state-house

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.

Walk Bike Expo: Save The Date

Via MassBike:

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This year is going to be HUGE for transportation funding. The governor recently announced that he is seeking to pump $1 billion more annually into the transportation system, and MassDOT intends to devote a nice slice of that to bike/ped projects. However, negotiations are going to be tough with the Legislature, and we can’t let biking and walking become a bargaining chip in the process.

Join us on April 11 at the State House to say with one united voice: Pass the Governor’s transportation plan!

We will also be educating legislators on the following topics:

  • Safer street design
  • Senior Safety Zones
  • Lowering speed limits on neighborhood streets
  • Vulnerable Road Users
  • Prohibiting cars parking in bicycle lanes.
  • Snow Removal

Mark your calendars, Thursday, April 11th from 10am-1pm in Nurses Hall at the State House for your opportunity to meet legislators and fellow Bay State advocates. Find more details at the event page (it will be updated as we learn more about the legislation and work out the event logistics). This event is free and open to the public. Last year, biking and walking advocates came from around the state and this year it is crucial that we have an even more powerful showing on Beacon Hill from people who value livable communities, who want safer roads, or just people who bike and walk for fun, fitness or transportation.

If you have any questions, please email Events@MassBike.org. More details to come soon!

Action Alert: Call Today To Support Vulnerable Road Users Bill

from Massbike.  This law is more important than ever, please do call today.

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Today, advocates from across the Commonwealth are going to be descending on the State House for the Bike/Walk Summit, MassBike’s central event for Bay State Bike Week and co-hosted by WalkBoston. But for those of you who live too far from Boston, or whose schedules don’t allow attending the event, we still want your voices heard. We are asking that you call your Representative and Senator today to ask them to support safer biking and walking in your community and across the state.

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TODAY, we need you to call in to ask your Representative and Senator to do two things:

  • Ask them to support three bills (click here for bill summaries):
    • Vulnerable Road Users Bill (H. 3079): This bill provides law enforcement with more flexible tools to encourage motorists to exercise caution when operating around vulnerable road users, including increased fines, traffic safety classes, and community service.
    • Senior Safety Zones (H. 1968): This bill gives municipalities the ability to create zones similar to school zones in areas they deem appropriate, with the intention of protecting a population which disproportionately relies on walking for transportation.
    • Speed Limits Bill (H. 1808): This bill would lower the default speed limit on roads classified as “Local”, from 30 mph to 25 mph. Major arterials, highways, and other main roads would be unaffected, and many states have already adopted similar laws.
  • Ask them to sign on to our shared vision for Massachusetts Walking and Bicycling Principles.

After you contact your legislator, let us know! Email advocacy@massbike.org to let us know how the conversation went. If you don’t know who your legislator is, you can find out here.