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Somerville Educating Drivers With Electric Road Sign

Written by Boston Biker on Aug 31

I have been enjoying going past this road sign the last couple weeks, every couple days it has a new message for motorists.

A week or so ago it was explaining how bike boxes work, I didn’t get a picture of that.  Then after that it was telling people to look for bikes before they open their car doors….I didn’t get a picture of that either.

 

But I did get these ones.

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“Look for bikes before turning”

 

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“Bicycles can always use full travel lane”

 

Keep it up Somerville!


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Cyclist Killed When Struck By Commuter Rail In Somerville

Written by Boston Biker on Aug 29

I rode past this scene yesterday and was not aware of what had happened, only that a lot of police were there, and the road was blocked off. Very sad, my heart goes out to his friends and family.

A man riding a bicycle was struck and killed by a commuter rail train in Somerville around 1:30 p.m. Sunday, according to MBTA Transit Police.

The victim, who is believed to be between the ages of 25 and 30, was crossing a portion of the tracks that intersect Park Street near Prospect Hill when he was hit by an oncoming Fitchburg Line train, transit police said.

The bicyclist was pronounced dead at the scene, spokeswoman for the City of Somerville Jackie Rossetti said.

Crossing gates were fully functioning and had been dropped in preparation for the train’s approach, transit police said in a statement.(via)

We may never know why he thought he could beat the train, or why he didn’t pay attention to the safety guards, but its still tragic when someone loses their life unnecessarily. People become blind to safety systems, and sometimes think they are faster than they are, or perhaps he was suicidal.

At a time like the main thing to remember is that this was a human life, and it was valuable, and it is gone now.

When its all over, we need to take a hard look at this intersection to make sure nothing further can be done to discourage people from doing what this poor young man did.


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BBMA Spring Sprints Tournament Series

Written by Boston Biker on Mar 26

Found this in my local bike shop, looks like a good time!

 

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I have been to these sorts of sprints before, its a blast, go check it out and support the 2016 NACCC’s!


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“Share The Road” Don’t Work, Somerville Gets That

Written by Boston Biker on Nov 05

People seem to be confused when they see the words “share” not just around here, but everywhere.  Which is why “share the road” signs are often less helpful than you might think.  I think the Boston interpretation of those signs is something like “everyone else get out of the way!”

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It’s gotten so bad that at least one state has stopped using them all together.

 

Via BikeDe.org:

Comprehension of the familiar “Share the Road” signage as a statement of bicyclists’ roadway rights has been challenged, based on arguments that it is ambiguous, imprecise, frequently misinterpreted, and not designed for that purpose…In fact, the US state of Delaware discontinued use of the “Share the Road” plaque in November, 2013.”

– From “Bicycles May Use Full Lane” Signage Communicates U.S. Roadway Rules and Increases Perception of Safety, North Carolina State University, August 28, 2015

In November of 2013, Delaware formally discontinued the use of the “Share The Road” sign, the first (and so far still the only) U.S. state to do so. The sign was interpreted in diametrically opposite ways by cyclists and motorists and failed to prevent conflict and hostility between motorists and cyclists. Arguably, the sign may actually have been causing conflict.

Now a study published on Friday by researchers at North Carolina State University (NCSU) has confirmed what Delaware already knew: “Share The Road” is a problem.

The authors of the new study – both NCSU faculty – surveyed nearly 2,000 people and found that there was “no statistically significant difference in responses between those who saw ‘Share the Road’ signage and those who saw no signage” whatsoever in terms of their comprehension that cyclists are permitted in the center of the travel lane; that cyclists do not have to move right to allow motorists to pass within the same lane; or that motorists should wait for a break in traffic before passing in the adjacent lane.

In sharp contrast to the complete uselessness of “Share The Road”, survey respondents who were shown the “Bicycle May Use Full Lane” sign showed uniformly high understanding of permissible cyclist lane positioning and appropriate safe passing behavior for motorists.

Which was why I was so happy to see this gem in Somerville yesterday:

It’s a little hard to see, but the giant blinking sign reads:

 

“IMPORTANT! IMPORTANT! IMPORTANT!”

“CYCLISTS MAY USE THE FULL LANE”

“ANYWHERE, ANYTIME, IT’S THE LAW”

This is the same intersection that recently got new bike boxes (which still sadly are not working all that well, drivers are ignoring the signs)

What also makes this sign so useful is that this particular stretch of road is just too narrow to safely “share” you have to take the whole lane or you will be squished. This road is so narrow that a bus and a car can’t pass going opposite directions if there is a parked car. It’s so narrow that a bus can’t fit in it’s own lane, even if there is no parked cars…so the sign is a good reminder to asshole drivers that cyclists need to take the whole lane, because otherwise they would get hit.

(There is also a cop who likes to hang around this intersection, he will give you a ticket for running this red light on your bike, but he is really nice guy, if you don’t sass him he will give you a warning, also don’t run red lights on your bike)


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Union Square Getting Bike Boxes

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 21

These little guys have been springing up all over the union square area.20150921_084446

 

So far…lets just say that the motorists and cyclists have not been understanding how to use them.

There were two giant open boxes here, and a million cyclists crammed into the bike lane to my right.  As soon as some cars pulled up we got this.

 

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Perhaps with more use they will get the idea, but personally I would have liked to see some targeted enforcement by police officers for the first couple of days, no tickets needed, just giving them a chat and showing them that Somerville is serious about the bike boxes.

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Also as a side note, see the nice textured green stuff they painted the bike boxes with, its not slick in the rain, and it doesn’t reflect light.   However the paint the city laid down over the existing bike lanes is neither textured, and it does shine very brightly in the sun blinding you in the morning and evening.  More of this bumpy green stuff, less of the slightly blue reflector paint please.


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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Do You Want Protected Bike Lanes On The Longfellow? April 13, 2018
      TweetFrom Cambridge Bike Safety: The Longfellow Bridge, a critical bike connector to Boston, is going to be restriped and reopened in May. You may be surprised to learn that in the final design, the inbound bike lane will be similar … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • #30DaysofBiking Day 7 April 7, 2018
      TweetThis is better! A sunny, somewhat cool spring day. Me on my bike, my daughter on a trail-a-bike, and my son on his bike. We rode down the Southwest Corridor, stopped at Ula Cafe for lunch, rode over by Jamaica … Continue reading →
      Liam
    • Riding Lexington Street, Waltham, July 4, 2015 April 7, 2018
      TweetIt should be noted that bike lanes have been installed on much of the stretch of Lexington Street shown in the videos. Videos showing the new conditions are in preparation. Two videos, for now: A demonstration of lane control in … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Riding Lexington Street, Waltham, July 4, 2015 April 7, 2018
      TweetIt shoudl be noted that bike lanes have been installed on much of the stretch of Lexington Street shown in the videos. Videos showing the new conditions are in preparation. Two videos, for now: A demonstration of lane control in … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • #30DaysofBiking Days 3,4,5, and 6 April 6, 2018
      TweetIt’s been cold, rainy, windy, and I’m not sleeping well. These days of biking are short rides on Hubway to get from here to there, head down, and shivering. This is not the joyous Days of Biking I signed up … Continue reading →
      Liam
    • #30DaysofBiking Day 2 April 3, 2018
      Tweet Easter Monday.  The first work day of April.  Today is the day I’m going to start riding my bike to work again! Or not.  Because it’s snowing.  And I’m tired and lazy. But every bit of biking counts no … Continue reading →
      Liam
    • #30DaysofBiking Day 1 April 2, 2018
      TweetI didn’t think I was going to go for a bike ride on Easter Sunday.  As tends to be my habit, I ride less and less in the winter time and then find it hard to get back into the … Continue reading →
      Liam
    • Police Seek Driver Who Struck Cyclist In Hit And Run March 23, 2018
      Tweet Cambridge police are asking for the public’s help in finding a driver who allegedly struck a 14-year-old boy on the morning of March 15 and fled the scene. A silver Toyota Prius struck the boy around 7:22 a.m. that … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Pewter Cast “Gem” Earrings March 9, 2018
      Carved, cast and made these pewter (lead free) “gem” earrings.  They have a lovely faceted surface that catches the light and has a lot of depth and interesting texture.  My first real effort at making my own beads.  If you lik... Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Silver “Rock” Earrings March 9, 2018
        I carved and cast these silver “rock” earrings for my partner. The hardest part was getting those little jump rings soldered to the top of the “rock” without melting them or the rock…but I did it and she loved them. Continue reading →
      Boston Biker