MassBike Comments On GreenDOT Implementation Plan

In 2010, MassDOT launched its GreenDOT initiative, a comprehensive program to combat climate change, encourage biking, walking and transit, and support smart growth. This year, MassDOT released a draft GreenDOT Implementation Plan, and invited public comment.

The plan focuses on what MassDOT can do to reduce greenhouse gases from its own operations and to make itself more sustainable. The plan also includes more general goals around improving conditions for and creating opportunities for bicycling, walking, and public transportation. MassBike is very pleased that MassDOT is moving forward with GreenDOT, and we offered comments to Secretary of Transportation Richard Davey to make the plan even better (click here for a full copy of our comment letter).

The over-arching theme of MassBike's comments was "change can happen faster". We recommended accelerating the proposed update to the MassDOT road design guidelines to reflect current standards, so that better projects for biking and walking would start happening sooner. We pushed for actually reducing vehicle speeds on busy roads, rather than merely studying how to do it. We asked for additional measures of dedicated bicycling facilities, bike parking, access to transit, and the number of school children who actually receive biking and walking safety training and then ride or walk to school.

We await MassDOT's response to our comments and those of other advocates and members of the public. And we will continue working with MassDOT to ensure that bicycling conditions in Massachusetts keep improving (and improve even more rapidly).

 

2 Mile Challenge Update - Only 9 Days Left!

For the past 22 days riders all across the country have been logging into 2milechallenge.com and recording their bike trips in support of MassBike. Each trip logged during August equals a dollar for MassBike up to $10,000. So far we have been really cruising, averaging 304 trips a day and logging a total of 6,783 trips! That is the equivalent of pulling 5 cars of the road for a year!  We are really pleased with the progress we have made so far but  in order to reach our 10k trip goal we need to keep riding and logging trips.  So get out there, go for a ride, and when you get home record it at 2milechallenge.com

Thank you to everyone who has been recording trips for MassBike and if you haven't started but need some help logging on we have created some step by step instructions just for you.

Happy Riding Everyone!

Completing Streets In Franklin County



On Monday, August 6, our Program Associate Sam Markovitz and I went out to Franklin County to help local residents and the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) perform a Bikeability Assessment in Greenfield, Colrain and South Deerfield. There were roughly a dozen people present to help with the assessment, which was undertaken to inform a regional Complete Streets Plan being drafted to address priority intersections and corridors for bikeability improvements.

After the assessment, we turned the raw data collected by our volunteers into a report on major barriers to bicycling and ways to improve the bicycling environment in these locations. Among these recommendations were adding bicycle facilities like bike lanes or sharrows, increasing the bike parking supply around businesses, and reducing motor vehicle travel speeds through traffic calming measures. These recommendations will inform the Complete Streets Plan being put together, which ultimately will guide decision making for future road investments in the region. This assessment is a tangible example of how concerned local citizens can directly impact the decisions made in their community.

We are in the process of scheduling future assessments in Hampshire County and the Berkshires. This work is being supported by Mass in Motion, and we are looking forward to supporting the efforts not only of the Mass in Motion communities, but also complement the work being done by our chapter in the Pioneer Valley. If you have any questions, send me an email at Price@MassBike.org.

Knowlege Is Power: Register Now For Free Classes!

With the students returning and the weather cooling off, the perfect fall bicycling weather will soon be upon us. We have a lot of classes scheduled for the Boston area, and a few classes in the works for the Berkshires and Pioneer Valley. Take a look below to see if there is anything that appeals to you. Thanks to the generous support of the Boston Collaborative for Food and Fitness, all classes are free and open to the public. However, since attendance is limited, you must RSVP here to attend.

Bikeable Communities Trainings


Bikeable Communities trainings come in two parts. The first training provides an overview of the decision making process in transportation, and outlines strategies for advocates to plug into that process. The second training focuses on specific infrastructure, programs and policies that can be used to encourage biking in a community. Together, these trainings lay the foundation for citizens and community leaders to effectively improve the environment for bicycling. Click here for more description of the trainings.

Part One, "Plugging Into The Process"

Tuesday, September 18, 6:00 - 8:30 PM
Boston Public Library Main Branch, McKim Conference Room
Boston

Wednesday, October 3, 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Metropolitan Area Planning Council, 3rd Floor Conference Room
60 Temple Place, Boston

Part Two, "Policies, Programs and Projects"

Tuesday, September 25, 6:00 - 8:30 PM
MassBike Office
171 Milk Street, Suite 33
Boston, MA

Wednesday, October 24, 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Metropolitan Area Planning Council, 3rd Floor Conference Room
60 Temple Place, Boston

Biking For Everyone Workshops


Urban Cycling Workshop (Sponsored by the City of Newton and Harris Cyclery)
Thursday, September 7:00 - 8:00 PM
Newton City Hall, Room 202
1000 Commonwealth Ave, Newton

Hubway Workshop
Friday, September 14, 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Boston City Hall

Hubway Workshop
Tuesday, October 2, 6:00 - 7:00 PM
Boston Public Library Main Branch, McKim Conference Room
Boston

Basics of Better Biking (On-Bike Workshop)


Saturday, September 15, 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Boston University
Meets at the Corner of Agganis Way and Commonwealth Avenue

Saturday, October 13, 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Seaport District
Meets at the Main Entrance of South Station

If you have any questions, please email Education@MassBike.org.

Need Help Logging into 2MileChallenge.com?

We have been getting a lot of feedback from folks who would love to log trips but are having trouble logging in to 2MileChallenge.com.  To help out we have put together some detailed step-by-step instructions (with screen shots of each step) for logging in and logging your miles. Follow these easy steps and you will be logging miles and raising funds for MassBike in time!


 

Logging into 2milechallenge.com

1.  Go to 2milechallenge.com

2.  Click on Join the Ride on a red ribbon button at far right of screen


3.  Enter your email and other required info, accept the terms and conditions and click register




4. You should get an email from 2 Mile Challenge verifying your email address, click the link and continue on to step 5.



5. Fill out all the contact information and then click "Get Rolling" in the bottom right hand corner.



Logging trips on 2milechallenge.com

6.  Click on Sign in in the upper right hand corner of the 2milechallenge.com page



7. Type in your user name and password and press "Login".



8.  So now you are on a page that should have your user name in the top right half of the page and just under that is a red tab that says LOG MILES

9.  In the white space to the left of the LOG MILES arrow, type in an estimate of your single trip mileage.  (Don't worry too much about this since it's based on TRIPS not miles, logging each trip is more important)



10.  After you type in your miles, you can if you want enter where you went, but I usually just skip this part and after I type in the miles, click that red LOG MILES arrow button, and that's it. You have now logged your first trip with the 2 Mile Challenge and raised $1 for MassBike!

Extra Step: If, after logging in, you find yourself on the main august page (see screen shot below) simply click on the dashboard tab in the upper right hand corner of the screen to get to your logging miles page.



I hope these instructions help! If you still have questions feel free to email me at bikeinfo@massbike.org or call the office at 617-542-2453. Thank you for participating in the 2 Mile Challenge and helping to raise funds for local bike advocacy.

Upcoming Safety Class And Bikeable Communities Training

As the riding weather keeps flying by, it's great to see so many people on their bikes. And what's better than a lot of people biking around? Even MORE people biking around! We have two classes coming up soon that will help get even more people on their bikes, and keep them safe while doing it, to boot. See below for details, and if you have any questions, email Education@MassBike.org.

What: Basics of Better Biking (an on-bike class)
When: Saturday, August 25, 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Where: Meet at South Station's Main Entrance, Boston
RSVP: This class is free and open to the public thanks to the support of the Boston Collaborative for Food and Fitness. To register, email Education@MassBike.org.

The Basics of Better Biking class is designed for adults who want to get back into bicycling, improve cycling skills, learn to ride more effectively and safely in traffic, and/or participate in a large-scale benefit ride. This four-hour weekend session provides guided instruction with simple practice drills in a parking lot, easy-paced riding on local roadways for short distances, and group-discussion breaks along the way. Topics covered include bike and helmet fitting, starting and stopping your bike in traffic, shifting gears, scanning and yielding, choosing the correct lane position in the road, handling intersections, and more.

  • A bicycle in good working order and a helmet are required.

  • Preregistration is required.

  • This class is intended for participants 18 and older. For minors wishing to take the class, please contact Price at price@massbike.org.

  • Sometimes we have to cancel a class due to low registration. We will let you know no less than three days in advance if the class is canceled.


What: Bikeable Communities Training (Part 1)
When: Thursday, August 16, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where: Northern Berkshire YMCA, 22 Brickyard Court, N. Adams
RSVP: This class is free and open to the public thanks to the support of Mass in Motion. To register, email Education@MassBike.org.

This first installment of our Bikeable Communities Training focuses on the decision making process and how engaged citizens can fit into the process to make their communities better for biking. Some specific points are:

  • How the decision-making process works for local projects and policies, and the interaction between local, state, and federal entities when making those decisions.

  • An overview of how projects are funded, and explanations of how the public is involved in the various stages of those funding decisions.

  • Building alliances with citizens and organizations sharing complementary goals or missions, and maintaining momentum behind efforts that can sometimes take years.

  • Case studies on successful bicycle initiatives and an overview of lessons learned.


Bikeable Communities Guide and Training

[caption id="attachment_19658" align="alignleft" width="231"] Click here for a copy of Shifting Gears[/caption]

 

MassBike is proud to present a brand new resource to help advocates around Massachusetts make their communities' roads better for biking. This guide, Shifting Gears: An Introduction to Better Biking for your Community, is designed to open the door for people who want to make things better for bicyclists, but don't know how to start. This document is the product of 35 years of advocacy experience, and we hope that the collective wisdom of our staff, board, and active members will help others learn from past lessons.

Shifting Gears begins by giving an overview of the different layers of government and, more specifically, who it is that you should contact to address your issues or concerns. The document goes on to explain best practices and helpful tips for maintaining a good relationship with public officials and other advocates. In the final section, the guide gives an introduction to the specific kinds of policies, programs and infrastructure projects that can help to overcome barriers to bicycling. Together, these three sections provide the tools to begin a conversation with municipal staff or elected officials, and gives guidance on how best to achieve a meaningful solution.

Shifting Gears is the companion document to our Bikeable Communities Training, which is being offered through the Department of Public Health's program Mass in Motion. The Bikeable Communities Training is a two-part training, each section taking three hours. The training augments the guide by providing case studies from around Massachusetts on successful bicycle initiatives, and includes discussion and exercises to brainstorm strategies for specific bicycle initiatives in the host community.

Paper copies are currently only available through the Bikeable Communities Training, but the digital copy can be found by clicking here. If you have any questions about the guide or would like to learn more information about the Bikeable Communities Training, please email price@MassBike.org, or call (617) 542-2453.

MassBike Summer Century and Family Ride Wrap-up



 

On the last Saturday in July MassBike held its 3rd Annual Summer Century & Family Ride and it was a terrific success! The weather cooperated with the first few rain drops starting to fall just as we finished packing up.   Over 280 cyclists joined us for a great day of riding and a delicious barbeque lunch. Riders took on routes from 8 to 100 miles which traversed the heart of early American history, from Paul Revere’s Ride through Lexington and Concord and to nearby battlefields. Longer rides visited the towns and villages that sent the first Minutemen and refueled at well stocked rest stops in Groton and Carlisle.

With the success of the ride, the proceeds help MassBike better advocate for bicyclists across Massachusetts. MassBike works through legislation, education, and infrastructure projects to get more people on bicycles and to make our roads and paths safer. Your support is important to making sure that bicyclists are protected in Massachusetts!

One reason our event was so successful was because of our fundraisers who went the extra mile to raise additional funds in support of MassBike! In addition, a big thank you goes out to all of our board members and volunteers who helped to organize the event and make sure that everything went smoothly on Saturday.

We also want to thank our fantastic sponsors who donated their products and services! Thanks goes out to Redbones BBQ, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cascadian Farms, Honest Tea, Izze, Ride Studio Cafe, Luna Bar, Food Should Taste Good, Jason & Fischer, Italia Outdoors Food and Wine, Easy Rider Tours, Road ID, REI and Mass Land Law, who helped provide support and fuel our riders throughout the day.

Photos of the event are posted on the MassBike Facebook page. If you have any you'd like to share, please send them to century@massbike.org.

Thanks to all our riders for joining us, we hope to see you again in 2013!

MassBike Chosen as Beneficiary of CLIF Bar 2 Mile Challenge

The Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition (MassBike) is excited to announce that it has been chosen as the August 2012 beneficiary of the CLIF Bar 2 Mile Challenge. Each month, CLIF Bar picks a different bicycling non-profit as the beneficiary of its nationwide challenge to get people out of their cars for trips under 2 miles.  For every trip logged on 2milechallenge.com during the month of August, CLIF Bar will donate $1 to MassBike, up to $10,000!  This is not just for bike commuters: any bike ride counts as a trip! With thousands of MassBike members and many more dedicated cyclists throughout the state, we are confident that we’ll hit the 10,000 trip mark.

“MassBike is thrilled to have been chosen as the August beneficiary of CLIF Bar 2 Mile Challenge. CLIF Bar has shown a clear commitment to creating a more bicycle friendly America, donating $100,000 annually to non-profit bicycle organizations,” said David Watson, MassBike Executive Director. “CLIF Bar’s history of community involvement and sustainability is a model for the business community.”

Reaching 10,000 logged trips should be attainable if each of our 3,000 members logs just 3 trips.  And this contest is nationwide, so cyclists everywhere can log their trips as well to benefit MassBike. So call your sister in Chicago, your brother in law in Nashville, your nephew in Ann Arbor and ask them to register!

Create an account at 2milechallenge.com by clicking “Join the Ride”. Then enter your trips each day in August. Every trip logged will help MassBike with our advocacy and education efforts throughout the Bay State.

Education Program Update: Classes Coming Up



The Education Program has really gotten rolling this summer! We were excited to offer our first Bikeable Communities Training in Northampton on June 30th, and had a good crowd of advocates there to learn about the process of making positive change. We also held our first on-bike skills class for the summer on June 24th, and are looking forward to more classes in the coming months. Read below for more information.

Bikeable Communities Training



The class in Northampton went well, with about a dozen people joining to learn more about the local decision making process. The training went over the different levels of government (local, regional, state and federal) and their role in the process. More importantly, the presentation focused on how individuals and community groups can plug into the process to influence the decisions being made. In the end, breakout sessions identified two potential projects for the Pioneer Valley - better bike facilities on Route 5 in S. Deerfield, and a community-based child education program at a local elementary school.

Next Training

While the details are still coming together, the Bikeable Communities Training will be held next in Berkshire County in the middle of August. The specifics (date and location) will be announced in the coming days, but if you are in the area, please do send an email to education@massbike.org to find out more information.

Basics of Better Biking (On-Bike Class)



The next four-hour on-bike skills class, Basics of Better Biking, will be held on Saturday, July 21 at Boston University. The class is designed for adults who want to get back into bicycling, improve cycling skills, learn to ride more effectively and safely in traffic, and/or participate in a large-scale benefit ride. Topics covered include bike and helmet fitting, starting and stopping your bike in traffic, shifting gears, scanning and yielding, choosing the correct lane position in the road, handling intersections, and more.

To register, send an email to education@massbike.org by Friday, July 20.

Next Class

Saturday, July 21st, 9:00 - 1:00 PM
Boston University, Agganis Arena (Meet at the corner of Harry Agganis Way and Commonwealth Ave.)
Pre-registration required.
For more information, click here.


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