Nuts

World Remembrance Day This Sunday Nov 18th

From The BCU:

Sunday is World Day of Remembrance. Will you join the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition in honoring victims of traffic crashes?

World Day of Remembrance
Sunday, Nov. 18 // 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Learn more + RSVP

The day will begin with a ghost bike ceremony at 12:30 pm, followed by a vigil and silent march from the State House to City Hall to demand swifter action to prevent traffic deaths.

We know you are angry and sad about recent fatalities on our streets. So are we. These kinds of tragedies are avoidable with better, proactive planning and policy. Stand with us to show that life-saving infrastructure improvements cannot wait.

While Boston has made some progress toward reducing injurious crashes, change has not come quickly enough. In 2017, there were 1,162 cyclist and pedestrian incidents that prompted an EMS response — or more than 3 per day. Meanwhile, Boston’s bike fatality rate continues to be higher than the rates in comparable cities. (It’s one reason Boston fell this year to #20 in Bicycling Magazine’s ranking of the best bike cities in America.)

Friday’s fatal crash, in which a dump truck driver hit and killed BU graduate student Meng Jin as he biked near the Museum of Science, serves as another devastating reminder of the dangers posed by deadly street design. (A ghost bike ceremony will be held on Sunday before the rally and demonstration; for more information and to RSVP head here.)

Meng Jin Ghost Bike Ceremony
Sunday, Nov 18 // 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Intersection of Charles River Dam & Museum Way
Learn more + RSVP

On Sunday, members of the Coalition will be placing silhouettes at crash sites throughout the Boston area, as well as statewide, as part of the #CrashNotAccident awareness campaign. Crashes are not accidents — they’re the tragic, preventable results of inadequate planning and policy. People make mistakes; our streets must be designed so those mistakes are not fatal. Please join us to ensure that these lives are not forgotten and to demand safe streets for all in our communities.

Take part in the following memorial actions:

12:30 pm – Meng Jin Ghost Bike Ceremony at Charles River Dam & Museum Way
1:45 pm – Gather on the steps of Massachusetts State House for a Memorial Vigil
2:00 pm – Program for Memorial Vigil begins
2:45 pm – Silent Walk of Remembrance to Boston City Hall Plaza to demand safer roads
3:30 pm – Event ends

Please dress warmly and wear yellow in remembrance of those we’ve lost to traffic crashes.

We also encourage you to invite your elected state and local representatives. Show them the human toll of dangerous street design and urge them to support Vision Zero. You can find your city legislators here, and your state legislators here.

Help us spread the word via social media by using the following hashtags before and during the event: #WDoR2018 #CrashNotAccident #SafetyOverSpeed #VisionZero

The vast majority of these traffic crashes are preventable through engineering, education and enforcement. In numbers, we can recognize our loved ones, and also demand action from our elected officials.

We hope to see you there on Sunday, November 18th.

The post World Day of Remembrance, Sunday Nov. 18 appeared first on Boston Cyclists Union.

Another preventable tragedy and ACTIONS you can take to help

From Cambridge Bike Safety:

Last Friday we lost a member of our community. Meng Jin was killed while biking on the Craigie Bridge near the Museum of Science. He was a grad student at Boston University studying economics and had just arrived in Cambridge two months ago to start school. We cannot imagine the pain and grief his family is now going through. Our hearts go out to them.

MassDOT and DCR were told a long time ago that this bridge badly needs bicycle infrastructure, something which is obvious to anyone who tries to commute across it. They promised to work on it after the Longfellow bridge project completed earlier this year, but it never happened. Meng is dead because MassDOT and DCR prioritized six lanes of motor vehicle traffic over safe bike infrastructure.

While we can’t bring him back, we can tell our governments that this isunacceptable and that these deaths are preventable. While the Craigie Bridge is under DCR jurisdiction, Cambridge has control over most of the roads leading up to the Craigie Bridge and a responsibility to keep people safe on them. Furthermore, the O’Brien Highway is identified as requiring protected bicycle lanes in the Cambridge Bike Plan, and Cambridge must work to build out its plan for 20 miles of protected bike lanes—including proactively engaging with state agencies—to prevent future injuries and deaths.

ACTIONS

1. Attend the World Day of Remembrance this Sunday, Nov 18 at 2pm at the Massachusetts State House, and Ghost Bike Ceremony at 12:30pm near Museum of Science. 

We will gather to mourn the people who have died on our roads this year and to tell our elected officials that protected bike lanes save lives. We will not accept any more heartless trade-offs in our streets.

Please tell everyone you know about this, including your elected officials, both local and state. We need a huge turnout to show our elected officials that many people care deeply about this, and that their decisions affect the lives of many people. Please attend this event if at all possible.

Earlier that day there is a ghost bike ceremony in memory of Meng Jin. Meet us at 12:30pm at the intersection of Charles River Dam Road and Museum way, near the Museum of Science where Meng Jin was killed. After the ceremony we will ride to the World Day of Remembrance event at the State House.

2. Email Cambridge officials council@cambridgema.gov,ldepasquale@cambridgema.gov and cc clerk@cambridgema.gov andinfo@cambridgebikesafety.org and tell them:

  • We want them to stand with us at the World Day of Remembrance so that they can hear the stories of people who are closest to the pain and learn from them.
  • We want them to support rapidly building out the city’s own plan for 20 miles of protected bike lanes because protected bike lanes save lives.

3. Email your state representatives (find them here) and tell them:

  • We want them to stand with us at the World Day of Remembrance. Their support is crucial for making changes happen at the state level.
  • If the State House acts quickly there is a chance they can pass the piece of the bike omnibus bill which requires state and state-contracted trucks to have safety side-guards and convex mirrors. Tell your state representative that they should help pass this bill to keep us safe around trucks. (Only the State House can help here; the State Senate has already passed this bill.)

Every death leaves our community hurting and scared. We will work together to make sure our streets show compassion instead of violence.

Ride A BlueBike To Vote!

From the email:

Election Day in Massachusetts is Tuesday, November 6th, and Bluebikes is hosting a Free Ride Day to help you get to your polling location. Grab a free Adventure Pass from the Bluebikes app on Election Day by using code BIKETOVOTE: gift codes to redeem at a Bluebikes kiosk will be made available from our website before Election Day. The Adventure Pass includes unlimited 2-hour trips for a 24-hour period, so you can #BiketoVote in style on Election Day.

Once you have your free pass, head over to our Bike to Vote Guide to find a Bluebikes station near your voting site.

The early voting period is open until Friday, November 2nd. Head over to our early voting blog post to learn more about how you can cast your vote. You don’t need a reason to vote early, you just need to be a resident of the municipality where you cast your vote. If you have any questions on how to vote early or find your polling location, stop by and speak to one of our ambassadors at our Bike to Vote Pop-up Event next week:

  • Boston City Hall Plaza | Thursday, November 1st | 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Let’s Go on a Boo-Bikes Ride: Halloween Edition 

Celebrate Halloween and take Bluebikes to one of the many spooky events popping up across Metro Boston. From cheese and candy tastings to exploring historic graveyards in Boston, there is so much to do. We put together some of our favorite Halloween events and activities to attend across Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, and Somerville. Check out our Halloween Guide, and hop on a bike today.

Now in a Neighborhood Near You

You may have noticed our new stations in more neighborhoods across Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, and Somerville. Here is a look back on some of the major new updates and milestones for the Bluebikes system:
  • 60+ New Stations
  • 2,000+ Additional Docks
  • 800+ Bikes Added to Fleet
Record Day: September 9th, 9,974 Rides
Pop-Quiz Time: Want the chance to win free one-month membership extension? With 800 additional bikes in the field, how many additional wheel spokes have been added to our fleet? Leave your guess on this form by midnight on Thursday, November 8. The closest guess will be announced on Friday, November 9.

Closing Out Women’s Bike Month

Women’s Bike and Brunch

A little rain could not put a damper on our Women’s Bike Month close-out celebrations. The event kicked off with brunch and networking at Lucy’s American Tavern on Saturday, October 27th. With weather in our favor, we closed out the weekend with a leisurely ride along the Neponset River Greenway on Sunday, taking in the peak fall foliage.

Thank you to all the amazing women that came out to support the event: this is the first of many rides to come! Head over to our blog and check out the full recap and see additional photos.

Behind-the-Scenes Feature: Lindsey

Lindsey has been with the Bluebikes team since 2013. With a little bit of experience in every department, she now serves as the Bluebikes Field Staff Manager:

“I’ve been most excited about collaborating with other departments to help make the expansion into Dorchester, Mattapan, and Roslindale a success. It’s exciting to see bike share in Boston reaching different neighborhoods.”

Head over to the Bluebikes blog and check out Lindsey’s full feature. Interested in joining the Bluebikes team? We’re hiring.

As Women’s Bike Month 2018 wraps up, we took some time to recap all of the amazing women that we featured throughout the month. Check out the #WBM2018 blog post to learn more about some of the women who bike in Metro Boston, and staff members that keep the Bluebikes system rolling.

Let’s Go on a Bluebikes Ride

Bike to Vote Pop-Up Event
November 1st | 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. | Boston


Moving Together Conference
November 1st | 7:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. | Boston


Massachusetts Cheese Festival 
November 3rd | 10:30 a.m. | Somerville


Pumpkin Smash!
November 3rd | 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. | Boston


Somerville Neighborhood Cleanups
November 3rd – 10th | Various Times | Somerville


Roslindale Farmers Market
November 3rd | 9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. | Boston


Election Day & Free Ride Day
November 6th | All Day


Winter Biking Basics Workshop
November 19th | 6:00 p.m. | Cambridge


Community Thanksgiving Dinner
November 24th | 1:00 p.m. | Brookline

Women’s Bike And Brunch

from the email:

Bike and Brunch, This Weekend! 

Due to stormy skies in the forecast, the Women’s Bike Month group ride has been moved to Sunday, October 27th. Don’t worry! We’re still ending Women’s Bike Month 2018 with a bang with a weekend-long celebration for women. The festivities kick off Saturday, October 27th with a networking brunch, and conclude with a group ride along the Neponset River Greenway in Mattapan. You don’t want to miss out!

Part 1: Networking Brunch

  • Where: Lucy’s American Tavern | 13 Granite Ave, Dorchester
  • When: Saturday, October 27th | 11:00 a.m – 2:00

The weekend kicks off with our Women’s Networking Brunch. Food will be served buffet style, and we’ll have lots of giveaways including a specialty branded Bluebikes helmet, Bluebikes membership discounts, and fun plant favors (courtesy of the Urban Farming Institute). You don’t want to miss out on the fun! Just fill out this form to let us know if you’re coming.

Part 2: Women’s Ride

  • Where: Mattapan T Stop Station
  • When: Sunday, October 28th | 2:00 – 3:00 p.m

The group ride will start and end at the Mattapan T Stop Station, and travel along the beautiful Neponset River Greenway – which includes a protected bike lane that is perfect for a leisurely ride.

All riders are welcome, you just need to know how to ride a bike. Bluebikes will be provided for riders who RSVP.<

RSVP Today

Want to Get Involved? This Thursday – Training, Intro, Meet & Greet

from the email:

The rally last week was amazing! With more than 175 of us gathering on City Hall lawn, we sent a clear message that Cambridge needs to do a lot more to make its streets safe for those biking and walking. But there’s a lot more work to do to make this a reality.

If you’re feeling energized by the rally, or if you had to miss it but want to get involved in pushing for a safe and equitable transportation system in Cambridge, we are holding a fun introductory event this week that you don’t want to miss: “CBS 101”. Come meet others pushing for safe streets, learn about Cambridge Bike Safety’s history and current efforts, and find out how you can get involved in ways large and small.

What: CBS 101 – Intro, Training, and Meet & Greet
When: This Thursday, Oct 25, 7-8:30pm
Where: The Democracy Center, 45 Mount Auburn St in Cambridge

RSVP on the Facebook event and share it with friends who might be interested.

Sincerely,
CBS Core

P.S. Check out coverage of the rally in the Cambridge Chronicle and Cambridge Day.

Rally for Safer Bike Lanes on Wed Oct 17, City Hall, 6pm

From the Email:

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160 times.

That’s how many times each year first responders are called to a crash involving a person on a bike being struck by a car, according to Cambridge Police Department data.

That’s 160 times too many.

One more number for you: three. That is how many people have died walking on Cambridge streets this year, all within a mile of City Hall.

Cambridge Bicycle Safety invites you to join us at City Hall next Wednesday, October 17 from 6:00 – 7:00 pm for our most important event of the year. We are launching our petition campaign to complete the city-wide network of protected bike lanes in five years by putting 160 bikes on the Cambridge City Hall lawn. One for every crash. Meet people from all walks of life in Cambridge who bike and walk, hear their stories, and show city officials your support for safer streets. Please bring your bike and bike lights!

A citywide network of protected bike lanes would make 40% of crashes physically impossible, and many others less likely. The infrastructure changes we’re advocating for—separated lanes and traffic calming—will also make the city safer for pedestrians and help avoid tragedies such as this year.

The City has recognized the importance of protected bike lanes but is not moving quickly enough to implement them in response to crash data and the recent deaths of bicyclists. There are approximately 20 miles of protected bike lanes specified in the 2015 Bicycle Plan but in the past three years, only 1.2 miles have been built. In addition, there have been several cases of the city not following through on the vision in the Bicycle Plan when it rebuilds streets.

Our petition, which has already been signed by over 1,300 people, calls for:

  • A commitment to build the network by 2023 with a mix of permanent construction and quick-build approaches, installing a minimum of two miles per year.
  • In 2019, the city funds the development of a 25% preliminary design for the complete network.
  • A commitment to comply with the City’s Bicycle Plan whenever a street is reconstructed or improvements are made.

Join us in showing city officials that there is widespread support for implementing these lanes in order to create a safe, city-wide protected network that serves residents of all ages and abilities.

We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday, October 17!

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.