Nuts

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.

BCU Fighting To Get Better Bike Lanes On Longfellow

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Call your city rep and let them know you want this!

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Do You Want Protected Bike Lanes On The Longfellow?

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 (info@cambridgebikesafety.org and info@bostoncyclistsunion.org) 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 (info@cambridgebikesafety.org and info@bostoncyclistsunion.org), 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        Dave.Rogers@mahouse.gov

Rep. Marjorie Decker (25th Middlesex)
617-722-2692        Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov

Rep. Mike Connolly (26th Middlesex)
617-722-2060        Mike.Connolly@mahouse.gov

Rep. Jonathan Hecht (29th Middlesex)
617-722-2140        Jonathan.Hecht@mahouse.gov

Rep. Jay Livingstone (8th Suffolk)
617-722-2013        Jay.Livingstone@mahouse.gov

Rep. Denise Provost (27th Middlesex, Somerville)
617-722-2263        Denise.Provost@mahouse.gov

Senate

Sen. Patricia Jehlen (2nd Middlesex)
617-722-1578        Patricia.Jehlen@masenate.gov

Sen. Sal DiDomenico (Middlesex and Suffolk)
617-722-1650        Sal.DiDomenico@masenate.gov

Sen. Joseph Boncore (1st Suffolk and Middlesex)
617-722-1634        Joseph.Boncore@masenate.gov

Hubway Is Dead Long Live Blue Bikes

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts will pay nearly $20 million to turn the Boston area’s Hubway bike share system into Blue Bikes and expand the program with more than 1,000 new bikes and more than 100 new rental stations across the region.

“Blue Cross is committed to helping Massachusetts residents lead healthy lives, and this program is a way to bring that to life,” said Jeff Bellows, vice-president of corporate citizenship for BCBS. “Being a health-care company, it’s in line with what we want to do.”

BCBS will pay $18 million over six years to be the sole sponsor of the bike share system, which will be renamed Blue Bikes. The money will be used in part to fund a nearly 50 percent increase in bikes — by the end of 2019, there will be 3,000 Blue Bikes on the streets, up from 1,800 today — and add more than 100 new stations across Boston, Cambridge, Brookline and Somerville. The expansion will bring more service to underserved parts of the city, Bellows said.

“Communities like Mattapan, Dorchester, Roxbury, they’re going to get additional access to these bikes,” he said. (via)

While I wish it was more of a public system, maybe tax based, but sure I will siphon off some of the obscene profits BCBS is making to fund bike share programs.

The best part of this is that Hubway/Blue Bikes will continue, and it will expand into areas that have not been served by it so far.

Hubway Winter Update

From Hubway:

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Hubway had a winning January!

This past month, Hubway riders took over 40,000 trips, more than double the January record. Want to try out winter riding? You don’t need to be tough — you just need to be cold-weather ready. Check out our helpful winter riding tips before hitting the road, and get ready to set more champion numbers in February!

Winter Operations Update

The Airport T Stop station and the Harvard Kennedy School at Bennett St / Eliot St station have been relocated due to snow removal management. Details

We hope the groundhog predicts an early spring, but until then, stay up to date on winter operations. Use the Hubway app to verify the location and availability of your intended station before your trip.

Rider Exclusive: Save 20% on Adam Trent Tickets

Get your discounted tickets now to The Magic of Adam Trent at Shubert Theatre March 9th-11th. Produced by the creative team behind The Illusionists, the world’s best-selling touring magic show, The Magic of Adam Trent is an immersive entertainment extravaganza of magic, comedy, and music designed to entertain the entire family.

Where to Ride

Frog Pond College Night
Tuesdays, 6pm-9pm | Boston


Boston Winter: City Hall Skating Path
February 11am-11pm | Boston

Free Thursdays at the ICA
Thurs, 2/1, 5pm-9pm | Boston

SOWA First Friday 
Fri, 2/2, 5pm-9pm | Boston


Somerville Winter Farmers Market 
Sat, 2/3, 9:30am-2pm | Somerville 


Book Sale at the BPL
Sat, 2/3, 10am-4pm | Boston


Bicycle Maintenance Basics: Free City of Cambridge Workshop
Mon, 2/5, 6pm-7:30pm | Cambridge


Beyond Bicycle Maintenance Basics: Free City of Cambridge Workshop
Wed, 2/7, 6pm-7:30pm | Cambridge


Winter Biker Breakfast
Fri, 2/9, 7:30am-9am | Cambridge


Free! Winter Bike Clinic
Sat, 2/10, 1pm-2:30pm | Boston


Winter Wellness Walks 
Sun, 2/11, 1pm-1:45pm | Boston

Two Days Left To Register To Vote In Cambridge!

From the email:

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Are you registered to vote? The last day for Cambridge municipal election registration is this Wednesday, October 18 at 8pm.

Hi all,

All seats on Cambridge City Council are up for election this November 7, and the make-up of the Council is critical to making rapid progress toward safe biking infrastructure for all ages and abilities. The last day to register to vote in Cambridge municipal elections is this Wednesday, October 18 at 8pm. Spend two minutes to make sure you’re registered and send to five friends.

We know that our streets are still not safe for bikers and pedestrians, which is why CBS has laid out a bold Cambridge Bicycle Safety Platform requiring a clear timeline for fast-tracked implementation of the 20 miles of protected lanes called for in the city’s Bike Plan.To get the platform implemented and not take out the lanes we already have, we need councillors good on bikes, and that means we all need to vote!

Here are some of the Council policy orders that kick-started the last year’s pop-up protected lanes. We need many more.

Here is what we need to do before Wednesday:

1.  Check if you are registered to vote, and if not: Register yourself (unless you have a Mass drivers license, you have to print and mail or deliver in person)Send or deliver the signed form to: Cambridge Election Commission, 51 Inman St., Cambridge, MA 02139.

2.  Sign up to be reminded on election day to get out and vote. You can also join our facebook registration event to be reminded and share with your friends. If you know you will be out of town, you have to register in advance for an absentee ballot.

3. Forward this to 5 Cambridge friends.

(If you are a student, first-time voter, or registered in another state for national elections, this FAQ by MIT is super helpful.)

CBS has published statements of candidate signers to our platform, and will be publishing good actions and statements by candidates on our website and facebook page.

15th Annual Historic Bicycle Tour Of Middlesex Canal – This Sunday October 1st

Historic Bicycle Tour of Middlesex Canal

On Sunday, October 1, 2017, the Middlesex Canal Association, the Somerville Historic Preservation Commission and the Middlesex Canal Commission will sponsor the 15th annual historic bicycle tour of the Middlesex Canal.  Because the MBTA is not running trains on the Lowell Line this Sunday (because of track work), the ride will only go as far as Wilmington, and then we will bike back to Boston rather than taking the train.  We apologize for the late notice, but we were trying (unsuccessfully) to work out arrangements with the MBTA to get bikes back from Lowell by bus.

The Canal was the “big dig” of the end of the 18th century.  Completed in 1803 after 10 years of construction, the Canal connected the Merrimac River in what is now Lowell with the Charles River at Sullivan Square in Charlestown.  In many ways it served as a model for later canals including the Erie Canal. The Canal remained in operation for 50 years, providing both passenger and freight service, but could not compete successfully with the Boston and Lowell Railroad which began operation in the 1830’s.

The ride will start at the Canal marker on the front of the Sullivan Square MBTA station just to the right of the main entrance at 9:00. From there we will ride about 15 miles to Wilmington.  We will make a lunch stop in Woburn, so we recommend that you bring a lunch.

Most of the route is pretty flat and level and we will average 6-7 miles per hour, so the ride should be an easy one for most cyclists.  Along the way we will stop at a number of remnants and restored sections of the Canal, as well as the Mansion of Loammi Baldwin, the chief engineer of the Canal (who discovered the Baldwin apple while building the Canal), one of the remaining aqueducts  (which carried the Canal over rivers and brooks), and will get to walk along the bed of the canal and see traces of the ropes that connected the hoses to the canal boats.

The ride will be led by Dick Bauer of the Somerville Historic Preservation Commission and the Middlesex Canal Commission, Bill Kuttner of the the Middlesex Canal Commission, and Robert Winters of the Middlesex Canal Association. Helmets required.  Steady rain cancels. For more information, contact Dick at dick.bauer@alum.mit.edu (857-540-6293),  Bill at bkuttner@ctps.org(617-241-9383), or Robert at >

For more information about the Middlesex Canal and the Middlesex Canal  Association go to:http://www.middlesexcanal.org

For more information about the Middlesex Canal Commission go to:http://www.middlesexcanal.org/commission/

Interbike Q&A: Gregg Bagni sounds off on state of trade shows, retail landscape

LAS VEGAS (BRAIN) — Gregg Bagni is like no other personality in the business.

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

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!

Your Hard Work Paid Off!

from the email:

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We emailed, we called, we showed up – and we won! Due to the tremendous support for protected bicycle lanes over the past 3 weeks–in emails, calls, and in-person testimonies–on Monday, August 7, the City Council decided to remove the original language of the proposed order #191 O-14 which would have halted further progress on the roll-out of bicycle lanes. Your involvement made a big difference, so thank you.

Because of the over 300 emails and 2 hours of public testimony, the order was modified to call for increased communication by the City during the roll-out of projects without a halt in implementation. We have heard from several people in the public sector that this change would not have been possible without our steadfast, collective vocal advocacy for safer streets.

What’s next? There are two events this week as well as various projects across the city. We’ll list the projects at the end of the email.

Cambridge Street Inaugural Bike Ride

This will be the longest stretch of protection on a major Cambridge artery, and a crucial step towards a network of protected infrastructure for all ages and abilities. So, let’s ride!

Meet neighbors and join in an inaugural bike ride, a local business raffle kick-off, some snacks and music! Share your thoughts on what streets should be prioritized next!

Note: City councilors and new candidates will be there. This is a chance to meet some of them in advance of this fall’s election. Let’s show them how much support there is for safe infrastructure!

WHENSaturday, Aug 26 2-4pm. First ride kickoff at 2:30pm, other groups as more people arrive!

WHERE: Plaza in front of Fitzgerald Theater at CRLS (between Irving & Trowbridge Streets on Cambridge St)

RSVP & share

North Cambridge

The final meeting for the bicycle lanes on North Mass Ave is next Monday, August 28. Given recent scrutiny due to Brattle Street, it is crucial to show up and ensure that the project goes through. As we wrote in our letter to the city, while these lanes are not protected, they will be a huge improvement over the status quo. We also made suggestions to improve their design and your continued outreach to both the community and the City will support the City to implement safer solutions for this section of busy Mass Ave.

These lanes could go in as early as this fall if there’s enough public support.

WHENMonday, August 28, 6:00 – 8:00pm

WHERE: Trolley Square Apartments Community Room, 8 Cameron Ave

RSVP & share