Everybody Rides! Bos/treal Scholarship

Help win Protected Bike Lanes on the Longfellow Bridge!





You may have heard that Gov. Baker
announced the Longfellow Bridge connecting Cambridge and Boston is scheduled to be reopened this May. This is an important opportunity for Massachusetts and the Governor to live up to promises to reduce traffic fatalities and be a leader in safe transportation infrastructure. Unfortunately, current plans for Longfellow bridge, on which cars regularly speed at 35 mph or faster, will have no protected bicycle lanes. This would create unsafe conditions comparable or worse than the Mass Ave Bridge, except with the Red Line in the middle, two lanes on the Longfellow feels even more like a highway, and drivers treat it that way.

While the Longfellow Bridge is currently uncomfortable to bike on, if MassDOT adds a second travel lane back, without physical separation for people biking, it will be even less safe and comfortable, with conditions more like the Mass Ave Bridge.  


SOME HISTORY of the Redesign Process:

Throughout the redesign process from 2009 to 2011, and as a final effort in 2012 when the Longfellow bridge rebuilding plans were finalized, the Boston Cyclists Union, LivableStreets Alliance, MassBike, WalkBoston, and the Charles River Conservancy (and you, our members) pushed for protected bicycling infrastructure on both sides of the bridge to provide a safe route for bicyclists between Cambridge and Boston and to keep in line with local and state Complete Streets and bicycle mode shift goals. The state met advocates halfway and designed a buffered bicycle facility on the Cambridge-bound (“outbound”) side and reduced capacity to a single outbound travel lane for motor vehicles.  However, MassDOT determined, through the “public process” and via traffic projections, that having a single lane for people driving cars going inbound to Boston would not provide enough room for cars (more technically: for “car storage”, a term for backed-up traffic), and that a five-foot-wide bike lane next to two lanes of traffic was all that could be spared for people biking.


Longfellow -- Planned

Without our action, the Longfellow Bridge will look like this — two motor vehicle travel lanes and a narrow painted bike lane!

Continue reading Help win Protected Bike Lanes on the Longfellow Bridge!

Five Reasons You Should Get Hubway Even Though You Already Own A Bike

by Tyson Bottenus

As a cyclist, I’ve followed the rise of bikeshare with an ambivalent attitude.

Overall, it’s great. More bikes! Maybe, I used to think to myself, this will mean more people will choose biking for transportation. This might mean cities will install more protected bike lanes which inevitably helps me in the end. So yeah, in the past it’s fair to say I was all about bike share for other people.

But recently, I’ve come to find that Hubway is awesome, especially if you have a bike (or bikes). So to combat this “Hubway is only for people who don’t own a bike” philosophy in mind, here are five reasons why you should get yourself a year-long membership and join the movement.


  1. Bikes are only good as long as you have them with you.

My attitude towards Hubway changed the day I inexplicably didn’t have my bike with me. Yeah, I know, you’re probably like me and ride your bike everywhere. But sometimes, your friend picks you up in that car he or she still has and then you need go somewhere else and they can’t give you a ride and THEN WHAT.

A 24-hour pass costs $8 and you can ride as far and as often as you’d like provided the ride is under 30 minutes. If you go over 30 minutes, you get charged a little more, but to avoid these fees all you have to do is park your Hubway and activate another one. Boom! Timer reset.

I downloaded the Hubway app the first time I found myself without a bike and the process took mere minutes on my smartphone. Unlocking a bike was incredibly easy. To be honest, when I first used Hubway, I thought I was only going to use it once. But then the next week I found myself without a bike again and had to purchase another 24-hour pass. Whatever, I thought, it’s cheaper than a Lyft.

After the third or fourth 24-hour pass that I bought, I decided right then and there to purchase a year-long membership for $99.

Continue reading Five Reasons You Should Get Hubway Even Though You Already Own A Bike

Support Safe Street Legislation

February 7th, is the deadline for legislative committees to act on bills, and An Act to Reduce Traffic Fatalities remains in front of the Joint Committee on Transportation.
The Boston Cyclists Union, along with other advocates and allies in the Vision Zero Coalition, worked closely with Senator Brownsberger and Representatives Hecht and Rogers to develop a comprehensive traffic safety bill that will prevent serious and fatal crashes and protect vulnerable road users. Act now and help us enact these street safety measures into law!
Send an email or call the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Transportation and your state legislators (see template email provided below). Emails should be sent to the committee chairs, copying your Representative and Senator. Find out if your legislators are co-sponsors of the bill. Please copy [email protected]org and [email protected] on your email.
About the Bill
An Act to Reduce Traffic Fatalities (S1905/H2877) will ensure basic, but necessary traffic regulations to guarantee that everyone on our streets can expect to get from point A to point B safely. The bill’s provisions that we and the entire Vision Zero Coalition believe will make the biggest difference to the safety of people biking and walking and that we support strongly are:
  • Equipping state and state-contracted trucks with safety side-guards and convex mirrors to reduce bicyclist & pedestrian fatalities
  • Lowering default speed limit on state highways and parkways in thickly settled areas from 30 mph to 25 mph
  • Allowing municipalities to install limited traffic safety cameras exclusively for speeding and red light & right turn violations
  • Prohibits usage of mobile devices, except those in hands-free mode, while operating a motor vehicle
  • Vulnerable road user language
The fact that 10 of the 16 bicyclist fatalities in Boston and Cambridge over the past 6 years have involved large trucks, and may have been able to be prevented with truck side-guards and/or better visibility, should be a mandate to our lawmakers to pass this bill.

Continue reading Support Safe Street Legislation

Do you want to be a Board Member?

The BCU is recruiting for new board members! If you want to get more involved (or know someone you think would be perfect for the role), read on!

What do board members do?

  • Attend monthly board meetings, plus a monthly committee meeting of your choice
  • Help determine the strategic plan for the organization
  • Help plan events and recruit new members
  • Engage in fundraising
  • Represent the Union in their communities, social circles, etc.
  • Ensure the BCU is meeting its financial and legal obligations and staying true to its mission

What qualifications do I need to have?

  • Most importantly are commitment to the mission and willingness to help out and be involved!
  • Interest in biking/active transportation (you don’t have to ride a bike to be on the board, but it doesn’t hurt)
  • Willingness to share your skills, unique perspectives and networks to advance the mission of the organization

We’ll be bringing on new board members in May 2018. If you are interested in becoming a board member or know someone who might be, nominate yourself or that person by contacting Phil Stango – [email protected]. Women, people of color, LGBTQIA individuals, and residents of Boston are highly encouraged to apply.

Click here for the full description.