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Safety Program Helps Cyclists Across Massachusetts

Mass Bike - November 24, 2014 - 11:44am

Summer St at Essex St in Salem, part of the assessment for bikeability.

MassBike is in its first year of working with the MassDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Awareness and Enforcement Program to make cities and towns across Massachusetts safer for cycling. This initiative is part of the federal Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) developed to reduce serious injuries and fatalities. The program requires collecting and using data about safety on public roads. In Massachusetts, 12 communities have been selected for 13 studies (two in Quincy) based on the rate of bicycling and collisions in each city or town.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, WalkBoston, and MassBike are working together to increase bicyclist and pedestrian safety in these communities. The goal is to reduce injuries and fatalities by 20 percent over five years, and the plan to do so involves three basic elements: enforcement, education/awareness, and preparation.

The enforcement component involves educating local police on the laws and challenges specific to bicyclists and pedestrians. To facilitate this, MassBike’s police training video has been shown to police officers in the 12 communities. With a firm understanding of bicycling laws in Massachusetts as well as best practices, police officers can educate residents about the legal, safest ways to get to their destination, no matter the mode. Walk audits highlight safety issues in each community and will help prepare the communities for infrastructure and other safety changes.

Although the basic plan – enforce, educate, prepare – is the same for every community, how it plays out in practice varies from place to place. Each of the communities has its own set of opportunities, as we discover after each visit.

Some communities see improved bicycling facilities and safety as a way to revitalize a downtown area. Cities where a downtown core has been overlooked in favor of suburban development – such as Brockton, Lynn, Haverhill, and Fall River – want to attract cyclists as part of a plan for economic development. Other places with higher rates of cycling – such as Cambridge, Somerville, Newton, and Watertown – are looking to improve safety for their cyclists and attract even more commuters. Salem and Pittsfield are looking for slightly different help. In Salem, a city with an already robust cycling culture, bringing businesses out in support of increased cycling is a way to help make improvements for bicyclist safety. Pittsfield represents a town just starting out to think about cycling infrastructure, and there are a lot of opportunities there to increase safety and attract more cyclists.

With MassBike and our partners out there on the street, we get to both learn about the challenges of bicyclists in specific communities throughout Massachusetts and help those communities learn how to make cyclists safer on the road. Next year will we will continue to work with these communities, build off of what we learned in 2014, and meet the needs of each city or town to ensure that whoever is bicycling through or around them will have a safe, enjoyable experience.

To see a full list of the towns and cities that are participating in the safety program, visit the MassDOT website.

 

 

Your Support Helps Make Bicyclists Count

Mass Bike - November 24, 2014 - 11:35am

Giving Tuesday is coming up in one week, and we are kicking off our winter appeal! To show you how important you are to MassBike’s mission to promote a bicycle-friendly environment, we’ve cycled through the ways your support helps bicyclists. Click the image below to read about how you help make bicyclists count or just click here to donate.

 

Click here to open this image on the web and to share.

Bicycling and Economic Development in Sharon

Mass Bike - November 24, 2014 - 11:25am

Sometimes bicycling safety initiatives come from unexpected places. In Sharon, a town south and west of Boston, MassDOT’s South Coast Rail Technical Assistance grant might help build bike lanes.

Massapoag Ave before repaving.
Photo Courtesy of Christine Madore

The grant is part of the South Coast Rail project. According to the website, this project will link South Station with the south coast of Massachusetts by restoring rail transportation along this corridor, which is expected to activate up to half a billion dollars in economic development yearly. Christine Madore, associate planner with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, says that most communities awarded this grant focus on expanding businesses downtown, green infrastructure, and housing. In other words, it is not usual for the grant to focus on the safety of cyclists.

But in Sharon a priority mapping study showed that the attraction of the town for outdoor enthusiasts, especially cyclists, represented a viable economic opportunity. Making the already-popular roads safer and more attractive for cyclists is an important part of the plan.

Initially it was hard to narrow down where in Sharon the study would focus. “The heat map showed that almost every road is biked on,” said Madore. After a close look at the town’s resources, safe biking and walking along one of the most popular routes – the loop around Lake Massapoag – was singled out as a priority.

The town was already planning to re-pave Massapoag Ave, which meant that it was, according to Madore, the most “imminent opportunity to implement on-road bike facilities.” Public meetings were held to learn what residents and other users needed and wanted on the road. This process and the Lake Massapoag Bicycling Network website allowed the public to comment on the best way make the lake accessible to cyclists and pedestrians and get more people walking and biking around points of interest in Sharon.

Sharon resident Dana Carne has been an active voice in the process of making Massapoag Ave safer for cyclists and pedestrians. Members of her family are “constantly cycling on [Massapoag Ave], and [she is] extremely concerned about safety in general for pedestrians and cyclists here.” Carne frequently crosses the road with her toddler to access the lake and says crossing the road is dangerous due to the fast cars, wide lanes, lack of sidewalks on the lake side, few crossings, and curves. “After many discussions with the neighbors, we were very worried about the plans for the new road,” Carne said. Many residents who lived near the lake wanted the new road to include bike lanes, which would provide an extra level of safety when crossing the street as well as help cyclists. When the town held public meetings, Carne and her neighbors were there to advocate for the road being rebuilt with all users in mind. The changes on Massapoag Ave have begun, and Carne has become concerned because the road has been narrowed – enough, she thinks, to limit the width of a bike lane.

It will be some time before the changes are complete. Town Engineer Peter O’Cain told us that “a final decision on the striping configuration for the bike trail has not been made yet and may not be until the spring given the weather.” As far as traffic calming on the busy road, O’Cain says the town will include “striping, signage, and the installation of LED speed limit signs that provide real-time speed feedback to motorists.”

Madore adds “it is important to note that in order for a meaningful product to come out of this process, bike facility improvements should be considered for the entire bike network, not just focused on a small section.” Massapoag Ave is currently a focus because the paving project allowed for nearly immediate changes. Madore also believes that “promoting safe biking around the lake should involve a holistic approach to the streets and roads that were chosen for this project.”

To further encourage visitors on two wheels to explore the town, Madore is also recommending using wayfinding signs and maps at strategic locations, especially at the train station and town center, and the next phase of the project will help develop an ecotourism guide. Madore envisions cyclists “getting off the train, using the maps to learn they can ride to the town center for a cup of coffee or lunch, and then enjoying a bike ride around the lake or other parts of town.”

Sharon is a small town where bicycling is a big part of a vision for economic development. Like Sharon, a lot of cities and towns across Massachusetts are making bicyclist-friendly decisions. What’s happening in your town? If you would like to share stories about cycling advocacy or infrastructure changes, contact bikeinfo@massbike.org to let us know. Your story might be featured on the MassBike website and newsletter!

 

Tomorrow: Lexington, Bedford, Concord, Carlisle on Trails

Greater Boston Cycling and Fitness Meetup - November 22, 2014 - 4:50pm

Greater Boston Cycling/Outdoor Fitness Group

Hey it is supposed to be in the 50's tomorrow,  so I am planning a mellow TRAIL ride. Please bring your hard tail mt bikes with front shocks! 

This will be a ~30 mile trail ride. There are no crazy down hills that require full suspension mt bikes. Beware that the trails in Estabrook woods are rocky and you can catch a peddle on them. 

Route Summary:

note: this is an approximation since I cannot make google map the trails in the woods in estrabrook

http://goo.gl/maps/g4...

Starting in Lexington,

1) Take the minute man to Bedford Depot. Paved.

2) Follow the reformatory branch trail to concord (monument ave) and head out to north bridge. (easy unpaved railroad grade)

3) Go thru Estrabrook Woods, take a Carlisle back road to 2 Rod road Trail and circle back to monument st. (single track / 2 track)

4) Go to concord center (main st cafe break)

5) Head back on Minute Man National park battle road trail and make our way to Lexington Center again via Mill street and thru some other sneaky short trails.

Riders should plan to meet at 9:30 am and be ready to ride around 9:45 am

We should return to the Depot  area no later than 3:00 pm if we can keep the 10 plus pace. Please be able to b/c the group needs to return on time to the parking area.


Starting point
Depot Square, Lexington MA (fyi, there is a ton of parking behind the Depot)

Stopping point

Concord Center / Main Street Cafe (Keyes Parking area)

What's required
------------------------------------
Bike helmets and Mt Bikes
minimum 1 full water bottle.
bring snacks


What's recommended:
------------------------------------
Spare tire, repair kit, sun screen, snacks, energy bars, rain gear, an extra layer, a bike lock, and a cell phone.

 

Lexington, MA 02420 - USA

Sunday, November 23 at 9:30 AM

Attending: 2

Details: http://www.meetup.com/bike-207/events/218843162/

35 miles from Fit Werx

Greater Boston Cycling and Fitness Meetup - November 7, 2014 - 12:56pm

Greater Boston Cycling/Outdoor Fitness Group

This ride, which supports our Meetup group's sponsor Fit Werx of Peabody, starts from downtown Peabody and goes through Lynnfield, North Reading, North Andover and Middleton along mostly quiet suburban streets. Highlights include Harold Parker State Forest, Peabody's Independence Greenway bike path, Lake Street in Middleton, and the roller-coaster of Central Street in North Reading.

Map and GPS: ridewithgps.com/routes/6326581

Cue sheet: box.com/fitwerx

There is a bit of unavoidable urban riding -- it does start in Peabody after all -- so you should be comfortable with riding with traffic.  Still, the urban portions have been kept to a minimum and the routes exiting and entering Peabody are fairly bike-friendly, including one nice bike path.  Some cue sheets will be available on the day of the ride and will be posted on this page when they are ready.  Please bring a road bike or a hybrid with smooth tires.  The pace is expected to be 12-15 mph depending on the individual riders, but make sure you can keep up a pace of at least 12 mph.

Steady rain or severe weather cancels.  A chance of occasional showers does not.  An announcement will be made by 7:30 AM on the day of the ride if the ride is postponed to another week.

Optional longer 42 mile version:

There will also be an optional 42 mile version available of this ride, but we will only ride the longer version if the turnout is big enough to split into two groups:

ridewithgps.com/routes/6326404

The longer ride adds Boxford.  Additional highlights of the longer version include the farms and fields along Lacy Street in North Andover and Peabody Street in Middleton and around Boxford Center.

Peabody, MA 01960 - USA

Saturday, November 8 at 10:30 AM

Attending: 8

Details: http://www.meetup.com/bike-207/events/214977312/

Action Alert: Protect Bicycle Commuter Benefits

Mass Bike - October 29, 2014 - 11:37am

MassBike joins the League of American Bicyclists in asking you to contact your U.S. Representatives and U.S. Senators and request that they co-sponsor The Commuter Parity Act and The Commuter Benefits Equity Act. These bills ensure that ALL commuters – including bicyclists – receive benefits. We need this now because transit benefits fell to $130 a month from $245, the bike benefit stayed at $20, but the parking benefits went up to $250 from $245.

Now there is a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would repeal the bike benefits entirely. We would like you to contact your U.S. Senators and Representatives asking them to

  • Prevent the bicycle commuter benefit from being repealed
  • Increase the bicycle commuter benefit from $20 to $35 a month
  • Make bike share memberships eligible for either the bicycle commuter benefit or the transit benefit, which supports combining biking and transit for your commute

Tell your elected federal officials today that you want them to co-sponsor HR 2288: The Commuter Parity Act and S.1116: The Commuter Benefits Equity Act. These bills will address the current benefit disparities.

HR 2288: The Commuter Parity Act will change the pre-tax transit and parking benefits to $220 a month each, make the bike benefit $35 a month, and include members of bike shares (like Hubway) in the bike benefit.

S.1116: The Commuter Benefits Equity Act is the Senate companion bill that will keep bike benefits and balance the transit and parking benefits.

We want these bills passed during the Lame Duck session and ready for 2015, so please take action today.

Boston Halloween Bike Ride

Greater Boston Cycling and Fitness Meetup - October 27, 2014 - 9:11am

Greater Boston Cycling/Outdoor Fitness Group

Boston's most anticipated, most fun, and SPOOKIEST bike ride is back, and this time it's going to be bigger and better than ever. On Halloween Night we slither and crawl through the streets with jaw dropping costumes, ear popping tunes, and traffic stopping magnitude!

Meet at Copley Square at 7:30pm. (8pm departure), we'll ride for 10-12 miles at a casual / costume friendly pace and end in Allston where we'll lock up our bikes and head into Wonderbar for an epic after-party sponsored by Bike Safe Boston & Hub Bicycle Company!

Costumes are highly encouraged, the more outrageous the better.  

UPDATE** After the bike ride, get freaky with us at the after-party! We'll have an 8 foot tall stack 'o' pizza you can sink your fangs into so that you have enough energy to dance all night long. The after-party is at Wonderbar in Allston, 21+, and goes from 10-close. Bring your bike lock so you can party worry free. We're expecting to pack the joint so don't arrive too late or you might not make it inside.

UPDATE 2** Its so more fun to ride in costumes with friends! Jump on a local bike convoy to get to the start of the Halloween Bike Ride! Here is the list of bike convoys that we know about:

ALLSTON – Jackson Mann School

BU CAMPUS - (with pre-party!)

CAMBRIDGE - Toscanini's

DORCHESTER – Fields Corner Playground

JAMAICA PLAIN – Green Street T Stop

SOMERVILLE – Union Square

SOUTH BOSTON – Perkins Square




THIS is the ride you won't want to miss, so be sure to invite all of your ghoulish friends to the ride and start working on your costumes.

For easy sharing here is our Facebook Event Page & Website

See you there!



Boston, MA 02116 - USA

Friday, October 31 at 7:30 PM

Attending: 18

Details: http://www.meetup.com/bike-207/events/213861542/

Sailing around Boston Harbor

Greater Boston Cycling and Fitness Meetup - October 10, 2014 - 8:48pm

Greater Boston Cycling/Outdoor Fitness Group

Sunday looks like a nice day for a 2 to 3 hour sail

Will leave from Charlestown at 1:45 on a Oday 240 sail boat. It is a 25 ft boat with a cabin, galley, and head. Weather depending will sail out to the airport or harbor islands.

Some experience would be preferred but not necessary. Will start out with a wait list and give preference to people I have biked with before.

Once you sign up you should be prepared to attend as it will not be fair to take a spot and not show.

Will provide my cell and email to people who are confirmed

Charlestown, MA 02129 - USA

Sunday, October 12 at 1:45 PM

Attending: 4

Details: http://www.meetup.com/bike-207/events/212736952/

Transit Roundup

Mass Bike - October 9, 2014 - 10:10am

In the last few weeks, we have seen a lot of news focused on Boston-area public transit. In addition to the West Station announcement, reports about weekend Commuter Rail options, a new Silver Line route, and updated Green Line Extension dates have all come out.

Here’s the roundup:

  • Weekend Commuter Rail service is returning on three lines. The Kingston/Plymouth and Greenbush lines will all be available on Saturdays and Sundays, while the Needham line will become available on Saturdays starting on December 27. In his statement about the increased Commuter Rail service, MassDOT Secretary Richard A. Davey indicated that the added trains were a result of transit users wanting more options.
  • Allston will get West Station as part of the I-90 Interchange Improvement Project. As with the Somerville Community Path Extension, this is a project that MassBike supported.

 

 

 

Action Alert: Vote No on Question 1

Mass Bike - October 9, 2014 - 9:50am

You’ve probably heard a lot about the Question 1 ballot measure in the upcoming election. We want to tell you about what Question 1 would do,  what that would mean for you, and why we are supporting a NO vote on Question 1.

Question 1 would eliminate the gas tax indexing law and put at least $1 billion in transportation investments in jeopardy over the next decade. Indexing the gas tax helps this dedicated transportation revenue source maintain its value and was a vital part of the 2013 law that reversed years of under-investment in transportation.

Question 1 is bad news for cyclists and pedestrians. Safe biking and walking require good planning and investments, and Massachusetts has a long way to go to design and build streets, bikeways, trails, and walkways that are safe for everyone.

After years of neglect, roads and bridges in Massachusetts are now a major public safety crisis. This is something we can no longer ignore. Passage of Question 1 would mean our roads and bridges will continue to deteriorate, threatening the safety of Massachusetts cyclists and all residents.

For all of these reasons, MassBike supports a NO on Question 1 vote on November 4.

Say NO to sacrificing new infrastructure.

  • Question 1 threatens to cut $1 billion in transportation investments over the next decade.
  • Question 1 would reduce or eliminate new walking and biking paths.
  • Question 1 would reduce or eliminate road / bridge projects with new bike facilities.

Say NO to unsafe bridges.

  • Today there are 28 bridges in Massachusetts that have been closed because they are unsafe and another 447 that can only carry reduced traffic loads.
  • The ten busiest structurally deficient bridges in the state carry more than 1 million cars every day.

Say NO to traffic fatalities.

  • Massachusetts roads are unsafe for too many cyclists.
  • Roadways conditions are a significant factor in one-third of all traffic fatalities in Massachusetts.
  • Motor vehicle crashes cost Massachusetts $6.3 billion a year in medical and other costs.

Say NO to cutting public transit improvements.

  • Indexing the gas tax helps to improve our public transit system.
  • Question 1 risks investments in aging subways, rail, and buses.
  • Question 1 risks improvements in the MBTA and Regional Transit Authorities.

Say NO to risking environmental benefits.

  • Question 1 will hurt our ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Question 1 will limit our ability to invest in low- and non-polluting transportation projects such as biking, walking, and public transit.

Say NO to Question 1.

If you are eager to help stop Question 1, please spread the word and follow the campaign on Twitter or like it on Facebook.

Click here to read the full ballot question.

Boston Bike Party: Robots vs. Dinosaurs!

Greater Boston Cycling and Fitness Meetup - October 3, 2014 - 12:07pm

Greater Boston Cycling/Outdoor Fitness Group

Prehistoric evolution may have shaped T-rexes to be lean, mean, tiny-armed, fightin’ machines, but machines have evolved to go to space, reproduce themselves, and even vacuum your floors, all without the need for humans!

This month, bike party needs your help deciding which creature would be best for world-domination on bikes: robots or dinosaurs?

• Departs @ 7:30pm, Oct 10th (always 2nd Fridays!) from Copley Square, Boston

• The route is about 10 miles long, at a very casual pace. We'll end in Kendall Square in Cambridge for the after-party.

• After Party: Flat Top Johnny's, Cambridge MA

• Check out our LOOKBOOK for ideas & inspiration, & add some party songs to our Spotify Playlist

• Bring lights, bike lock, smiles, and a fun party attitude!

• Join our Facebook Event Page & invite all your friends!

• Check out our website for How We Ride


See you at Copley Square!  RAWR!

Boston, MA 02116 - USA

Friday, October 10 at 7:30 PM

Attending: 12

Details: http://www.meetup.com/bike-207/events/211210592/

West Station Is Approaching

Mass Bike - September 30, 2014 - 3:54pm

Governor Patrick announces the plan to build West Station.

Today Governor Deval Patrick, MassDOT Secretary Richard Davey, and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced that West Station construction will be part of the Allston I-90 Interchange Improvement Project. This new Commuter Rail station in Allston will be partially funded by Harvard, which owns the surrounding land.

Also at the announcement were Senator William Brownsberger, sponsor of the recent bicycle-friendly Act to Protect Vulnerable Road Users and Act to Protect Bicyclists in Bicycle Lanes, and Representative Kevin Honan. Both spoke about the planned West Station.

If you’ve been following (and supporting!) the People’s Pike campaign, you’ll know that construction of this new Commuter Rail station was a topic of concern that many local groups, including MassBike, cited in the letter to Patricia Leavenworth of MassDOT.

MassBike’s David Watson, who attended the announcement, called the plan to build West Station an “important step forward for this project and the neighborhood.” Of course there is more work to be done. “Now,” Watson added, “we just need to ensure that the bicyclist and pedestrian aspects of the project will be top notch!”

 

By: Mike Trombly

Items For Sale - June 6, 2014 - 4:48pm

2012 Specialized Venge Pro with Shimano Full Ultegra Di2 Electronic Shift. Size 54cm. Unbelievable bike in awesome shape. List price $6,600 and selling for $3900 or serious offer. Contact for photos and more detail. Text Mike at 978-502-1605

By: Mike Trombly

Items For Sale - June 6, 2014 - 4:45pm

2007/2008 Serotta Couer D’Acier 56cm – Custom steel frame with carbon seat stays and Reynolds carbon fork. Very well cared for and in terrific condition. Contact for photos and more detail. $1299. Text Mike at 978-502-1605

By: George Medelinskas

Items For Sale - May 28, 2014 - 6:39am

Univega Grantech 6400 for sale…great road bike…fast and light…Just a step below the top of the line racing bikes of its era…around 1988…I have been the only owner…not overly used, never abused…large frame (I am 6’0″ – distance between bottom bracket and top of seat tube is about 24″)…Shimano 600 components through out…Mavic rims…Aluminum frame with Chrome Moly Forks and stays…great shape…needs tires…in Haverhill…978 521 9635…gmedelinskas@gmail.com (i have pics)

By: Deb Wheeler

Items For Sale - May 12, 2014 - 11:36pm

Burley Samba Tandem Hybrid Bike for Sale.

Red, Lightly Used (< 350 miles), Excellent Condition.
Stoker (rear seat) works well for small woman/large child. $500 or best offer.
Contact Deb at wheelberry16@gmail.com or 978-969-3223.

By: Maureen Willey

Items For Sale - May 5, 2014 - 8:29am

About 5′ 6″. Just saw your post, and was going to ask if your wife might be interested in my Felt. Let me know if you/she would like to take a look at it. Thanks.

By: Tom Buske

Items For Sale - May 5, 2014 - 8:16am

How tall are you Maureen?

By: Maureen Willey

Items For Sale - May 5, 2014 - 8:05am

I’m hoping to sell my 2011 Felt ZW95 bike (women’s- size medium). It’s got an aluminum frame, carbon fork, no pedals. It’s a great entry level road bike, and it’s been well cared for. I’ve upgraded to a new bike, and would like to find a good home for this one. Paid $850; looking for $350 or best reasonable offer. (Tried posting this a few weeks ago, but listing is missing.) Please call 978 270-6978, or email mwllrn@gmail.com if interested.

By: Anne Gwynne

Items For Sale - April 22, 2014 - 8:10am

Surly LHT touring bike with fenders and rear rack, about 1000miles on it, frame size 42 cm (I am 5’3″). This is a workhorse of a touring bike in perfect condition. Asking $750

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