Bike News

Boston Cyclist Union Still Fighting For Improvements To Longfellow

Anyone who has ridden over the new Longfellow bridge knows…its not good.  Even with the new “improvements” it still is pretty bad, especially considering how much better it could be.  But the BCU and a lot of other people are STILL FIGHTING!

Update from them below:

It’s been more than a month since you’ve received an update on the Longfellow, and a lot has happened!

The Boston City Council unanimously passed a resolution last month endorsing our proposed striping design, joining the Cambridge City Council, which passed a similar resolution in April. Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone and Rep. Mike Capuano also endorsed the plan, with Capuano writing to MassDOT, “…the Boston Cyclists Union raises legitimate concerns, and I urge MassDOT to address them.”

Responding to mounting pressure and working with advocates, MassDOT has already committed to several safety improvements we have been asking for. This includes reducing the speed limit to 25 miles per hour, and installing a speed feedback board; narrowing inbound travel lanes by a total of one foot, while widening the bike lane from 5.5’ to 6.5’; installing flex posts on the inbound and outbound sides to physically separate cyclists from moving car traffic; and adding signage directing large vehicles to use the left inbound lane, to give additional comfort to cyclists in the bike lane. All of these changes to the original design are slated for completion in the first week of June.

These are all welcome changes that will make the bridge dramatically safer than it would have been under MassDOT’s original plan. We applaud MassDOT for listening to and heeding the voices of so many cyclists, advocates and elected officials, and for showing a commitment to working with us toward a safer solution.

What’s more, MassDOT is not done making improvements to the bridge. After hearing from us, many of you, and other stakeholders who have engaged with them over the past few months asking for safety upgrades to the bridge’s design, MassDOT is working hard to respond to our concerns. Yesterday, MassDOT met with stakeholders, who have engaged over the past few months with safety concerns over the bridge design, to discuss future plans to make the bridge even safer. Secretary Pollack committed to working with stakeholders to run a pilot on the inbound side of the bridge, testing out the narrowing of the bridge to one lane for cars with a wider, separated bike lane that would allow safe passing. We’ll be looking to you to give feedback as this change happens, to help secure the safer, wider lane permanently, so please continue to follow the progress and be in touch with us!

This is a huge victory, and it would not have been possible without you showing up and speaking up. Whether you canvassed for signatures, signed our petition online or in person, emailed or called your state rep or city councilor — YOU made a difference and are impacting a decade-old decision that many felt was unchangeable. We are accomplishing the impossible, all because we stood together to ensure MassDOT listened. This is our collective strength in action.

We look forward to seeing this project progress. We hope the flex posts and other design changes make you feel safer when the bridge reopens to full beneficial use, and we are eager to see what further improvements we can achieve by continuing to work together. Momentum is on our side.

Podium Imports to distribute Tailwind Nutrition in Canada

PENTICTON, British Columbia (BRAIN) —  Podium Imports has been appointed the exclusive Canadian distributor for Tailwind Endurance Nutrition.  Tailwind, based in Durango, Colorado, was developed by Jeff and Jenny Vierling from a need to find an all-day source of nutrition, hydration and electrolyte replacement that would upset the stomach. “Now that we have established Tailwind in the U.S., we can turn our attention to other markets,” said Tailwind co-founder Jenny Vierling

PeopleForBikes and Bicycle Blue Book collaborate to promote National Trade-in Your Bike Month

BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — Bicycle Blue Book and PeopleForBikes are promoting a self-declared National Trade-in Your Bike Month in June. PeopleForBikes recently promoted bike trade-ins on its blog and included Bicycle Blue Book’s directory of retailers who participate in its trade-in program

Raffle of handmade custom bikes to benefit Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship

GRAEAGLE, Calif.

Southern California’s ARB Cyclery closes its doors

IRVINE, Calif. (BRAIN) — After serving Orange County cyclists for more than a decade, ARB Cyclery’s last day of business was May 31.

BRAIN Dealer Tour tastes Kansas’ gravel on its final day

LAWRENCE, Kan. (BRAIN) — Forty-six miles of riding — a good dusty chunk of it on gravel roads — brought the BRAIN Dealer Tour crew to visit two shops Thursday. One store was less than two months old in a tiny town that happens to be along a popular cycling route.

Bike community mourns death of mechanic and activist who died in cougar attack

SEATTLE (BRAIN) — The bike community across the country, including colleagues at at least two bike shops, is mourning the death of S.J.

PFB, industry leaders visit Capitol Hill to support Recreation Not Red Tape Act

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — PeopleForBikes led a group of 12 industry leaders to Capitol Hill this week in support of the Recreation Not Red Tape Act. which aims to improve and break down the barriers to recreational riding opportunities on public lands.

Action Alert: Council To Vote On Inman Sq Redesign TODAY

From the email:

Tonight, the City Council will vote on whether the Inman Square intersection redesign project, now a two-year process, goes forward. These safety improvements have been proposed in response to the death of Amanda Phillips in the intersection in 2016 and because of the high crash rates and injuries for people biking, walking and driving. The current design was not our first choice as we laid out in our recommendations last year, but city staff should be commended for including needed protected infrastructure throughout the intersection and some best-in-class transit improvements. We all need to contact the City Council and let them know that we cannot wait another two years for a protected intersection in Inman Square!

Take Action:

  • Contact city councilors at council@cambridgema.gov (and bccinfo@cambridgebikesafety.org) and ask them to vote in support of moving the Inman Square redesign forward because we can’t wait any longer for protected bicycle lanes and other Vision Zero safety improvements.

The existing Inman Square intersection is dangerous by design for all road users. In terms of major squares of Cambridge, it is as bad as Porter Square in overall crashes, and second only to Central Square for bicycle crashes. Pedestrian crashes also occur due to the long intersection that encourages speeding and the misalignment of crosswalks with desire lines. Historically, a third of all crashes in the intersection resulted in injuries requiring EMS.

Other users of the intersection will also benefit from redesigning for safety: with substantially reduced crossing distances and shorter signal times, pedestrians will face less delay and lower vehicle speeds. Bus riders from will benefit from the city’s first floating bus stops, which do not require merging with traffic, and a proposed queue jump that allows buses to get ahead of traffic at the leading signal. This means less delay on the 69 connecting East Cambridge.

The city is ready to move forward and this vote is the last step. Help support protected bike lanes by emailing council@cambridgema.gov (bcc info@cambridgebikesafety.org) and/or attend the city council meeting tonight, May 21, at Cambridge City Hall at 5:30 to speak on this subject (register here, call 617-349-4280, or sign up in person).

  • Read our full statement on the proposed redesign.

  • Read the home rule petition the Council will be voting on.

A little more on what’s happening tonight:

The City Council is voting on a home rule petition which is necessary move the design forward, because a part of Vellucci plaza will be moved across the street. If the city council votes yes the petition will be sent to the statehouse for approval. Then the city will start building protected bike lanes in Inman square!

If the Council votes no, the city will likely have to start from scratch with a new design which doesn’t touch Vellucci plaza. And who knows what will happen for future bike lane projects.

Transportation organization says bike share use was up 25% last year

NEW YORK (BRAIN) — Riders took more than 35 million bike share trips last year — 25 percent more than in the year before, according to a new National Association of City Transportation Officials study. NACTO noted that last year, the San Francisco Bay Area relaunched its bike share program with 10 times the number of bikes it previously had; likewise, Honolulu launched a bike share system, Biki, that quickly became the eighth-most heavily used bike share system in the U.S. The number of bike share equipment providers operating in the U.S.