The Latest From BostonBiker.org
News, Events, Updates
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)
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.
Annie, Nate and the CBS core team
Tags: cambridge bicycle safety, Take Action
Posted in advocacy, infrastructure | No Comments »
From the email:
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.
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.
617 349-4321 (work)
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
- 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)
- 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
Tags: Call Now, cambridge, Take Action
Posted in advocacy | No Comments »
Join them! (previously)
Thanks to everyone who signed the Cambridge Bike Safety petition but the fights not over…
This Monday we will be delivering a petition to the Cambridge City Council demanding separated bike lanes on all major thoroughfares in Cambridge and we need YOU to show up on Monday to help us deliver the petition and demand action now! This petition has gathered over 1500 signatures from Cambridge residents and another 2500+ signatures from people who work or ride in Cambridge.
Schedule of Events
5:15pm: Gather, with the help of Second Line Social Aid and Pleasure Society Brass Band!
5:30pm: Council meeting starts, signatures delivered approx 5:45
6:00pm: Back outside for more band!
(Party will continue at Tavern on the Square with drinks and food)
Please show up, forward this message to your friends, and spread the word on social media (Facebook event).
Thanks again for your support!
Tags: cambridge, Take Action
Posted in advocacy | 1 Comment »
State House Hearings on Key Bike Bills Set for Jan. 6
Lawmakers Consider Truck Side Guards, Three-foot Rule, and Other Bills
Hearings have been scheduled on Beacon Hill for several key bills that would impact bicyclists in Massachusetts. To be held Wednesday, Jan. 6, at 10 a.m., these hearings before the Joint Committee on Transportation afford citizens the opportunity to speak for or against proposed legislation. These hearings will be the first opportunity of the New Year for you to get involved – read on to learn how!For many members of the bicycling community these bills have been an ongoing effort. We extend our gratitude to those who have shared their story and contacted their representatives on Beacon Hill. For those of you who have yet to write your lawmakers – there is still time to make an impact!
To read a full listing of the bills and hearings, click here: Mass. Joint Committee on Transportation
“This is the opportunity every citizen gets to weigh in on proposed legislation,” said Richard Fries, executive director of MassBike. “While we file letters and make arguments with data and case studies the most effective influence at these hearings are personal stories from Bay State citizens. We are seeking out testimony from the families and friends of victims whose lives and limbs may have been spared if these laws had been in place.”
Amid several transportation bills filed there are four key bicycling measures to be reviewed in next week’s hearings, two of which were filed by MassBike. What may be confusing is that these are listed as eight measures. This is because the bills have versions in both the House and the Senate, (hence the “H” and “S” designation below) which will be considered together in the Joint Committee on Transportation, which makes up or down recommendations before going to a full vote of the Legislature.
Whether in writing or in person, bicyclists statewide are encouraged by MassBike to participate in helping to secure passage of these measures. Should they not pass in 2016 it would be another two years before we could get these even considered. Of note is that some of these bills would be critical to improve Massachusetts’ spot on the League of American Bicyclists’ Bike Friendly State rankings. Currently we are number four.
These are the bills under consideration:
Truck Side Guard Bill H. 3019/S. 1810
This bill would require side guards and convex mirrors on larger vehicles operating in Massachusetts. A significant percentage of the recent deaths and injuries of bicyclists in the Bay State have involved trucks making right turns in urban situations. This ordinance has been passed in Boston but has little application for trucks registered elsewhere. More than half of bicyclists killed by trucks hit the side of the truck first and are then swept beneath.
Learn more here: Truck Side Guards Explained
Bike Lane Bill H. 2072/S. 1808
This bill is pretty simple in that it would make standing or parking in a bike lane or other on-road bike facility a ticketable offense with a $100 fine. This is not just about the rights of bicyclists. This is a major safety issue for all road users and an environmental issue. The actions of those who double park or park in bike lanes have proved to cause traffic congestion that is often magnified for miles back into the transportation system, wasting fuel and producing unnecessary greenhouse gases.
For more on ways Boston is using interactive data to reduce double-parking and congestion, watch this video: Waze Data and Double Parking
Vulnerable Users Bill H. 3073/S. 1807
Commonly known as a three-feet law, this could be the most significant bill of the bunch for cyclists statewide. Passage of this bill could elevate Massachusetts into the top three of the League of American Bicyclists bike friendly rankings. This bill would require motorists to provide a minimum of three-feet when overtaking a “vulnerable user” even if it requires them to cross the centerline to do so. This bill would align cyclists with police, first responders, construction workers, pedestrians, and others defined as vulnerable users. Research indicates that bicyclists being struck from behind comprise 40 percent of fatalities. Likewise tow truck drivers report a death every six days and police report a fatality every month as they work on our roadways.
Bike Path Crosswalk Bill H. 3072/S. 1808
Passage of this bill would make it legal for bicyclists to do what they are already doing: ride across a bike path crosswalk, provided they yield to pedestrians and operate with reasonable caution. More important it would require motorists to yield to bicyclists in those crosswalks. Current law provides legal protection only to pedestrians in crosswalks, even when they are set as part of a bike path. Currently bicyclists are technically supposed to walk through such intersections if they are to enjoy such protection. This is unrealistic and antiquated.
Any citizen may weigh in during these hearings, but MassBike is working alongside several other members of the Vision Zero Coalition to coordinate a powerful presentation of speakers. Those interested in testifying in support of these bills are urged to contact MassBike at [email protected].
How else can you help?
Contact your lawmakers. For a sample letter and how to find your State Representative or State Senator click here.
Tags: action alert, mass bike, Take Action
Posted in advocacy | No Comments »
5,000 bicyclists and pedestrians die on our roads in the U.S. every year.
That represents a full 16% of all roadway fatalities. These deaths are preventable through better design, policies, and implementation. So what is the United States Department of Transportation planning to do to address this issue? Effectively, nothing.
Within its recently-released proposed safety measures, USDOT does not establish any goals, accountability, nor any attempt to reduce fatalities for people who bike and walk for transportation.
According to analysis of the proposed safety measures by the League of American Bicyclists:
The overall safety performance measure lacks vision, accountability, and urgency. There is NO actual target set for reducing the number of people killed on our roads. States are asked to make “significant progress” towards two of four proposed measures, with a margin of error that could see fatality and injury numbers actually increase.
Cities like New York and San Francisco have set aggressive “Vision Zero” goals to reduce pedestrian and bicycle fatalities. Here in Massachusetts, MassBike recently announced a partnership with MassDOT and DPH on a new program to increase bicyclist and pedestrian safety.
Please take just two minutes to let USDOT know that we must have a national goal to reduce biking and walking fatalities by creating a specific non-motorized safety performance measure. Here are two easy options:
Option 2: You can submit your comments directly to Regulations.gov by clicking here, then clicking on the blue “Comment Here” button atop the right sidebar and following the prompts. In the comment section, copy and paste this message, or modify it if you prefer:
I am writing to endorse the comments submitted to Docket # FHWA-2013-0020 by the League of American Bicyclists.
I believe there should be a specific non-motorized safety performance measure – such a measure is technically feasible and timely given the increasing share of traffic fatalities represented by bicyclists and pedestrians. FHWA’s leadership in establishing such a measure will enable states to collect and analyze critical transportation data that has been needed for decades.
Further, I share the League’s view that the proposed performance measure lacks vision, accountability and urgency. State Departments of Transportation should be held accountable as active partners with the Federal Highway Administration in dramatically reducing the death toll on our nation’s roads.
Thank you for taking action. After you submit your comments, please let us know by emailing [email protected].
Tags: massbike, Take Action
Posted in advocacy, education | No Comments »