Pioneer Valley Bicycle Advocate of the Year

News from our Pioneer Valley Chapter President, Sean Condon:

Fellow cyclists,

It is my distinct honor to announce the selection of the Pioneer Valley Bicycle Advocate of the Year! For the past 13 years MassBike PV, representing the bicycling community in Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden
Counties, has selected the person having the greatest impact on bicycling in the region to receive this award.

The recipient for 2015 is Mayor Dan Knapik of Westfield. MassBike PV recognizes Mayor Knapik as a friend of the bicycling community and his support and accomplishments for bicycling in the city of Westfield. During his three terms in office the city saw the completion of the Columbia Greenway into downtown, plans for an East/West connector on the city's levee, bike lane and shared lane proposals in road projects and the formation of a Bike/Ped Master Plan Advisory Committee. Mayor Knapik exemplifies the MassBike PV mission to promote the bicycle as safe, healthful, enjoyable, efficient, and environmentally sound means of transportation.

An award presentation will be held Wednesday, June 3rd at New Horizons Bikes, 55 Franklin St., Westfield at 6:00 PM. You all are invited to show your thanks, and refreshments will be served.

Sean Condon
MassBike PV Chapter President

Call for volunteers!

Calling all volunteers! We're looking for help doing bike valet, some office work, and bike assessments. Take a look at the schedule in the link below, we'd love to have you join us at our events!

Please click here to see all current volunteer opportunities in June and sign up.

Membership changes starting today.

Since its inception, MassBike has aimed to better cycling in Massachusetts. We currently represent over 3,600 cyclists in the Commonwealth and remain grateful for your continued support throughout the years. Many of you have been with us since the start; you have seen us grow and gain a seat at the table to discuss changes to infrastructure and develop new bikeways and trails. We hope you will continue on this journey with us, as we strive to be the number one state for bikes.

Starting today, membership fees will increase by $5. Individual membership is $40, dual/family $60, and student/low income at $25.

In addition, we will be phasing out our membership card feature over the next year. Anyone who has purchased a MassBike membership prior to 5/21/2015 will still receive a membership card and all benefits included with it, good for the full year of membership purchased until your next renewal. Any new members or renewing members who sign up after 5/21/2015 will receive all membership info (including their membership number) in their welcome letter. And you will of course still get great membership perks, discounts, and coupons when you join as well from some of our fantastic local and national partners. Please visit our membership page for more detailed information.

You will also be able to buy MassBike memberships at select MassBike events, and at participating bike shops and cafes. These special event memberships, will include all the same MassBike membership perks, but will also have a water bottle, blinky lights, and other goodies tucked inside! For more information on this program, or if you want to get involved, please email bikeinfo@massbike.org.

In the coming days, we'll also be announcing details regarding major updates to our corporate membership program, where businesses can elect to support MassBike, where they will receive discounted individual memberships for employees, bikability assessments at the office, classes, and much more!

Stay tuned, and thank you for your continued support!

Update on Sudbury fatality, Sunday May 17th

An update regarding the tragic fatality in Sudbury over the weekend from the office of Marian T. Ryan, Middlesex District Attorney:

WOBURN – Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Sudbury Police Chief Scott Nix have announced that Saadin Solah, 53, has died from injuries suffered when the bicycle he was riding collided with a GMC pickup truck this morning in Sudbury.  Solah's hometown has not been released.

“This crash occurred on Hudson Road at approximately nine o’clock,” said District Attorney Ryan.  “A man was riding his bike along Hudson Road during an organized ride when he was involved in a collision with a pickup.  The victim passed away from his injuries after being taken to Beth Israel Hospital.”

"This is a tragic situation involving the death of a cyclist on the roadway," Chief Nix said. "On behalf of the entire community, I want to extend my thoughts and prayers to the victim's family."

At approximately 9 a.m., the victim was riding his bicycle on Hudson Road, also known as Route 27, near the intersection with Maynard Road, when a collision occurred with a vehicle.  Police say the driver of the pickup truck pulled over and waited until first responders arrived. This is an active investigation.

This incident is being investigated by the Sudbury Police Department.

The prosecutor assigned to this case is Assistant District Attorney Kerry Collins.

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Cambridge Tops List as America's Best Bike City

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (May 18, 2015) – Typically reports on America's best bike cities list such locales as Davis, Calif., Boulder, Colo., and Portland, Ore. According to a new scoring system used by a real estate marketing think tank Cambridge, Mass., beat them all.

The Redfin Research Center recently issued a report that ranked Cambridge as the top city in the U.S. Scoring 92.8 the Massachusetts city came in well above Davis, Berkeley, Boulder and Santa Cruz, which finished second through fifth respectively.

“This is a great recognition of the hard work done by Cara Seiderman, the Transportation Program Manager in Cambridge, over the past 20 years,” said Richard Fries, Executive Director of MassBike. “That city has been leading the entire state for a long time and rarely gets mentioned alongside other cities in the Western U.S. With the additional support of local advocates such as the Livable Streets Alliance, the Boston Cyclists Union and our work here at MassBike, Cambridge is overdue for this acknowledgment.”

Two other Massachusetts cities scored in the top 100. Boston ranked 24th and Northampton came in at number 29.

For a full listing click here.

Let's Keep Rolling - Join Today


We represent over 3000 cyclists across the state who see bicycling as a solution for the traffic, health and environmental challenges we face in our community. But - we can’t do it alone. MassBike depends on bicyclists like you to continue our work making bicycling a healthy and more sustainable means of transportation and recreation.


We've come a long way, but still have more work to do on our mission to become the #1 state for biking.


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LAB Releases Latest Bicycle Friendly State Rankings

Mass Makes Great Leap Forward to Fourth Overall

By LAUREN LeCLAIRE, MassBike Communications Coordinator

BOSTON (May 11, 2015) - The League of American Bicyclists released its 2015 Bicycle Friendly State ranking with Massachusetts on its way to the top of the charts. Now in the top five in the country, Massachusetts jumped from number 10 to number four this year, largely due to a new transportation bond, committing over $400 million in the next five years for biking and walking initiatives.

“This is a tremendous recognition of our collective efforts and the many initiatives in place throughout the Commonwealth which have contributed to our current status as the fourth friendliest bicycle state," said Stephanie Pollack, Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary and CEO. "This has been a great team effort and I want to commend all of our partners in regional and municipal government, and in the bicycling advocacy community for their efforts. And of course, thank you to our many bicyclists across the state who continue to choose bicycling as both a means of transportation and recreation."

With increased financial commitments and major improvements in bike friendly legislation and infrastructure, Massachusetts is on track to be the number one bicycling state in America.  Take a look at the full report and you will see, we’re already well on our way. The DCR has made a commitment to overhauling its parkways to meet Federal standards. We have pending legislation on the hill with the Vulnerable Road Users Bill and the Bike Lane Protection Bill. “When we studied the criteria by which the League ranks the states, we expect to check off several more boxes in 2015. With our membership growing, strong leadership from the state Department of Transportation, and visionary partners statewide, we see a powerful opportunity to move into the top spot by 2016,” stated MassBike Executive Director, Richard Fries.

"We're encouraged to see measurable progress and improvement in many states, including Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Utah," said League President Andy Clarke. "We hope to see continued improvement as more statewide leaders recognize and invest in the many benefits bicycling has to offer."

The Bay State has made tremendous strides in implementing Complete Streets projects and MassDOT’s GreenDOT Initiative, thanks in great part to the hard work of local advocacy groups. “So much of this credit goes to the steady leadership of David Watson, who recently stepped down from the helm at MassBike. And we got a lot of support from government and non-government organizations, including our friends at The Livable Streets Alliance, Boston Bikes, and the Boston Cyclists Union,” said Fries.

This is amazing news for Massachusetts, and there are big, exciting changes to come. But to keep moving forward, MassBike needs your support. Help us get to that top slot by becoming a member today.



Can the DCR Make Mass the Netherlands of America?

Sweeping Proposal Would Overhaul Bike Facilities on Parkways Throughout Metro Area

By RICHARD FRIES, Executive Director

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, the state's largest landowner, will soon conduct a “comprehensive conditional assessment” of most of its parkways in the Boston metro area.

The DCR is dedicating $500,000 to analyze the changes needed to bring area parkways up to current standards to “provide multimodal accommodations for all users of the parkway” including cyclists. The analysis would include many of the marquee parkways in 17 DCR reservations, ranging from Lynn to Quincy, Boston to Newton. For too long these “park”-ways have been used – and engineered – as freeways for motorists, thus diminishing the safety of those users for whom the parks were created.
“DCR desires a detailed report that clearly outlines the feasible, optimal cross-section, multimodal connectivity through crossing streets and configuration of its parkways that provides multimodal accommodations,” is in the statement of the scope of services.

This is bike advocacy – at the local, state, and federal level – working at its best. Several organizations simultaneously pulling on several ropes managed to pull this ship to the dock of reason. For starters, such national groups as People for Bikes, the Alliance for Biking and Walking, and the League of American Bicyclists have successfully pushed at the federal level to re-define the standards for roadway design.

But the DCR, learning first hand about the robust nature of local advocacy through such issues as snow removal on the Southwest Corridor or the Arborway design, recently created the Urban Path and Parkway Committee (UPPC) that granted seats to such groups as WalkBoston, the Boston Cyclists Union, Livable Streets Alliance, MassBike and other regional bike advocacy groups. Most impressive is that the DCR leadership is actually riding many of the areas to be studied.

The UPPC reviewed this proposal on April 22.

The DCR Reservations to be studied include:

  • Blue Hills

  • Breakheart

  • Charles River

  • Chestnut Hill

  • Furnace Brook

  • Hammond Pond

  • Lynn Shore

  • Middlesex Fells

  • Muddy River

  • Mystic River

  • Nahant Beach

  • Nantasket Beach

  • Neponset River

  • Old Harbor

  • Quincy Shore

  • Revere Beach

  • Stony Brook


A number of parkways – including Alewife Brook and Storrow Drive – will not be included in the study. But in many of those circumstances, parallel cycling facilities either exist presently or in development.

The formal request for proposal will be completed pending input from the UPPC.

The range of facilities considered with be both short term and long term projects that may require considerable re-engineering. In short, the DCR will consider everything from bike lanes to cycle-tracks.

The impact of this project, when completed, could nearly double the mileage of cycling facilities in the Bay State.

 

Like these updates and what MassBike is doing? Support our mission and join today.

Ride with MassBike - Join Now

We're rolling forward in the right direction, but need your help! We represent over 3000 cyclists across the state who see bicycling as a solution for the traffic, health and environmental challenges we face in our community. We can’t do it alone. MassBike depends on bicyclists like you to continue our work making bicycling a healthy and more sustainable means of transportation and recreation.

 

 


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