design

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.

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.

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

DC-area shop Takoma Bicycle remodels with 3 Dots Design

TAKOMA PARK, Md. (BRAIN) — Industry veteran Bruce Sawtelle recently completed a full remodel of his D.C.-area store, Takoma Bicycle, with retail design firm 3 Dots Design. Key changes to the store included replacing old slatwall with new fixtures, updating the shop logo, new colors and graphics, overhauling the apparel section, clearly segmenting and signing all product categories, and moving the service area and cash wrap.

Fox launches redesigned Flux trail helmet

CALABASAS, Calif. (BRAIN) — Fox Racing introduced its deep-coverage Flux trail helmet back in 2006

California retailer Mike’s Bikes acquires e-commerce bike brand Public Bikes

NOVATO, Calif. (BRAIN) — Mike’s Bikes, which has 12 locations in Northern California, is acquiring Public Bikes, a San Francisco-based brand that sells city bikes and accessories online and through a limited number of brick-and-mortar stores. The companies declined to release a purchase price for the deal, which was announced Friday

Donnelly Sports ends Clement license, launches Donnelly Cycling

FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany (BRAIN) — Donnelly Sports LLC, which has been licensing the Clement name from Pirelli, is ending its use of the trademark with the Italian-based tire brand. Donnelly Sports’ owner, Donn Kellogg, will launch the tires and wheels under the Donnelly Cycling brand name this fall. Donnelly will unveil its new branding at the Eurobike show here this week.

Your Hard Work Paid Off!

from the email:

————–

?

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

Canyon goes live with US sales

CARLSBAD, Calif. (BRAIN) — Canyon has officially launched sales to consumers in the United States. The Germany-based company began taking orders for road, mountain, triathlon, and commuter bikes on canyon.com

J&B distributing Ottolock cinch lock

PORTLAND, Ore. (BRAIN) — Otto DesignWorks’ Ottolock is now available to retailers through J&B Importers. “We are excited to have J&B as a distributor,” said Eric Merk, vp of sales for Otto DesignWorks