in the amount of wear and tear on our streets.  Perhaps a yearly “car ownership” tax for anyone who own a car, indexed to the cost/weight of the vehicle.

In the mean time don’t take away a vital way we repair our public roads and bridges, vote NO on question 1.

 

From MassBike:

————-

You’ve probably heard a lot about the Question 1 ballot measure in the upcoming election. We want to tell you about what Question 1 would do,  what that would mean for you, and why we are supporting a NO vote on Question 1.

Question 1 would eliminate the gas tax indexing law and put at least $1 billion in transportation investments in jeopardy over the next decade. Indexing the gas tax helps this dedicated transportation revenue source maintain its value and was a vital part of the 2013 law that reversed years of under-investment in transportation.

Question 1 is bad news for cyclists and pedestrians. Safe biking and walking requires good planning and investments, and Massachusetts has a long way to go to design and build streets, bikeways, trails, and walkways that are safe for everyone.

After years of neglect, roads and bridges in Massachusetts are now a major public safety crisis. This is something we can no longer ignore. Passage of Question 1 would mean our roads and bridges will continue to deteriorate, threatening the safety of Massachusetts cyclists and all residents.

For all of these reasons, MassBike supports a NO on Question 1 vote on November 4.

Say NO to sacrificing new infrastructure.

  • Question 1 threatens to cut $1 billion in transportation investments over the next decade.
  • Question 1 would reduce or eliminate new walking and biking paths.
  • Question 1 would reduce or eliminate road / bridge projects with new bike facilities.

Say NO to unsafe bridges.

  • Today there are 28 bridges in Massachusetts that have been closed because they are unsafe and another 447 that can only carry reduced traffic loads.
  • The ten busiest structurally deficient bridges in the state carry more than 1 million cars every day.

Say NO to traffic fatalities.

  • Massachusetts roads are unsafe for too many cyclists.
  • Roadways conditions are a significant factor in one-third of all traffic fatalities in Massachusetts.
  • Motor vehicle crashes cost Massachusetts $6.3 billion a year in medical and other costs.

Say NO to cutting public transit improvements.

  • Indexing the gas tax helps to improve our public transit system.
  • Question 1 risks investments in aging subways, rail, and buses.
  • Question 1 risks improvements in the MBTA and Regional Transit Authorities.

Say NO to risking environmental benefits.

  • Question 1 will hurt our ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Question 1 will limit our ability to invest in low- and non-polluting transportation projects such as biking, walking, and public transit.

Say NO to Question 1.

If you are eager to help stop Question 1, please spread the word and follow the campaign on Twitter or like it on Facebook.

Click here to read the full ballot question.


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Candidates Talk Transportation And Smart Growth

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 08

Starts off a little slow, but a really good insight into what our potential new leaders think about the future of transportation in this state.

From Livable Streets:

Massachusetts gubernatorial candidates took the stage at the Boston Public Library to discuss top transportation and smart growth priorities in front of hundreds of people watching in-person and through the live-stream.

The forum was sponsored by two state-wide coalitions, Transportation For Massachusetts and Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance. As a member of Transportation For Massachusetts, LivableStreets helped coordinate the forum, building off the success of the Mayoral Forum we helped coordinate last September with 28 partner groups. These forums provide an opportunity to elevate the issues we all care so much about, to hear directly from candidates about how they plan to improve transportation to make our communities more livable, and inform voters – that’s you – about where they stand on these issues

The full house and dynamic twitter conversations (#MovingMAForward) show that people in Boston and across the state hold transportation as a top priority. It was energizing to see you all there. With so many of us that care about these issues, we are well poised to make our city safer and more livable.

Forward this email with the video to a friend to help raise awareness about important transportation issues and to grow the community of people invested in improving our streets for people.
Thank you,

Jamie
Jamie Maier, Campaign Coordinator
LivableStreets Alliance
[email protected]
www.LivableStreets.info
T: @StreetsBoston
F: LivableStreets


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Mayoral Candidate Forum On Transportation Tonight!

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 17

The Boston Mayoral Candidate Forum on Transportation & Livable Communities is happening tonight!

TODAY, September 17th from 6-8PM (doors open at 5:30PM)

@ the Boston Public Library Rabb Lecture Hall, 700 Boylston St. Boston, MA 02116

The mayoral election is a huge opportunity to improve our city and our communities.

The forum is sponsored by LivableStreets Alliance and 27 other organizations throughout Boston. The forum will be moderated by Paul McMorrow, Associate Editor at CommonWealth magazine, and Stephanie Pollack, Associate Director at the Kitty & Michael Dukakis Center for Urban & Regional Policy and LivableStreets Board Member.

RSVP today for easy sign-in. RSVP doesn’t guarantee seat. First come, first serve.

They are expecting over 400! People to attend so if you want to be there, get there early!  Hopefully someone will video tape it and put it on youtube when its over for those of us who can’t make it.

SHOW UP!  Make sure these people know that we care about these issues and that we want more and better bicycle infrastructure!

Here are three mayoral candidates views on biking from BCU:

Boston’s 12 mayoral candidates are in an all out sprint to determine which two hopefuls will stride past the primary election. Two weeks ago, 10 members of the bike community put 10 questions to them-and so far, three campaigns have answered. Does their timely response indicate the amount of priority they will give bicycles in their administration? You be the judge.

First to respond: Bill Walczak, Dorchester

Second to respond: John R. Connolly, West Roxbury

Third to respond: Felix G. Arroyo, Jamaica Plain


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Posted in advocacy, infrastructure | 3 Comments »

Mayoral Candidate Transportation Forum

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 04

I have talked a bit about select candidates and how they feel about transportation issues, but you can listen to them all at once at the Mayoral Candidate Transportation Forum presented by Livable Streets:

 

 

You’re invited to the Boston Mayoral Candidate Forum on Transportation & Livable Communities:

 

Tuesday September 17th from 6-8PM

@ the Boston Public Library Rabb Lecture Hall

700 Bolyston St. Boston, MA 02116

 

http://mayoralcandidateforum.eventbrite.com
The mayoral election is a huge opportunity to improve our city and our communities. Find out where Boston’s candidates for mayor stand on vital issues that impact our communities.
The forum is sponsored by LivableStreets Alliance and a host of organizations throughout Boston and will be moderated by Paul McMorrow, Associate Editor at CommonWealth magazine, and Stephanie Pollack, Associate Director at the Kitty & Michael Dukakis Center for Urban & Regional Policy and LivableStreets Board Member.
Meet the future mayor of Boston and let all the candidates know you care about transportation & livable communities.
Register for a free ticket today.

 

Hope to see you there,
Jamie

 

PS – Forward the event details to your Boston friends and invite your friends on Facebook!

 

Jamie Maier

LivableStreets Campaign Coordinator, on behalf of all sponsor groups
Forum Sponsors:
Allston-Brighton Bikes, Bikes Not Bombs, Boston Collaborative for Food and Fitness, Boston Collective Delivery, Boston Park Advocates, Charles River Conservancy, Circle the City, Conservation Law Foundation, Emerald Necklace Conservancy, Franklin Park Coalition, Green Streets Initiative, LivableStreets Alliance, Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition, Massachusetts League of Environmental Voters, Massachusetts Public Health Association, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, On the Move, Rutherford Corridor Improvement Coalition, Southwest Corridor Park Conservancy, Transportation for Massachusetts, WalkBoston

 

Interested in being a forum sponsor? Email [email protected].


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Action Alert: Bike Safety Bill Needs Your Help

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 19

From MassBike:

—————-

In January, we filed two bills with the Massachusetts State Legislature, and we just found out that the bills are going to be heard in committee next Wednesday. We need your help to get these bills moving! The bills are:

  •  The Act To Protect Vulnerable Road Users (S 1639) adds protections to bicyclists, pedestrians, wheelchair users, and other vulnerable users of the road. It gives law enforcement more flexibility to impose more severe penalties for dangerous driving. (Click here for the full text of the bill.)
  • The Act To Protect Bicyclists In Bicycle Lanes (S 1640) prohibits motor vehicles from parking in bike lanes. (Click here for the full text of the bill.)

The first hearing on these bills before the Committee on Transportation is scheduled for Wednesday, June 26 at 10:00 AM, in State House Room B-1.

 

We hope you are able to join MassBike at the hearing to tell your story, and to urge the Joint Committee on Transportation to report favorably on these two bills. This is the second legislative session for the Vulnerable Road Users Bill, and the first hearing ever for the Bike Lane Bill. For more information on the bills, please see our Legislative Fact Sheet.

 

If you are unable to attend next week’s hearing, we ask you to do the following:

  1. Send an email or write a letter to the Chairs of the Joint Committee on Transportation – Senator McGee (Email) and Representative Straus (Email) – and ask that they act favorably on these bills.
  2. Call or email your State Senator and State Representative and ask that they recommend to the Joint Committee on Transportation Chairs to act favorably on these bills.
  3. Cc [email protected] on all your emails, or send us a message telling us who you contacted.

Don’t know who your legislators are? Find out here.

 

We were able to educate a lot of legislators about this legislation at the Bike/Walk Summit, so we think we are in a good position to move this legislation forward. We need your help again to get this legislation rolling.  As always, we couldn’t do it without you.


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Arlington Residents Vote To Reject Millions In Funding For Bike Lanes

Written by Boston Biker on Apr 08

Amazing….and ultimately sad.

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On Saturday, voters in Arlington proved themselves simultaneously foolish and shortsighted when they attempted to shut down a proposal for bike lanes on a one-mile strip of Massachusetts Avenue. They’re foolish because the vote, essentially, rejects $6.8 million in funding from the state and federal governments. And they’re short-sighted because the installation of bike lanes on some—not all—streets is the future for cities and towns.

A recap: Massachusetts Avenue in East Arlington is a disaster. It’s a chaotic stretch of road with no painted lanes and few cross-walks that’s been the scene of far too many accidents. A few years ago, the town started planning an update for the street, and secured $6.8 million in funding from the state and federal governments. As state senator Ken Donnelly noted, however, MassDOT required that bicycles be accommodated in some fashion, either through bike lanes (which would eliminate one of four lanes of car traffic) or through wider outside car lanes (which would reduce the size of the sidewalks or remove parking).

Read the rest of this article, and try not to pull your hair out.

With the rest of the Boston Metro area running full speed ahead to improve cycling infrastructure, what exactly is wrong with Arlington? It doesn’t take an oracle to see that the future of urban living involves lots and lots of cycling, pedestrian, and public transportation infrastructure. Arlington is almost literally shooting themselves in the foot here. Sad. Lets hope that this non-binding vote isn’t the last one.


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Posted in news | 9 Comments »

City Of Cambridge Transportation Committee Opening

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 02

From the email:

—————

CITY OF CAMBRIDGE SOLICITING MEMBERSHIP APPLICATIONS
FOR THREE TRANSPORTATION ADVISORY COMMITEES
Application deadline is Friday, January 11.

BICYCLE COMMITTEE
This committee works to improve conditions for bicyclists in the City of Cambridge and promote bicycling as a means of transportation. Activities include organizing and participating in public events such as biannual community bike rides; reviewing plans for road construction; commenting on proposed development projects; creating promotional materials to encourage bicycling in the city; and working with City departments on network planning. This committee generally meets on the second Wednesday of each month from 5:30 – 7:30 pm at City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway.

PEDESTRIAN COMMITTEE
This committee works to promote walking and to help create a more comfortable, safe, and pleasant environment for walking in Cambridge. It advises on the design of roadway projects and policies related to traffic calming, traffic signals, and sidewalk design. It also identifies intersections and other locations where it is difficult to walk, makes suggestions about proposed development projects as they affect people on foot, and undertakes other activities to promote walking. This committee generally meets on the fourth Thursday of each month from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway (November and December meetings are on the third Thursday.)

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE
This newly established committee will advance an agenda for a robust public transportation system for those who live and/or work in Cambridge. The committee will be composed of a cross section of stakeholders including businesses, large institutions, commuters, persons with disabilities, low income, elderly, youth, students, and advocates. The committee will guide city positions and policies regarding long term sustainable funding for transit by the Commonwealth, service planning for expansion or modification of bus routes, and service reliability and improvements including ways to better design our street network to prioritize bus transit. This committee will generally meet on the first Wednesday of each month from 5:30 – 7:30 pm at City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway beginning in 2013.

Beginning in 2013, in place of individual committee meetings, these three committees will meet jointly on occasion to advise the city on higher level sustainable transportation policy.

APPLY
Applications are sought by dedicated individuals who live or work in Cambridge. Members are expected to attend monthly meetings as well as engage in projects outside of regular meetings. To apply, please prepare a cover letter indicating which committee you are interested in, a description of your interest in the topic, and any specific issues you would like to contribute time to working on. Please be sure to include your mailing address, phone number, and email. Send to:

Robert W. Healy, City Manager
c/o Jane Maguire,
Community Development Department
344 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139
Email: [email protected]

Application deadline is Friday, January 11.

Appointments are made by the City Manager and are for two years of service. For more information, call 617-349-4610.


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Go Vote Tomorrow!

Written by Boston Biker on Nov 05

Not sure where to fucking vote, find it here.

Vote tomorrow, take a friend. Ride your bike, and you wont have to worry about parking.

This blog isn’t about politics, but I suggest you vote for the candidates that will best support the environment, good transportation policy, and health care (things we cyclists need most). In my opinion those issues are best supported by Barack Obama and Elisabeth Warren.

Which politician party is better for cycling? Who are you supporting? Whats your prediction for the electoral college vote break down? Will you be staying up late to watch?

Political open thread in the comments. Get it all out of your system, because its all going to be decided soon (hopefully).


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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Quantifying The Amount Of Public Support For Investing In Bicycle Infrastructure October 23, 2014
      TweetUnless people have been living under a rock, they are aware of the growing demand for bicycle infrastructure. How they perceive this demand, and whether they are in favor of it or against it, depends on many factors, some of … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • Ayanna Pressley To Hold Hearing On Safeguarding Cyclists, Introduces New Draft Legislation For Side Guards On Trucks October 21, 2014
      TweetGot this in the email, Ayanna Pressley has been diligently working to ensure safer conditions for cyclists in Boston, here is her latest, welcome effort.     ————- In conjunction with Mayor Martin J. Walsh, City Councilor Ayanna Pressley has … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • 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