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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]ionzerocoalition.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.

The Bike Union is Hiring!

The Bike Union is hiring a Director of Organizing!

The goal of the Director of Organizing is to identify and promote opportunities that will produce safer, more equitable bicycling conditions in the greater Boston area, and to engage the public in the Boston Cyclist Union’s mission, campaigns, and story. The Director of Organizing will work with all parts of the organization (staff, board, members, interns, and volunteers) to further develop and lead the Boston Cyclists Union’s Bikeways for Everybody campaign and ongoing reactive campaigns, and to win support for key bicycling infrastructure improvements.

This is a full-time salaried position. Click here for more information about the opportunity and to apply!


The Top Projects to look forward to in 2018 - Part 3

This year we’ve seen some monumental changes on our streets, including the completion of projects that have been underway for years, as well as a number of pop-up projects that were quick to implement, but will have a lasting impact for people biking.

Next year is looking to be even better. Over the last week of December, we’ve been showcasing some of the projects that you can look forward to in 2018 that may have big implications for your commute! You can find the third and final installment in the series below!

The Longfellow Bridge

Under construction since 2013, the restoration of the Longfellow Bridge will be complete in 2018. While the project was initially scheduled to be completed in 2016, the project was delayed by 2 years.

Over the course of the project, people on bikes have experienced varying conditions ranging from standard bike lanes to sharing sidewalks with people walking. The Bike Union and other advocates have kept a watchful eye, and called on you to help us pressure MassDOT to make changes at times when the conditions for people riding were not adequate.

One particularly challenging issue arose when the a temporary track for the Red Line was being constructed. Construction of the track pushed into the inbound bike lane, and people biking on their morning commute found that the bike lane abruptly ended in a jersey barrier, forcing them to merge into motor vehicle traffic.

The bike lane on the Longfellow Bridge ending in a jersey barrier in January, 2016.

In response, we called on you to let MassDOT know that these conditions and lack of thought for people biking were unacceptable, and MassDOT responded to your flood of letters by addressing the issue.

Since then, we’ve worked with MassDOT and it’s contractors to address safety issues for people biking over the bridge as construction has progressed. Now, with the completion of the project in sight, we’ll soon be enjoying better biking conditions on the Longfellow Bridge than we’ve had in years, though it could be even better. Currently the plans will create a protected bike lane into Cambridge and a standard, painted bike lane into Boston. We’re going to be calling on you in the next few weeks to do everything we can to push MassDOT to change the final design to include a protected lane into Boston, so stay tuned!

The Longfellow Bridge (right, oriented up/down), Storrow Drive (oriented left to right) and the future bike and pedestrian bridge over Storrow Drive (in white.) Rendering by White Skanska Consigli.

Moreover, the bike and pedestrian bridge over Storrow Drive is being reconstructed as part of this project! Check out the rendering to the right to see what it will look like when it’s completed next year. Anyone who has biked or walked on the current pedestrian bridge over Storrow Drive knows it’s far from ideal, with steep grades and tight turns. Thankfully the new bridge won’t be nearly as steep and will be much easier to navigate by bike!

Fighting for changes on our streets that will improve the safety and comfort of people biking is the kind of work that you support when you become a member or donate to the Bike Union! 

PLUS, when you join or donate between now and the end of 2017, you have a chance to win a bike from our friends at Crimson Bikes! Become a member today and help us make 2018 the best year ever for biking in the Boston area!