In June the Joint Committee on Transportation held a hearing for a variety of bike and pedestrian related bills including An Act to reduce traffic fatalities (S.1905/H.2877), an omnibus traffic safety bill that was drafted in partnership with legislators and a larger group of advocates from various organizations such as the Vision Zero Coalition, Livable Streets, WalkBoston and the Boston Cyclists Union. MassBike organized testimony in support of the bill which if reported on favorably will continue on in the committee process.
We focused our efforts around Vision Zero and safety education for bicyclists, pedestrians, and drivers where we produced several educational videos in partnership with MassDOT. These videos are designed to raise awareness for Vision Zero as well as educate new residents with limited English language skills in the basics of roadway safety.
Keeping with these education and safety efforts, we also developed and administered the first ever bike safety program for season immigrant workers on Cape Cod, most of whom live by bicycle.
What else did we work on in June? Take a look!
- We completed bikeability assessments in North Berkshire County and Lynn. Performed with the support of MassDPH, these affordable assessments provide cities and towns guidance on ways to use Complete Streets funding and improve cycling.
- We met with the all State House lawmakers from Boston on behalf of the Vision Zero Coalition to outline the specific benefits of the above omnibus bill.
- I attended the Places for Bikes Conference, the first ever conference organized by People for Bikes designed to provide cutting edge info on best practices for bike advocacy. The conference opened with an amazing speech from Trek President John Burke outlining the impact of advocacy on the bike business. Content on the new open-source Bicycle Network Analysis (think Wikipedia meets GIS) proved powerful.
- We hosted a bike rodeo with Healthy Chelsea at the MGH Chelsea’s Health Fair, where we saw first hand the need to improve kids access to and education about bicycles.
- Our staff continued to provide free bike valet service at every Boston Red Sox game as well as Sail Boston.
- We attended the monthly Design Exception Review Committee meeting and reviewed dozens of roadway plans and helped to shape a new MassDOT policy applying Complete Streets principles to general roadway design, which could be a game changing complement to decades of work.
- Our staff taught Safe Routes to School classes throughout the state in Chatham, Yarmouth, East Longmeadow, Mansfield, Hyannis, Harwich, Canton, Cambridge, Somerset and Chicopee.
- We supported and helped organize the 21st Annual Redbones Bike Party in Davis Square, Somerville alongside the 4th Annual Rush Hour Challenge.
- We conducted a bike commuting workshop for Beacon Hill staff.
We're already into the second week of July and keeping it rolling at MassBike HQ through the remainder of the summer! Help us keep things rolling and get involved with MassBike.
Richard Fries, MassBike Executive Director