As I look back on bicycle advocacy in 2018, a statistical graphic sent out by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles comes to mind. It shows that we have had three fatal bicycle crashes on public roads this year. Three crashes – down 70% from 10 crashes in 2017, and down 75% from the the 12 crashes in 2015. And even though MassBike’s own count of fatal crashes has the total at five people (the RMV statistics miss crashes on private property such as Jessiah Rivera, age 4, hit on a sidewalk of a parking lot, and Stuart Finkelstein, age 58, who crashed on a municipal bike path in Nantucket), fewer fatal crashes is something to champion as we round out the year.
Public comment period now open though January 31
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing that the Draft Massachusetts Bicycle Transportation Plan is now available for public comment.
Members of the public may review the plan and provide feedback online here.
MassDOT is focused on making the Commonwealth’s transportation system more sustainable – to make it safe for people to choose to walk, bike, and take transit for more of their daily trips. The Plan is important because residents, members of the business community and visitors choose to use a bicycle for daily trips, choosing bike to work, to school, to run errands, for recreation or to reach transit locations.Read more
First, thank you to those who joined us in supporting the League of American Bicyclists by calling (or emailing) your Senators last week. We called you to action to stop the AV START Act from passing without clarifying components that would impact bicyclists and pedestrians. The following is an update from the League on the current status of the AV START Act after the efforts of local advocates like you!
We signed onto a letter from the League opposing the AV START Act and it made a difference! While we still don't know the fate of the AV START Act, key changes were made to the bill.Read more
Please join us in this important ACTION ALERT in conjunction with the League of American Bicyclists. We need you to call Senators Markey and Warren TODAY!
The Senate is hoping to pass Senate Bill 1885: The AV START Act this week! The bill could increase tenfold the number of automated vehicles on the roads - making them available for sale while exempting them from current safety standards.Read more
"Roads & streets are more than connections from point A to point B. They tell stories, some of them tragic, that are worth remembering."
It is with this slogan in mind that MassBike participated in World Day of Remembrance, an international vigil and memorial event to remember the many millions killed and injured on the world’s roads, together with their families, friends and the many others who are affected.
This past Sunday, hundreds of vigil members gathered in the cold outside the State House; we named aloud, one by one, those killed by traffic violence in the state in 2018. We placed yellow flowers on the steps of Boston City Hall and wrote chalk messages on its entryway for everyone in City Hall to read. And we heard the personal, heart wrenching, tragic stories of those who lost their loved ones to needless traffic crashes.Read more
In response to the tragic fatal crash on the Museum of Science bridge connecting Cambridge to Boston, which killed 24-year old Boston University grad student Meng Jin, MassBike is calling on all municipalities and the state to make roads safer for cyclists by pursuing truck safety measures.
The vehicle involved was a large dump truck. Both the bicyclist and the truck driver, a 50-year-old man from Leicester, were waiting to take a right hand turn. Meng was on his bike when he was knocked down and rolled over by the wheels of the truck. This crash could easily have involved a pedestrian, or a person on a scooter, or a person in a wheelchair, or a person crossing the street, or really any vulnerable road user.
With renewed concern for the safety of bicyclists on Massachusetts roadways, MassBike Executive Director Galen Mook spoke with the Boston Herald on the topic. “Making drivers more aware and more cautious is the No. 1 thing we can do. Just being aware that you’re not alone out there in the world,” said Mook.Read more
The following Central Mass Chapter Update was prepared by Chapter Secretary Lesli Cohen:
On Saturday, October 27, members of MassBike Central MA shared an information table with the 7 Hills Wheelmen for the opening of the Blackstone Heritage Corridor Visitor Center in Worcester.Read more
The following was submitted on behalf of the North Shore Chapter by Dan Morris:
The North Shore Chapter wrapped up the month of October and headed straight into the business of November with its second meeting in Salem on November 4th. The agenda of the meeting focused on empowering local advocates and offered an introduction to MassDOT Capital Improvement Plan.Read more
The following updates were submitted by Pioneer Valley Chapter President Alex Weck:
The month of October saw the formation of the Agawam Bike Committee, where citizens of one of Springfield's most bikeable neighbors gathered to talk bike infrastructure and advocacy for the first time in decades.
A second round of public meetings on design work for the Northern Strand Community Trail are scheduled in your area and we need your support!
The public is encourage to attend any (or all) of the 5 public meetings set during the month of November for the Northern Strand Community Trail starting tonight, Monday November 5. In February, the state announced it would award $1.5 million for design work which includes design improvements for sections of the trail which are already open as well as the long sought after extension through Lynn. The funding will also be used to extend the trail in Everett through the Wynn Casino property will it will eventually make a critical connection to trails heading into Boston.Read more