Volunteer Bicyclists Needed For Cambridge Air Quality Study

Do you ride your bike along a regular route through Cambridge? Do you ride year-round?

The Cambridge Public Health Department, in collaboration with researchers at BU, MIT and Harvard are looking for a group of dedicated bicyclists to transport miniature air samplers as they travel on their usual routes across Cambridge. Samplers will measure air pollution along roadways and the data will be used to test the efficacy of the technique. You will be helping us understand the quality of our air and what a cyclist may be exposed to along our major streets and parkways!

For more details, please contact Mike Ginieres at 617-665-3848 or mginieres@challiance.org.

Craigie Drawbridge Bicycle Access Reminder

We posted about the Craigie Drawbridge closures back in November, but since the second round of project closures has begun, we wanted to leave a reminder.

The Craigie Drawbridge is a major route between Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville for bicyclists and motorists. No inbound (Boston-bound) motor vehicle traffic will be permitted from January-April 2011. Outbound (Cambridge- and Somerville-bound) travel lanes will remain open throughout the project. The good news is that two-way bicycle access will be maintained at all times, with a combination of shared travel lanes and shared sidewalk.

The outbound travel lanes will be marked as shared lanes so that motorists know to expect bicycles in the lane. Throughout the project, bicyclists may also share the sidewalks with pedestrians, but the sidewalks will be narrow (7 feet) and only one sidewalk will be open from January-April 2011 to serve two-way bicycle and pedestrian traffic. Bicyclists and pedestrians may be directed to cross from one side of the street to the other, but there will be a marked crosswalk with a crossing guard. As conditions dictate, bicyclists may be asked to walk their bikes across the temporary bridge.

Yes, this will be inconvenient, but MassDOT is trying hard to help by maintaining two-way access for bikes and pedestrians (but not for cars). If anyone encounters an unexpected problem or safety issue as the project progresses, please let us know so that we can work with MassDOT to address any issues.

MassBike Kicks Off New Police Training Campaign

MassBike has a long history of supporting police training to improve bicyclist safety. In fact, MassBike literally wrote the book on police training when it comes to bicycles, much of which is available on our website. Now the time has come to update our police training to reflect recent changes in the law and to better suit the current needs of law enforcement and bicyclists across our state.

The 2009 Bicyclist Safety Act included a police training requirement, and we are making consistent statewide implementation of this training one of our priority campaigns for 2011. We will be creating educational materials about bicycle-related laws, behavior by bicyclists and motorists, and issues that bicyclists face that officers should be aware of. We'll also work with state and local law enforcement to develop effective ways of delivering this training to new recruits and in-service officers.

Our plans got a jumpstart recently when the City of Boston asked us to assist the Boston Police Department's efforts to educate its officers about the laws related to bicycling. We put together a brand-new law enforcement guide, which includes information about bicycling laws and bicyclists, laws about motorist interactions with bicyclists, explanations of common bike-related pavement markings and signage, and more. We're working in collaboration with the BPD to make this work-in-progress the most useful training and reference tool possible. We'll post the final product in our "publications" section.

We appreciate that the City reached out to MassBike for our expertise in bike law and education. It's a great way to begin our new police training campaign!

MassBike Is Hiring: Program Manager

MassBike, the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition, is seeking a full-time Program Manager. This brand-new role has broad responsibility including managing our education program, coordinating outreach activities, and participating in advocacy projects. The Program Manager will report to the Executive Director, and will work closely with both the Executive Director and the Development Manager. This position is based in our office in Boston.

About MassBike:
MassBike is the statewide bicycling advocacy group for Massachusetts, with a growing membership and three chapters: Metro Boston, Pioneer Valley, and Cape Cod & Islands. MassBike improves the bicycling environment in Massachusetts and encourages bicycling for transportation and recreation. MassBike’s programs focus on promoting bicycle-friendly legislation; improving bicycle access and safety on roads and public transportation; educating bicyclists, motorists, police, and children about bicycling; and encouraging people to ride.

Responsibilities:

  • Manage existing Safe Routes to School bike safety training program, including recruiting, training, coordinating, and supervising instructors; coordinating with statewide SRTS program office; preparing invoices and payment requests.

  • Manage existing workplace commuter workshop program, including recruiting, training, coordinating, and supervising instructors; scheduling workshops; teaching workshops as needed; preparing invoices and payment requests.

  • Manage other education activities, including program evaluation and development.

  • Regularly contribute blog posts about MassBike’s advocacy work and programs, and coordinate email newsletter production.

  • Represent MassBike at public events and actively seek out opportunities to communicate MassBike’s message to the public.

  • Develop innovative ways deliver our message and generate more interest in and excitement about MassBike.

  • Work with Development Manager to increase our volunteer capacity for events.

  • Provide advocacy support to Executive Director, including assisting with or taking primary responsibility for specific advocacy projects.



Qualifications:

  • College degree or equivalent relevant work experience. Nonprofit and advocacy experience preferred.

  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, both writing and speaking. Public speaking experience desirable.

  • Excellent time management and organizational skills required – it will be challenging to balance this multi-faceted position.

  • Interest and participation in bicycling strongly preferred.

  • Willingness to work some nights and weekends for events and meetings.

  • Ability to take initiative and work independently.

  • Experience and comfort working with computers (Windows; Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook; QuickBooks or other accounting software; WordPress or other website content management system; Facebook, Twitter, blogs, or other social media).

  • Driver’s license (unfortunately, we can’t ride our bikes everywhere).

  • Flexibility to pitch in wherever needed in a small organization.



Pay and Benefits:
Salary plus benefits including medical and dental insurance, paid vacation, and paid holidays.

To Apply:
Please submit a resume and thoughtful cover letter explaining your interest in MassBike and why you are a great candidate for this position to jobs@massbike.org.

MassBike Chapter Summit Success!

[caption id="attachment_3918" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Not the MassBike Chapter Summit!"][/caption]On December 4th, MassBike held it's first Chapter Summit in Worcester and we are happy to report that the event was a success!

We had about 20 participants who took part in discussion and brainstorming about how MassBike can better create, support, and utilize our chapters. Participants ranged from current chapter members, to people interested in starting new chapters in their communities, to MassBike members looking to become more involved in the organization. We learned a lot about what chapters need and how MassBike can be stronger regionally. We're already beginning to implement some of the ideas from the summit for better communication among the chapters and the MassBike staff.

Moving forward, you'll hear more about what our chapters are doing locally. We'll have updates on their campaigns and successes on our website and more info about their events on our calendar, so that you can see what MassBike has been doing regionally.

Our notes from the summit are available here (discussion notes) and here (flipchart/brainstorming notes). We welcome additional comments and thoughts.

Special thanks to our hosts in Worcester, Jonathan Church and the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission (CMRPC), who provided great space and hospitality for the Summit.

If you'd like to get more involved with a chapter, find out more at the Pioneer Valley Chapter page, the Cape Cod and Islands Chapter page, or the Boston Chapter page. Not a chapter in your area, but interested in finding out more about starting one? Email bikeinfo@massbike.org to get more info.

Jingle Ride Rained Out: New Date December 19th

The 14th Annual Ciclismo Classico Jingle Ride had been postponed due to rain. Join us for the Jingle Ride next Sunday, December 19, 2010!

NOTE: The registration link in the email notice is no longer working - use the link in this post to register for the new date.



Don't Miss the 14th Annual Jingle Ride and Holiday Party - Sunday, December 19th

The Jingle Ride is a leisurely and festive 10-to-25 mile round-trip bike ride from Arlington Center to Boston, including the Charles River Bike Path and some of Boston's most festive streets. We'll ride into town, have lunch at Quincy Market before spinning back to Arlington via Boston's historic Public Garden, Newbury Street, and the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge.

All participants are asked to make a voluntary donation to MassBike. Suggested donation is $25 per rider. 100% of proceeds will be donated to MassBike.

Holiday Party at Lauren's Home All participants are also invited to a holiday party with food, drink and good cheer and the home of Ciclismo founder Lauren Hefferon.

Date: Sunday, December 19, 2010
Time: 10:30am registration, 11:00am ride starts, 3:30 post-ride party

Bring your best singing voice, costume, jingle bells and bike decorations!

RSVP for the Jingle Ride and Holiday Party here.

Jingle Ride Starting Point Jam N' Java, 594 Mass. Ave in Arlington Center (MAP)

There will be fun prizes for best costume, best decorated bike, and more!

Support MassBike This Holiday Season

There’s no other way to say it: 2010 has been a big year for bicycling in Massachusetts. With more bicyclists on our streets and paths, more focus from politicians and government officials, and more awareness from motorists, bicycling is on the cusp of reaching a new level.

But even with this progress, huge challenges remain to protecting bicyclists and to making sure that we continue to make gains. MassBike is the leading voice for bicyclists in Massachusetts, but we need you to help to make sure that bicycling is a priority during this critical time.

For over 30 years, MassBike has been the respected advocate for bicyclists in our state. We are leading efforts to make sure that the unprecedented support for bicycling continues during the winter months and into 2011.

With the help of our members and supporters, we have been making a difference! Here are just a few of our recent accomplishments:

  • Worked with the MBTA and other advocates to revamp their bus driver training, leading to a full-day training and evaluation for all bus drivers who have had incidents with bicyclists, part of which all drivers will have to take within the next 18 months.



  • Advocated for and won bicycling infrastructure on precedent-setting projects across the state as part of our Building For Bicycling campaign.



  • Launched our safety campaign, Same Road, Same Rules, in partnership with MassDOT and other state agencies, designed to educate both motorists and bicyclists about the rules of the road, bicyclists’ rights, and how to safely interact.



  • Led the campaign for the passage of the Bicyclist Safety Act, which made 13 important changes to law, making Massachusetts a safer place to bicycle.


But even with these important victories for bicyclists, large challenges remain to ensuring the safety of bicyclists on our roads.

Looking forward to 2011, we are planning an ambitious campaign for improving bicycling, including revamping police training to include better information about bicyclists and their rights, continued work in East Boston to remove peak hour restrictions from the Blue Line as a pilot program for the rest of the T and to help community members advocate for bicycling, continuing work to make infrastructure a priority, and movement on a new legislative agenda.

We can make Massachusetts a better place for bicycling, but we can’t do it without you. Please follow the link to donate to our Winter Appeal. Or if you aren't a member yet, please join MassBike and add your voice!

Boston Conducting Bicycling Survey: Have Your Say



The City of Boston is conducting a brief 2010 year-end survey of people who bicycle in Boston. If you ride a bike in Boston--rarely, occasionally or perhaps every single day--please take a moment to complete this important survey. They will ask questions about your riding habits and ask for your feedback on their events.

To take the survey go to http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BostonBikes

Please forward this to anyone else you know who bikes in Boston. The City of Boston thanks you very much for your input and wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!

No Love For Bicyclists In Charlestown

We were shocked to learn that the bike lanes installed on Main Street in Charlestown just weeks ago were removed last week. Especially when the City of Boston has been doing so much to encourage bicycling and improve bicyclist safety. Apparently, there was some sort of public process snafu. We'll give the City of Boston the benefit of the doubt that the problem was serious enough to warrant removing the bike lanes immediately rather than resolving the problem another way, but this is a very troubling development. We need government to stand firm on the need for bicycling infrastructure and neighborhoods that encourage biking and walking - even in the face of opposition to change. In this particular case, this is a community's Main Street (literally), and cyclists want to travel that street and patronize the local businesses safely, just like everyone else. (See our comments to the Charlestown Patch.)

Public participation is critical to the success of all infrastructure projects, not just bike lanes. Neighborhood residents should be fully informed and have the opportunity to comment on infrastructure projects. But just as there should have been public participation in the decision to install bike lanes, once the bike lanes were in, there should also have been a public process to discuss removing them. Because the City went to the trouble and expense of removing the bike lanes, getting them back on Main Street seems unlikely, but local cyclists need to speak up in support of bicycling improvements in Charlestown, particularly cyclists who actually live or work there.

MassBike is reaching out to our members and contacts in Charlestown to urge them to get involved. We've also offered our assistance to the City of Boston to help them resolve this situation.

Here are the people you can contact:

Nicole Freedman, the City of Boston's Director of Bike Programs.

Mike Ross, Boston City Council President.

Salvatore LaMattina, Boston City Councilor for District 1 (includes Charlestown).

Tom Cunha, Chairman of the Charlestown Neighborhood Council.

Your Precinct Representative to the Charlestown Neighborhood Council. Find your Precinct Representative here

You Can Make Bicycling Better In MA

While you might have put away your bike for winter, or you might be bundling up on your rides as the cold sets in, the season for bicycling advocacy never ends. Especially now, when there is more interest in bicycling than ever before and there are more opportunities to ensure that bicycling is a priority in Massachusetts.

You can help make bicycling better in MA and get a free MassBike water bottle!

That’s why we need your help. MassBike has been the voice for bicyclists in Massachusetts for over 30 years. We are a coalition made up of all types of bicyclists—commuters, recreational cyclists, mountain bikers, messengers, students, and everyone in between. And we need you to join with us and the thousands of other bicyclists who are already members to make sure that the opportunities of the moment are not missed. If you are already a member, help introduce a special bicyclist in your life to the MassBike community.



We all know the benefits of bicycling—it’s healthy, good for the environment, a cheap way to get around, and it’s fun. But to make bicycling safer and easier, and to get more bicyclists on our streets and paths, we need to make sure that bicyclists are represented where it counts.

Joining today makes you a part of the leading advocacy group making pro-bicycling changes across our state. With the help of our members, we are making a difference! Here are some of MassBike’s recent accomplishments:

  • Advocated for and won bicycle infrastructure on precedent-setting projects across the state as part of our our Building For Bicycling campaign.

  • Launched our safety campaign, Same Road, Same Rules, in partnership with MassDOT and other state agencies, designed to educate both motorists and bicyclists about the rules of the road, bicyclists’ rights, and how to safely interact.

  • Worked with the MBTA and other advocates to revamp their bus driver training, leading to a full-day training and evaluation for all bus drivers who have had incidents with bicyclists, part of which all drivers will have to take within the next 18 months.

  • Organized the first truly state-wide Bay State Bike Week in partnership with MassDOT, with thousands of participating bicyclists and over 100 events.

  • Led the campaign to pass the Bicyclist Safety Act, which made 13 important changes to the law and has made Massachusetts a safer place to bicycle.

  • Continued our education program, educating thousands of adults and schoolchildren about safe riding.


By joining or giving a gift membership to MassBike today you can be a part of creating a better bicycling environment. If you aren’t already a MassBike member, joining today will help to make our advocacy possible. If you are a MassBike member, giving a gift membership to another bike rider in your life is a great way to show that you care. And until January 1, 2011, anyone who joins or gives a gift membership of $50 or more will receive a FREE MassBike water bottle!

Join us by clicking one of the following options which will take you straight to our online store:

New Membership

Gift Membership

Or you can call us at the MassBike office at 617-542-2453.

MassBike needs you to make bicycling in Massachusetts better. Join today and be a part of making a difference!

Don’t forget: MassBike Membership also gets you or your friend great discounts at bike shops across Massachusetts, special rates at B&Bs; and hotels around New England, discounts on environmentally-friendly car insurance (that funds efforts to reduce motorized vehicle miles traveled), special membership pricing on classes, and more. Just follow the links above to get or give a membership. Thanks for your support!


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