Galen Mook

  • Newton House Party and Fundraiser!

    Galen Riverwest Riding Brompton
    House Party in Support of MassBike  
    Sunday November 24 from 10-11:30am
    Location: Auburndale, Newton, MA
    Exact address to be provided to those who RSVP
    Suggested donation: $100 (RSVP below to save your spot!)
    Gather with local cycling enthusiasts over brunch while hearing from MassBike Executive Director Galen Mook about the organization's recent policy advocacy efforts and what's in the works for 2020. Find out about ways to get involved and support safer streets and better biking for all. Also, get a sneak peek at the proposed future site of the Riverside Greenway and hear about local efforts to increase access to recreation. Walking shoes recommended -- if weather permits, we will visit a portion of the proposed Greenway.
    Host Committee:
    Nathan Phillips, Bike Newton
    Alicia Bowman, Bike Newton
    Erica Mattison, MassBike Board
    Charlie Philbrook, MassBike Board and 545 Velo Cycling Team
    Contact us to add your name!
    bike pins and stickers
    WHEN
    November 24, 2019 at 10am
    WHERE
    Newton House Party
    $30.00 USD · 7 rsvps rsvp

  • 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

    420 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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