Talk Show Host Has Problem With Cyclists, Let Him Know What You Think

You know those people that scream "get on the sidewalk!" or "get out of the road!"? You might say to yourself, it's just one driver and they must be pretty sad if they take the time to scream at cyclists in the street. Well, what if one of them had their own popular radio talk show? Then it changes from one man voicing his own (wrong) opinion to actively encouraging dangerous behavior by others. That crosses the line and could get people hurt.

[caption id="attachment_2758" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="How can you trust a man who forces his dog to wear such a hideous scarf?"][/caption]

One such person, who unfortunately has been given a very large megaphone in the form of his own radio show, is Dan Rea. Rea bills himself as "the voice of reason" but is actually a cyclist-hater, who says all sorts of ill-informed and incorrect things on his talk show about how bad cyclists are. Recently our Board President John Siemiatkoski called him up and tried to talk some sense into him.

Let's just say that this sort of corrective therapy takes more than one call, so John is going to be on Dan's show tonight. You can tell what the people at Rea's show think of cyclists as they have billed the show as:

9:00 John The Bike Guy: Dan Rea has a problem with bike riders. He brought up the subject on air and got a snippy response from a bike enthusiast named John. John is our guest tonight and the two go at it for real. Bike riders, this is your chance to be heard. Call Dan and support your guy John.


While on the one hand this is a blatant attempt to stir up controversy and get people to listen to his show (something we are unfortunately helping him do), on the other hand Rea has got it all wrong about cyclists. This is our chance to set him straight on the subject.

Give a listen tonight, check out the show's website for more details, and if you feel you have something to add to the conversation give a call. If you would like to buff up on your bike law before you call in see our bike law page, or head over to our Same Roads Same Rules website. If this sort of thing gets you steamed and you would like to support us in our ongoing efforts to make cycling better for everyone, you should join MassBike today. Nothing says I support cycling like becoming a MassBike member.

Live From The Green Roots Festival



The first riders are arriving and the party is heating up!

Ask MassBike: Can I Ride My Bike On Memorial Drive

We get a lot of questions here at MassBike, and we like to think we also give some pretty good answers. We realized that sharing these questions and answers on our website would be a valuable resource to others looking for the same information.

We got this question from Kristen about riding on Memorial Drive in Cambridge.



Hi,

I was out for a ride this morning and was riding my road bike (in the road) on Memorial Drive. I was headed east towards Harvard Sq. riding in the right hand lane when a state trooper pulled up beside me and informed me that I needed to be on the bike path and not in the road. He said that Memorial Dr. is a state highway and that bikes are prohibited since it is too narrow. I am wondering if he is correct, or do I have every right to be in the road?

Thanks for your help,
Kristen



Hello Kristen

This is absolutely incorrect. Bicycles are only prohibited from limited access or express state highways (such as I-93 or I-90) where it is posted, according to MGL chapter 85, section 11B. Memorial Drive is neither limited access nor express (it has numerous cross-streets and driveways), so bicycling is allowed. Many roads are "state highways" but are not limited access or express. Mass Ave is a state highway, but no one would argue bicycles are not allowed there.

Memorial Drive is narrow, and cars go way too fast there, so you might not want to ride in the road. But you can if you want to.

If anyone ever gets a ticket for something like this, we want to get a copy of it so we can investigate.

Hope this helps.

Extra Extra Read All About Us, MassBike In The News

MassBike is often featured in the news. Talking to the media is a key part in our education and outreach strategy, and over the years we have built a reputation as the place to go to get info about bicycle related matters. Every time we go before the media we try to do our best to speak for the concerns of our members, and to further make cycling better for everyone here in Massachusetts.



For a long time we were unable to keep track of all of them but after some hard work by our fine intern John, we are happy to be able to provide a (mostly) comprehensive list of all the electronic media we have been in for the last couple of years.

Check out the list here. If you do find MassBike in the news and it's not on our list do send us the link.


(And yes I know that title is horrible.)

Help The Boston MPO Identify Problem Intersections


Thanks to KTesh via Flickr

Do you live in one of the 101 cities and towns in the Boston MPO Region? Here is your chance to tell the people who make transportation funding decisions about the worst intersections in your area. In this month's TransReport from the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is a call for the public to help identify problem intersections in their community through a new online form.

Contribute valuable data to the Congestion Management Process, a system the MPO uses to monitor performance of traffic facilities in the region to improve safety and reduce congestion. Many of the major trouble spots along roadways are at intersections where all road users -- bicyclists, pedestrians, disabled, buses, trucks, and motor vehicles -- interact. The MPO's vision is to maintain and upgrade facilities to improve safety, efficiency, and mobility for all users.

To evaluate an intersection, the MPO collects information on vehicles turning, bicycle and pedestrian use, signal timings, delays, crash rates, and flow rates; then they recommend areas for potential improvements. This form is part of that process.

The MPO staff compiled a list of problem intersections for residents to choose from using data from identified top crash locations across the region. These are broken down by community and listed in no particular order on the online form. Residents are also able to add an intersection location that was not previously identified, as well as reasons why that intersection may be dangerous.

To Report A Problem

Click Here to access the interactive form on the website.
Choose the city where the intersection is located by clicking the down arrow next to "Acton" (it's set there by default) and click submit.

The intersections in the selected community will then come up, along with a space for your name, email and reasons why you chose the specific intersection. You can choose the pinpointed intersections or submit your own if you scroll down on this screen. Click "Submit" at the bottom when you are done.

The process should only take a few minutes, and you can do it for as many intersections as you want.

To see intersections that have already been identified in your community, as well as results of the public form (once compiled), Click Here. The option to search by town, highway number, total crashes, bicycle and pedestrian crashes, and level of service is available.

Send additional questions or comments to Eric Howard at eric.j.howard@ctps.org

Live From Redbones Bike Party



The action is heating up at Redbones! Hurry down to get in on the raffle and support MassBike and NEMBA.

Ride To Redbones With Urban AdvenTours

The good people at Urban AdvenTours are going to be having a pre-redbones ride!

You will be able to get some free t-shirts, and if you join the ride you get a free raffle ticket for the event, and there is going to be some NICE prizes this year, getting as many raffle tickets as possible is a good idea.

Prizes include Urban AdvenTours gift certificates, and swag from our bike friends at ANT Bikes, Geekhouse Bikes, Ciclismo Classico, Harpoon Brewery and many more.

More info about this fine chance to score some extra stuff while supporting MassBike here.

Redbones 14th Annual Bike Party & Benefit: Be There June 7th!



Ride by for the Party!
When: Monday, June 7 (Rain Date: June 14)
Where: Redbones BBQ, 55 Chester St, Davis Sq, Somerville

Come for the party, come for the cause... come for the prizes!

$15 gets you food & drink, bicycle valet parking, and a raffle ticket. Additional raffle tickets are $2.00 each or three for $5.00 - and you'll want extras because our sponsors are donating some awesome prizes including the Grand Prize - a cargo bike from Alternative Needs Transportation! Also maps, swag, t-shirts, gift certificates & more swag.

Live music by The SAPS - 2nd Line Social Aid & Pleasure Society Brass Band: we aim to please if the cause is true and the time is right.

Party proceeds go to NEMBA & MassBike.

Special thanks to all the sponsors for their generous donations!

MassBike's New-And-Improved Partnership With The MBTA

As is often the case when someone calls something "new-and-improved", there was nothing really wrong with our relationship with the MBTA before - MassBike has worked closely with the T for years (decades really) and have made continuing progress on better integrating bikes into the transit system.

We've really come a long way from having no access at all to having pretty good access today (yes, we've still got more work to do on that). But our collaboration with the T recently took an unexpected turn toward an even closer working partnership, stemming, as these things often do, from a tragedy - the death of Eric Hunt in April in a crash involving an MBTA bus.

Immediately following that crash, MBTA General Manager Rich Davey reached out to me to discuss bicyclist and bus safety. Mr. Davey brought me together with key MBTA staff responsible for bus driver training and operations, as well as the Executive Director of MARTA, the association of regional transit agencies across Massachusetts. We began what I hope will be an ongoing conversation about safety (and access) statewide.

We had a great meeting, focusing primarily on bus/bicyclist safety. Here are the high points:

  • Rich Davey is committed to safety above all else.

  • The training people presented an overview of bus operator training: Up until recently, drivers were trained when hired and never retrained unless they were involved in at-fault or multiple accidents. They now have a plan to retrain every driver on a regular basis, using a bus simulator, although it will take 2-3 years for each complete training cycle because they can only train a handful of drivers per day. They are especially interested in interactive training ideas to supplement classroom sessions or printed materials. (They committed to involve the advocacy community in developing new simulator scenarios and printed materials, and they have already begun working with us on this, as Shane previously reported.)

  • The T is planning to use the great Chicago training video, but agree it would be better to have a video featuring T personnel and equipment. They want our help to get bicyclists to watch the video too.

  • I told them about the very common experiences of buses passing bikers too closely and passing just before pulling into a bus stop. They said that drivers are specifically instructed not to do those things, and seemed skeptical that the problem is as common as I claimed (based on my own experience and other reports to MassBike), but were open to finding new ways to convey this message to drivers.

  • I suggested that it is important for drivers to understand the cyclist's point of view, and that perhaps we could work with them on videos or even rides to give drivers that experience.



Mr. Davey also gave me the opportunity to talk about other issues unrelated to the recent bus incident, so I talked about the need to provide a better forum for public participation than the old "Bikes and the T" committee, continuing the collaborative working relationship with the advocates, completing bike rack installation on the bus fleet, and relaxing the peak hour restrictions (and specifically doing a pilot on the Blue Line).

The next day, Mr. Davey spoke at Mayor Menino's Boston Bike Safety Summit, reiterating many of the points he and I discussed at our meeting and committing to working with the advocacy community to improve safety. As we already reported, Mr. Davey also met "Biker Boy" at the summit, which led to Biker Boy and I recording the public service announcements you may have heard on the T lately.

Following the safety summit, we participated in the meeting we previously reported with the bus driver training staff, together with representatives from the Boston Cyclists Union, Cambridge Bicycle Committee, and the City of Boston. This meeting led directly to MassBike jointly submitting, with BCU and LivableStreets Alliance, a proposal for major revisions to the information provided to bus drivers about interacting with bicyclists. The next step is to work with the T to finalize these revisions, then move on to helping them design better simulator scenarios for their ongoing training program.

We continue working with the T to improve access for bicyclists. I am now the poster child for taking folding bikes on the T! (For real, check out my picture in the new T brochure and on the newly-spiffed-up "Bikes on the T" webpage.)

During Bay State Bike Week last month, I had the honor of speaking at the opening of the newest "Pedal & Park" facility at South Station, part of the MBTA's $4.8 million federal stimulus-funded bike parking expansion project. I thanked the T for spending real dollars to improve bicycle access, but I held their feet to the fire just a little to do more to ensure that all MBTA employees treat bicyclists with respect and take bicyclist safety seriously. I know that Rich Davey does take us seriously, and we have a great opportunity to make some major positive changes with our newly-strengthened relationship with the T.

Your support of MassBike makes this work possible, so please join or renew, and tell your friends.

Ride The MassBike Summer Century And Family Ride: August 14th, Save The Date!

Announcing the first MassBike Summer Century, coming Saturday, August 14, 2010! Go for the whole Century (100 miles), or ride a Metric Century (62 miles), 40 miles, or the 15-mile Family Ride. All rides depart from Lexington High School. More details to come.


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