Intern Returns As New Staff Member

Samantha Markovitz, who was an intern here at MassBike last summer, has returned as the new Program Associate after just graduating with a B.A. in Environmental Studies from St. Lawrence University in upstate New York. She's eager to turn that hard-earned academic knowledge into an on-the-ground reality as she works to empower communities to build better streets for biking. She is also in the market for a new commuter bike, so any recommendations are welcome!

Last summer, she mainly worked on helping to restart and expand the Education Program, successfully organizing trainings around the state. Now that she is back, she is going to be working with me (Price) to develop and market a new Bikeable Communities Training, made possible through a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. With her help, we are going to train interested citizens on how to make the changes to the built environment in their own towns and cities that make biking safer and more accessible.

Samantha is excited to be getting onto the streets of Boston now that she is back in The Hub. She is going to be learning the ropes of navigating our streets alongside other new bicyclists in Boston, and looks forward to joining a great community of human-powered transportation enthusiasts. If you see her riding over the Longfellow Bridge or in downtown Boston, tip your helmet and say "Hi" - she's working to make your commute better!

Welcome, Samantha!

Mt. Washington Century - New England’s Most Challenging Century

The Mt. Washington Century ride is fast becoming known as New England’s Most Challenging Century.  It has mountain passes that thrill the eye and challenge the soul. For those wanting to ‘test their personal best’, the Mt. Washington Century ride on Saturday July 14 is it!

This year is the 11th annual Mt. Washington Century ride, and we aren’t celebrating alone! Over 350 people will join the Mt. Washington Century ride on July 14th, cyclists and volunteers alike. The Century is completely supported with five aid stations along the 100-mile course (three on the 80-mile and two on the 40-mile), support vehicles with ham radio operators, two on-duty EMTs, and a bike repair support van (Red Jersey Cyclery).

The 100-mile route around Mt. Washington passes through Bear Notch, climbs up Crawford Notch and Jefferson Notch and over Pinkham Notch. A Mt. Washington Century cyclist reaches maximum elevation gains of 2034 ft. with ascent/decent of 4875ft; not bad for a day’s ride.

No landscape rivals the natural beauty of Mt. Washington and the Presidential Range. The 100-mile route of Tin Mountain Conservation Center’s annual Mt. Washington Century ride travels through fragrant spruce-fir and majestic northern hardwood forests, across pastoral farm fields, along sparkling streams with stunning views of the alpine peaks in the Range.

If you want to get out and ‘stretch your legs’ on a great Century Ride give us a call 603.447.6991, visit TinMountain.org or register at BikeReg.com / Mt. Washington Century Ride and visit us on facebook at Mt. Washington Century ride.

Massachusetts Rises To 3rd In National List Of Bicycle-Friendly States

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 22, 2012

CONTACT:
MassDOT Press Office (617) 973-8472
David Watson, MassBike (617) 542-2453

Massachusetts Rises to 3rd in National List of Bicycle-Friendly States


The Commonwealth continues to improve its “Bike-Friendliness” ranking from League of American Bicyclists

Boston – May 22, 2012 – In their recently-released annual ranking, the League of American Bicyclists promoted Massachusetts from 9th to 3rd   most “Bicycle Friendly State.” Last year the Commonwealth had vaulted into the Top Ten from 19th in 2010.

“Massachusetts has continued to advance through the ranks of Bicycle Friendly States,” said MassDOT Secretary Richard A. Davey. “MassDOT was recently lauded as a Bicycle Friendly Business, the first DOT in the nation to receive this recognition.  These accomplishments mark our commitment to the MassDOT mission of providing safe, healthy and efficient transportation, and the importance of our innovative GreenDOT policy.”

“When MassDOT was created in 2009, innovative policies like the Healthy Transportation Compact and Complete Streets were built right into the new agency,” said David Watson, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition (MassBike), the statewide bicycling education and advocacy group. “MassDOT’s growing emphasis on sustainability and its strong partnership with the advocacy community have led to rapid improvements for bicycling.”

The League of American Bicyclists compares states across a set of objective scoring criteria in the five categories: Legislation & Enforcement; Policies & Programs; Infrastructure & Funding; Education & Encouragement; and Evaluation & Planning.

The ranking highlighted MassDOT’s ambitious GreenDOT policy as contributing to its bicycle friendly success.  GreenDOT calls for MassDOT to incorporate sustainability into all of its activities, from strategic planning to project design and construction to system operation. The GreenDOT policy initiative includes promoting walking, bicycling, and public transit as one of its central goals as well as reaching the greenhouse gas reduction targets mandated under the Global Warming Solutions Act, signed by Governor Patrick in 2008.

Other accomplishments contributing to Commonwealth success includes sponsoring statewide Complete Streets Trainings, integrating bicycling throughout the driver’s license manual, a robust Safe Routes to School Program, the annual statewide Moving Together bicycling and walking conference, planning for the Bay State Greenway (a vision for a 788-mile network of bicycle facilities throughout the Commonwealth) and the reinvigorated State Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board.

This announcement follows another successful Bay State Bike Week. During the week of May 14-20, MassDOT, working in partnership with MassBike, and MassRIDES, the Commonwealth’s statewide travel options program, led a weeklong celebration of bicycling across Massachusetts.

For more information on the League of American Bicyclists and their Bicycle Friendly State ranking, please visit www.bikeleague.org/programs/bicyclefriendlyamerica/bicyclefriendlystate/.

MassBike is the Bay State’s only statewide bicycling advocacy organization, and has been working toward better biking for 35 years. MassBike promotes a bicycle-friendly environment and encourages bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation. For more information about MassBike please visit www.MassBike.org, “like” MassBike on Facebook or follow MassBike on Twitter at @massbike.

For transportation news and updates visit MassDOT at our website: www.mass.gov/massdot, blog: www.mass.gov/blog/transportation, or follow MassDOT on twitter at www.twitter.com/massdot.

Click here for 2012 LAB Massachusetts Report Card

Click here for 2012 LAB State Ranking Chart

Action Alert: Ask Congress To Protect Funding For Biking And Walking

We know this is a big ask, coming on the heels of this morning's Action Alert for our Bike/Walk Summit, but we need your help again - this time at the federal level.

Just two months ago, the Senate passed a transportation bill that included the Cardin-Cochran agreement. This bipartisan compromise would ensure that local governments and school systems are able to access much-needed funds to make bicycling and walking safer and more accessible.

Funding for biking and walking has popular support—a recent national survey found that 83 percent of Americans support maintaining or increasing federal funds for sidewalks and bike lanes.

Will you tell Congress that Americans support biking and walking funding?

Take Action here.

Right now, as selected Senators and Representatives conference to create a consensus transportation bill, we need to protect the Cardin-Cochran agreement. Representative Ed Markey of Massachusetts is on the conference committee, so it is especially important to take action if you live in his district.

The Cardin-Cochran agreement ensures local control over a small portion of funds for biking and walking. The provision devolves decision-making on a small portion of funds from the states to local governments, whose leaders know the transportation needs of their communities best.

Local elected officials across the country want and need federal funding to build sidewalks, bike lanes, and bike paths.

Without the Cardin-Cochran agreement, states could instead choose to direct these limited funds towards building more highway lanes.

Most Americans want to increase or maintain funding for sidewalks and bikeways. The Cardin-Cochran agreement would preserve this critical funding.

Please contact your Senators and Representative to maintain the Cardin-Cochran agreement, which gives local governments a voice in transportation planning. There are sample letters below for conferees and non-conferees.

Take Action here.

Thank you for standing up to tell Congress that Americans support funding for biking and walking.

Action Alert: Bike/Walk Summit Call-in TODAY!

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.

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.

The office won’t be open during the Summit, but we will be checking email frequently. If you have any questions, you can contact us at events@massbike.org.

Thanks so much for your support - as always, we couldn’t do it without you. The bulk of our annual budget comes from memberships and donations, so please join, renew, or donate so that we can keep on fighting for safer streets. With your help, we’re going to get Beacon Hill moving!

MassBike Merchandise

Go to the following link to get yours today!

https://massbike.org/shop/

Ride Of Silence Wednesday Night - Come Ride With Us

Join MassBike for the annual worldwide Ride of Silence honoring bicyclists killed or injured riding on public roads, and raising awareness among drivers to be more careful around bicyclists. We will gather in Seven Hills Park (behind Davis Square T Station) at 6:30pm to get organized. The ride will start at 7pm sharp. We will ride 6.8 miles slowly and silently through Cambridge and Boston to Boston Common. Please RSVP to rides@massbike.org so we know how many riders to expect. If you would like us to honor a particular cyclist at the end of the ride, please send us his or her name. Helmets required, lights strongly recommended.

RAIN PLAN: The weather forecast for tomorrow is not good. It will likely rain and thunderstorm. For safety reasons, we try not to run group rides in the rain. But the Ride of Silence is such an important statement for bicyclists, we hope the weather will cooperate. Check our Facebook page or Twitter feed for last-minute updates. If we cancel the ride, we will try again next Wednesday, May 23rd, at the same time and place.

If you think you can join us, please RSVP to rides@massbike.org. And please pass this along to your bicycling friends.

Join Us Or Call In To Get Beacon Hill Moving!

The day is almost here. Next Thursday, May 17th, advocates from around the state are going to come to Boston, urging their legislators to make biking and walking a priority. If you are interested in coming to the Summit, please RSVP by Monday, May 14th (so that we can be sure to have enough food). We also have some exciting news, so please read below for a few updates.

Keynote Speaker Aaron Naparstek


We are pleased to announce that Aaron Naparstek, founder and former editor-in-chief of StreetsBlog, will be giving a lunchtime presentation on the power of local advocates to improve their communities. He is currently a Loeb Fellow at Harvard and has a wealth of experience as a livable streets advocate and community organizer. You can read more about him here.

Legislation Update


Because of the nature of the legislative process, we couldn't be sure until recently what legislation was still going to be in play for the Summit next week. We were happy to announce that the Vulnerable Road Users Bill (H.3079) was given an extension until June 1st. You can read more about our small victory here, but the important thing now is to try to move it out of committee and onto the floor to be passed into law. The other two target bills, Senior Safety Zones (H.1968) and lowering Speed Limits on Local Roads (H.1808), are also still in play and will need our support to keep moving.

Virtual Lobby Day


For those of you who can't make it to the event, we will be holding a virtual lobby day. Call in or email your legislators urging them to support our bills under consideration, listed above. We will send out an action alert the morning-of with more information, so stay tuned. Don't know who your legislator is? Find out here.

Event Details


Where: Massachusetts State House, Nurses’ Hall, Boston
When: Thursday, May 17th 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Register Here

The Schedule:

  • Before you arrive: Call in to your state legislators’ offices to set up a meeting time.

  • 10:00 – 12:00 PM: Check in at Nurses’ Hall, get materials and tips, and meet with your legislators.

  • 12:00 – 1:00 PM: Come back to Nurses’ Hall for lunch and a quick presentation.


If you have any questions, email events@massbike.org or call (617) 542-2453. Next week, let's get Beacon Hill moving!

Get Your New MassBike T-shirts in time for Bay State Bike Week

We have new T-shirts! Based on the design of our new logo, these t-shirts represent the fresh image of MassBike. Get yours in time for Bay State Bike Week and let the world know that you support Better Bicycling for Massachusetts. These beauties will run you $15 for members and $20 for non-members.

 

StreetsBlog Founder Aaron Naparstek To Speak At The Bike/Walk Summit

[caption id="attachment_18909" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Aaron Naparstek"][/caption]Those of us in the MassBike office can hardly believe that after all of the preparation and excitement, Bay State Bike Week is just around the corner, and with it will come MassBike's central event - the Bike/Walk Summit! MassBike and co-sponsor WalkBoston are pleased to announce that StreetsBlog founder and former editor-in-chief Aaron Naparstek will be giving a lunchtime keynote presentation.

A little about Mr. Naparstek:

AARON NAPARSTEK is a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University and the founder and former editor-in-chief of Streetsblog, an online publication providing daily coverage of transportation, land use and environmental issues. Launched in 2006, Streetsblog has played a significant role in transforming New York City transportation policy and galvanizing a worldwide livable streets movement that is pushing for a more people-centered, less automobile-oriented approach to transportation planning and urban design.

As a neighborhood livable streets advocate, Naparstek’s work has been instrumental in growing New York City's bike network, removing motor vehicle traffic from city parks, and developing new public spaces. Prior to launching Streetsblog, Naparstek worked as a journalist and interactive media producer, and he is also the author of "Honku: The Zen Antidote to Road Rage" (Villard 2003).


We hope you can join us for the Summit. Please let us know by Monday, May 14th if you can make it (to give us time enough to order lunch for everyone). See below for details on registering. Together, let's get Beacon Hill moving!

About The Bike/Walk Summit


Where: Massachusetts State House, Nurses’ Hall, Boston
When: Thursday, May 17th 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Register Here


The Schedule:

  • Before you arrive: Call in to your state legislators’ offices to set up a meeting time.

  • 10:00 – 12:00 PM: Check in at Nurses’ Hall, get materials and tips, and meet with your legislators.

  • 12:00 – 1:00 PM: Come back to Nurses’ Hall for lunch and a presentation by Aaron Naparstek.


The legislation:

  • Speed Limits Bill (H.1808)

  • Vulnerable Road Users Bill (H.3079)

  • Senior Safety Zones Bill (H.1968)



If you have any questions, please email price@massbike.org.


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