I’ve been thinking a lot about a recent public statement posted on the City of Springfield’s official Facebook feed, in reference to groups of youths on dirt bikes and bicycles riding illegally on the streets. The City uses phrases like "miscreant" and "negative individuals" to describe the riders, instead of calling the riders what they are, which are kids riding bikes. This is followed by the Police Commissioner freely using words like "aggressive plan of attack" to "crackdown" and "eradicate this issue."
At the 2019 National Bike Summit, with the guidance of the League of American Bicyclists, we worked alongside other Massachusetts bicycle advocates (and advocates from around the country!) to ask our senators to support enhancements to the Transportation Alternatives (TA) program that would make it easier for local governments and agencies to fund and implement projects to make biking better.
Last week, Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) introduced a bill that would make more ideas for biking infrastructure a reality. The bill would help communities like yours build better bicycling and walking infrastructure, like trails, pedestrian and bike bridges, and other projects that connect us with where we want to go.
The Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition released its third annual Vision Zero Progress Report for the City of Boston. MassBike is an active part of the Coalition and while this report is just for Boston, we have many municipalities throughout the state who need equal if not more work than Boston to get us to zero fatalities. The fundamentals and the processes behind this report can be applied to many cities and towns across the state as we seek to lower traffic fatalities in Massachusetts to zero.
Need some money for your bicycle program or project? Here’s your opportunity!
City of Cambridge Seeking Members for Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Transit Advisory Committees
(Application Deadline 4-26-19)
Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale is seeking persons interested in serving on the City’s Bicycle, Pedestrian or Transit Advisory Committees. Members are expected to attend monthly meetings as well as review materials and engage in projects outside of regular meetings. Below is more information on each of these committees. Information also available here or by emailing email@example.com
We were thrilled to join forces with over 400 bike advocates in Washington, D.C. for the 20th National Bike Summit with the League of American Bicyclists. After hearing from fantastic speakers and panelists (some from our own state delegation!) we met with 11 of our federal senators and representatives to discuss a number of issues that will impact bicyclists at home in Massachusetts.
The most exciting part of this year’s delegation was just how many speakers we had among us!
A letter from Executive Director Galen Mook:
"We need each other."
These words resounded among the more than one-hundred mourners who gathered in the cold and the rain for the Paula Sharaga Ghost Bike dedication ceremony this past Sunday.
Paula, an experienced urban cyclist, was struck and killed two weeks ago by a cement truck driver passing through an intersection in Boston.
"We need each other," we all said, collectively, after every refrain from Reverend Laura Everett during the dedication ceremony.Read more
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