E-Bike Definitions and E-Bike Rebates Signed Into Law by Governor Baker

August 11, 2022

In the final stretch of the 192nd legislative session, the Massachusetts Legislature pulled together two key bills that support electric bicycles and rolled them into the transportation bond bill (An Act relative to Massachusetts's transportation resources and climate): definitions for electric bicycles to make them distinct from “motorized bicycles” (ie. gas powered mopeds), and $1M in funding that directs the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) to provide point-of-sale rebates for electric bicycles purchases.

On Wednesday, Governor Baker signed the bill, and these e-bike provisions, into law!

These are two major wins for bicycling in Massachusetts that MassBike has been pursuing over the past two sessions, and we are grateful for all our members and coalition partners who helped elevate these concerns to local legislators and help these priorities get over the finish line. Thank you!

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Worcester E-Bike Program Gets Rolling with First E-Bike Distribution Events

August 11, 2022


MassBike’s Worcester E-Bike Program officially started rolling this week, with the first participants picking up their new e-bikes. We received over 1,100 applications for the 100 electric pedal-assist bikes we’re distributing for this program, which is funded by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s ACT4All grant. By the end of September, all participants will have received their electric pedal-assist bicycles and will be reporting their e-bike usage to the MassBike team. 

A core element of our Worcester E-Bike program is education. All participants must watch a webinar on bicycling safety before picking up their e-bike. At the distribution events, staff from both MassBike and Landry’s Bicycles guide participants through the process. Landry’s staff make sure the rider receives a properly sized e-bike and explains how to properly use the bicycle. In addition to the bike, all participants are receiving a helmet, lights, lock, and a rain cover to ensure the safety of the riders and their new e-bikes.

After getting their e-bike and accessories, each participant takes the bike out for a test ride with a MassBike staff member and receives some personalized on-bike instruction to ensure they are ready to ride. This process is highly individualized and allows the MassBike team to understand each rider’s concerns.

“Witnessing people from all walks of life getting their e-bikes was emotional and inspiring!” said Alex Salcedo, MassBike’s E-Bike Grant Manager. Alex is managing all of the e-bike participants and hearing first-hand reactions to the e-bikes. One of the participants, while getting ready to receive her e-bike, felt that she could not say ‘thank you’ enough for the opportunity to be part of the E-Bike Program. Another one reported back as soon as he got home and described that his four-mile ride was ‘pretty magical’. The e-biker who received the last e-bike of the two-day deployment said that he never dreamed he’d own an e-bike and now that he has one, his work opportunities will expand considerably and won’t be limited to walking or the bus schedule.

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You're Invited to Bike to the Ballpark with MassBike

August 03, 2022

Enjoy a group bicycle ride and a baseball game with our "Bike to the Ballpark" event on Friday, August 19th. The MassBike team will be at Worcester City Hall starting at 5pm to meet participants. At 5:30pm, we'll lead a ride from City Hall Plaza to a fireworks game night at the WooSox. The group ride will include a short mural tour so that participants can experience public art in downtown Worcester before heading to the WooSox stadium to watch the game.

Once at the stadium, we'll enjoy the berm seating on the lawn to watch the WooSox battle the Red Wings. We encourage you to bring a blanket but there will be limited, first-come-first-serve seating available above the grassy area.

The WooSox game starts at 6:45pm and concludes with a fireworks show for all to enjoy. MassBike staff will be providing free bike valet parking at the stadium & all participants will receive a free MassBike buff.

Tickets
$10 - WooSox Ticket
$25 - WooSox Ticket + Donation to MassBike

Register

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Massachusetts Trail Enthusiasts to Convene at the Golden Spike Conference

July 21, 2022

On Saturday, July 30th, Massachusetts trail advocates will come together in Gilbertville for the Golden Spike Conference. The conference will allow local trail enthusiasts to learn from an excellent line-up of presenters and connect with advocates from across the state. Golden Spike Awards will also be given to key advocates whose work has advanced our statewide trail network. Thanks to the hard work of Craig Della Penna and the Norwottuck Network, the Golden Spike Conference is gearing up to be a “don’t miss” event for Massachusetts trail advocates.

The program will cover regional trail news and other rail trail topics. Attendees will be welcomed by Cynthia Henshaw of the East Quabbin Land Trust, Galen Mook of MassBike, and Rob Kusner of the Norwottuck Network, all three organizations are working to support trails across Massachusetts. Bruce Donald of the East Coast Greenway Alliance will provide a regional trail update. Golden Spike participants will also enjoy a presentation by Matt Kierstead about the historic interpretation signage along the Empire State Trail in New York and a keynote address by Peter Karnick, the co-found of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and founder of the City Park Excellence at the Trust for Public Land. 

The conference will end up with a series of walking and biking tours. The biking tours will traverse the Mass Central Rail Trail and are being supported by MassBike. Pete Sutton, MassDot’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Coordinator will lead a ride on the Mass Central Rail Trail sections east of Gilbertville. Denis Ouimette will lead a ride exploring the Mass Central Rail Trail sections south and west of Gilbertville. You can learn more about the conference at www.gs2022.org and registration closes on July 25th.

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ACTION ALERT: Contact Your State Senator in Support of E-Bikes

July 12, 2022

Thanks to Sen. Sal DiDomenico (Middlesex and Suffolk) and Sen. Adam Hinds (Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden), the state legislature could get more people out on electric assist bicycles across Massachusetts!

Two e-bike specific amendments have been added to the Senate Transportation Bond Bill, but they need the help of your state senator. If you'd like to see more people on e-bikes, and sensible statewide regulations for our roads, paths, and trails, please email or call your senator by noon on Thursday July 14th to support amendments #171 and #204 to S2989. The vote on the Bond Bill will be held on the afternoon of July 14th, so your action is needed as soon as possible.


Example email/phone call to your senator (feel free to add why you personally support e-bikes in your comments):

"Please support Amendment #171 'E-Bike Incentive Program' and Amendment #204 'Electric Bicycles' to the Senate Transportation Bond Bill. Amendment #171 will allow more people to purchase electric-assist bicycles and provide equitable access to electric bicycles which are out of reach of many riders due to their cost. Amendment #204 will clarify the definition of electric bicycles so we can sensibly regulate their use on our roads, paths, and trails. E-bikes are a solution to the dual crises we're facing of traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions, are an economical and healthy way to travel, and these amendments will help more people choose to bicycle for everyday use."


 

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MassBike selected as a 2022 AARP Community Challenge Grantee

July 06, 2022

Photo: a group ride MassBike co-hosted with the City of Cambridge in 2021

MassBike is thrilled to announce we have been selected to receive a 2022 AARP Community Challenge grant. We are one of 260 grantees selected from across all 50 states, Washington D.C, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

With this quick-action grant we will be hosting an intergenerational bicycle program in the City of Worcester. We will be leading group rides and workshops for youths and older adults, pairing 20 teenage riders with 20 riders aged 50+ for a series of educational programs and community bike rides. The workshops will cover a diverse set of topics, including urban cycling basics, overcoming barriers to bicycling, highlighting the storied cycling history in Worcester, and more. The group rides will explore different Worcester neighborhoods and collaborate with partners throughout the city.

“We are incredibly proud that AARP selected MassBike for this investment,” stated Galen Mook, MassBike's Executive Director. “We are looking forward to this intergenerational bicycling program that will bring together different communities. This program will also complement our Worcester E-Bike program and further community connections to help bring better bicycling to the city.”

To learn more about the free workshops and group bicycle rides, please visit: www.massbike.org/aarp_massbike_events

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Massachusetts, We've Been Challenged to Drive Less, Bike More

June 30, 2022

 

We're joining the League of American Bicyclists in their mission to build a healthier, stronger, cleaner, and more economically stable nation one bike ride at a time through the "Drive Less, Bike More" campaign. Last year, the campaign far exceeded its goal of turning 1 million miles of would-be car trips into 1 million miles of bike trips, resulting in a grand total of 1,500,000 miles ridden by bike and over 167,337 lbs of CO2 spared for the planet. 

Sign up at drivelessbikemore.com

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Mass Ave & Appleton Virtual Open House Needs Your Feedback

June 29, 2022

By: Petru Sofio

Arlington is currently planning to reconstruct the Massachusetts Avenue Corridor between Quinn Road and Richardson Avenue. Arlington’s consultant, Stantec, has opened an online open house that people can use to let the consultant know what they hope the new corridor may look like. Make your voice heard & let them know you want separated bicycle lanes! 

On this corridor, in 2020, Charlie Proctor, and his partner, Alison, were biking home when Charlie was struck by a left-turning driver who crossed in front of their path. The crash was fatal for Charlie. He died just three weeks before his 28th birthday. Because of this fatality, the town implemented a quick-build bicycle lane in this corridor. While the bike lane the town installed is an improvement, it’s not perfect as it isn’t continuous and doesn’t fully protect bicyclists.

The reconstruction of this corridor would allow the town to install sidewalk level dutch style separated bicycle facilities, that would be safe for all users. The town is also considering raised intersections and a brand new traffic signal with bicycle signals at Appleton Street. 

Please access the open house before the end of July, to let the town know what you’d want Massachusetts Avenue to look like in 2025. The last time this area was significantly reconstructed was in the 1960s, over 50 years ago. 

To access the board, you must create an account with Mural and sign in. 

Make Mural Account & then visit the open house here: Mass Ave/Appleton Street Safety+ Accessibility Coordidor Project Open House

  • Add dots to ideas you like. 
  • Add to the project goal lists, they will be used to create conceptual design plans that will be presented in the fall. 
  • Make comments with sticky notes. We would ask you to make comments in support of continuous sidewalk level separated bicycle lanes (Cycle Tracks)  in both directions, with bicycle priority at intersections.

You can learn more about Stantec’s redesign proposal here: Stantec Hired to Design Safety Improvements for Mass Ave/Appleton and Chestnut Street

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ACTION ALERT: Contact Your State Representative in Support of E-Bike Rebate Amendement

June 22, 2022

Thanks to Rep. Natalie Blais (1st Franklin), the E-Bike Rebate Amendment has been added to the House Transportation Bond Bill. If you'd like to see e-bike incentives in MA, we need you to email or call your Representative by noon on June 23rd to support amendment #331 to H4897. The vote on the Bond Bill will be held on the afternoon of June 23rd, so your support is needed as soon as possible.


Example email/phone call to your representative (feel free to add why you personally support e-bikes in your comments): "Please support Amendment #331 to An Act relative to Massachusetts’s transportation resources and climate, filed by Rep. Blais. This incentive program will allow more people across the commonwealth to purchase electric-assist bicycles and provide more equitable access to electric bicycles which are out of reach of many riders due to their cost. E-bikes are a solution to both the dual crises facing the Commonwealth of congestion and greenhouse gas emissions, and this simple solution will encourage more people to choose to ride bicycles for everyday use."


 

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Kittie Knox Ride Recap

June 07, 2022

On Sunday, June 5th, MassBike, the New England Cycling Coalition for Diversity, and our coalition partners hosted the Kittie Knox Ride. The weather was perfect for the over 130 riders who joined the educational cycling tour in honor of Kittie Knox and Riverside Cycle Club. The City of Boston event proclaimed June 5, 2022, to be Kittie Knox Day and all attendees were provided a set of informational cards to describe the historical sites along the way.

 

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