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MassBike Gets Substantial Sponsors For Its New Bill

Written by Boston Biker on Mar 10

From MassBike:

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State House and Common, in the Snow Copyright Leslie Jones, provided by Boston Public Library under Creative Commons License

The Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition (“MassBike”) is deeply appreciative of each of the state legislators that sponsored bills to make our roadways safer and more convenient for bicyclists. As the newly appointed executive director of MassBike I want to acknowledge and thank them for showing the political courage to support cycling and cyclists in Massachusetts. Please join me in thanking your senators and representatives for sponsoring these important bills. You can find out how here, or look for your districts below.

Apparently things are changing for the better for bicycling here in the world’s largest college town, Massachusetts. Working with our former executive director and current government affairs advisor, David Watson, we filed two bills for the new legislative session on Beacon Hill. The first was a Bike Lane Protection Bill, which makes it illegal for motorists to block established bike lanes. Every cyclist has experienced frustration with those hard-won bike lanes being used for everything from deliveries to taxi lines to double-parking spaces.

The second piece of legislation is a Vulnerable Road Users Bill, which brings together pedestrians, cyclists, road workers, tow truck operators, police officers, and emergency personnel as vulnerable road users and defines what is a safe-passing distance. This is landmark legislation that makes our entire state safer.

We had 42 lawmakers sign on as sponsors or co-sponsors for each of these bills. This represents 25 percent of the State Senate and 21 percent of the State House. This support will not go unnoticed. For too long, bicyclists have been simply tolerated by the transportation system. This legislation, if passed, will show that the Bay State – which has so much to gain by integrating pedestrians and cyclists into its streetscape – is not looking to just tolerate bicyclists but also to welcome and protect them as an important part of the transportation grid.

These lawmakers recognize that for the Bay State to be a leader in transportation, the bicycle is an important part of the streetscape, roadways, and transportation grid.

In the Senate

Sponsoring Both Bills
Michael Barrett, Third Middlesex
William Brownsberger, Second Suffolk and Middlesex
Sonia Chang-Diaz, Second Suffolk
Sal DiDomenico, Middlex and Suffolk
Kenneth Donnelly, Fourth Middlesex
James Eldridge, Middlesex and Worcester
Brian Joyce, Norfolk, Bristol, and Plymouth
Jason Lewis, Fifth Middlesex
Joan Lovely, Second Essex

Sponsoring Vulnerable Road Users Bill
Anne Gobi, Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire, and Middlesex

In the House

Sponsoring Both Bills
Ruth Balser, 12th Middlesex
Gailanne Cariddi, 1st Berkshire
Marjorie Decker, 25th Middlesex
Daniel Donahue, 16th Worcester
Shawn Dooley, 9th Norfolk
Carolyn Dykema, 8th Middlesex
Sean Garballey, 23rd Middlesex
Kenneth Gordon, 21st Middlesex
Jonathan Hecht, 29th Middlesex
Kay Khan, 11th Middlesex
Peter Kocot, 1st Hampshire
Jay Livingstone, 8th Suffolk
Timothy Madden, Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket
Elizabeth Poirier, 14th Bristol
Denise Provost, 27th Middlesex
Angelo Puppolo, 12th Hampden
David Rogers, 24th Middlesex
Jeffrey Roy, 10th Norfolk
Paul Schmid, 8th Bristol
Frank Smizik, 15th Norfolk
Aaron Vega, 5th Hampden
John Velis, 4th Hampden
Chris Walsh, 6th Middlesex

Sponsoring Vulnerable Road Users Bill
Daniel Cullinane, 12th Suffolk
Josh Cutler, 6th Plymouth
Carole Fiola, 6th Bristol
Leonard Mirra, 2nd Essex

Sponsoring Bike Lane Bill
Christine Barber, 34th Middlesex
Danielle Gregoire, 4th Middlesex
Bradford Hill, 4th Essex
Michael Moran, 18th Suffolk
Paul Tucker, 7th Essex

Yours Truly,

Richard Fries
Executive Director, MassBike


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How To Almost Kill Someone: Right Hook Edition

Written by Boston Biker on Dec 17

If you drive a car, you need to see this video.  I got this from Ian yesterday.

From Ian

I got right hooked in a bike lane this morning on Beacon St in Somerville,
MA, and got the entire thing recorded on my GoPro.  I called the cops, who
did respond, but basically seemed uninterested in the fact that a motorist
right hooked a cyclist, and in fact the officer told me that I needed to be
more careful!

A co-worker recommended contacting you, and said that you might be
interested in the video to help raise awareness of how dangerous a right
hook is to cyclists.

When making right turns it is not enough to simply turn on your signal, you need to also make sure NO ONE IS IN THE LANE NEXT TO YOU!  Including but not limited to the bike lane.  Just treat the bike lane like a lane for cars, check your mirror, yield to traffic already in that lane, etc.  There was very little the cyclist could have or should have been doing in this situation, he was riding legal down the road, and a car dramatically changed lanes with very little warning.  If you look at the video the signal and the turn happen at the same time, basically this driver flicked on his signal (a rare thing in this town), and began turning the wheel for the turn at the same time.  There is no way he could have had time to check behind him to make sure there was no one in the bike lane.

Luckily the gentleman in this video is ok, but it could have been a lot nastier.  I applaud his calm reaction, I have a feeling I would have flipped my shit.

Another even bigger problem here is the blasé reaction from the cops.  Waiting until someone is killed is not an effective strategy for preventing deaths.  This motorist should have been issues a citation (Ian was unclear about if he was or not), and legal action should be taken against the driver and the company he is driving for.  For every horrific death by right hook there are hundreds of these nail biting close calls, only if the police get serious about reducing these incidents will the deaths be prevented.

With the advent of cheap go-pro style cameras we are going to be seeing a lot more of this kind of thing.  I imagine a future several years from now when a simple USB stick style camera can record a days worth of video, and you would simply strap it to your jacket and use it as a daily commute recorder, if nothing happened that day you could erase the memory and go about your day.  If however some asshole right hooks you, you will have it all recorded.  If you have the money, and you ride often perhaps integrating a personal recording device into your safety gear is not such a bad idea.


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Posted in Commuting, education, video | 32 Comments »

Globe Talk: Safe Or Savage? The State Of Bicycle Safety In Boston

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 29

Got this in the email, looks like it could be informative:

Globe Talks: 

Safe or savage? The state of bicycle safety in Boston

Join a few of Boston’s leading cyclists and policy makers to discuss bike safety around Boston and the efforts to make biking in the city easier and more accessible.

The event will be moderated by The Boston Globe transportation reporter Martine Powers.

Panelists:

  • Nicole Freedman, City of Boston’s Boston Bikes director
  • Vineet Gupta, Boston Transportation Department’s Director of Policy and Planning
  • Richard Fries, former professional European racer, world-class race announcer and race organizer, and local commuting advocate
  • Josh Zisson, bike lawyer and BikeSafeBoston.com blogger
  • Jackie Douglas, director of the Boston-area transit advocacy group Livable Streets

 

DATE: Tuesday, July 30

TIME: 6pm – 7:30pm

LOCATION: The Boston Globe | 135 Morrissey Blvd. | Boston, MA

www.bostonbikesafety.eventbrite.com


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Posted in advocacy, education | 10 Comments »

Boston Police District C-11 Presents Summer Safety Day & Bike Rodeo

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 13

Take the little ones out and get them trained in bike safety, parents might learn a thing or two as well. (from DotBike)
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Saturday, June 15, 2013
10:00am until 2:00pm in EDT

Boston Police District C-11 presents Summer Safety Day & Bike Rodeo
McKeon Post Parking Lot,
4 Hilltop Street, Dorchester, MA 02124
Also present will be The Boston Society of Vulcans (Safety Town),
the the Boston Retired Police Officer’s Code Blue and Dot Bike
• Children ages 4-12 years and parents welcome
• Safety Info for Kids and Parents
• Bring your bike and helmet
• Fun Bike Games and Agility Test
• Cool Bike Helmets — Free as supplies last!
• Free raffle for two 20” kids bikes!
Thank you to all our sponsors and contributors!
Call the C-11 Community Service Office
at 617-343-4524 for more information

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Florida Police Training Video

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 12

Not bad really, some of the laws are different there (for instance you don’t need to ride in the bike lanes if there is one here), but the message is good. I wish there was something like this for our police force.


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Posted in advocacy, video | 13 Comments »

Mayor Menino Comments On Bike Safety In Boston

Written by Boston Biker on Dec 12

The mayor lets us know what he is doing to help increase bicycle safety.

Last week our cycling community, and the city, was rocked by the tragic death of Boston University student Christopher Weigl. By coincidence, a hearing on bicycle safety brought the community together at City Hall later that day. Both events have many left asking what’s being done to make our city safe for cyclists, and rightfully so. Personally, I have been inspired by the outpouring of concern, support, validation, and sense of togetherness in our efforts to make Boston a world-class caliber city for bicycling.

Over the past five years, our Boston Bikes program has grown tremendously. Bicycle infrastructure is popping up in every neighborhood. A few years ago, when I announced “the car is no longer king” in Boston, it was before we had 675,000 trips on Hubway and before 9,000 young people went through bicycle education classes in schools around the city. That vision has guided the rapid growth in cycling throughout Boston.

It is the close-knit sense of community that impresses me most about bikers in Boston, and it is that community that came together last week. It is the collective force of that community and the unfortunate accidents of this summer and fall that are cemented in our minds today. Through our Boston Bikes program, we speak often about the six “E’s” of bicycle planning. And, it’s the six “E’s” that become the constant refrain when discussing solutions that can bring an end to these tragedies.

While there is certainly more work to be done, sometimes it is helpful to share some of the pieces already in action:

You can read the rest here

I don’t disagree with anything he is saying. But its not enough. My new motto is “More and Better!” More cyclists on the street, better infrastructure for those cyclists. I think if we stuck to that as our goal we will do alright.

We were so far behind here in Boston that its going to take a decade of hard work to only get us to “alright.” Lucky for us there are places in the world that have already done the hard work, the research, and the trial runs. All we need to be able to do is find these places and copy them.


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Posted in advocacy, news | 6 Comments »

Bike Over To The Public Meeting On Bike Safety Today, Lend Your Voice

Written by Boston Biker on Dec 06

There is a hearing at City Hall at noon

Thurs., Dec. 6, at Noon
Boston City Hall
5th Floor
Iannella City Council Chambers

The hearing will delve into questions of where and why most crashes are occurring, as well as statistics on the effects of separated bike lanes (cycletracks) and the success of various infrastructure improvements made in other cities.

Lets tell them how we feel about bike safety, especially with the bad news of a cyclist fatality today.


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City Councilor Felix Arroyo Will Ride His Bike To Support Bike Safety, Join Him!

Written by Boston Biker on Dec 05

Bostinno reports: “City Councilor Felix Arroyo will take two-wheels to work at Government Center Thursday in order to raise awareness about the need for safe cycling in the Hub—and he wants residents to join him.”

Arroyo’s bike trek from the Forest Hills MBTA Station to City Hall at 8 a.m. will come just hours before a meeting between elected officials about the importance of making Boston a “world class” bike city; one that’s safe for those who choose to skip the T and opt out of hopping behind the wheel in order to get around.

“We have many cyclists in our city and it is our responsibility to ensure that we make our city as safe as possible for cycling,” Arroyo said in a statement. “I am asking for people to join me on my bike ride to work to bring attention to the issue. The hope is that the ride and the hearing will result in improvements that will prevent cycling injuries, sometimes fatal, from happening on our streets.”

Last month, Arroyo and City Councilor Ayanna Pressley filed a motion for a hearing to explore ways to improve bike infrastructure in Boston and make it a more “liveable city.”

I don’t have more details, but I imagine that if you show up at forest hills t-stop at 7:30am you can ride your bike to city hall with Arroyo. Fun!


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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • The Time Has Come To End Traffic Fatalities May 25, 2015
      TweetIt was never acceptable that people got hurt and killed in motor vehicles, but we now have the technology to drastically reduce traffic fatalities. Operating a motor vehicle is not a right, its a privileged, and we need to take … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • THE PURPOSE OF TRANSIT: Neither Reform Nor Revenue are the Needed Starting Point May 22, 2015
      It’s now semi-official – everyone agrees that the MBTA needs both reform and revenue.  No one says (publicly) that the current T and Commuter Rail budget is too big for its mission.  And that’s where the agreement ends – with the question of what is the MBTA’s mission, vision, and values:  what exactly are we […]
      Steve Miller
    • Cyclist Killed In Hit And Run In Dorchester May 20, 2015
      Tweet A teenager on his bicycle was killed Tuesday after being hit by a car following a crash in Dorchester. Two cars crashed at the intersection of Talbot and New England Streets. A young man on a bike was struck … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Cyclist Killed In Hit And Run In Dorchester May 20, 2015
      Tweet My deepest sympathies go out to this persons friends and family. This is a horrific tragedy. ————————- A teenager on his bicycle was killed Tuesday after being hit by a car following a crash in Dorchester. Two cars crashed … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Cyclist Killed In Hit And Run In Dorchester May 20, 2015
      Tweet My deepest sympathies go out to this persons friends and family. This is a horrific tragedy. ————————- A teenager on his bicycle was killed Tuesday after being hit by a car following a crash in Dorchester. Two cars crashed … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Cyclist Killed In Hit And Run In Dorchester May 20, 2015
      Tweet My deepest sympathies go out to this persons friends and family. This is a horrific tragedy. ————————- A teenager on his bicycle was killed Tuesday after being hit by a car following a crash in Dorchester. Two cars crashed … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Cyclist Killed In Hit And Run In Dorchester May 20, 2015
      Tweet My deepest sympathies go out to this persons friends and family. This is a horrific tragedy. ————————- A teenager on his bicycle was killed Tuesday after being hit by a car following a crash in Dorchester. Two cars crashed … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Bike Jobs! May 15, 2015
      TweetHere are some bike jobs, so you can bike, while you job! ————— Prevention Services has entered into a healthy communities project with the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) and the Boston Alliance for Community Health (BACH), and are looking to … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • QUESTIONING COMPLETE STREETS: An Open Letter to the Cambridge City Council May 15, 2015
      Having a vision of the kind of city you want is an essential foundation for purposeful and effective governance.  Some cities do a coherent overall process, such as Somerville’s SomerVision or Boston’s forthcoming Imagine Boston 2030.  Cambridge has constructed its vision together piecemeal, through policies around a variety of quantitative and qualitative issues.  In either […]
      Steve Miller
    • 2015 Annual Rush Hour Race May 12, 2015
      Tweet Come on bicycles!  We have had one victory, and one almost victory, but we all know that the fastest way around town is by bike.  But sometimes its fun to prove it. After a year off the race is back … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker