2023 MassBike Annual Meeting Recap

On Tuesday, December 5th MassBike hosted our virtual 2023 Annual Meeting. Over 200 advocates from across the Commonwealth tuned in to connect with our coalition and learn about our major efforts over this year.

At the beginning of the meeting, we asked everyone to finish the sentence "All biking is ____." We loved the responses and have pulled together the word cloud (shown above) so you can see the shared sentiments about biking from the attendees. 

Our Annual Meeting was a packed event featuring MassBike's collaborations with some of our exceptional partners. Thank you to Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll, Senator Will Brownsberger, Representative Tommy Vitolo, Representative Michelle Ciccolo, Jessica Boulanger from the Northern Middlesex Council of Governments (NMCOG), and Yahaira Graxirena from the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission (CMRPC) for joining us. We were so impressed with your expertise and how you're helping create a more bike-friendly Massachusetts.

Below we’ve put together a summary of each segment, with the segment recording linked in the title. You can watch the entire meeting on the MassBike YouTube Channel. You can also view the 2023 Annual Meeting Slide Deck so you can follow along while watching.

2023 MassBike Highlights

From legislation and education to advocacy and community building, it's been an exciting year for better bicycling in Massachusetts. MassBike Executive Director, Galen Mook, covered a few of MassBike’s 2023 accomplishments. This included passing key legislation with An Act to Reduce Traffic Fatalities, hosting a League Certified Instructor Training in Worcester, leading Bay State Bike Month, building community through rides like the Kittie Knox Ride, and so much more. 

Legislative Panel

During our legislative panel, our panelists highlighted bike-friendly legislation we passed this year and current bicycling initiatives. We were joined by Senator Will Brownsberger who discussed the new vulnerable road users law, Representative Tommy Vitolo who talked about commuter bicycle benefits, and Representative Michelle Ciccolo who shared about the newly revived Trails Caucus.

At the end of the segment, we asked the legislators for their tips on how to build more bike-friendly momentum on Beacon Hill. They suggested reaching out to your Senator and Representative to tell them why bicycling matters to you and how specific bike-friendly bills would make your life better. They all suggested framing these meetings in a positive light. Rep. Ciccolo underscored the importance of inviting legislators to your wins, like trail ribbon cuttings, especially if they supported the project.

Below you can find each of the legislator's key issues and links to any priority bills or action items.


Senator Will Brownsberger (Suffolk and Middlesex)

Senator Will Brownsberger joined to provide an overview of the new vulnerable road users law that went into effect in April 2023. This law defined vulnerable road users, enacted a 4 ft passing requirement for motorists passing vulnerable road users, required side guards and other additional safety equipment on state-owned or contract trucks, clarified the process for municipalities to lower speed limits in thickly settled areas, required improved bicycle and pedestrian crash reporting, and added a rear red light requirement for bicyclists. 


Representative Tommy Vitolo (15th Norfolk)

Representative Tommy Vitolo talked about the newly enacted commuter bicycle benefits, which were passed in a recent tax bill. Bicycle commuters can, for the first time, take advantage of an up to a $750 tax deduction for expenses related to bike commuting (purchase of bikes, including e-bikes, bicycle parts, accessories, etc). This act is retroactive to January 1, 2023, so it includes all bicycle purchases you made this year.

Rep. Vitolo also mentioned a bill he’s co-sponsoring with Representative Owens to expand this commuter benefit to the pre-tax side for employers who have over 50 employees. 

Priority Bill


Representative Michelle Ciccolo (15th Middlesex)

Representative Michelle Ciccolo provided information about the recently revived Trails Caucus and its first year of activities. The Trails Caucus is a bi-partisan group with 44 members focused on supporting trails across the Commonwealth. Their goals include increasing funding for trail creation, maintenance and implementing policies that will make it easier to build trails in Massachusetts. 

Priority Bills

Action Items

Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll

We were honored to be joined by Lt . Governor Kim Driscoll who affirmed the Healey-Driscoll Administration's vision of how bicycling fits into many of the Commonwealth's goals for a more equitable and sustainable future. She also shared her "Bike Joy" of seeing so much of her local community out on the pathways between Salem and Marblehead.

Regional Advocacy Highlight

Alexis Hosea-Abbott, MassBike’s Regional Advocacy Specialist, provided an overview of her new role at MassBike. Alexis began her involvement with MassBike as the volunteer representative for the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission’s Joint Committee on Transportation. Through that role she became interested in regional planning agencies and how they impact bicycling infrastructure in their region. Her first task was to meet with all the regional planning organizations in Massachusetts to learn about their bicycling initiatives and current challenges. She learned that 6 out of 13 regional planning agencies have active bike/ped groups and 4 out of 13 are looking to create bike/ped groups. 

She found a gap in the communication between bike advocates and created the Bike Advocacy Groups Directory, which includes 160 bike/ped advocacy groups and 170 bike shops to foster better communication to build bike-friendly momentum.

Alexis was joined by Jessica Boulanger of the Northern Middlesex Council of Governments (NMCOG). Jessica discussed how you can get involved with your local Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPO) to support bicycle infrastructure in your community and took time to discuss the Greater Lowell Vision Zero Plan and her role in the project. The key takeaway: reach out to your local regional planning organization and get involved!

Worcester Advocacy Spotlight

Alex Salcedo, MassBike’s Worcester Program Manager, gave an update on our Worcester E-Bike Program and advocacy efforts in the city. Alex provided the following ridership data: since August 2022, the 98 participants have taken over 13,000 trips and traveled more than 55,700 miles. Approximately 68% of those trips were for transportation, avoiding an estimated 30,600lbs of CO2 by using their bikes instead of cars or other polluting transportation modes. More information about the program can be found at www.massbike.org/ebikeworcester.

Alex was joined by Yahaira Graxirena of the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission (CMRPC). Yahaira discussed how MassBike and CMRPC collaborated this year, gathering feedback from residents at local farmers' markets about their experiences biking in Worcester.

As we roll into 2024, MassBike will launch a second phase of our e-bike program thanks to additional funding from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, collaborating with the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission on the bicycle safety education program, and more. 

MassBike Advocate of the Year: Nick Russo

We honored Nick Russo of Pittsfield as our 2023 MassBike Advocate of the Year. Nick is a member of the Berkshire Bike Path Council and a Senior Transportation Planner at the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission. Most recently, he is a founding member of the Pittsfield Community Design Center aimed at creating a more walkable, bikeable, livable Pittsfield. In the past year, Nick supported bike rodeos, helped plan Pittsfield’s World Day of Remembrance event, hosted a variety of events during Bike Month, and so much more. On the weekends, you can catch Nick selling coffee from his coffee bike at the Pittsfield Farmer’s Market, showing that bikes mean business!

2024 MassBike Forecast

We are excited to ride the tailwinds we generated this year into 2024! Mark your calendars for these upcoming events.

  • January 25th - Massachusetts Lobby Day
    • We’re meeting with Massachusetts legislators to advocate for bike-friendly bills! If you want to join us, fill out our interest form: Lobby Day Interest Form
  • March 19th-21st - National Bike Summit
    • The MassBike team is heading down to DC to meet with other bicycling advocates and join the Bike League’s Lobby Day. We want a strong Massachusetts delegation at the Summit, we hope you can join us!
  • May - Bay State Bike Month
    • It’s never too early to start planning your bike events for Bay State Bike Month! We’ll be hosting another month filled with bike joy and fun.
  • June - Kittie Knox Ride
    • The third Annual Kittie Knox Ride will help raise funds for the Kittie Knox Plays
  • October - MassTrails Conference
    • The conference will take place in Worcester and MassBike is excited to support the MassTrails team.

We appreciate your engagement with MassBike's better-bicycling advocacy across the Commonwealth, our work is made possible thanks to advocates like you! Our Board is matching up to $8,000 in donations this December. If you donate $100 today you can double your impact and receive a limited-edition MassBike water bottle.

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