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BU Police Remind Cyclists They Need To Follow The Rules

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 01

Cue the gnashing of teeth, in five four three two…

Over the three days BUPD officers were stationed along Comm Ave, they stopped a total of 152 cyclists and gave 10 of them a $20 citation. About half of the offenders were members of the BU community, and some were stopped more than once. On Wednesday morning, three of the five people given tickets had been pulled over on Monday.

The safety campaign will continue this week and any cyclist stopped for a violation will receive a citation.

Read the entire article here.

Personally I don’t see anything wrong with this, they do targeted car enforcement all the time.  The fact is you have to follow the rules, get over it.

Thats how I feel, leave your thoughts in the comments.


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Posted in advocacy | 9 Comments »

Busted!

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 12

My stance is clear on running red lights, don’t. I think we should commend BottomBracket for fessing up. And the cop was pretty nice too.

I can’t wait to see what sort of new paradigm all this helmet cam action will cause. Both motorists breaking the law, and as above cyclists breaking the law. Lets all do our best out there people.


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Posted in education, video | No Comments »

Mayor Wants To Raise Fines For Cyclists Running Red Lights

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 25

About 50 people have emailed me about this metro article yesterday. The vast majority of them upset about the whole idea.

the current state law fines bikers $20 for infractions such as running red lights, Boston’s proposed legislation increases those fines to as much as $150.

“If a biker runs a red light and it’s only a $20 dollar fine, they think: ‘no big deal,’” Captain Jack Danilecki of the Boston police said. “But $150, you are going to pay more attention.
“The mayor looks at it as another law-enforcement tool, not as punishment by any means.”

Aside from the fact that the article started off by calling Boston one of the friendliest cities in America for cycling (something it most certainly has been working towards but not attained), there is no news here.

Lets say they do up the fine for running a red light to $150. How is that a bad thing? Are you running red lights? Should you be running red lights? Will you get a ticket for running red lights if you don’t run red lights? I don’t understand how this would affect law abiding cyclists at all.

If you follow the traffic rules having larger fines for running red lights is going to make your life easier. Its always so easy for motorists to say “you want to be X but you don’t even Y!” So now you can tell them, “hey buddy I get the same tickets you do.” Having bicycles and motorists follow the same fine structure legitimizes cycling as a form of transportation. It will also teach (financially) non law-abiding cyclists that there are rules, and they should be following them.

The one and only way this law could be bad is if the police go out of their way to target only cyclists. This would demonstrate that this law is simply a way to drive cyclists off the streets. Seeing as how there is almost zero traffic enforcement (of any kind, for any road user group) we shouldn’t worry about this.

I think that the real flaw here is that the push is not to cover all road user groups. Motorists and cyclists are increasingly settling into having similar fees but there is one GIANT group of road users that have been left out.

The pedestrian fee structure is so low, that its basically “do what you want” if you are walking on Boston’s streets. I have no problem with handing out large tickets to cyclists and motorists running red lights, but lets give out tickets to pedestrians as well when they violate the rules.

If you passed a law giving police the ability to write $150 j-walking tickets, you could go downtown on any given weekday and solve the state budget problem. Not only would this make pedestrians more likely to follow the law, but it would make everyone safer (not the least of which the pedestrians themselves). I can’t count the number of times I have almost been knocked off my bike by a pedestrians walking out from between parked cars.

After we get all road user groups following a similar fee structure, we need to have education, and enforcement. The police in Boston don’t focus on enforcement, not for car drivers, cyclists, or pedestrians. Everyone knows they can get away with anything, so they do.

I welcome a day when all road user groups are educated, fined, and enforced equally. You can argue all you want that we have not attained that equality yet, but I find it hard to argue against giving some financial teeth to red light tickets for cyclists. Don’t break the law, you wont get a ticket.


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Posted in advocacy | 28 Comments »

Dear Cycling Community…

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 19

cranky-early-morning-1

Dear Cycling Community,

Riding your bicycle over into the cross walk to run a red light doesn’t make it less illegal. In fact it puts you in conflict with pedestrians, makes it more likely you will be struck by turning cars, is still illegal, and also takes longer. So long in fact that I often find myself passing you as you try to merge back into traffic after the light has turned green and you are stuck in the cross walk like some kind of confused drunkard.

Please for the love of all things holy, if you simply must run a red light follow these simple tips.

1. Come to a complete stop (If stopping violated your rules of red running at least slow down enough that you can complete step 2)
2. Look both ways
3. Cross quickly IN A STRAIGHT LINE!

If you simply must break the law, because that extra 10 seconds are vital to maintaining your time, or because your 100 year old rust bucket of a bicycle will seize up if you stop grinding, or because you have a power meter, or because you are simply ignorant of the laws of this fine state, then please do us all a favor and do so in a straight line, as safely as you can, and do it as fast as possible.

I am really getting tired of having to ride way out over to one side to allow you to merge back into to traffic, I am sick of watching you almost hit pedestrians, and I can no longer take the shock to my heart as I watch you nearly get plastered by turning cars. If you are pissing me off this badly I can only imagine what the motorists and pedestrians are thinking.

To put it bluntly, if you are going to break the law, do it with some class.

Yours In Cycling
Boston Biker

PS. A much finer solution would be to stop at the red light with me, we could have a chat, it would be fun.

PPS. If you are going to go into the cross walk get off your bike and run across, it might be good practice for Cross season.

PPPS. Running red lights doesn’t make you faster, being faster does.


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Posted in advocacy, bostonbiker | 29 Comments »

A Red Light Runner, Tries Stopping For A Week

Written by Boston Biker on May 02

100 psi, the very well written blog, tried a little experiment. What would happen if you stopped at every red light for a week. I enjoyed the read, here is a little taste.

For the past five days, I conducted a non-scientific experiment of ALWAWYS stopping at EVERY red light and waiting for the green light on my daily commute.

And I non-scientifically concluded: it didn’t suck.

On the whole, waiting for reds made for a less stressful commute. I didn’t have to constantly scan the intersection while making a breakaway, nor maneuver through waiting cars to get to the front of the traffic line to get that two-second window of all reds at Cleveland Circle and get a jump to make a left turn, for example. Also, I took the lane more often while waiting, as opposed to snaking over to the right or splitting lanes where motorist can see me less than they already do. And I didn’t make an illegal turn at Beacon and Harvard, which I normally do. How about that?

And waiting at reds allowed me to catch my breath or take a drink of water, and for some good old fashion girl watching.

Read the rest here, and let 100 psi know what you think in the comments on his (I think its a he, my apologies if not) blog.


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Posted in advocacy, bostonbiker | 2 Comments »

The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Neighborhood Slow Streets: Construction, New Zones Updates September 14, 2017
      Tweetfrom the email: CITY OF BOSTON Vision Zero Update NEIGHBORHOOD SLOW STREETS Our first two Neighborhood Slow Streets projects are heading into construction, and we’re getting ready to begin community walks with each of the five communities that were selected … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Hubway Is Expanding In Boston Voice Your Input On New Station Locations September 13, 2017
      TweetHubway is getting bigger and even better! The Boston Transportation Department is adding more than 70 new stations over the next two years. The Boston Transportation Department (BTD) needs your help finding new locations in Boston for bike share stations! Starting this … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Squirrel Head Badge Installed August 30, 2017
      One of my customers sent this awesome picture of my squirrel head badge installed on a bicycle. I think it looks awesome! Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Your Hard Work Paid Off! August 23, 2017
      Tweetfrom the email: ————–   We emailed, we called, we showed up – and we won! Due to the tremendous support for protected bicycle lanes over the past 3 weeks–in emails, calls, and in-person testimonies–on Monday, August 7, the City Council … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Defend Protected Bike Lanes In Cambridge From Being Removed! August 6, 2017
      Tweetfrom the email:   This Monday, August 7th, the Cambridge City Council will vote on a policy order which could put a moratorium on all new “pop-up” protected bike lanes. Earlier this month, Cambridge installed a new 2-way protected bike lane on … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • 8th Annual World Naked Bike Ride July 21, 2017
      TweetStarting location: 45 Danforth Street, Jamaica Plain, MA – 6PM Saturday! Final details for World Naked Bike Ride BOSTON! Pass it on! We've a pre-party location and will release that info 24 hrs prior to the ride. pic.twitter.com/dx15bKNZIh — WNBR Boston (@WNBRBoston) … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • 2017 Midnight Bike Ride – Saturday August 12th July 21, 2017
      TweetBoston by bike… at night. Saturday, August 12, 2017, Midnight ’til dawn Twenty ninth annual tour of architectural and historic sites. Meet at 11:15 pm in front of Trinity Church in Copley Square Bring a bicycle with a light and wear something reflective.  … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Action Alert: Send Thank Yous For Brattle St And Mass Ave Popups July 21, 2017
      TweetFrom the email: Safe protected bike lanes for all ages and abilities are here on sections of Mass Ave and Brattle St. We’re so excited about the latest two segments of what needs to be a network of protected bike … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Bikes Not Bombs Update July 21, 2017
      TweetFrom The Email: We’re Hiring! We’re hiring! Please help us spread the word about our openings. Development Manager – Works to increase the organization’s visibility and cultivates, stewards and expands the relationships between Bikes Not Bombs and its donors at all … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Commonwheels Partners with Scouts to Help Homeless June 19, 2017
      This time we have guest authors from Girl Scout Troop 75006 who we partnered with this spring: This year, we really wanted to do something that would help our wider community. After looking into some issues we care about, we learned that there is a se... Continue reading →
      commonwheels