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A contest where cities compete to be the most friendly is one in which we all win. And Somerville has edged out “traditional” bike friendly Cambridge for the top spot this year.
Somerville is the top bike commuting city in the Northeast, according to an annual report from the League of American Bicyclists.
Somerville beat out its neighbor, Cambridge, and New Haven, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh to capture the title. The study ranked cities by calculating the percentage of commuters who ride bikes, using 2012 American Community Survey data from the US Census Bureau.
In Somerville, 7.77 percent of commuters regularly ride bikes. Right behind them, in Cambridge about 6.49 percent of commuters travel regularly by bike.
Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone said he was excited, but not surprised, by the ranking: The city has invested in bike lanes and infrastructure for years. “This is not by accident,” he said.
Hayes Morrison, Somerville’s director of transportation and infrastructure, said there’s even more on the horizon for cyclists in Somerville. Adding to the city’s 14 miles of bike lanes, 6 miles of bike paths, and 25 miles of shared roads marked for bicycle travel, the city will soon break ground on its first cycle track — a protected bike lane.
Cambridge is also gearing up to further improve biking in the city.
“Every time we redo a street, we try to make it better for walking and biking,” said Cara Seiderman, the city’s transportation program manager. (via)
Awesome! I saw that they are putting in more bike lanes on Broadway and narrowing the street with a center divider and curb extensions. All in all a great idea to turn that nasty highway like section of Broadway into a livable walk-able community. Once they get that overpass tore down in union and put in the new green line station Somerville will be THE place to ride your bike.
Tags: awesome, somerville, top biking city
Posted in Commuting, infrastructure, news | 2 Comments »
A whole bunch of bike lanes in Somerville are getting painted green. I am not totally sure how I feel about this, but they do seem to be more visible.
Tags: green bike lanes, somerville
Posted in infrastructure | 7 Comments »
Bikes not bombs is awesome, and Flatbread pizza isn’t half bad, put the two together and wham lovely fundraiser for a lovely cause:
Join Bikes Not Bombs for a night of pizza, a raffle & bowling at Flatbread Somerville! Flatbread has generously offered to donate a portion of each flatbread sold (dine-in & take-out) to BNB.
The event will be from 5-10pm at Flatbread Somerville at 45 Day St. Somerville, MA 02144. The Bikes Not Bombs staff will be riding over from the BNB Hub (284 Amory St. Jamaica Plain, MA 02130) at 4pm if you would like to join!
See you there!
FB Event: https://www.facebook.com/
Bikes Not Bombs: https://bikesnotbombs.org
Tags: bikes not bombs, flatbread, somerville
Posted in advocacy | No Comments »
Greg Hum (Contributor) plays drums on his bike, gets people together for really big midnight and monthly bike rides, and is easily distracted by shiny things and fried potatoes. He shares stories and more on his personal bike blog, The Humble Cyclist.
Connect with Greg on Twitter | YouTube
Have you ever wished there was a better way to bike from Boston to Somerville? Or vise-versa?
Not long ago state officials secured $39m in funding for a new Bike and Pedestrian path in Somerville that will connect Somerville and Boston, and yesterday MassDOT released this virtual tour video of the bike path so you can see what it will look like to bike on when it’s completed:
From the globe,
The path, an extension of an existing network of paths, will connect the Lowell Street, Gilman Square, Washington Street and relocated Lechmere stations providing a continuous route between Bedford and Boston for cyclists and on-foot travelers.
This 1.9-mile path is the blue-dotted line on this map (the black-dotted lines are existing paths). In addition to providing a safe bike and pedestrian link between Boston and Somerville, it will also serve as a final link in the 104-mile network of the Massachusetts Central Rail Trail connecting Boston to Northhampton, MA. You’ll not only be able to walk and bike on a safe path from Alewife to Boston, but also from Boston to Central Mass. Pretty exciting stuff (and more info here):
This community path is part of the Green Line Extension project, which will bring the Green Line up into Somerville through Union Square, which you can also ride a virtual train through to see what that will look like:
Both the community path and the Green Line Extension are slated to be completed around 2020, but the path will open up as sections of it are completed.
Tags: bike paths, boston, central rail trail, Green Line, green line extension, rail trail, somerville
Posted in infrastructure | 4 Comments »
This is pretty awesome!
The Community Path is heading to Boston. Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey announced today that the MBTA will build an extension of the path along the future Green Line from Lechmere Station to the forthcoming Lowell Street Station, connecting to the current path and bringing the total length of Somerville’s bicycle and pedestrian path to 2 miles.
Under an agreement between the MBTA and the City of Somerville, the MBTA will first build the path along the future Green Line from Lechmere Station to the forthcoming Brickbottom Station at Washington Street as part of Phase II of the Green Line Extension, which is scheduled for completion in late 2017 with the opening of the new Lechmere, Brickbottom and Union Square stations.
As the Green Line Extension project continues, the MBTA and will build the remaining stretch of the Community Path from Brickbottom Station to the future Lowell Street Station. Last May, MassDOT began work on extending the Community Path from Cedar Street to Lowell Street.
Once the Community Path is fully built, it will create a seamless link from the Minuteman Bikeway to the Charles River paths, creating a 48-mile continuous path network connecting 11 cities and towns in the Greater Boston region. The Community Path will also provide emergency egress and a utility corridor for the Green Line Extension.
“When construction began last May on the Cedar Street to Lowell Street extension of the Community Path, I said it was only the beginning and that we would extend the path to Boston. That day is here thanks to the determination of so many,” said Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. “This project is about much more than biking and walking. It’s about building a community and a region that is equitable, connected and vibrant. When we create connections between neighborhoods and communities, economic health follows as our squares thrive, local businesses get busier and a resilient, self-sufficient economic base is built for our city and the region. That is the connectivity and vibrancy that will also help us bring back our historic neighborhoods like Brickbottom and Inner Belt.”
“Today’s announcement of funding for the GLX Community Path further demonstrates our vision for the future of transportation in the Commonwealth,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “Investment in transportation infrastructure that provides better access to more healthy, sustainable and cost-efficient options is necessary to continue to move Massachusetts forward.”
Bicycle infrastructure is an integral component of the Green Line Extension, which upon completion will have 1,100 bicycle parking spaces throughout the seven stations, including dedicated Pedal and Park enclosed bicycle storage units that can be accessed using a Bike Charlie Card. Last June, MassDOT agreed to fund a complete design of the Community Path from Lowell Street to Lechmere as part of the Green Line Extension; previously, the design ended at Inner Belt.
“MassDOT’s vision for sustainable, healthy, accessible transportation has no better example than the commitment made to the GLX Community Path made here today,” said Secretary Davey. “The Patrick Administration’s continued investment in transportation infrastructure is key to the future of transportation in cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth, and I’m proud to be here in the City of Somerville today celebrating what that will mean for its citizens.”
Somerville’s bike network has more than doubled under Mayor Curtatone’s administration, bringing the city’s total to more than 30 liner miles of bike lanes in a 4.1 square mile city, along with the installation of 75 new bike racks and 10 bike corrals. The City has also updated and added pedestrian safety infrastructure such as street trees, curb bump-outs and ADA-accessible ramps that make the city more walkable. Somerville is now the 7th most walkable city and the 9th most transit-friendly city in the nation, regardless of population size, according the 2014 national Walk Score ratings, and a Silver Bicycle Friendly Community according to The League of American Bicyclists, a designation the city earned only two years after earning a Bronze level designation.
– See more at: http://www.somervillema.gov/news/community-path-extending-boston#sthash.60jzntz2.dpuf
Tags: bike path, community path, somerville
Posted in advocacy, infrastructure, news | No Comments »
|Do you ride in Somerville and want to make our roads safer for biking, but don’t know where to start? Or are you already involved in local projects, but want to become more effective? Sign up today for the two-part Bikeable Communities Training, sponsored by Shape Up Somerville and Mass in Motion.
This is a great opportunity for the concerned, engaged citizen who wants to create changes to better bicycling infrastructure and safety in Somerville. (Don’t worry, you don’t have to participate in Part I to participate in Part II.)
This training will focus on the decision making process in how streets are built and maintained, and explains how to most effectively engage in that process as a local resident. Participants will walk away with a list of “do’s” and “don’ts” when getting involved in local projects.
Part II: Policies, Programs, and Project SolutionsWednesday, October 30th from 6:30 – 8:30 PM Brooklyn Boulders Somerville 12A Tyler Street, Somerville, MA 02143
The Part II training will focus on specific policies, programs and infrastructure projects that support safer, more comfortable bicycling. You are not required to attend the “Part I” training to participate. Participants will walk away with a checklist of infrastructure, programs and policies that support safer bicycling.
RSVP for Part I and Part II at [email protected]. For more information or if you have any questions, feel free to contact the same email address.
Tags: education, massbike, somerville
Posted in advocacy, education, infrastructure | No Comments »
The Boston Globe got it slightly wrong with its “Cycle Tracks Vs Parking Spaces” Headline, mostly because there is no reason that both can’t coexist. Assuming you reduce lane widths, lower speed limits, and in general design streets for people and not cars. Parking spaces can even be integral parts of cycle tracks. So called parking buffered, or parking separated tracks use parked cars to protect cyclists from traffic.
During peak commuting times, over 300 bicycles travel Somerville’s Beacon Street an hour, making it Greater Boston’s busiest cycling corridor. It’s also considered to be the most dangerous in the state, with 154 bicycle accidents in the Inman Square area between 2002 and 2010, according to a state Department of Transportation report.
The street is riddled with potholes, and in certain areas cyclists are frequently exposed to the danger of being “doored:” struck by an opening door of a parked vehicle. But despite the dangers, it has become increasingly popular as a direct bicycle route from Porter Square to Kendall Square.
Using a combination of federal and state grants, Somerville and state transportation planners have devised a $5.5 million project aimed at addressing safety issues and making the street more bike-oriented. It will reconstruct 1.1 miles of Beacon — from Oxford Street to the Cambridge city line, including creating a cycle track, which separates bicycle traffic with a barrier dividing it from cars — and give cyclists their own traffic signals.
City officials and proponents say the plan will enhance bicycle safety without impacting vehicle traffic. But it has become a divisive issue as some residents and business owners have objected to the sacrifice of parking spaces to make room for the cycle track. As currently drawn up, the plan will eliminate about 100 street parking spaces.
But if you MUST eliminate parking spaces in order to increase the number of cyclists, local business owners should be happy. Increased cycling and pedestrian traffic (a side effect of designing streets for people and not cars) leads to more business.
I know people get upset when there is change, but they should relax. Other cities (in fact many many other cities) have implemented these changes before. In almost every case they found that lessening traffic, reducing parking, and generally making streets more people friendly led to higher property values, less pollution, increased business, and happier residents.
We are not re-inventing the wheel here, we are following the example of decades of European (and to a lesser extent American) city planning research. These designs have been tested in lots of places, they work and Somerville should be commended for installing them.
Tags: cycle tracks, somerville, stupid debate
Posted in advocacy, infrastructure | 38 Comments »
Got this in the mail, looks like a great way to give back and still go for a ride. Hope it doesn’t rain!
This ride will start Tuesday night at 6 pm in front of the Independent in Union Square.. They are asking for a minimum $10 donation.
We are a group of bike lovers in and around Somerville, MA. This holiday season, we’re teaming up to bike for a purpose: to bring holiday cheer to homeless and underprivileged children in Somerville.
The Somerville Sleigh Ride
On the evening of Tuesday, December 18th, we are hosting a holiday-themed charity ride through the streets of Somerville. Suggested donation for the ride is $10-$20 (no one turned away).
We will bike through the streets of Somerville dressed up as elves, reindeer, etc, with a pedicab sleigh, and Santa! We’re going to have a lot of fun. There will be caroling throughout the city.
And with the funds raised here on indiegogo and through participants of the ride, we will purchase gifts for homeless and underprivileged children, our neighbors, right here in Somerville.
We’re hoping to provide for as many as 30 kids this year. (30 x 20 = 600!) Your contributions will make this possible. We simply couldn’t do this without your help.
What We Need & What You Get
We need to raise a minimum of $200 for our first Sleigh Ride to be a success. But we want to hit this one out of the ballpark.
The more money we raise, the more kids we can provide for, and the quality of gifts will increase, too. Every little bit counts.
And any and all extra funds raised will go directly to the Somerville Homeless Coalition.
You will get an email update from us after the ride with photos, but more importantly, you’ll get the satisfaction of helping children in need.
We are helping to bring smiles, toy trucks, footie pajamas, fuzzy slippers, etc., to kids in need in our neighborhood! What could be better than that?
Tags: homeless, sleigh ride, somerville
Posted in advocacy, fun | No Comments »