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Dear MassBike Supporter:
Picture this: youre riding toward an intersection with a four-way stop. You slow and check for traffic and plan to go straight across.

A car horn blares far behind you. Since you're concentrating on the intersection, you don't look back. Besides, you think the horn wasn't intended for you. A second later, the horn blares again, only louder, longer and closer! You put your foot down at the stop line, suddenly aware of an SUV with its right mirror coming close to your left elbow.

You scramble to your right and look at the driver, holding both hands upward and mouth the word, WHAT!? He makes an obscene gesture at you and shouts, Get off the road!  He darts through the intersection without coming to a stop.

This story is not fiction. It's real and it happens too often, sometimes with tragic endings. MassBike wants to make sure these stories have good endings. With your help, we will.

Roads are something we all must share, regardless of whether we are on foot, on a bike, or in a big metal box. But Share the Road messages are confusing “ some motorists believe that Share the Road means bikes need to get out of their way. Worse still, in the community where our story took place, the police department instructs bicyclists to pull over for cars. Sharing should be simple, not confusing.

Sharing is something we're supposed to learn as kids “ sharing our toys, our candy, and respect for each other. Sharing leads to an even more powerful concept “ equality. So, what is MassBike doing to change sharing into equality?

Our new campaign Same Roads, Same Rules has a simple message: whether you're on a bike or in a car, it's all the same “ we all have a right to the same roads, and the same rules apply. When we all follow the same rules, an interesting thing happens “ we get the same respect.  We're not different because were bicyclists or motorists, we're the same, because we are people with equal rights.

Creating the Same Roads, Same Rules website is just the beginning of sharing this vital message. We need your help “ in two ways. First, please share Same Roads, Same Rules with everyone you know. Sharing Same Roads, Same Rules with your family and friends is easy with our new web tools “ just visit and click Share This.

Second, please make a gift to MassBike, so we can share the Same Roads, Same Rules message with a wider audience. We're pursuing matching grants to launch a Same Roads, Same Rules media campaign “ but we need your donation to qualify for the matching funds.

Your gift helps MassBike help all bicyclists in Massachusetts. With your help, we got the Bicyclist Safety Law passed this year. That marked a major turning point for MassBike “ in a very positive direction! Since then, we've been busy advocating for changes in Massachusetts to give bicyclists an equal footing.

Here's a sample of how we have been leading the charge:

Transportation reform - What started as an effort to assure that the Commonwealth spend federal Transportation Enhancements money on the bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure for which it was intended has given MassBike unprecedented access to influence policy in the new Mass DOT.

Expansion of Safe Routes to School “ MassBike's new train-the-trainer program will enable teachers to provide ongoing bicycle education, helping us reach more children with our bicycle education and safety program.

Expansion of Bikes on the T “ We celebrated the opening of the new bike cage at Forest Hills. And the MBTA has sought MassBike's opinion on the locations for additional bike cages, as well as improved bicycle parking throughout the T system!

Rumble Strip Policy “ A MassBike member alerted us to dangerous new rumble strips on Route 7 in Western Massachusetts. We worked with MassHighway to develop a new statewide rumble strip policy that is less dangerous to bicyclists.

How does MassBike get all of these things done? We engage the right people in a conversation. When people have a conversation, they learn they are not different, but really are the same. We will continue having those conversations to make sure that equality for bicyclists becomes reality.

Help us share the message of Same Roads, Same Rules with all road users by making a tax-deductible gift today. With your help, we'll even reach that guy in the SUV.

John Siemiatkoski
President, Board of Directors


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