MassBike Works With NOAH To Improve Cycling In East Boston

When we sat down to plan our campaigns for this year, we wanted to help East Boston become more bicycle friendly. East Boston is geographically separated from the rest of Boston and this poses a special challenge.


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Previously, we worked with youth from NOAH (an awesome group of young people) on our Boston neighborhood bikeability study. Our collaboration was so successful that we decided to continue working towards making East Boston more bike friendly. From looking at ways to make taking bikes on the Blue Line easier, to figuring out where bicycle infrastructure is needed in East Boston, to fighting for good routes in and out of East Boston by bike, NOAH and MassBike have a lot planned.

This weekend we are working again with NOAH, this time providing bicycling information and valet bike parking for the 7th Annual Chelsea Creek River Revel. Come by our booth and learn about the other projects we are planning for East Boston.

Don't know how to get to East Boston by bike? Take your bike on the Blue Line to Maverick Station, then ride a few minutes to the festival. Want to experience what it's like getting to East Boston by bike right now? Take the long way through Everett and Chelsea - then you'll see why this campaign is so vital.

If you live in East Boston or want to help, attend the public meeting on the Central Square project on Tuesday, July 27th.

I am a Machine Operator, And I Ride

Here's a great story from our And I Ride campaign! We are seeking to put a face on cycling in support of a legislative campaign that we are working on this year. You can read the rest of these great bicyclist bios here.

We are still accepting entries, so be sure to read below to find out how to send in your story.

Our next story comes from Jesse.



Where I Ride: Chelsea, East Boston, Everett, Medford, Revere
How Often I Ride: Every day, all year

My Story:

I started riding again after more than twenty years because I rediscovered the joys of riding and the view, the challenges, and feel of getting things done via a self propelled device. I have two kinds of bicycles, one is a road bike I spend my sunny days on, and the others are mountain bikes. I ride where I haven't been before in the city, or in the snow, rain, or extreme cold. I get shopping done with my cargo trailer. I get closer to nature, finding parks and reserves I didn't know existed before.

I have also been trying to get the city I live in to change many of the dangerous storm grates along some of our most used streets. I use drive up banks and restaurants on my bike, I love finding new routes to favorite shopping areas. Twenty years ago I rode to Cape Cod from Boston. I would like to do that again someday.



Thanks Jesse!

We still want to hear your story. Tell us about yourself and how bicycling is a part of your life. Just copy and paste the form below into an email, fill it in, and send it to shane@massbike.org.

  • Name:

  • Email:

  • Where You Ride:

  • How Often You Ride:

  • Your Profession/Relation/Title (lawyer, nurse, Grandma, son, etc):

  • A picture of you on your bicycle, or you in your daily life (be sure we can see your face):

  • A paragraph or two about your life and your bicycle:


Free, Fun, Bikes! Our First Maintenance Workshop In Waltham RSVP Now



Are you looking for something fun new and exciting? Are you in Waltham or the greater Boston area? Have you wanted to dip your toe into bicycle maintenance? Are you scared of being stranded if you get a flat tire?

Well have we got something for you!

This Friday, in Waltham, our first bicycle maintenance workshop of the summer is happening at the city public meeting room at 118 School Street. This event is an hour long, free, and open to anybody that RSVP's to Shane at shane@massbike.org. Friends and children 16+ are also welcome!

We will show you how to fix a flat, how to adjust your seat, how to oil and clean your chain and a general overview of what the parts of a bicycle are and how they work. You should not bring a bicycle to this event to repair as we will be bringing everything needed. But do feel free to ride to the class.

This is part of our free summer education program which is sponsored by Adobe. all of our classes through this program are happening in Waltham (where Adobe is located). If you are unable to make this workshop, please see below for times, dates, and places of future workshops in Waltham.

It would be great to see you there!!

July


23rd Maintenance Workshop 6-7pm Waltham Public Meeting Room Basement of Government Center

August


4th Commuter Workshop 6-7pm Waltham Public Meeting Room Basement of Government Center
16th Commuter Workshop 6-7pm Waltham Public Library Lecture Hall. Ground floor
23rd Maintenance Workshop 6-7pm Waltham Public Library Lecture Hall. Ground floor
26th Commuter Workshop 6-7pm Waltham Public Meeting Room Basement of Government Center

September


2nd Commuter Workshop 6-7pm Waltham Public Library Lecture Hall. Ground floor
9th Commuter Workshop 6-7pm Waltham Public Library Lecture Hall. Ground floor
16th Commuter Workshop 6-7pm Waltham Public Meeting Room Basement of Government Center
29th Maintenance Workshop 6-7pm Waltham Public Meeting Room Basement of Government Center

Click here for a map showing the Library and the Public Meeting room, as well as local transit options for getting to the classes.

Each class is one hour long, and is limited to 30 students, these fill up quickly so be sure to RSVP by emailing Shane@massbike.org. Specify how many people will be attending and the date of the class you wish to attend.

If you would like a poster to print out and put up at your local coffee shop, library, office or other public space please see the links below. (pdf documents)

Color 11x17
B&W; 11x17

Color 8.5x11
B&W; 8.5x11

I Am A Software Developer, And I Ride

Here's another great story from our And I Ride campaign! We are seeking to put a face on cycling in support of a legislative campaign that we are working on this year. You can read the rest of these great bicyclist bios here.

We are still accepting entries, so be sure to read below to find out how to send in your story.

Our next story comes from Chris.



Where I Ride: Mostly to & from work in Southborough
How Often I Ride: most weekdays

My Story:

Most of my riding these days is commuting back & forth to work. It's only 7 miles round trip, but it gets me some exercise every day. In the summer (when I don't have to deal with the kids getting off to school), I add a few extra miles to my inbound trip. I also occasionally ride in the evening with the Worcester AMC chapter.
My favorite kind of cycling is bike touring. I've biked the TransAmerica trail twice and spent a summer in Europe. Hopefully, once the kids are out of college, I can get back into it.


Thanks Chris!

We want to hear your story. Tell us about yourself and how bicycling is a part of your life. Just copy and paste the form below into an email, fill it in, and send it to shane@massbike.org.

  • Name:

  • Email:

  • Where You Ride:

  • How Often You Ride:

  • Your Profession/Relation/Title (lawyer, nurse, Grandma, son, etc):

  • A picture of you on your bicycle, or you in your daily life (be sure we can see your face):

  • A paragraph or two about your life and your bicycle:


ACTION ALERT UPDATE: Great Response To Speed Limit Bill, More Help Needed

The response has been great since we issued the Action Alert last week. Many thanks to the almost 60 MassBike supporters who have already reported contacting 37 representatives and 22 senators to move the bill forward. If you have emailed or called your state rep and state senator, but haven't told us, please email action@massbike.org so we can keep track of who has been contacted.

More contacts are better, so please take a moment to review the Action Alert below and make those calls and emails RIGHT NOW. The more legislators who express their support of the bill to Speaker DeLeo, the more likely it is that he will move the bill forward.

MassBike also wants to express our appreciation for the support of the co-sponsors of the bill, among them Representatives Denise Provost, Sean Garballey, Tim Toomey, Charley Murphy, Liz Malia, Jonathan Hecht, Martha Walz, Mike Rush, Will Brownsberger, and Frank Smizik, and Senator Pat Jehlen.

Original Action Alert:

MassBike needs your help to pass House Bill 4728 to reduce the prevailing speed limit in Massachusetts urban areas from 30mph to 25mph. MassBike and other safety advocates have long supported efforts to decrease the speed limit, and this is the closest it has ever been to passing! This bill, originally sponsored by Representative Denise Provost (Somerville), would significantly increase pedestrian safety in neighborhood settings by slowing vehicle traffic to speeds safer for walkers and cyclists. It is currently in the House Committee on Bills in Third Reading, and when it reaches the Senate, it will be on the fast track, so please take action to support this bill by calling or emailing TODAY.

Why is this bill important? This is an important safety measure because bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities from crashes with automobiles are directly related to speed: When struck by a vehicle going 40 mph, 90% of bicyclists and pedestrians die, as compared to only 5% when the vehicle is going 20 mph. Massachusetts' prevailing speed limit of 30 mph is too fast for local roads in densely developed areas, and 25 mph is the safer standard, which has been adopted by many other states across the country. Massachusetts should join these states in protecting the safety of all our residents and visitors.

What can you do to help?

1. Call or email your State Senator and ask him or her to ask Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo to move H4728 forward.

2. Call or email your State Representative and ask him or her to ask Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo to move H4728 forward.

3. Email action@massbike.org to let us know who you contacted.


Thanks for your help - we can't do it without you!

Click here to find your State Representative (called "Rep in General Court") and your State Senator (called "Senate in General Court"), then click on their names to get phone numbers and emails.

Boston Bike Share Passes "Go", Collects $3M

Late yesterday afternoon, I began getting calls from reporters seeking comment on the news that Boston had landed a $3M federal grant to launch the long-awaited bike share program. See the Boston Globe article or visit our Press Room. Yes, that's right, the city now has the money for bike share!

Originally planned to launch this May, then pushed back to July, then going somewhat ominously quiet amid rumors of financial issues, the bike share is back and we are very glad to hear it. The program is now anticipated to launch in Spring 2011. At 500 bikes and 50 stations, the program will not initially be as large as originally planned, but large enough to prove the concept and justify growing to thousands of bikes at hundreds of stations. The money is coming from the Federal Transit Administration, which liked the city's plan to locate many bike share stations near public transit.

While we're sorry it got pushed back a year, it's an great opportunity for the city to make even more progress on infrastructure improvements (like more bike lanes and paths). The safer and more comfortable the city is for cycling, the greater the chance of success of the program. And we really want it to succeed: It is an opportunity to redefine what a "bicyclist" is. With bike share, anyone can choose to shift a trip from driving, or transit, or walking to bicycling at any time. What it really means is a chance for bicycling to become mainstream almost overnight!

There will still be challenges - infrastructure needs and education and safety issues among them - with a program that overnight puts lots of potentially inexperienced cyclists on Boston streets, but that is a good problem to have. MassBike is ready to help with our education program and continuing efforts working with the Boston Bikes program.

MassBike Summer Education Program, Presented By Adobe

Thanks to the generous support of Adobe Systems, MassBike is offering a variety of summer education classes free of charge to the general public. The classes will be in Waltham, where Adobe is located, but all are welcome to attend.



Our first round of classes is listed below. These classes will be our Commuter Workshop and our Maintenance Workshop.

The Commuter Workshop is a fast-paced, one hour workshop covers topics ranging from bike choice, gear choice, route planning, safety, rules of the road, how to look professional when you get to work, and other general tips and tricks. It is a great introduction to a variety of aspects of bicycling, and most people leave this class feeling much more confident about riding their bicycle.

The Maintenance Workshop covers how to fix a flat, how to adjust your seat post, how to lube your chain, and a basic overview of bike parts and what they do. Presenters bring all tools/props needed to teach this class, so attendees will not need to bring anything other than themselves to this presentation (please do not bring a bicycle to be repaired). This class will teach you the absolute basics you will need in order to perform some of the most common bicycle upkeep tasks.

July


16th Commuter Workshop 6-7pm Waltham Public Library Lecture Hall. Ground floor
23rd Maintenance Workshop 6-7pm Waltham Public Meeting Room Basement of Government Center

August


4th Commuter Workshop 6-7pm Waltham Public Meeting Room Basement of Government Center
16th Commuter Workshop 6-7pm Waltham Public Library Lecture Hall. Ground floor
23rd Maintenance Workshop 6-7pm Waltham Public Library Lecture Hall. Ground floor
26th Commuter Workshop 6-7pm Waltham Public Meeting Room Basement of Government Center

September


2nd Commuter Workshop 6-7pm Waltham Public Library Lecture Hall. Ground floor
9th Commuter Workshop 6-7pm Waltham Public Library Lecture Hall. Ground floor
16th Commuter Workshop 6-7pm Waltham Public Meeting Room Basement of Government Center
29th Maintenance Workshop 6-7pm Waltham Public Meeting Room Basement of Government Center

Click here for a map showing the Library and the Public Meeting room, as well as local transit options for getting to the classes.

Each class is one hour long, and is limited to 30 students, these fill up quickly so be sure to RSVP by emailing Shane@massbike.org. Specify how many people will be attending and the date of the class you wish to attend.

More and different classes will be offered soon, stay tuned to MassBike.org for details.

ACTION ALERT: Help Needed With Speed Limit Bill

MassBike needs your help to pass House Bill 4728 to reduce the prevailing speed limit in Massachusetts urban areas from 30mph to 25mph. MassBike and other safety advocates have long supported efforts to decrease the speed limit, and this is the closest it has ever been to passing! This bill, originally sponsored by Representative Denise Provost (Somerville), would significantly increase pedestrian safety in neighborhood settings by slowing vehicle traffic to speeds safer for walkers and cyclists. It is currently in the House Committee on Bills in Third Reading, and when it reaches the Senate, it will be on the fast track, so please take action to support this bill by calling or emailing TODAY.

Why is this bill important? This is an important safety measure because bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities from crashes with automobiles are directly related to speed: When struck by a vehicle going 40 mph, 90% of bicyclists and pedestrians die, as compared to only 5% when the vehicle is going 20 mph. Massachusetts' prevailing speed limit of 30 mph is too fast for local roads in densely developed areas, and 25 mph is the safer standard, which has been adopted by many other states across the country. Massachusetts should join these states in protecting the safety of all our residents and visitors.

What can you do to help?

1. Call or email your State Senator and ask him or her to ask Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo to move H4728 forward.

2. Call or email your State Representative and ask him or her to ask Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo to move H4728 forward.

3. Email action@massbike.org to let us know who you contacted.

Thanks for your help - we can't do it without you!

Click here to find your State Representative (called "Rep in General Court") and your State Senator (called "Senate in General Court"), then click on their names to get phone numbers and emails.

New On MassBike.org: Infrastructure Problem Contacts



Photo courtesy of League of Michigan Bicyclists via Flickr


We all remember that pothole on the way to work or class, you know the really deep one that always fills with water when it rains and is near invisible at night. It’s been there for months and is downright dangerous on your bike as you go into work. Have you always wanted to call the city and get them to do something? But when you got to work you forgot or couldn’t find the information?

MassBike has the answers!

We now have a page documenting the phone, email, and hotline contacts, for approximately 80 communities across the state This is sorted by town in alphabetical order and it's not just for potholes. If you have any issues with infrastructure, be it streetlights, potholes, or sidewalks, this is the place to go.

The page can be found under the "Resources" tab at the top of the page.

We are not perfect though, so if you see something wrong, missing information, or a town you would like added, please contact us so we can update the page.

We hope you like it and find it useful.
-John (intrepid MassBike intern)

While Out For A Ride Keep Your Eyes Peeled For These Nasty Pests

Cycling is a great way to travel. You are moving at a speed that is quick enough to get you places on time, but not so fast that everything speeds by in a blur. Because cyclists are uniquely situated to take a good look at there surroundings we are asking everyone to be on the lookout for Asian Longhorn Beetles.



We just received this information from the MA Dept. of Agricultural Resources—please read this, spread the word, and help stop the spread of this critter that required 27,000 trees to be cut down in Worcester in 2008-2009.

----------------------
This weekend a small infestation of Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) was found in Jamaica Plain (Boston). The site is at Faulkner Hospital, just across from the Arnold Arboretum. Six infested maple trees were found so far, in close proximity to each other, and have already been removed by USDA/DCR. Surveys will continue this week.

It is extremely important that we get the word out ASAP to everyone in the Boston, Brookline and Newton area to be on the lookout for:
1) Adult Asian longhorned beetles (shiny black beetles with white spots and long, banded antennae)
2) ALB exit holes (dime-sized, perfectly round holes, especially in maple, but also in birch, elm, horsechestnut, willow and other hardwood trees…but not oak)
3) ALB egg-laying sites (divots in the bark ranging in size from 1/4 to 3/4 inches across – fresh pits often have oozing, foaming sap)

Anyone seeing anything suspicious should report it immediately at http://massnrc.org/pests/albreport.aspx or toll-free: 1-866-702-9938. Take photos if you can.

If you are with an environmental group or other organization that needs outreach materials, we will provide you with ID cards, fact sheets, etc., for free. Just contact Jen Forman Orth (jennifer.forman-orth@state.ma.us; 617-626-1735)

Spread the word, not the beetle! Get all the latest ALB news at: http://massnrc.org/pests/alb


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