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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

    • Cambridge Police Searching For Man Who Pushed Cyclist Off Her Bike September 29, 2016
      TweetHave you seen this guy?  He apparently shoved a woman off her bike while she was riding through Inman on the 22nd. More here.
      Boston Biker
    • Two Hubway Stations Moved September 28, 2016
      TweetHappened last week, but if you haven’t noticed yet this might affect your commute. From Hubway: Stations to move after rush hour on September 22nd Effective Thursday morning, at 10am on September 22nd, after the morning commute rush, the two Hubway … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Submit Comments On Morrissey Blvd. Redesign September 28, 2016
      TweetFrom DotBike: Submit your comments re reconstruction of Morrissey Boulevard! And don’t forget to copy your State Rep and State Senator so they know what’s important to you. Www.wheredoivotema.com is where you can check who yours are. Department of Conservation … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Submit Comments On Morrissey Blvd. Redesign September 28, 2016
      TweetFrom DotBike: Submit your comments re reconstruction of Morrissey Boulevard! And don’t forget to copy your State Rep and State Senator so they know what’s important to you. Www.wheredoivotema.com is where you can check who yours are. Department of Conservation … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Rally For Safer Streets Sept 29th! September 28, 2016
      TweetFrom Livable Streets: The program will start at 6pm sharp with City Council President Michelle Wu and Chief of Streets Chris Osgood. Show up early to meet with Councilor Wu and share your street safety concerns! Streets are For People … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • As Cycling Grows Cambridge Proactive In Education September 25, 2016
      TweetThe City of Cambridge is handing out a copy of the bike laws to all the residents (including incoming Harvard students).  Education is a key component in preventing bike accidents, and I am glad they are passing it out to … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Save The Date: Biketoberfest 2016! September 8, 2016
      TweetFrom the BCU   Thursday, October 13th in Somerville! It’s that time of year again! Join us for a celebration of local breweries, bike-powered businesses and a year of victories for safer streets and better biking in the Boston area! … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • A Simple Sign Change Could Make A Huge Difference September 8, 2016
      TweetSomerville has already started using this new language, Boston has in some cases, but its time to make this the standard. From Road.cc Signs treat cyclists ‘less like potential hazards and more like the legal road users that they are’ … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • DotBike September Update September 8, 2016
      TweetDotBike has been busy! From the email: Dear Dot Bikers,   As we move from sweaty- to sweater-weather biking I hope you’re enjoying your riding! Thanks to many of you who have joined us for #DorchestertoDowntown Bike Friday group commutes … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Bikes Not Bombs Update September 8, 2016
      TweetFrom the email: September 2016 Volunteer or Join with Youth Programs this Fall! Adult Instructor Training starts on Monday! Are you interested in volunteering to help with bike repair and ride marshaling within Earn-A-Bike? Learn more and apply on our … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker