The Chapter currently has three activity areas that align with MassBike’s Vision for the Future*:
- Identify representatives in each of the chapter communities who will work within their town/city administration and with the MA-DOT district to improve roadways for cycling access and safety.
- Provide information and support to those community reps to help them become effective cycling advocates.
- Grow and connect the community of cyclists and make cycling more accepted and visible throughout the North Shore.
Community Reps. We are looking for North Shore Chapter representatives in Lynn, Hamilton, Boxford, Rowley, Rockport and Newburyport. If you know any riders and problem-solvers in any of those communities, people who might want to get involved to make cycling safer and more accepted, please put them in touch with us via email at [email protected].
MassBike HQ is in Boston, with only a few paid staff, whose primary day-job is to support your cycling interests on Beacon Hill. See the MassBike website for more on their legislative accomplishments. They are great sources of information, process know-how, and energy.
But where the rubber really hits the road, so to speak, is in our local communities. We, the cyclists, are the people who know where asphalt is crumbling, where an intersection has poor sight-lines, where sharrows and bike lane paint has worn away, and where to get the best coffee midway through our favorite loop. As locals, we’re also the people who have standing on road safety issues and are best suited for speaking to DPW and DOT staff, ward/town councilors and selectmen, the police chief, community health officials and others who have interest and influence when it comes to making roads safer and more accessible for cyclists.
Got Issues? Yeah, I got issues… If you see hazards on the roadway and don’t know where to turn, send your complaint to [email protected]. We’ll get your community rep involved. Degraded, cracked, tire-munching asphalt? Need a few inches of space to stand and wait out a red light? Notoriously dangerous intersection for bikes and pedestrians? Food trucks in your bike lane? Speak up and spark the advocacy chain of communications.
Advocacy – How to Get Rolling. So if you want to advocate for improvements for cycling in your community just what the heck do you do? How do you get started? This topic will be a regular feature in these updates. It’s also the subject of a short workbook that Terry Cowman is compiling for us, based on his experience, along with Dan Tieger’s, over the last couple decades in Manchester-By-The-Sea. The hope is that the workbook will be a ready resource of ideas to help local advocates work as we wend through local and state governmental processes. Our target date for sharing the workbook is Columbus Day.
When it comes to making roadway improvements for bike safety, who are the influencers in your community? What processes are already in place through which you can voice your concerns and provide input on road and trail project priorities?
I’m just getting started as the Chapter’s rep in Gloucester. This week I called the city staff member, Jennifer Donnelly, who works under a Mass-In-Motion grant for the four Cape Ann communities. I volunteered to serve on the “Active Transportation Subcommittee.” I also invited her to join me when I speak with the DPW director about repainting bike lanes and sharrows. Jennifer was delighted to have someone in the community taking an interest in her program goals. I will keep you posted and share my lessons-learned along the way. I welcome your ideas and advocacy pointers.
Who’s Your Bike Community? Whether you ride for fitness, fun, or utility, we want to hear from you. To help gain acceptance and inclusion of cycling in roadway planning and projects throughout the North Shore, we need a big voice. Join the chorus calling for cycling safety and visibility accommodations in all roadway projects in our area.
Who’s your bike community and how can we help make connections? We welcome your ideas for things the North Shore Chapter can do to promote the MassBike vision in our area. Let us know at [email protected].
Updates: Your MassBike community reps have some progress to show for their efforts.
- Beverly Improvements at 3 Intersections project. NorthShore Chapter in conjunction with the Beverly Bike Committee had reps at the 7/17 public meeting. The 25% plans were reviewed & recommendations for improved bike infrastructure sent back to MassDOT for consideration.
- MBTS & Gloucester 127 paving. While we can’t take credit for the entire 2.5 mile paving project, dialog with MA-DOT District 4 chief helped ensure ample shoulders and several spot repairs in Beverly, MBTS, and Gloucester.
North Shore Chapter of MassBike Board Members
Dan Tieger, President
Dan Brosnan, Vice President
Eric Papetti, Secretary
Dan Morris, Communications