Make Way for Bike Lanes!

 

Join us Sunday, April 23rd for a fun bike ride around (& around & around…) the Boston Public Garden to demonstrate to the City of Boston that we need safe bike facilities connecting our neighborhoods, paths, and parks NOW!

Meet us at Copley Square at 2pm, and we’ll ride to the Public Garden at 2:30. We’ll do laps around the Garden from 2:30pm-4:00pm. Feel free to ride as much or as little as you want and as slowly or as quickly as you want. This is not a race, but feel free to keep track of how many loops you do and brag about it to your friends at the after-party**. The ride will feature music, friends, and if we’re lucky a few fun-loving people will wear duckling costumes! (Costumes not required, but highly encouraged)

This ride is named after the popular children’s book “Make Way for Ducklings” because it perfectly illustrates how the roads surrounding the Public Garden feel dangerous and uncomfortable for most people since they encourage high motor vehicle speeds. However, these streets can easily accommodate protected bike lanes around the Public Garden with little impact on motor-vehicle capacity, while simultaneously making pedestrian crossings easier and safer.

This area, in the very heart of Boston, is a major missing link in the bike network. People biking along the Charles River who cross the Fiedler Footbridge are stranded on Beacon and Arlington Streets, which function as multi-lane speed ways at many times of day. Providing safe bicycle accommodations here will enable people to make connections toward Downtown, the Connect Historic Boston bike trail, Harborwalk, and the Southwest Corridor Bike Path.

The City of Boston has set a goal of quadrupling biking by 2030, but in order to achieve that goal, we need a connected network of protected bike lanes and low-stress routes, and the streets around the Public Garden are a great place to start.

Families are certainly welcome to join in the fun. In addition to having volunteers at all of the corners of the Gardeb, we are organizing a “Family Group Ride” with volunteers helping wrangle kids as a group. While there is safety in numbers, please keep in mind that we will be riding in mixed traffic, and sharing the road with cars. If you are interested in helping / volunteering to be a Kids Ride Marshal please email Jon Ramos: jramos@bostoncyclistsunion.org

**After-Party**
After the ride, please join us at “Cheers” located at 84 Beacon Street (you’ll pass it a bunch of times on the route).

More information can be found here.

Help Us Pass the Boston Bike Budget!

The City of Boston has made real progress toward changing its official policies to make riding a bike in the city easier and safer, but changes to our physical infrastructure have been slower. For many people who bike in Boston today — or would if it were safer — there has not been enough progress on the ground. The City’s Transportation Department is doing what it can, but insufficient staffing and resources are holding us back.

That’s why we’re asking Mayor Walsh to increase funding for safer streets in his FY18 Budget. 

In 2016, Boston allocated just $3.1 million for its Vision Zero Action Plan. That’s less than $5 per capita per year towards ending traffic deaths in our city. Meanwhile, New York City has dedicated approximately $13 per capita and San Francisco about $75. Boston is trailing behind cities that have been aggressive about building safe, protected bike infrastructure.

If Boston is going to end traffic fatalities, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and make our city more livable, we need a drastic increase in the city’s funding for safe, protected bike infrastructure.

Our proposal — the Boston Bike Budget

  • Increase the capital budget for Vision Zero from $3.1 million in FY17 to $12 million in FY18.
  • Increase the capital budget for the Strategic Bicycle Network Project from $900,000 in FY17 to $4 million in FY18.
  • Increase the capital budget for Transportation Planning from $200,000 in FY17 to $800,000 in FY18.
  • Increase the operating budget for Transportation Department Policy and Planning from $1,074,431 in FY17 to $2 million in FY18.

Take Action: Help Us Pass the Boston Bike Budget

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Send a personalized email (template below) to Mayor Walsh asking him to include the Boston Bike Budget in his budget this year, and forward the email to your local district city councilor and the four at-large (city-wide) councilors. Contact info is below. If you can, print out your letter, sign it, and mail it to the Mayor and councilors with a personal note asking for their support.
  2. Call Mayor Walsh’s office at 617-635-4500 and ask him to include the Boston Bike Budget in his budget this year, and call your local district city councilor and the four at-large (city-wide) councilors to ask them to support it. Below is a script, and their contact info.
  3. Call, text, or email your friends, family members, or co-workers and ask them to email and call the Mayor and their city councilors, and post of social media. Here’s a sample message: “I just asked Mayor Walsh and the Boston City Council to support safe, protected bike infrastructure in the city’s budget. Join me in asking them to fund making biking safer and easier! http://bostoncyclistsunion.org/advocacy-campaigns/bikebudget/
  4. Stay tuned for information on meetings with each city councilor that we’ll be setting up this spring!

Click here to find out who your Boston City Councilor is (and get contact info).


Email Script

Below is a template for emails to Mayor Walsh. Please personalize it and add your own information. The more personal details, the more effective the letter will be. Don’t forget to forward it to your your local district city councilor and the four at-large (city-wide) councilors with a brief note asking them to support the Boston Bike Budget. Thanks!

To:

Mayor@boston.gov

CC:

daniel.koh@boston.gov, joyce.linehan@boston.gov, budget@boston.gov, a&f@boston.gov, chris.osgood@boston.gov, gina.fiandaca@boston.gov, btd@boston.gov, info@bostoncyclistsunion.org

Dear Mayor Walsh,

As a resident of [YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD] who bikes [OR who would bike in Boston if it were safer], I’m writing to ask you to include the Boston Cyclists Union’s Bike Budget in your FY18 budget.

The City of Boston has made real progress toward changing its official policies to make riding a bike in the city easier and safer, but changes to our physical infrastructure have been slower.

This year, Boston allocated just $3.1 million for its Vision Zero Action Plan. That’s less than $5 per capita per year towards ending traffic deaths in our city. Meanwhile, New York City has dedicated approximately $13 per capita and San Francisco about $75.

If Boston is going to end traffic fatalities, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and make our city more livable, we need a drastic increase in the city’s funding for safe, protected bike infrastructure.

I hope you will include the Boston Bike Budget in your FY18 budget and help make Boston safe and friendly for people riding bikes.

Sincerely,


Call Script

Below is a script for calls to Mayor Walsh and City Councilors.

Hi,

I live in [YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD] and I’m calling to ask Mayor Walsh to include the Boston Cyclists Union’s Boston Bike Budget in his budget.

[SAY SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE RIDING A BIKE IN BOSTON]

If Boston is going to end traffic fatalities, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and make our city more livable, we need a drastic increase in the city’s funding for safe, protected bike infrastructure.

With our proposed Boston Bike Budget, we could build more than a dozen miles of protected bike lanes each year. Today, 2% of Bostonians regularly bike to work, and with just 2% of the City’s $898 million streets budget, we could make major strides towards allowing people of all ages and abilities to bike safely in every neighborhood of Boston.

I hope the Mayor will include the Boston Bike Budget in his FY18 budget and help make Boston safe and friendly for people riding bikes.

Thank you.

If asked for details on which budget line items you are calling about:

  • Increase the capital budget for Vision Zero from $3.1 million in FY17 to $12 million in FY18.
  • Increase the capital budget for the Strategic Bicycle Network Project from $900,000 in FY17 to $4 million in FY18.
  • Increase the capital budget for Transportation Planning from $200,000 in FY17 to $800,000 in FY18.
  • Increase the operating budget for Transportation Department Policy and Planning from $1,074,431 in FY17 to $2 million in FY18.

Take this 2-second advocacy action to help win more funding for bike projects!

Today is the last day for submitting comments for MassDOT’s Capital Investment Plan for FY 2018-2022!

Please go to this link and paste the information below into the field titled “Please enter comment (2500 character limit)(required)”

The form will also require you to enter an address that relates to this comment. You can enter the address of MassDOT headquarters:

10 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116 

The deadline is 5 PM TONIGHT, so do it right now! It will only take 2 seconds!

Here is the text to paste:

First, I’d like to thank MassDOT for funding projects that make biking as a means of transportation safer and easier. Projects like the Beacon Street Reconstruction (Project ID: 607209) in Somerville, which includes separated bike lanes, will dramatically improve safety for people biking, and I hope to see more projects like this included in the FY 2018-2022 CIP.

I encourage MassDOT to fund more projects that make biking safer and easier, including but not limited to the proposed projects listed below. (These projects are NOT listed in order of importance.)

  • Design and construction of 3 pedestrian/bike underpasses on the Boston-side of the River St, Western Ave and Anderson bridges (Project ID: 1420)
  • Design and construction of a new pedestrian/bike footbridge over the MA Turnpike in Allston (Project IDs: 1421 and 1691)
  • Planning study of the removal of some or all of the Bowker Overpass (Project ID: 1422)
  • Road relocation and other transportation-related improvements, Including bicycle and pedestrian paths and the repair and rehabilitation of the Harbor Walk, on the campus of the University of Massachusetts at Boston (Project ID: 1704
  • Study to design and construct a pedestrian footbridge in Brighton with an entry and exit point between Brooks street and Parsons street over the existing roadways to an entry and exit point on the Dr. Paul Dudley White Bike Path (Project ID: 1425)
  • Rehabilitation of the Old Northern Avenue Bridge over the Fort Point Channel (Project IDs: 606265 and BO-0130)
  • Construction of the South Bay Harbor Trail from Ruggles Station to the Fort Point Channel (Project ID: 604761)
  • Reconstruction of Causeway St including pedestrian and bicycle improvements (Project ID: 606320)
  • Replacement of the Allston I-90 Elevated Viaduct including interchange reconstruction, Beacon Park Yard layover and West Station (Project IDs: 606475 and BO-0160)
  • Commonwealth Phase 3 and 4 (Project ID: 608449)
  • Reconstruction of the River St and Western Ave bridges (Project IDs: 1699 and 605527)
  • Design of the Grand Junction Rail Trail (Project IDs: 1707 and 1708)
  • Design and Construction of the Inlet Bridge at North Point (Project IDs: 1442 and 1443)
  • Design and construction of separated bicycle and pedestrian pathways along Memorial drive and the Cambridge parkway from the Eliot bridge to the Craigie Dam bridge and the Craigie drawbridge (Project ID: 1445)
  • Construction of Phase II of the Watertown Greenway multi-use path (Project ID: 1729)

Bike lanes on Longwood Ave

After more than a year and a half of advocacy for bike lanes on Longwood Ave by area cyclists and the Bike Union, plans for a redesigned Longwood Ave were presented at MASCO’s 2nd Annual LMA Bike Summit on February 15th.

More than 180 people who are concerned about biking in the Longwood Medical Area gathered in the Jimmy Fund Auditorium to see presentations on bike infrastructure changes in the LMA — both planned changes and changes we want to see.  

Most exciting was a presentation given by Bike Union Board Member and Northeastern University Civil Engineering Professor Peter Furth.  Professor Furth’s presentation demonstrated what we have been advocating for, and what the video below demonstrates is possible – bike lanes along the entire length of Longwood Ave.  On a corridor with real constraints, no immediate reconstruction planned, and a mode share of almost 40% bikes (Longwood Ave, eastbound, morning peak hour), there needs to be a solution that provides dedicated space for people to bike safely into and out of the LMA.  This plan developed by Peter and his students calls for continuous bike lanes, and the elimination of the left turn lanes at the intersection of Longwood and Brookline Ave. Traffic counts conducted by the Bike Union have found that the left turn lanes are underutilized and unnecessary, and the road space could be reallocated to bike lanes with little to no effect on motor vehicle traffic.

The video below simulates the design the Bike Union is proposing.

We’re very excited about the possibilities unlocked by this plan and the modeling that demonstrates that it will be successful.  If you are, too, we encourage you to email Sarah Hamilton at MASCO to tell her how much dedicated bike lanes on Longwood Ave would mean to you, and CC Charlotte Fleetwood from the Boston Transportation Department, and the Bike Union. If you work in the LMA, you are also encouraged to send this to your employer or speak with them directly about what bike lanes on Longwood Ave would mean to you — the more leadership on board, the better!  You could send a short email like this one:

To:
shamilton@masco.harvard.edu
charlotte.fleetwood@boston.gov
info@bostoncyclistsunion.org
 
Dear Ms. Hamilton,

I ride into the LMA on a [daily, weekly, regular] basis.  I [work, study] there, and have no other options, but I also love the convenience and flexibility biking offers.  I don’t love the feelings of stress and discomfort I feel when I reach the Longwood Medical Area, especially as I squeeze through and past cars, or they pass by me closely, while biking on Longwood Ave.  I wish there were dedicated bike lanes to separate us.  

I attended the Longwood Bike Summit earlier this month and was very excited to see Peter Furth’s presentation and plan that would allow bike lanes on the full length of Longwood Ave.  I hope that you can work with him and the City of Boston to implement this as soon as possible.  

Thank you!
[you name]