Free Bike Racks: MAPC Bike Parking Program Is Back

If your community is among the 101 members of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) in Eastern MA, here is your chance to get FREE bike racks. MAPC has announced the new Bicycle Parking program for 2010-2011! They have over $475,000 in funding available for new bicycle racks. The major change to the program over the past years is that there is no cap on the dollar amount an individual community may request for reimbursement. There are some restrictions. Please review the complete Bicycle Parking Program website for details.

Ask MassBike: Biking In Crosswalks

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 Scott about riding in crosswalks.
Hello,
In crossing a zebra crosswalk, where cars must stop for pedestrians, does the law prohibit you from riding your bike across. Must you walk it?

Good question Scott, and unfortunately one with a bit of a confusing answer. Massachusetts law does not expressly address the issue of vehicles (remember, bicycles are legally vehicles) using crosswalks to cross the street. The law does require "drivers" to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks (Mass. General Laws, chapter 89, section 11), which gives us a clue that whoever wrote the law was thinking about cars. And cars, as a practical matter, cannot physically use a crosswalk (unless they are somehow driving on the sidewalk), so lawmakers probably did not think it was essential to write a law prohibiting something that cannot happen. But, taking everything in context, we think the intention is pretty clear that vehicles should not use crosswalks. What does this mean for bicyclists? Here is a common sense approach, where you choose whether to act as a vehicle or as a pedestrian and then stick with that choice:

If you are riding your bicycle in the road, then you are operating as a vehicle, and should not use crosswalks to cross intersections. You should remain in proper position to cross the intersection with other vehicular traffic. Sure, you could dismount, walk over to the crosswalk, walk your bike across, then walk back over into the road and remount, but we do not advise that because it puts you at risk from turning vehicles while in the crosswalk, you may have to merge back into moving traffic on the other side of the street (and cars are not expecting you to do that from a crosswalk), and it makes you unpredictable - no one will know for sure what you intend to do. The little "jog" to the right (into or near the crosswalk) that we see many bicyclists do before running a red light does not somehow make it OK - it is still running a red light (as well as being dangerous for all of the above reasons and potentially conflicting with pedestrians). A mounted bicyclist in the roadway is a vehicle and must obey the rules and signals.

If you are riding your bicycle on the sidewalk where it is legal to do so, then you are effectively a pedestrian, and it may be legal to ride in a crosswalk (although we do not guarantee it). Even so, we think it is safer to walk your bike across the street to avoid conflicts with pedestrians and turning cars that might not be looking for bicyclists in crosswalks. Sidewalk bicycling is illegal in all designated business districts statewide, and each city or town can further restrict it. Some towns prohibit all sidewalk bicycling. You need to check the local rules to know for sure.

If you are riding your bicycle illegally on a sidewalk, you are breaking the law, and riding in the crosswalk is probably also illegal.

I Am A Lawyer, 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 Paola.



Where I Ride: From my home in Brighton to my office in the Fort Point Channel, and around my neighborhood to run errands
How Often I Ride: I’m mostly a fair weather rider

My Story:

I had not been on a bicycle since I was a teen, but something inspired me to start cycling. I remembered enjoying it so much as a kid and commuting by T was becoming a drag, so in August 2009 –at the age of 37- I decided to take a plunge and buy a bike. I wanted something that fit my lifestyle (emphasis on “style”), so I bought a Schwinn cruiser that reminded me of the bicycles of my childhood. At first, I was afraid to ride with traffic, so I only took short trips around the neighborhood. My local bike shop suggested I enroll in the intro to bicycling skills offered by MassBike to help me get over my fears; there, I learned of the Boston Bikes Friday caravans to the city and –encouraged by the safety of traveling with a group- decided to join them. Soon enough, I was riding to and from work on a regular basis on my own. I am amazed by how much I’ve enjoyed this experience!



There are many challenges to urban riding but, overall, the hours I spend on my bike are the best hours of my day. I’m a slow rider and my commute gives me an opportunity to think, decompress and focus. There are no phones, Blackberries, or computers… it’s just me and the road. Boston never looked this beautiful.


Thanks Paola!

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:


Live From Our EarthFest Booth



Crowds are lining up for free Bay State Bike Week t-shirts!

Visit MassBike At EarthFest TODAY

The annual Radio 92.9 EarthFest is today, Saturday, May 22nd, from 11-5 at the Hatch Shell in Boston. Ride your bike to the event, park in our FREE valet bike parking, then visit us at our exhibit booth and pick up a FREE Bay State Bike Week T-Shirt!

To park your bike: The valet bike parking is west of the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade. Keep the river and the lagoon on your right and you'll find us. Look for the bright yellow MassBike tent.

To find our booth: Our exhibit booth is located in a large white tent between Storrow Drive and the concession area.

Click here for a an interactive map of the event

Live From Cities For Cycling Event In Boston



Hearing from bicycling experts from around the country about how to make great bicycling cities. And MassBike is providing free valet bike parking!

I Am A Project Manager, And I Ride

Here is 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 stories 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 Jo-Anne.





Where I Ride: Wherever I am or can but mosty in the Greater Boston area!

How Often I Ride: Weather permitting, daily


My Story:


I figure that I've been a bike commuter since I was 11. At that time, I lived 3 miles from school and it was much faster to bike than to take 2 buses. Since I started my current job 9 years ago, I once again became a bike commuter. Weather permitting, as long as I don't have an outside meeting where I need to arrive in business attire and not sweaty, I bike to/from work from March through December. I also try to do long rides on weekends - at least 20 miles a day if possible. This includes running errands, biking to/from and event or joining an organized bike ride, of which there are many during the spring, summer and fall in and around Boston. I've met some great friends through biking and find most cyclists quite friendly, as we wave and nod to one another as we pass each other in opposite directions.



I use my Bianchi Avenue as my commuting bike - it's sturdy, totally reliable and not likely to be stolen when locked in the bike rack at work. It's also quite heavy, but it is a comfortable ride. I have 2 lights and 1 blinky on the front, 2 blinkies in back and 1 blinky on my helmet for safer nighttime riding. 3 weeks ago, I bought a Trek 7.9 FX (carbon framed hybrid - upright seating position, which I need) and am IN LOVE!! I rode my first metric century last weekend on it and although I was quite exhausted when I got home (this is the earliest in the season that I've ridden that far), I was able to get back in the saddle and take a short ride the following day! What I like best about biking is the endorphin high I get and the way I really can appreciate my surroundings. My heroes are those folks in their 70's and 80's who are still cycling - I aspire to be them!



Thanks Jo-Anne!


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:


Ride Of Silence Will Happen Tonight

We have looked at the weather, and it looks like we are going to go for it. There is still time to rsvp, email Shane@massbike.org.

More details here.

Live From The New Pedal & Park Facilities At South Station



MassBike executive director David Watson spoke at this morning's rainy bike facility opening. Unfortunately, the video cuts off before we got to the dedication, but the new name for the bike cages is "Pedal & Park" as you can see in the pictures below.

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Live From MassBike's Pump And Lube Station

You may have seen us all over town this week giving out free air and free chain lube, if you see our smiling faces stop by and let us give your bike a little tune up!

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