cambridge

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.

Cyclist Killed On O’Brien Highway

Not much information yet, more when I get it.

CORRECTION: Victim who was struck by a pickup truck this AM on O'Brien Hwy in #Boston was a bicyclist, not a pedestrian. That victim, an adult male, has since been pronounced deceased. Lane restrictions remain in place on O'Brien Hwy for investigation. https://t.co/IgHG6h9SDg

— Mass State Police (@MassStatePolice) November 9, 2018

Slightly more info here

The cyclist has been identified. 

A ripple of rage went through the bike community Friday when it was learned a 24-year-old cyclist and Cambridge resident was struck and killed by a dump truck at Museum Way and Monsignor O’Brien Highway, near the Museum of Science.

The truck was reportedly trying to make a turn onto Museum Way shortly before 8:15 a.m., with the cyclist on the right waiting to make the same turn. “When both the truck and bicyclist began to make their right turn, the bicyclist was struck by a tire of the truck,” according to state police.

The bicyclist was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead from injuries from the incident, police said. The crash is under investigation and police are withholding the name of the victim until next of kin is notified. Boston student media identified the victim as Meng Jin, of Shanghai, who expected a graduate degree in economics next year.

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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

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 TONIGHT 6pm, City Hall

From Cambridge Bike Safety:

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Today is the day! Cambridge Bicycle Safety invites you to join us at 6:00 pm TONIGHT at City Hall, Wednesday October 17th, for the Rally for Safer Bike Lanes, our most important bike safety event of the year.

To show why this matters we will be putting 160 bikes on the City Hall lawn to represent how many times each year first responders are called to a crash when a person on a bike is hit by a car.

  • RSVP now on facebook and show up at 6pm.
  • Bring your bike and bike lights!
  • Invite friends and family who support completing the network of protected bike lanes.

At the rally we’ll be officially launching a petition campaign to complete a city-wide network of protected bike lanes in five years and you’ll have the opportunity to hear the stories of people from all walks of life in Cambridge who bike and walk.

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 will also make the city safer for pedestrians to navigate and help avoid tragedies such as this year’s.

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 tonight!

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!

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.

Today Is The Day: Porter For People Rally At 5:30pm!

From the email:

Today is the day. We are rallying in Porter Square to say two deaths in one square is too many, that these and other road fatalities were preventable with better infrastructure, and that we want #SafeStreetsNow. We want life-saving improvements to the current redesign of Porter Square and greater action to build out a city-wide protected network within 5 years.

Join us for an evening of action in the heart of one of Cambridge’s busiest intersections. The Second Line Social Aid and Pleasure Society Brass Band will be playing, and we will hear stories from a number of community members impacted by poor infrastructure. We will end with a massive people-protected bike lane on Somerville Ave and Mass Ave in a show of solidarity for vulnerable road users.

RSVP on Facebook

Details:
5:30 PM: Gather (mingling, kid’s crafts, displays, music)
6:00 PM: Rally begins
6:30 PM: People-protected bike lanes begin

Together, let’s make Porter Square a square for people.

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

Police Seek Driver Who Struck Cyclist In Hit And Run

Cambridge police are asking for the public’s help in finding a driver who allegedly struck a 14-year-old boy on the morning of March 15 and fled the scene.

A silver Toyota Prius struck the boy around 7:22 a.m. that morning as the boy was biking near the corner of Western Avenue and Putnam Avenue, police said in a Facebook post.

“The driver of the vehicle of interest fled the area and returned approximately three minutes later at approximately 7:25 a.m,” police wrote.

The 14-year-old survived the crash and is recovering from non-life threatening injuries, police said.

The model year of the car is believed to be between 2004 and 2009, according to police.

Cambridge police are asking anyone with information to contact Officer Christopher Sullivan in the Cambridge Police Traffic Enforcement Unit at (617) 349-3307 or email PDTrafficSupervisors@cambridgepolice.org. (via)

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Police are searching for the driver of a Toyota Prius who they believe hit a teenager riding his bike and then fled.

The 14-year-old was riding on Putnam Avenue when he was hit around 7:22 a.m. on Thursday, March 15, according to police.

“I was crossing the street to go on the sidewalk and the car just came out of nowhere and hit the back of my bike and it sent me flying,” he said. (via)