streets

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.

Take Action! Support Safe Streets Legislation

From livable streets:

Next Wednesday, February 7th is the deadline for legislative committees to act on bills, and An Act to Reduce Traffic Fatalities remains in front of the Joint Committee on Transportation.

Will you help us make Massachusetts streets safer for all? The Committee needs to hear from you!

LivableStreets and the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition have been working closely with Senator Brownsberger and Representatives Hecht and Rogers to develop a comprehensive traffic safety bill that will prevent crashes and protect vulnerable road users. Act now and help us enact these street safety measures into law!

It’s easy, just follow these three simple steps:

1. Find out if your legislators are co-sponsors of the bill.

2. Send an email to the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Transportation and your state legislators (see template email provided below). Emails should be sent to the committee chairs, copying your Representative and Senator, by Thursday, February 1st.

3. Make sure to copy info@visionzerocoalition.org on your email.

About the Bill
An Act to Reduce Traffic Fatalities (S1905/H2877) will ensure basic, but necessary traffic regulations to guarantee that everyone on our streets can expect to get from point A to point B safely. The bill’s provisions that the Vision Zero Coalition believes will make the biggest difference to the safety of people walking and biking are:

  • Lowering default speed limit on state highways and parkways in thickly settled areas from 30 mph to 25 mph
  • Allowing municipalities to install limited traffic safety cameras exclusively for speeding and red light & right turn violations
  • Equipping state contracted trucks with safety side-guards to reduce pedestrian & bicyclist fatalities
  • Prohibits usage of mobile devices, except those in hands-free mode, while operating a motor vehicle
  • Vulnerable road user language

What’s Next?
If the bill is reported favorably by this committee, it will be sent on to the House or Senate Ways and Means Committee. If it is reported unfavorable or “studied,” it would essentially be dead for the remainder of this legislative session.


EMAIL INSTRUCTIONS AND SAMPLE TEXT

To: Joseph.Boncore@masenate.gov, William.Straus@mahouse.gov

CC: Your State Senator and Representative (if you don’t know who they are, click here); info@visionzerocoalition.org

Recommended email subject: Support of An Act to reduce traffic fatalities S1905/H2877

Sample email text:

Dear Senator Boncore, Representative Straus, and members of the Joint Committee on Transportation,

I am writing to urge a favorable report for An Act to reduce traffic fatalities, (S1905 – Brownsberger, H2877 – Hecht and Rogers).

Serious injury and deaths from traffic crashes continue with troubling frequency on our streets. An Act to reduce traffic fatalities S1905/H2877 is a comprehensive piece of legislation which aims to create safer streets for all users, including bicyclists, pedestrians, and passengers of motor vehicles.

Tell your own story here. Why is this bill important to you?

Thanks again for your consideration, and I urge a favorable report for this bill.

full name
street address
city/town, state, zip
phone:
email:

Action: Ask Council Candidates To Sign Onto The Bike Safety Platform

From the email:

Contact City Council candidates and ask them to sign onto the Cambridge Bicycle Safety platform (text below) urging a more aggressive implementation of the 20 miles of protected lanes called for in the City’s Bike Plan, along with a specific timeline.

Friends,

What a tough yet inspiring year it has been for those of us who bike in and around Cambridge. After the tragic deaths of Amanda Phillips and Joe Lavins in 2016, thousands of Cambridge residents signed our petition calling for safer streets. The city responded by installing several new protected lanes, bringing the total to 4 miles throughout the Cambridge.

Unfortunately these segments remain disjointed and no clear plan for the future exists. To make matters worse, the latest update from city officials for today’s City Council meeting indicates they are only exploring one new segment of protected lanes (along Mass Ave) and provides no timeline for implementation. This simply does not meet the urgency that is required to avoid future tragedies and meet the city’s equity, Vision Zero, and climate neutrality goals.

Our streets still aren’t safe:

  • First responder data show a 23% increase in bicycle crashes in 2016 even as total crashes in the city have slightly decreased (see note below).
  • First responders are called to a crash involving a vehicle and bike every other day.
  • Intentional violence by road rage drivers is now commonplace due to poor street design.

Protected lanes are overwhelmingly popular and effective:

  • Over 3,000 people signed a petition calling for a protected network in Cambridge and hundreds more have sent thank you notes after new lanes were installed.
  • Participatory budgeting shows broad, continued support through a democratic process.
  • Protection and separation are the only ways to provide a safe space for people of all ages and abilities to bike. Safe spaces for biking are proven to result in higher numbers of bicyclists, helping the city achieve the mode shift necessary to reduce car dependency.
  • The number of young or inexperienced bicyclists is increasing: high school students in Cambridge counted more than 350 bicycles parked at the school earlier this year, and the high school athletes often use bikes to get from school to practice locations and home.

Cambridge is having municipal elections on November 7, and the make-up of the City Council will play a large role in the roll-out of badly needed infrastructure. This week we are asking all candidates to sign onto the Cambridge Bicycle Safety platform (see text below) urging a more aggressive implementation of the 20 miles of protected lanes called for in the City’s Bike Plan, along with a specific timeline.

Action alert – please take all three of these actions:

  1. Contact City Councillors and City Council candidates and encourage them to sign onto our election platform. Click here to email all council candidates at once. A quick email asking them to support the platform and a few words about why it matters to you will be perfect. If that link doesn’t work for you, a spreadsheet with Council candidates’ contact info is available here. Please copy info@cambridgebikesafety.org on your email.

  2. Attend the Climate Resilience Candidates Forum tomorrow evening (Tuesday, September 26, 6:30-9pm) and ask candidates to support making our streets safe for all users, the platform and improvements to safety on our streets.

  3. Register yourself to vote right now (deadline is soon). If you are already registered or are ineligible, please tell a friend to do so.

We’ll be updating you all soon with information regarding the candidates who signed our pledge, as well as summaries of those who responded to the Vision Zero election questionnaire we co-sponsored with the Vision Zero Massachusetts Coalition. (The full questionnaire responses are available here.)

As we head into this election season, it’ll be especially important to raise our voices and speak out for safer streets and quicker action. We are grateful for the progress that has been made, but know that much more needs to be done – and at a much faster pace – if we are to avoid future tragedies and encourage people of all ages and abilities to travel safely through the city by bike.

Note regarding crash data: Police Department crash data for 2015-2016 were downloaded from Cambridge Open Data (https://data.cambridgema.gov/). This data set is likely incomplete and does not include crashes for which first responders were not called.

Sincerely,
The CBS Core Team

Cambridge Bicycle Safety Platform for the 2017 Council Election

There are over 200 miles of streets in Cambridge. The 2015 Bicycle Plan calls for protected bike lanes on approximately 20 miles of major thoroughfares to create a safe, city-wide protected network that serves residents of all ages and abilities. Approximately 4 miles of these protected bike lanes have been installed. I will vote for a municipal ordinance that requires the city to install at least 4 miles of pop-up protected bike lanes each year until the city-wide protected network is complete and to install permanent protected bike lanes when the streets specified as part of the city-wide protected network are reconstructed.

PeopleForBikes offers European study tours to more U.S. cities

BOULDER, Colo.

At Bike Summit, the League launches a Twitter campaign

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — As the National Bike Summit is underway in the nation’s capital, the League of American Bicyclists is promoting a Twitter campaign in an effort to gain support in Congress. “Maybe you’re here in D.C.

A New Standard Of Employment: The Street Crossing Test

I have written a lot in the past about my belief that no single user class in Boston is any more or less guilty for the state of our streets than any other. I think cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists are all equally to blame for poor performance of our streets (AKA: public utilities designed to move people).

So don’t take this post as an indication that I am singling out only one user group for scorn, as I have heaped it upon them all in the past, and will so again in the future.

It’s just that I have had a lot of trouble with pedestrians lately, and it gave me an idea. A new criteria for hiring employees should be a test to see if they know how to cross the damn road.

First a couple examples:

Lady wants to cross the street, lady looks both ways, lady sees not one, but many cyclists in the bike lane about 10 feet from her. Everyone screams at her, she does walks out anyway.
Cyclists scatter in all directions. I should also note, this wasn’t at a cross walk, or anywhere near a cross walk.

Guy wants to cross the street, cars are moving in the lanes, he is not at a cross walk. He steps into street anyway. All of the cars slow/swerve to miss him. At no point was he in any real danger of being hit by anything, until he decided to jump from where he was, to where I was going around him. He is flexing his muscles like some sort of bro-dude frat-boy show of manly strength and begins to scream at me. I have no idea why he did this, perhaps he was worried I didn’t see him (I saw him get out of bed I had been watching him so long). I was able to swerve out of the way of this hulking idiot (thus preventing the implanting of my front wheel into his sternum), safely shepherding him across a busy street full of cars.

I use these two examples because both of these folks were dressed in very professional business type clothing. It was clear that they were not only employed, but held some position of importance in their companies.

The next time you see some kid in a Harvard jacket who is unable to cross the street, remember kid got into the best school in the country and can’t cross the street. Or if you are out in front of some giant bank, and the employees are clogging up the road, these people move millions of dollars around and Can’t Cross The Street. Or if you are in the medical area and see a bunch of doctors walk out into moving traffic, these folks literally have peoples lives in their hands and don’t understand the right way to CROSS THE GOD DAMN ROAD…boggles the mind.

Which leads me to my proposal. If you want a job, you have to prove you have enough sense to cross the street. Same goes with entering college, or applying for a fishing licence. Basically anything of importance. They do the interview then take you outside and have you cross a couple times. If you can’t figure it out…next applicant!

I also think they should re-test on a regular basis. Say quarterly. Everyone has their little HR review with Donna, and then you go over your 401k with Bob, your vacation time with Julio, etc etc. Then they take you outside and see if you know the difference between moving cars and stationary ones, if you can look both ways, if you can judge imminent threats to your person, and if you can tell the difference between the crosswalks and the middle of the damn road. If you pass, congrats 5% raise, and the corner office. If not, back to the mail-room asshole!

New Globe Editor Brian McGrory Hates Cyclists

Oh great, of all the people who could have taken over as editor for the globe this guy had to take the reigns.

As Mayor Tom Menino prepares to roll out an ambitious bicycle-sharing program on the streets of our great city this month, offering hundreds of bikes for short-term rental all across town, I might urge him to go in a slightly different direction.

He ought to ban all bicyclists from Boston instead.

Ban them as in, here’s the city line, Lance, there’s a bike rack. Lock it up, and flag yourself a nice air-conditioned cab. Maybe you won’t be sweating so much when you walk into work.

That’s right, the new editor of the globe is known bike hater, and all together irrational and misguided man, Brian McGory

We can only hope the globe doesn’t become another useless rag that spends a large part of its time “defending” cars, and touting cyclists as the scourge of the city.

(thanks Sean for the heads up)

By admin on December 20, 2012 | Fashion, Folding Bicycle
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Ride In A Parade With MassBike

From the email:

————–

Have you ever wanted to be in a parade?  Well today is your lucky day!
MassBike has a chance to be a part of the Honk! Parade to “Reclaim the streets for horns, bike and feet!” from Davis Square to Harvard Square this Sunday.

We need your help to make some noise! Please join us as we ride our bikes in the parade in support of MassBike.
The parade will be a rolling festival with horns, bikes, and people marching. It is sure to be a ton of fun for the whole family!
As always please RSVP to

events@massbike.org
if you are interested in participating in this event!
All participants are strongly encouraged to wear their new MassBike t-shirts or a MassBike themed costume. We will have some extra t-shirts for sale at the event!

HONK! Parade to “Reclaim the Streets for Horns, Bikes, and Feet!HONK! Promotional Image by The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research

When:

Sunday, October 7th 11:45 – 1:30pm

Where: Davis Square to Harvard Square

Time Commitment:1.75 Hours

What to Bring: Bike, Helmet, MassBike t-shirt/costume



Bikers Needed For Bike Parade

Got this in the email

————————–

 

Hello, bike enthusiasts!

Want to join a rolling parade through the streets of Boston to advocate for alternative energy?  On Saturday, September 24th, hundreds of Bostonians will be marching, rolling, hollering, hooting, and otherwise merry-making through the streets to raise awareness about climate change, and we want you to join!

I’m organizing a group of people on behalf of the Dorchester Environmental Health Coalition to bike from Dorchester to the waterfront in downtown Boston, where we will join a huge rally  of bikers, speakers, and others advocating for a peaceful and speedy transition away from fossil fuels.  This is going to be a FUN event, with tons of people marching and rolling through the streets, holding banners and signs that demand cleaner energy!

I’m looking for someone who is willing to lead a group of bikers from Fields Corner to Jamaica Plain (http://maps.google.com/maps?q=jamaica+plain&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wl) to meet up with the group there who is biking from the First Baptist Church to the waterfront.

And, of course, we’re looking for bikers!

If you’re interested in joining, or leading the group of bikers, please email me back.  If you’d like to help in some other way, by making signs or banners or anything else that helps spread the word as we parade through the streets, I’d love to hear from you, too!

Thanks folks, and bike on!
Sincerely,

Sarah Cadorette
Dorchester Environmental Health Coalition

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