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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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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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City Of Cambridge Transportation Committee Opening

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 02

From the email:

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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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Federal Transportation Bill A Disappointment

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 13

A sad sad commentary on just how fucked our political system is these days. I suggest a careful review of the issues, who voted for what, and some judicious application of your first amendment right, as well as your right to vote. These fuckers need to know we are pissed.

 

From MassBike

——————-

The federal transportation bill, a focus of much analysis and anxiety (we’ve written most recently about it here and here), was finally passed through congress late last week. It’s not good news. This bill, which was largely based on the Senate’s legislation “MAP-21″, is being considered a “step backwards,” a “failure,” a “missed opportunity,” and “devastating.”

On our part, we kept in communication with the staff of Representative Ed Markey (Massachusetts Seventh District), a member of the committee that produced this legislation. Mr. Markey, who has consistently supported dedicated bike funding, wrote an excellent piece on why he declined to sign the Conference Committee Report for the legislation (found here). Despite strong bipartisan support for our cause from the entire Massachusetts delegation, this legislation cut bike and pedestrian funding by 33% (or more, depending what individual states do – more below).

The Analysis

 

Our national partners are still working through all of the details of the 1,676 page document, but basically it lumps the three federal programs which previously had dedicated bike/ped funding (Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School, and Recreational Trails) into one “Transportation Alternatives” category. Whereas the three prior programs had a combined funding total of $1.2 billion in 2011, the new “Transportation Alternatives” has a total funding level of around $800 million per year.

Furthermore, states can opt out of up to half of that amount, instead funding highway maintenance, bridge repair, or any other transportation need. So, depending on how many states choose to opt out of that half of the funding, the real cuts could be as high as 66%.

Finally, there is a clause in the bill called a “Mandatory Sidepath Law.” This would require bicyclists riding on federally-owned roads (generally in national parks) to ride on a sidepath if the road doesn’t meet certain standards. This clause sets a dangerous national precedent for compromising our hard-won right to the road.

In short, this is not a good day for the biking/walking world. Read a thorough analysis of the bill by America Bikes here.

Next Steps

 

The question, then, is what does this mean for us in Massachusetts? We are fortunate to be in a state that has solid policies and initiatives in place to promote biking and walking, includingGreenDOT (MassDOT’s sustainability policy) and the Healthy Transportation Compact.

Nonetheless, we must work even harder to ensure that biking and walking are priorities for our state agencies and policymakers. Because so much flexibility is now given to the state to spend bicycle funding on other things, groups like MassBike must work even harder to make the case that investing in biking is crucial to having a healthy, livable state. It is through continued efforts like Bay State Bike Week, the Bike/Walk Summit, and advocacy on major projects that we can maintain the state’s support. And, importantly, collaborative efforts likeTransportation for Massachusetts will be key to creating a united voice for our cause.

If you have time, please contact your U.S. Representative and Senators to let them know that you appreciate their support. (Don’t know who they are? Find out here.)

Also, consider joining or donating to MassBike. We are supported primarily through our members, and so truly could not do it without you.


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Time To Take Action!

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 19

Thats right once again our elected leaders have fallen short of their duties when it comes to making biking awesome, so lets go kick some ass!

The below is from MassBike.

Action Alert #1: Bicyclist Safety Bill

This important bill will improve the safety of bicyclists throughout the Commonwealth, but we need your help. The bill, now designated S. 2573 (formerly S. 1414), was passed by the Senate earlier this year thanks to the efforts of retiring Senator Pamela Resor and our other friends in the Legislature. It is now in the House Ways and Means Committee. It needs to get reported favorably by the committee, enacted by both houses of the Legislature, and signed by the Governor before the end of this year. We are making a push to get this done now.

The key provisions of the bill are: police training on bicycle law; clarification of how to safely pass a bicycle; clarification of how to safely make turns in front of bicycles; “dooring” subject to ticket and fine; riding two abreast permitted when it does not impede cars from passing; improved enforcement of bicycle law for both motorists and bicyclists; and additional legal protections for bicyclists who choose to ride to the right of other traffic. The full text of the bill can be found here. For more details about the bill, including links to the affected statutes, see our previous Action Alert,

Here is what you can do:

1. Call or email Representative DeLeo, Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, directly and urge him to support bill S. 2573, An Act Relative to Bicyclist Safety. His email is [email protected] and his phone number is 617-722-2990.

2. Call or email your own state representative and ask him or her to contact Representative DeLeo in support of the bill.

Your participation counts – don’t assume everyone else will do it!

Click here to find contact information for your State Representative (called “Rep in General Court”)

Action Alert #2: Commuter Benefits for Bicyclists

This just in from the League of American Bicyclists on a federal bill that may benefit bicyclists:
We understand that the United States Senate may vote on an energy legislation package this week, (The Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 (pdf) ), which will provide a number of incentives to promote clean energy sources. The Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008, also includes the bicycle commuter tax benefit provision, previously introduced by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR). The provision provides for qualified bicycle commuting reimbursement for such reasonable expenses incurred by an employee for the purchase of a bicycle, bicycle improvements, repair, and storage. The Senate is expected to vote on this legislation as soon as this week! Please take a moment to contact your Senator to urge them to vote “yes” on the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.

Click here to contact Senators Kennedy and Kerry right now


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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Ghost Bike Installed For Owen McGrory April 15, 2014
      Tweet (photo via U-Hub) On this blustery rainy day lets all take a moment to think about Owen McGrory. Who lost his life when he was struck by a sanitation truck.  One person dying on a bicycle is one person … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Ghost Bike Installed For Owen McGrory April 15, 2014
      Tweet (photo via U-Hub) On this blustery rainy day lets all take a moment to think about Owen McGrory. Who lost his life when he was struck by a sanitation truck.  One person dying on a bicycle is one person … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Interview Series: Tom Klein April 15, 2014
      Continue reading →
      cyclemom
    • Oh The Irony April 15, 2014
      TweetI was almost run over by a casket supply truck this morning…nice big box truck with “Mathews casket international” on the side.  I know this because I got a close look at it when it screamed by me with only inches … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Bike Lanes (a couple of interesting articles) April 14, 2014
      TweetA couple of interesting articles about bike lanes and their affect on traffic congestion (or as is demonstrated in these articles, the lack thereof. First there is: Bike Lanes Don’t Cause Traffic Jams If You’re Smart About Where You Build … Continue reading →
      Liam
    • Did American Bicycling Start In Newton Massachusetts? April 14, 2014
      TweetAs the old saying goes: “you learn something new everyday.” This is particularly true for bicycling where information sources are spread out instead of being housed in a central location. The interesting tidbit I picked up yesterday caught my eye … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • May The Road Rise Up To Meet You, And The Wind Be Always At Your Back April 12, 2014
      Tweet   It was very nice outside today, I hope you all got out and rode till the sun went down.
      Boston Biker
    • Ready for My Close Up April 12, 2014
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      mbudd
    • One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other April 11, 2014
      Tweet   Seems cyclists are not the only ones enjoying the increase in sunshine.  This thing looks amazing.  I was pretty impressed with the relatively simple nature of this beast.  Get solar panel, get electric scooter, combine.
      Boston Biker
    • Bikes Not Bombs Update April 11, 2014
      Tweet2013 Annual Report Release – Big vision, Concrete Strategies, Real Impact It is with great pride and excitement that we present our 2013 Annual Report! 2013 was a busy year for Bikes Not Bombs; we collected more bikes than ever before, … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker