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Do You Want Protected Bike Lanes On The Longfellow?

Written by Boston Biker on Apr 13

From 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 or worse than it is today: it will continue to have a dangerous 5 1/2-foot painted bike lane between fast-moving cars and trucks on one side, and the storm grates and detritus that builds up next to the crash barrier on the other side. The outbound lane will be slightly better, with a small 2-foot buffer separating bikes from one lane of car traffic with no protection.

According to Boston’s bike counts, one-third of AM rush hour commuters are on bicycles. Those families, commuters and visitors deserve a safe space to ride! We have been working to convince state officials to install pilot protected bike lanes by restriping both lanes, inbound and outbound, with buffers and flexposts to provide separation and permanent protection for the commuters, families, and other people traveling over this bridge on bikes.

To make this vision a reality we need to keep the pressure on state officials. Please take these two actions today to ensure help us transform the Longfellow Bridge from a highway to a safe, mulit-modal connector for everyone, including those walking and bicycling!

  1. Call or email your state representative’s and senator’s offices (look yours up here or find the list of Cambridge reps below) as soon as possible and tell them how important it is to you as a constituent that MassDOT update the design to include safe, protected bike lanes on the bridge in both directions. Please copy us or email us afterward ([email protected] and [email protected]) so we can keep a count. Talking points are below.

  2. Sign this petition asking state officials to stripe a safe bike lane with a buffer on the inbound side of the Longfellow. If you’ve already signed, share the link with your friends by email or Facebook.

Background:

A group of advocates led by the Boston Cyclists Union, Cambridge Bicycle Safety, and others has been working to convince state officials to change their plans for the inbound side of the bridge, and use painted buffers and flexposts to provide separation and permanent protection for the commuters, families, and other people traveling over this bridge on bikes.

Specifically, we are asking MassDOT to keep the bridge to one travel lane inbound for cars, in order to install an inbound protected bike lane that would allow cyclists to cross the bridge safely.

  • With only one general travel lane, the protected bike lane can be designed to be quite wide, which will have two ancillary benefits: (1) emergency vehicles like ambulances will be able to safely use the bike lane/buffer when needed (with bicyclists pulling over to the side), (2) bicyclists will be able to safely ride side by side and pass each other on the steep climb up the bridge.

  • We know that one lane is all that’s needed, given that there’s only been one car lane over the past 5+ years of construction, and the traffic implosion that had been predicted never materialized. Also, designating only one travel lane for motor vehicles will reduce speeding.

  • Due to these benefits, the Cambridge City Council officially endorsed this proposed design, and two of our state representatives, Mike Connolly and Jay Livingstone, have publicly written to MassDOT asking them to improve safety by adopting this design. (It’s still important to call Mike and Jay to thank them, so they know this is something people really care about.)

  • Also important to note: the change we are asking for can easily be made, even at this late stage. It primarily involves simply painting different lane markings on the bridge, and does not need to delay the project.

For more information, see the Boston Cyclists Union’s post on the history of the Longfellow bridge project. MassDOT’s currently planned design is using data on mode shares from 9 years ago. In that time, Cambridge bike counts have doubled, and the Longfellow bridge has operated with one vehicular inbound travel lane for 5 years without incident. The bridge must be updated to reflect current trends and emphasize safe, healthy mobility with protected bike lanes in both directions.

Be sure to include Longfellow Bridge in the subject, and if possible add a personal story why this is essential for your safe commute and enjoyment of public spaces.

Sincerely,
The CBS Core Team

Write or call your statehouse legislators using the email addresses and phone numbers below. If you don’t know who they are, visit: https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator

Be sure to include Longfellow Bridge in the subject, copy us ([email protected] and [email protected]), and if possible add a personal story why this is essential for your safe commute and enjoyment of public spaces.

House

Rep. Dave Rogers (24th Middlesex)
617-722-2370        [email protected]

Rep. Marjorie Decker (25th Middlesex)
617-722-2692        Ma[email protected]

Rep. Mike Connolly (26th Middlesex)
617-722-2060        [email protected]

Rep. Jonathan Hecht (29th Middlesex)
617-722-2140        [email protected]

Rep. Jay Livingstone (8th Suffolk)
617-722-2013        [email protected]

Rep. Denise Provost (27th Middlesex, Somerville)
617-722-2263        [email protected]

Senate

Sen. Patricia Jehlen (2nd Middlesex)
617-722-1578        [email protected]

Sen. Sal DiDomenico (Middlesex and Suffolk)
617-722-1650        [email protected]

Sen. Joseph Boncore (1st Suffolk and Middlesex)
617-722-1634        [email protected]


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Last all To Submit Comments For Allston I-90 DEIR

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 07

From Livable Streets:

Are you willing to wait 22 years for your train to show up?

Now is the time to let state leaders know that we can’t afford to wait. The Allston I-90 Interchange project can transform access and mobility for all in the region right now.

Join us and submit comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Review (DEIR) by Friday, February 9Each comment becomes part of the environmental review process and helps to define the issues MassDOT must address going forward.

Here are three key points to make in your comment letter:

  • Transit should be a priority. We need West Station now, not in 22 years, as a construction mitigation measure and to ensure transit-oriented development.
  • Don’t build the viaduct. A surface option will save millions of dollars, be more practical, and maintain opportunities for multimodal connections to and from the river.
  • We need better accommodations for walking and biking along the Charles River. Check out WalkBoston’s proposal to #UnchokeTheThroat!
  • Design a network of safe, human-scaled streets in the proposed new neighborhood.

To review a longer list of talking points to include in your letter, check out our website here.

Send an email with your comments and your name and address to [email protected]us by close of business on Friday, February 9, 2018, and please cc us at [email protected]

The decisions being made over the next few months will determine whether this is a highway redesign to move cars or a truly multimodal project for people. At this critical point in the planning process, every voice counts. Act now!

LivableStreets Alliance
http://www.livablestreets.info/


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Take Action! Support Safe Streets Legislation

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 31

From livable streets:

Next Wednesday, February 7th is the deadline for legislative committees to act on bills, and An Act to Reduce Traffic Fatalities remains in front of the Joint Committee on Transportation.

Will you help us make Massachusetts streets safer for all? The Committee needs to hear from you!

LivableStreets and the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition have been working closely with Senator Brownsberger and Representatives Hecht and Rogers to develop a comprehensive traffic safety bill that will prevent crashes and protect vulnerable road users. Act now and help us enact these street safety measures into law!

It’s easy, just follow these three simple steps:

1. Find out if your legislators are co-sponsors of the bill.

2. Send an email to the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Transportation and your state legislators (see template email provided below). Emails should be sent to the committee chairs, copying your Representative and Senator, by Thursday, February 1st.

3. Make sure to copy [email protected] on your email.

About the Bill
An Act to Reduce Traffic Fatalities (S1905/H2877) will ensure basic, but necessary traffic regulations to guarantee that everyone on our streets can expect to get from point A to point B safely. The bill’s provisions that the Vision Zero Coalition believes will make the biggest difference to the safety of people walking and biking are:

  • Lowering default speed limit on state highways and parkways in thickly settled areas from 30 mph to 25 mph
  • Allowing municipalities to install limited traffic safety cameras exclusively for speeding and red light & right turn violations
  • Equipping state contracted trucks with safety side-guards to reduce pedestrian & bicyclist fatalities
  • Prohibits usage of mobile devices, except those in hands-free mode, while operating a motor vehicle
  • Vulnerable road user language

What’s Next?
If the bill is reported favorably by this committee, it will be sent on to the House or Senate Ways and Means Committee. If it is reported unfavorable or “studied,” it would essentially be dead for the remainder of this legislative session.


EMAIL INSTRUCTIONS AND SAMPLE TEXT

To: [email protected]gov[email protected]gov

CC: Your State Senator and Representative (if you don’t know who they are, click here); [email protected]

Recommended email subject: Support of An Act to reduce traffic fatalities S1905/H2877

Sample email text:

Dear Senator Boncore, Representative Straus, and members of the Joint Committee on Transportation,

I am writing to urge a favorable report for An Act to reduce traffic fatalities, (S1905 – Brownsberger, H2877 – Hecht and Rogers).

Serious injury and deaths from traffic crashes continue with troubling frequency on our streets. An Act to reduce traffic fatalities S1905/H2877 is a comprehensive piece of legislation which aims to create safer streets for all users, including bicyclists, pedestrians, and passengers of motor vehicles.

[Tell your own story here. Why is this bill important to you?]

Thanks again for your consideration, and I urge a favorable report for this bill.

[full name
street address
city/town, state, zip
phone:
email: ]


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Share A Scary Biking Moment

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 26

From the Cambridge Bicycle Safety group:

First responders are called to 160 crashes every year involving a person on a bike being struck by a car according to Cambridge Police Department data, but we know there are many more that go unreported.

Every day people on bikes have close calls or are hit by cars on our streets. Unless it’s a major crash, we don’t know about it or don’t hear about it. Though they may not be in the statistics, these experiences exact a toll on the person riding a bike, their friends, and family who sometimes have to deal with years of trauma or injury.

The 160 moments project seeks to hear the untold experiences of people who ride in Cambridge and why it is so important that the City rapidly move toward a city-wide network of protected bike lanes.

The stories should be short, less than 160 words. Please submit by Wednesday, January 31stShare your moment now. It will only take a few minutes.

Thanks,
CBS core organizing team


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Hubway Is Expanding In Boston Voice Your Input On New Station Locations

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 13

Hubway 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 Saturday, BTD is hosting more than 28 workshops in neighborhoods all across Boston. You know your community best, so they need your input!

These workshops will be an opportunity for you to connect with your neighbors and discuss the best potential locations for bike share stations together.

Join the team and your neighbors at these September workshops:

Jamaica Plain – September 13, 6 PM – BCYF Hennigan, 200 Heath St
Dorchester – September 14, 6 PM – Grove Hall Library, 41 Geneva Ave
South End – September 16, 10 AM –  BCYF Blackstone, 50 W Brookline St
Mattapan – September 19, 6 PM – BCYF Mattahunt, 100 Hebron St
Roslindale – September 20, 6 PM – BCYF Menino, 125 Brookway Rd
Jamaica Plain – September 23, 10 AM – Connolly Branch Library, 433 Centre St
Back Bay – September 27, 6 PM – Central Library, 700 Boylston St
Charlestown – September 28, 6 PM – Charlestown Branch Library, 179 Main St

Visit boston.gov/bike-share-expansion for a full list of workshops and to learn more about how you can get involved in the planning process.

Can’t make it to a workshop in your neighborhood? No worries! Although each workshop will focus on the neighborhood where the meeting is held, BTD will have materials available to discuss all neighborhoods that are under consideration for the expansion. You are welcome to join any workshop.

BTD is looking forward to your feedback on this big expansion!


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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