The Latest From BostonBiker.org

News, Events, Updates


Action: Sign Letter On Crucial Inman Square Redesign Changes

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 19

From the email:

Want to ensure that the design Cambridge is fast-tracking for Inman Square maximizes our ability to deliver on a vibrant, people-centered neighborhood? Please review and sign our letter calling for changes right now! Read on for more info.

As you know, the city is redesigning Inman Square and has selected a signalized design. The city’s proposed signalized design includes a number of essential features including protected bike lanes throughout the intersection, floating bus stops at the edges of the intersection, and a bus priority lane through a congested part of the intersection.

Unfortunately, the design also has two significant flaws that a coalition of neighborhood groups and residents, including Cambridge Bicycle Safety, are asking to be addressed.

  1. The current design includes four lanes of motor vehicle traffic in the heart of Inman Square, which represents a significant increase relative to the status quo.

  2. Because the design dedicates so much space to motor vehicles, it requires the removal of most of Vellucci Park, including a number of mature trees, in order to create space for cars to queue while still allowing for a new plaza space in front of Punjabi Dhaba.

These flaws are not necessary. The Inman Square Coalition has put together a list of recommendations for how the plan can be modified to avoid these flaws. The full list of recommendations is available here, and a letter to the City Council, City Manager, and other city staff in support of the core recommendations is available here.

TAKE ACTION: Please sign onto our letter requesting the city make these changes. Add your name here and share this email with your networks.

In addition to signing the letter, we encourage you to write your own thoughts to [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected].

We’ve placed some FAQs below.

Sincerely,
The CBS core team

FAQ

Q: Does the design really work with only two lanes?

A: Yes, the Coalition’s proposal has been reviewed by a traffic engineer and it works.

Q: What about the fire trucks, ambulances, etc? Will they be able to get through with only two lanes?

A: Yes, they will be able to get through. The two lanes will be wide enough for cars to pull over and allow fire trucks and ambulances to pass, just like they do on other two-lane streets around the city. The city’s other signalized design option included only two lanes, and although it was not chosen, the city gave it a thumbs up on public safety grounds.

Q: Doesn’t Vellucci Park suck anyway? Who cares?

A: Vellucci Park can and should get a makeover as part of the redesign process. But, its 40-year old trees – and their environmental and quality-of-life benefits – cannot easily be replaced. Also, even in the long run, the city’s design appears to create a net loss of contiguous open space, particularly when one looks closely at the placement of driveways in the proposed new plaza space. In contrast, if Vellucci is preserved and a new plaza space is created, the redesign results in a significant net increase in open space.

Q: Doesn’t the city’s design include protected bike lanes? Why are we still complaining?

A: Yes, the city’s design includes a number of awesome features, in particular, protected bike lanes throughout the intersection, which is a huge win for bike safety! However, that doesn’t mean that the design doesn’t have significant flaws, including safety flaws due to excessive speed at off-peak hours, etc., which the city should correct.

Q: I have additional concerns with the design. Should I still sign this letter?

A: Yes! And also send your other concerns separately. We are not claiming that this is an exhaustive list of concerns with the design. The Coalition’s two core recommendations are structural changes with the design that must be addressed ASAP in the design process, so it’s important to focus a broad consensus behind the need to make those two changes at this moment.


submit Action: Sign Letter On Crucial Inman Square Redesign Changes to reddit.com Add to Reddit.

Tags: ,
Posted in advocacy | No Comments »

Two Actions This Week! Brattle St./Mass. Ave. (Mon), Cambridge St. (Wed)

Written by Boston Biker on May 15

From the email:

Protected bicycle infrastructure is moving ahead in parts of Cambridge, and there will be two opportunities this week to show strong community support for safer streets through the Brattle Street/Mass Ave (Mon) and Cambridge Street (Wed) projects. We have been very encouraged working with city staff, residents, and local businesses so far to make these successful, but we need to push for safe designs that create a network, particularly with two-way flows. Finally, we include an op-ed that details three important areas for improvement with the city’s proposed Inman Square redesign.

 

Monday May 15, 5-8PM: Brattle St/Mass Ave Protected Bicycle Lanes Open House
City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, Lobby, RSVP on Facebook

 

Initial plans for protected bike lanes to be installed this spring on Brattle Street from Eliot to Mason Street and Mass Ave from Trowbridge to Quincy Street will be on display at the City Hall annex, giving us all an opportunity to weigh in with city staff. Both of these projects can provide safe connections in and out of Harvard Square as long as they are designed to be two-way (including contra-flow directions). Creating a viable bicycle network in Cambridge will require many such two-way designs, which we need to advocate for early and often.

 

Wed May 17, 6-8PM: Cambridge St Protected Bicycle Lane Final Public Meeting
Cambridge Rindge & Latin School, Main Cafeteria, 459 Broadway, RSVP on Facebook

 

The city will hold its second and final public meeting for the Cambridge St protected bicycle lane project, running from Inman Square to Quincy Street and making key connections to CRLS, Cambridge Hospital and local businesses. This meeting is really important, even for those of us who attended the previous public meeting, for two reasons. First, it’s important for the city to continue to hear that this project has strong support from the community. Second, detailed plans will be presented at this meeting and we need to make sure they have as safe a design as possible, without unnecessary flaws that could make them less useful – especially since this project will serve as a template for future protected thoroughfares.

 

Cambridge Chronicle Op-Ed: Three changes to make a safe, people-centered Inman Square

 

At the last public meeting, the city stated that it will be moving forward with a signalized “bend” option for Inman Square, not the roundabout. The design includes essential safety features, such as protected bike lanes and floating bus stops – which is a huge win for bike safety – but it unfortunately also includes features more suitable for a highway than a people-centered square.

 

Some of us wrote a response to the city’s proposed design in the Cambridge Chronicle, detailing the challenge of creating a safe, neighborhood-focused square with the signalized “bend” option and proposed three changes to try to match the levels of safety of the roundabout in the city’s preferred design. You can read more about the most recent Inman Square redesign meeting in the Cambridge Day.

 

P.S. Check out this post on Nine Low-Cost Ideas for Making Cambridge Bicycling Safer by Tom Meek.

 

Sincerely,

Cambridge Bicycle Safety


submit Two Actions This Week! Brattle St./Mass. Ave. (Mon), Cambridge St. (Wed) to reddit.com Add to Reddit.

Tags: ,
Posted in advocacy | No Comments »

4/29 Is The Boston Neighborhood Bike Forum

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 27

From the email:

———

The Let’s Get Healthy, Boston! project will be hosting a Boston Neighborhood Bike Forum on Saturday, April 29th in Dudley Square. This event is meant to bring together Boston residents to connect, share, learn and envision what biking could be in our neighborhoods.
The save the date is below (and attached) and a link to the Facebook event can be found here. Please share as you see fit and stay tuned for more details.


submit 4/29 Is The Boston Neighborhood Bike Forum to reddit.com Add to Reddit.

Tags: ,
Posted in advocacy, events | No Comments »

Take Action For A Safer Inman Square

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 06

From CBS:

We’ve got one action for you to take this week for a safer Inman Square, and an update on the Inman Square redesign and the spring protected bike lane network.

Take Action for A Safer Inman Square

1. Review the City’s four design options and then fill out the Design Survey. The city will pick ONE design to proceed with to a 25% design. We need cyclists to reiterate that protected lanes must be included. The Boston Cyclists Union has posted a handy guide on the strengths and weaknesses of the four options.

2. Show up TOMORROW, Tuesday, February 7th to the second presentation of the Inman Square design options; the last meeting had an overwhelming turnout. RSVP & share on Facebook!

Cambridge Public Library (Main Branch), Lower Level (L2)
449 Broadway
5-8 PM Open House, with a 7 PM presentation

Additional office hours they’ve scheduled to view the designs:
344 Broadway, Second Floor (City Hall Annex)
Mon 6-7 PM
Tues – Thurs 12-1PM

Spring Protected Bike Lane Network

We had a good turnout at the city council meeting last week, with bicycle safety being the most-mentioned topic during public comment. The great news is that the councillors unanimously voiced support for an accelerated and broader spring network! This was unprecedented, as councillors, in the past, have raised concerns about the implementation and pushback from some constituents. You can see what the councillors and city staff said in our live tweets here.

Thank you to everyone who has emailed, called, and appeared at council meetings. You’re the reason we’ve gotten this far but we want to continue to work with the city to see a broader implementation of protected bike lanes for people of all ages and abilities. Community meetings will be scheduled soon and we’ll need to continue to speak up and show up to keep the pressure on.

Best,
Annie, Nate and the CBS core team


submit Take Action For A Safer Inman Square to reddit.com Add to Reddit.

Tags: ,
Posted in advocacy, infrastructure | No Comments »

Action Alert: Call Cambridge City Councilors by Monday for Protected Bike Lanes!

Written by Boston Biker on Nov 05

The group of citizens in Cambridge pushing for safer streets is on a roll! (more, here and here)

From the email:

Thanks to all of your support, we have motivated the Cambridge City Council to pass 8 policy orders requiring the immediate implementation of improved bicycling infrastructure, we have gathered over 3380 petition signatures demonstrating support for these critical improvements and we have turned out for three actions at City Hall marking the urgency of making these improvements now.

Unfortunately, the City has delayed or declined to implement all of the orders that involve actual infrastructure, so our fight to create safe streets in Cambridge is not over! The following is your third call to action.

THE ACTION

WHAT: Call Cambridge City Councilors
WHEN: Before 5pm Monday (11/7)
ALSO:  if you’re able, join us at the City Council Meeting, Monday November 7 at 5:30pmto offer public comment

We need each of you to call Cambridge City Councilors (contact information listed below) and ask them to explain why they have not followed through on all of the 8 policy orders that they approved on October 17th.

Here’s why this is important to do right now: Councillor Mazen, with support from Councillor Devereux, has introduced motions to instruct the city to act quickly. Passage of these motions by the full council this Monday is the clearest route to making sure the changes the City Council already ordered actually happen in a timely way.

INSTRUCTIONS & SCRIPT

The following is a draft script you can use when you call. If you are leaving a voicemail, please ask the councillor to call you back with answers to your questions.

  • I am a Cambridge resident (or I ride to work, etc. on Cambridge streets) and I want to know why the City has not yet implemented the popup protected bike lanes on Mass. Ave., Cambridge, Broadway, and Hampshire called for in the policy orders the City Council passed over two weeks ago, which are designed to ensure that our streets are safe for cyclists, and the first three of which were supposed to go in on Nov. 1, 2016.

    We hope you will come out in clear support of the motions from the Neighborhood & Long Term Planning Committee, particularly numbers 1 and 3, to begin implementing the policy orders from Oct. 17 immediately, with a popup protected bike lane by winter on one street and a full network of popup protected lanes this spring, as well as protected bike lanes on Huron Ave.

    See further talking points below

If you can, please place your call before the next city council meeting this Monday at 5:15pm. Calling is the most persuasive action, but if you cannot call then please contact councillors by email and ask them to respond to your questions. The following is a list of city councillors that we most need to persuade.

Denise Simmons (Mayor)
[email protected]
617 349-4321 (work)

Leland Cheung
[email protected]
617-444-9080 (home)
617-349-4280 (work)

Marc C. McGovern (Vice Mayor)
[email protected]
617-642-1731 (home)
617-349-4280 (work)

Sincerely,
Annie and Nate

FURTHER BACKGROUND & TALKING POINTS

What’s happened before now?

  • 8 policy orders were passed 10/17, including:
    • pop-up bike lanes on Mass Ave, Hampshire, Cambridge, Broadway
    • revisit Huron / Pearl St to improve bike infrastructure per bike plan
    • include bike leaders in Vision Zero working group
  • City presented on its plan this Wednesday 11/2:
    • planning to implement one pop-up by Spring (on part of Cambridge St), no others in foreseeable future
    • not going to revisit Huron, Pearl St will have parking studies done
    • Vision Zero group with community leaders to be formed by December
What’s on the agenda for Monday 11/7?
  • Most important are motions #1 and 3 from the Neighborhood and Long-term Planning Committee to move up the pop-up for one street from Spring to NOW (pre-Winter), put in a larger network of pop-ups in the spring, and put in protected lanes on Huron as it is reconstructed.
  • See the motions here
  • Mayor Simmons has a policy order to implement all 8 policies by Nov 2017
    • this is WAY TOO SLOW. Which is why we MUST make sure the pop-ups get done by pre-Winter/Spring
    • When talking to her, you can say “thank you, but we need you to vote YES on the motion to move the pop-up to pre-Winter”. This is fine, since some of the 8 policies can get done by Nov 2017 (e.g. the website for bike safety)
Talking points:
  • We realize this is an ambitious program, so we need city councillors working with the city staff to move this work forward
  • In the past three months since Amada Phillip’s death there have been over 80 recorded crashes in Cambridge involving cyclists. Of the 69 crashes that were so serious they were reported to the police, 44 have been on Cambridge, Mass Ave, Hampshire, or Broadway
  • The city is encouraging new businesses (e.g. in Kendall) to minimize parking and encourage workers to commute by bike, but then not providing the needed infrastructure for safe commuting
  • We want to see cyclists from ages 8 to 80 able to get across the city safely.
  • Protected bike lanes increase safety for all users of the street and also increase foot traffic to businesses
  • Tell them your personal biking story

We need your help! Looking for all skills and levels of commitment. If you want to see better streets, please join us!
Yes, I’ll get involved


submit Action Alert: Call Cambridge City Councilors by Monday for Protected Bike Lanes! to reddit.com Add to Reddit.

Tags: , ,
Posted in advocacy | No Comments »

The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Commonwheels Partners with Scouts to Help Homeless June 19, 2017
      This time we have guest authors from Girl Scout Troop 75006 who we partnered with this spring: This year, we really wanted to do something that would help our wider community. After looking into some issues we care about, we learned that there is a se... Continue reading →
      commonwheels
    • Commonwheels Partners with Scouts to Help Homeless June 19, 2017
      This time we have guest authors from Girl Scout Troop 75006 who we partnered with this spring: This year, we really wanted to do something that would help our wider community. After looking into some issues we care about, we learned that there is a se... Continue reading →
      commonwheels
    • Bikes Not Bombs Update June 19, 2017
      TweetOn Sunday June 4th we welcomed 635 riders to our 30th Annual Bike-A-Thon! These hard working riders raised over $176,000 for our youth, international and bike shop programs. Over 130 folks joined us on our brand new 100 mile Century … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • DCR Public Meeting On 6/27 RE: Morrissey Blvd Redesign June 19, 2017
      TweetFrom DotBike: On the evening of Tuesday 6/27 there is an important public meeting to learn about DCR’s preliminary plans for the redesign of Morrissey Boulevard and to provide feedback.   See below for details.     PUBLIC MEETING #3 … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Livable Streets Update June 19, 2017
      TweetFrom the email: ———– What’s happening 3 reasons to sign up for Tour de Streets today Tour de Streets is LivableStreets’ biggest fundraiser of the year, and – more importantly – it’s a ton of fun! Here are three reasons to … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Bicycle Lockers Coming To Framingham Commuter Rail Station June 19, 2017
      TweetFrom The Email: ——————— As part of the development of the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority (MWRTA) Intermodal Center http://mwrta.com/ at the Framingham commuter rail station rental bicycle lockers are being installed for commuters to safely store their bicycles and accessories on … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Action: Sign Letter On Crucial Inman Square Redesign Changes June 19, 2017
      TweetFrom the email: Want to ensure that the design Cambridge is fast-tracking for Inman Square maximizes our ability to deliver on a vibrant, people-centered neighborhood? Please review and sign our letter calling for changes right now! Read on for more … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Cambridge Releases Crash Report For The Year June 2, 2017
      TweetSummary, lots of new riders, so more crashes, but crash rate down.  Overall good news, as the number of riders has skyrocketed the crash per-capita has gone down, meaning that more riders have lead to safer riding. Still a lot … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • 5th Annual Rush Hour Challenge June 2, 2017
      TweetFrom LivableStreets:   The 5th Annual Rush Hour Challenge is less than a week away! This friendly competition dares to answer the age-old question: what’s the most reliable form of transportation for getting around Boston? This year, there will be two parts to … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • 6/12 Discussion On The Beacon St Redesign June 2, 2017
      TweetFrom the email: You’re invited! Join us, the Boston Transportation Department, for a public meeting about Beacon St Monday, June 12 | 6:00 pm Main Branch of the Boston Public Library 700 Boylston St | Commonwealth SalonWe have developed a … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker