Galen Mook

  • In Memoriam

    MassBike works to memorialize bicyclists who have been killed when riding by installing ghost bikes to bring attention to the advocacy needed for safer bicycling. We believe all serious crashes and deaths on our roads and pathways are preventable, and we will work tirelessly until the day finally comes when there is no need to install another ghost bike.

    MassBike has set up memorial funds in honor of those lost in bicycle crashes where you can donate to support our advocacy for safer roadways and education for all road and pathway users.

    Peter A. Del Sette, Jr. Memorial Fund 

    Charlie Proctor Memorial Fund

    Christopher Weigl Memorial

     

    If you have had a loved one you would like to set up a MassBike Memorial Fund for, please reach out to us at bikeinfo@massbike.org. 


  • Christopher Weigl Memorial

    Christopher John Weigl, 23, passed away suddenly December 6, 2012 as a result of a crash on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. He was riding his bicycle in the morning to attend the his photojournalism class at Boston University, when the driver of a tractor trailer truck made a sudden right-hand turn, resulting in a collision and Christopher’s death.

    A lifelong Massachusetts resident and Boston University graduate student, Christopher was born in Framingham and lived most of his life in Southborough, MA.

    An avid outdoorsman, Christopher obtained the rank of Eagle Scout at age 14 and remained an active member of Boy Scout Troop 1 till his eighteenth birthday. In addition to scouting, Christopher was an accomplished clarinet player throughout his years of schooling, and played in a variety of ensembles including the Central District Band and Orchestra, MetroWest Youth Symphony Orchestra, and Worcester Youth Symphony Orchestra. After graduating Worcester Academy in 2007, Christopher matriculated to Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. Although eventually deciding upon a bachelors in English, photography supplanted music as the central passion of Christopher’s life, and he could often be found shooting campus events for the student paper or the school’s communications department.

    By graduation, Christopher had served as both Photography Club President as well as Photography Editor of the Skidmore News. These pursuits were in addition to internships with Panorama Magazine, Emma Dodge Hanson Photography and KCK Photography, as well as a semester abroad in Florence, Italy to take more specialized photography classes.

    After graduation, Christopher indulged his love of travel by embarking on a six week trip through Operation Groundswell, a “voluntourism” organization, to find a story and do service projects in Cambodia and Thailand. It was on the little Cambodian island of Koh Rong, where he interviewed locals and uncovered a government takeover of the island, that Christopher found a story and cemented his love for photojournalism. The experience in Southeast Asia seeded the first thoughts of graduate school, and after a year of working at Ritz Camera, driving limousines, building a photography business, and freelance reporting for the weekly Community Advocate, Christopher moved to Brighton to attend Boston University’s Photojournalism Masters Program.

    You can see Christopher's work on his photography website HERE.

    Fueled by his passion, his love and excitement for his work continued to grow, with new opportunities unfolding seemingly every day. Christopher’s warmth, humor, integrity, love of life and friends, and his way of picturing the world will be missed by all who knew him.

    Advocacy on Commonwealth Ave

    The incident that took Christopher's life directly led to the advocacy for protected bicycle infrastructure on Comm Ave, right in the heart of the Boston University Charles River Campus. MassBike believes that the crash was entirely preventable, and after the crash we worked with our partners in student groups and with the Vision Zero Coalition to encourage officials at the City of Boston, MassDOT, and Boston University to transform Commonwealth Avenue to make the street safer for all road users.

    In 2012, there were no protected bike lanes in the entire City of Boston, and Comm Ave was one of the most popular cycling routes with thousands of bicyclists passing through every day. This was made even more important as this stretch is the center of Boston University, which brings students new to Boston every year to ride their bikes alongside car traffic, buses, delivery trucks, MBTA trolley tracks, and all the dangers associated with a convoluted and busy corridor.

    Yet there was the opportunity for this stretch of Comm Ave to be redesigned and rebuilt by the City of Boston and MassDOT as part of the Comm Ave Phase II Project. However, the design of the roadway at that point was to replace the bike lane as a single white line with no physical separation.

    In order to drive attention and support to the project, MassBike collaborated with several advocacy organizations to invite Boston Mayor Marty Walsh on a bike ride in 2014 to tour this stretch of Comm Ave and allow the Mayor to experience the dangers from behind the handle bars. Once the Mayor Walsh felt how the street layout leaves riders vulnerable, he directed the Boston Transportation Department to design a new roadway that would inherently mitigate crashes like the ones that took Christopher's life by changing the road layout and providing a protected bicycle lane.

    “The ride was good,” Walsh said after the trek. “From a biking perspective, it was certainly eye-opening. I didn’t get the full effect of riding by myself, but coming down Comm Ave, where the cars are there, it really opens your eyes.”

    After years of advocacy and a robust public process, a coalition of partners, including BU Bikes student group, WalkBoston, LivableStreets Alliance, the Boston Cyclists Union, local businesses, and Boston University worked with the City of Boston to design the roadway to create separated facilities for cyclists known as a “cycletracks,” shortened the distance for pedestrians to cross Comm Ave, provided raised crossings for pedestrians to reach bus stops, consolidated MBTA Green Line stops, and was at the forefront of innovation for bicycle-signalization, all while maintaining on-street parking and allowing for the flow of general traffic, emergency vehicles, buses, and trucks on Comm Ave, which is also an evacuation route, and Route 20.

    The redesign of Comm Ave means that all bike riders, and indeed all road users, can now navigate safely. Thanks to MassDOT and the City of Boston, this is now the gold standard of how we want our streets to operate for generations to come.

    We are proud to honor Christopher's legacy through this transformative work.

     

     

    DONATE to MassBike through the Christopher Weigl Memorial Fund


  • Christopher Weigl Memorial Fund

    Thank you for your contribution

    On behalf of all of us at MassBike, we are deeply saddened by Christopher's passing. Your donation will support our advocacy in Boston and beyond – it is our charge to work tirelessly in Christopher's memory to improve the safety of roads and intersections around the state before someone else dies on them, and we will work towards a future in which no one need to to suffer through the grief and terror of losing a loved one to unsafe streets. Thank you for your contributions to our cause.

    You will be receiving an email shortly with a receipt of your tax-deductible donation. If there are any questions or concerns about your donation, please feel free to reach out to us at bikeinfo@massbike.org or call us at (617) 542-2453



  • Charlie Proctor Memorial Fund

    Thank you for your contribution

    On behalf of all of us at MassBike, we'd like to say that we are sorry for your loss and deeply saddened by Charlie's passing. Your donation will support our advocacy in Arlington and beyond – it is our charge to work tirelessly in Charlie's memory to improve the safety of roads and intersections around the state before someone else dies on them, and we will work towards a future in which no other families need to to suffer through the grief and terror of losing a loved one to unsafe streets. Thank you for your contributions to our cause.

    You will be receiving an email shortly with a receipt of your tax-deductible donation. If there are any questions or concerns about your donation, please feel free to reach out to us at bikeinfo@massbike.org or call us at (617) 542-2453



  • Peter Del Sette Memorial Fund

    Thank you for your contribution

    On behalf of all of us at MassBike, we'd like to say that we are sorry for your loss and deeply saddened by Peter's passing. Your donation will support our advocacy in the North Shore and beyond – it is our charge to work tirelessly in Peter's memory, and for all those lost to road violence, to improve the safety of roads and intersections around the state before someone else dies on them, and we will work towards a future in which no other families need to to suffer through the grief and terror of losing a loved one to unsafe streets. Thank you for your contributions to our cause.

    You will be receiving an email shortly with a receipt of your tax-deductible donation. If there are any questions or concerns about your donation, please feel free to reach out to us at bikeinfo@massbike.org or call us at (617) 542-2453



  • Speed and Sprocket Repairs Come With MB Memberships

    If you're pulling your bike out during the spring thaw after a few months of storage, your bike likely needs some good T.L.C. MassBike recommends getting your bike checked out by a professional for a tune-up at least once a year, especially at the start of the riding season.

    To help you get rolling in the Connecticut River Valley in 2020, and as as way to encourage and help grow our advocacy reach, MassBike is partnering with the mobile bicycle repair shop Speed & Sprocket Cycle Works to offer MassBike memberships to their customers with every tune-up! For each tune-up, Speed & Sprocket will cover the costs of an "introductory membership" for their customers.

    Read more

  • Support funding for rail trails!

    Rail Trails need all the $upport we can provide, this bill will help!

     

    Please support identical bills Massachusetts H.1790 and S.83 An Act authorizing municipalities to expend certain funds for the acquisition of land to be used for rail trails by writing or calling your State Senator and Representative.


    The Issue: Many Massachusetts cities and towns have used Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds for rail trail development; including purchasing land, and paying for studies, design and construction of rail trails (a great option for rail trail development). However, a 2009 Massachusetts Department of Revenue interpretation of the laws disallowed the use of CPA funds to purchase a federally rail banked railroad rights-of-way (ROW) because theoretically the intact ROW could be repurchased by the railroad to restart service.

    Yet experience shows that railroads would only do this if it was in their economic interest to do so (i.e., there was enough projected traffic on the line to justify the investment). This is a rare event nationally (e.g., an Appalachian coal mine spur line restarted so it could import garbage from New England to bury in the vacant mine), and virtually unthinkable in Massachusetts where the economics and the permitting fights strongly prohibit such an investment.

    This restriction is currently blocking the use of CPA funds to extend the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail (BFRT) in Sudbury and the Southampton Greenway. Both segments are important connections: The BFRT should link to the partially constructed and envisioned 103-mile Mass Central Trail from Boston to Northampton, and Southampton Greenway to the 85-mile mostly constructed and envisioned New Haven to Northampton Canal Trail.


    Our Proposed Solution: Proposed legislation H.1790 and S.83, filed by Rep. Carmine Gentile and Sen. James Eldridge, resolves this issue in a straight-forward fashion by clarifying that use of CPA funds may be used to purchase federally rail banked ROWs. This not only solves the issue in Sudbury and Southampton, but also for any future ROWs that face the same conundrum. This clarification would open up CPA funds currently available in 175 cities and town throughout Massachusetts!


    Take Action! 

    Let your representatives know! Please write, call or visit your legislators and tell them why you support H.1790 and S.83. More information on emailing your legislators, as well as a sample script, can be found HERE .

    Show Up! The House version of the bill has a hearing on Tuesday, October 15 at the State House. If you are able to come to the hearing for H.1790, it is on Tuesday October 15, 2019 at 11:00 AM in the MA State House, Room 1-A. Be mindful this will be a packed hearing with dozens of other bills, so plan to stay a while and if you choose to speak please do so for a maximum of three minutes of verbal testimony, and you can deliver more in-depth written comments as well.

    If you want to submit written testimony for the October 15,2019 hearing, please contact bikeinfo@massbike.org with Subject Line "H.1790 Written Testimony" and we can provide a letter template and help deliver your message to the right folks! Or you can use this example testimony HERE.


  • Script - Testimony to Co-Chairs to Support Funding for Rail Trails

     

    SAMPLE TESTIMONY SCRIPT FOR SUPPORTING H.1790

    Letter Template of Submission of Testimony to Co- Chairs of Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government

    YOUR ADDRESS
    YOUR ADDRESS
    YOUR ADDRESS
    October XX, 2019


    Rep. James J O’Day, House Chair
    Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government
    State House, Room 540
    Boston, MA, 02133

    Sen. Rebecca Rausch, Senate Chair
    Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government
    State House, Room 218
    Boston, MA, 02133

    Dear Chairman O’Day and Chairman Rausch,


    On behalf of [GROUP / myself], [we/I] write to express our support of H1790, An Act authorizing municipalities to expend certain funds for the acquisition of land to be used for rail trails and ask that the Committee report favorably on the bill. H.1790 would allow municipalities to expend monies from their Community Preservation Act funds for the purpose of acquiring land held for railroad purposes to be used by the city or town for recreational purposes as a rail trail.

    Many Massachusetts cities and towns have used Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds for rail trail development; including purchasing land, and paying for studies, design and construction of rail trails (a great option for rail trail development). However, a 2009 Massachusetts Department of Revenue interpretation of the laws disallowed the use of CPA funds to purchase a federally rail banked railroad rights-of-way (ROW) because theoretically the intact ROW could be repurchased by the railroad to restart service.

    Yet experience shows that railroads would only do this if it was in their economic interest to do so (i.e., there was enough projected traffic on the line to justify the investment). This is a rare event nationally (e.g., an Appalachian coal mine spur line restarted so it could import garbage from New England to bury in the vacant mine), and virtually unthinkable in Massachusetts where the economics and the permitting fights strongly prohibit such an investment.

    This restriction is currently blocking the use of CPA funds to extend the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail (BFRT) in Sudbury and the Southampton Greenway. Both segments are important connections: The BFRT should link to the partially constructed and envisioned 103-mile Mass Central Trail from Boston to Northampton, and Southampton Greenway to the 85-mile mostly constructed and envisioned New Haven to Northampton Canal Trail.


    This legislation, filed as H.1790 in the House (and S.83 in the Senate), resolves this issue in a straight-forward fashion by clarifying that use of CPA funds may be used to purchase federally rail banked ROWs. This not only solves the issue in Sudbury and Southampton, but also for any future ROWs that face the same conundrum.
    Thank you for your consideration of this matter.

     

    Sincerely,

    [full name
    Organization – Title, if appropriate
    Street address
    City/town, state, zip
    Phone:
    Email: ]


  • 351 Club

    612 donors
    GOAL: 351 donors

    For as little as $20 a month, become a member of MassBike's 351 Club. 

    To ensure that MassBike can act on bicycling issues in all 351 communities in Massachusetts, we are launching the MassBike 351 Club. Please become a monthly donor to MassBike with a gift of $20 or more per month. Our goal is to get 351 new monthly donors – one for every community in Massachusetts.

    As a member of MassBike 351, you will receive special updates, invitations to events, and opportunities to help inform our strategic plan. Help us reach our goal of 351 new monthly donors and join MassBike today.

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