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Longfellow Bridge Continues To Accumulate Horrible Sinage

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 07


What the hell…so now they have put down some kind of jogging sharrows?  It looks to me an awful lot like the juggalo logo




…yea then there are these.


Literally three signs cut up and duct taped back together, with sharpie clarification…what the actual hell.

There is about seven of these all facing the Boston side.  I guess the idea is that all the pedestrians are supposed to walk on one side of the tiny sidewalk that is currently being shared by cyclists and pedestrians.

Only about a million problems with this.  There is no signs facing the Cambridge side, so people walking from that direction have no idea what is going on.  Then there is the problem that…people walk on the right, its been put into their heads forever.

These are clearly not standard signs, they had to jury rig them together from parts.  As far as I can see over the last couple days not a single pedestrian has noticed the signs (or they have seen them and not understood what they are supposed to do).  No one is moving to the left, and no one gives a single shit about those signs.

This is like part four or five in the saga of “you can’t fix shitty design with signs.”

The solution remains simple, and has been the same since the construction started.  CLOSE THE BRIDGE TO CARS, have cyclists ride in the damn road where they belong, and leave the sidewalk to the pedestrians, the road could still be open to emergency travel, and the whole thing would run so much smoother.  The Longfellow has always been used by a majority of non-car users, and the infrastructure should reflect this.



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Bike Helmet Designed By People Who Don’t Ride Bikes

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 06

This thing is only a concept, which if I am understanding design correctly means it really has very little to do with the final product (or reality), but still it won an award…presumably the people giving out that award rarely ride bikes.

There is a lot wrong here.

Lets start with the small things and work are way up.

The helmet has no ventilation, going to be hot on most rides…especially with the visor down. Some people don’t mind that style though so lets move on.

How heavy are all the cameras and computers and display and sensors? I am going to guess heavier than foam and a thin plastic shell. Do you really want an extra pound or two on your neck for long rides? Will it fly off my head due to the extra weight during a violent fall?

How will it perform in the rain? In the snow? My cell phone doesn’t like getting cold or wet and its “water proof” Will that screen actually display anything in the sun? What if its night time and someone shines headlights in my eyes?

What happens to all that fancy stuff when you actually smash your head into something? Do the electronics and display become tiny projectiles? Is the absorbent quality of the helmet affected by having all that crap attached to it? Will I be bathed in optics and display parts all over my eyes?

Judging from the video it presents data in such a way to be far more distracting than traffic itself. Giant blue dots to let me know I am moving in the right direction? Sounds? Text in the middle of my view? How exactly do you select those different options, are we going to toss eye tracking into this thing as well? Or do I have to reach up and tap my helmet to select options while riding? Voice activation?

Why a rear facing camera? It’s actually a good thing to turn your head around and look behind you once in a while, its lets you see what you are dealing with and is a visual cue to other road users that you might be about to turn. PS. a tiny mirror does the same thing and is a lot cheaper.

What are those impact detectors on the side supposed to do? Anyone who has ever been passed by a car too close knows when something is near them, I don’t need expensive sensors to tell me that. Also the way Boston streets are designed I imagine they would be screaming constantly as most of the time you are riding in very cramped conditions. Thirdly, what exactly am I to do when the cars get too close? I can’t always move away from them. Its not like I am backing my minivan into the garage and need to know when I am too close to the wall, the cars are much bigger and heavier than me, when they get too close I am mostly at their mercy if they choose to move away from me or not.

How big are the batteries in this thing? How heavy are they going to be? With all this fancy stuff strapped to my head I imagine I couldn’t ride for more than an hour or two without having to swap them out or recharge them.

What is the carbon footprint on something like this? Am I going to have to worry about e-waste from my helmet now? Will it be full of brominated fire retardants, lithium ion batteries (which can catch fire if punctured), rare earth minerals? Will it be made with sweat shop labor in china? I am riding my bike to try to decrease the amount of emission and suffering in the world, not increase it.

How much is this going to cost? Helmets don’t last forever, even if you don’t crash you should still replace them every few years just because the foam degrades. Are the electronics removable? Is the helmet in pieces so you can only replace what you need? A cell phone or VR helmet with this much tech goes for $500-$600, am I supposed to drop half a grand every time I drop my helmet on the ground, or get hit by a car, or every three years?

This design is a failure.

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Longfellow Bridge Cyclist Traffic Moved Again, Pedestrian and Cyclist Traffic Combined

Written by Boston Biker on Aug 29

For months anyone cycling over the Longfellow has had to follow an ever changing series of signs, battle large amount of people walking in places they shouldn’t and in general have a less than good experience, all so we can keep one lane open for cars during the construction.

Well all that is coming to an end! Because now the pedestrian are SUPPOSED to be walking on the bike path, weee! (via)

Upcoming Traffic Alerts

MassDOT will close the Longfellow Bridge to all vehicular traffic overnight from Wednesday, August 24, through Friday, August 26, and from Monday, August 29, through Thursday, September 1. The bridge will be closed from 11:00 PM each night to 5:00 AM the following morning. Bike, pedestrian, and MBTA Red Line travel will be maintained.

MassDOT will briefly halt all vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle travel near the Charles Circle staging area of the Longfellow Bridge for approximately 15 minutes beginning at 7:00 AM on Saturday, August 27. The temporary halt is necessary to begin cleaning the new MGH steam line running under the bridge by using pressurized steam (a “steam blow”) to remove dirt and other debris from inside the line. The cleaning process will take one to two days (Saturday, August 27, through Sunday, August 28). Learn more about this harmless process in the Steam Blow Flyer.

New Date: Beginning at 11:00 PM on Friday, August 26, bicyclists and pedestrians will be shifted on the upstream side of the Longfellow Bridge. Pedestrians in both directions will share the upstream sidewalk with outbound bicyclists. Inbound bicyclists will have a new 5-foot wide designated bike lane along the upstream roadway.

There will be no lane or bridge closures from 5:00 AM on Friday, September 2, to 10:00 PM on Tuesday, September 6, for the Labor Day holiday weekend.

Visit the Traffic Information page for weekly updates on lane closures and details on other traffic management activities, including detour routes, during the current construction phase. View the Construction Updates section to learn more about current construction activities.

I honestly doubt you will notice a difference, if you have been riding every day you already know that people have been ignoring the “don’t walk here” signs for months. Just a heads up that you will probably get even more pedestrians on that narrow sidewalk now.  Obviously slow down, and watch out.  I have personally seen at least one accident caused by pedestrians (back when they were not supposed to be on the sidewalk), and have heard of several more.  Its very easy to get into trouble, especially on the down hill side of the bridge, slow down, be careful, and keep your head up because the people on their phones certainly wont.

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The Word On The Street

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