The Bike Union is hiring!

The Bike Union is hiring a Membership, Events, and Development Coordinator!

The Coordinator manages the Boston Cyclists Union’s rapidly growing membership and volunteer programs. They develop and execute communication strategies, assist in planning events and fundraisers, and collaborate with staff and partners to explore other fundraising and development opportunities. Through this work they fulfill the Bike Union’s goals of growing and supporting our membership, and building the bike community and the network of bike-friendly businesses in the Boston area.

This is a full time, salaried position. Click here to read the full description and apply!

Support a safer Beacon Street!

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The City of Boston is proposing to install a parking-protected bike lane on Beacon Street in the Back Bay, but we need to speak up to make sure the best design possible in chosen!

At a public meeting on June 12th, the Boston Transportation Department presented 4 design alternatives for Beacon Street, and two different options for the intersection of Mass Ave and Beacon Street. We need to make sure that Alternative 1 is selected, and that Option A is chosen for the block of Beacon Street approaching Mass Ave.

Option B proposes a “mixing zone” where right-turning cars and all bike traffic will merge together before reaching Mass Ave, creating an unnecessary conflict point between car and bike traffic. This design was created to accommodate cars turning right onto Mass Ave. However, the City’s presentation made it clear that the mixing zone is not necessary, and Option A can adequately handle all turning movements without traffic backing up Beacon Street. The mixing-zone would also require removing 12 on-street parking spaces from Beacon Street.

The proposed "mixing-zone" in Option B.

The proposed “mixing-zone” in Option B.

Copy and paste the message below into an email, and let the City know you support a parking-protected bike lane on Beacon Street all the way to Mass Ave!

P.S. Don’t forget to fill out this survey about inbound/outbound connections after you email your comments!


to: visionzero@boston.gov

subject: Beacon Street Design Project Comments

As a person who bikes in Boston, I am extremely excited to see the City propose installing a parking-protected bike lane on Beacon Street in the Back Bay. With a parking-protected bike lane, I will feel much safer and more comfortable biking on Beacon Street.

I strongly support Alternative 1, and I hope that after Beacon Street is repaved in the future, the protected bike lane can be made two-way, as shown in Alternative 2. That said, I am concerned about the lane widths proposed in Alternative 1, and I support narrowing the travel and parking lanes, and adding enough space to the bike lane to allow for 2 people to ride side by side. I would also like to see the stretch of Beacon Street from Charles Street to Berkeley Street redesigned to be safer for people biking, as well as have space on Arlington Street dedicated for biking. Also, if Alternative 1 is implemented, please create an inbound route for people biking along Marlborough Street, including a contra-flow lane on the final block of Marlborough Street.

Lastly, I strongly oppose “Option B” for the intersection of Beacon Street and Mass Ave. The mixing zone shown in Option B would increase conflicts between bike traffic and right-turning vehicles, as well as require the removal of 12 on-street parking spaces. Please continue the parking-protected bike lane all the way to the intersection at Mass Ave, as shown in “Option A”.

Thank you for considering my comments.

*Please CC the following:

chris.osgood@boston.gov;
gina.fiandaca@boston.gov;
vineet.gupta@boston.gov;
stefanie.seskin@boston.gov;
Michelle.Wu@boston.gov;
Ayanna.Pressley@boston.gov;
daniel.koh@boston.gov;
Frank.Baker@boston.gov;
JOSH.ZAKIM@boston.gov;
A.E.GEORGE@boston.gov;
ANDREA.CAMPBELL@boston.gov;
william.brownsberger@masenate.gov;
Jay.Livingstone@mahouse.gov;
info@bostoncyclistsunion.org

Who Bikes Boston? Claiming Your Identity in Boston's Bike Culture.

NOTE: This is the first of six guest blog posts with reflections on Boston’s first Neighborhood Bike Forum. The forum was held on April 29th in Dudley Square, Roxbury. It was sponsored by Let’s Get Healthy, Boston! a partnership between The Boston Public Health Commission and Boston Alliance for Community Health, together with Boston Cyclists Union, Transportation for MA, Mattapan Food & Fitness Coalition, Roxbury in Motion and the Boston Project Ministries. 128 people attended this four hour event.

In addition to “Who Bikes Boston,” conversations and panel discussions were held around neighborhood bike rides, tips and success stories on engaging in advocacy, how to bike safely and defensively without ideal infrastructure, youth and biking, and bikes and entrepreneurism. You can watch videos of some of the panel discussions on periscope by clicking the links, recorded and posted by Marc Ebuña of Transit Matters.

Join the conversation #ibikeBOS #bikeyourhood. 


 

Who Bikes Boston? Claiming Your Identity in Boston’s Bike Culture.  Thoughts and Reflections on the panel discussion.

By: Angela Johnson, Program Associate, Transportation for MA, Panel Facilitator; Boston Cyclists Union Board Member

Who Bikes Boston

Bike culture and identity can be a dicey subject. But it was important to make it center stage at the Boston Neighborhood Bike Forum.

In the U.S., “bikers” are on motorcycles and “cyclists” ride very expensive racing bikes. “People who bike” was conjured up as a way to describe the people in the middle — those of us who are just on a bike, for any reason. Indeed, there’s power in using this phrase, as popular perception has given the previous labels specific definitions, but I’ve always questioned why “cyclist” had to be so narrow in definition in the first place.

Now, let’s add race and ethnicity to the conversation.

Racing cyclists are often perceived to be white, male, athletic, and of higher socioeconomic status. In reality, in regards to people who bike, they’re the minority. The average person on a bike is Latino, male, and working class. Yet, unless he is suited in Lycra, he is a bike commuter, a person who bikes, or an “Invisible Cyclist”, depending on both his socioeconomic and immigration status.

The primary goal of the “Who Bikes Boston” panel was to give an opportunity for residents of color to share their experiences biking in the city, and in a setting specifically conceived for us. The secondary goal was to debate who gets to be called a cyclist. But the underlying goal was to push back against this idea that folks of color, especially Black people, don’t bike. Because we do.

From my own experience as an Afro-Latina, a cyclist, and as a transportation advocate, biking in Boston does feel quite white. For some, this perception can lead to feeling alienated in present bike spaces that associate bikes with a certain race and socioeconomic status. So, it was very important that the panel feature both speakers of color and a facilitator of color in order to foster trust. Michelle Cook, founder of Roxbury Rides, Peter Cheung, bike advocate and Boston Bike Party, and Farah Wong, Allston-Brighton Healthy Community Champion and Hubway user, each shared their unique experiences on Boston’s streets. Continue reading Who Bikes Boston? Claiming Your Identity in Boston’s Bike Culture.

A month of bike advocacy: from Make Way for Bike Lanes to the Ride for Ricky & Transportation Department Budget Hearing

 

Last month, nearly 300 people with bicycles gathered in Copley Square on a Sunday afternoon. After a short rally on the steps of Trinity Church, they pedalled down Boylston Street towards the Public Garden, a park surrounded by 4-lane, one-way roads that at times function more like highways than like city streets.

For an hour and a half these intrepid cyclists rode laps around the Public Garden with the goal of demonstrating that the roads are wide enough to not only carry the motor-vehicle traffic that uses them, but are also wide enough to accommodate parking-protected bike lanes, without a significant impact on traffic. The message was clear: it’s time for the City to make way for bike lanes.

The press, always searching for a good story, picked up our event and coverage of it appeared in the evening news and local papers. The event even elicited a response from the Mayor’s office.

Unfortunately, two weeks after calling attention to the over-built streets of the Back Bay, that are frequently the sites of drag racing and excessive speeding, a speeding car on Commonwealth Ave struck and killed Rick Archer while he was riding with a friend.

Rick’s friends quickly mobilized a ghost bike memorial, to be installed at the scene of the fatal crash on the same day that the Boston City Council held a budget hearing for the Transportation Department. Following the ghost bike dedication, almost 300 people rode to City Hall and filled the City Council chamber to capacity, forcing the City to open up TWO overflow rooms to accommodate everyone. After passionate pleas by City Councilors to the Transportation Department to do more to end traffic fatalities, dozens of Rick’s friends and advocates testified to the Council about the need to act far more quickly than is planned in order to prevent more serious injuries and fatalities on our streets.

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Photo credit: Jeff Dietrich

In the month leading up to this hearing, we called upon you to send letters and call the Mayor’s office and ask him to allocate more funding for Vision Zero. Those calls and emails, combined with the rides and the overwhelming show of support at the Transportation Department hearing, convinced the Mayor to take action.

Last week it was announced that the Vision Zero budget would be increased by 33%, from $3 to $4 million, with the additional funding going directly to the Neighborhood Slow Streets (NSS) Program. That funding will allow the City to implement the NSS Program in 5, rather than 2, neighborhoods next year.

This is a win worth celebrating. Our advocacy is working. The Mayor and our City Councilors are hearing us and taking action. While the $1 million is far short of what we’ve been asking of the Mayor, it’s a step in the right direction, and one that will have a measurable impact in our neighborhoods.

Our work is far from over, as the Mayor recently demonstrated on a radio show where he told people walking and biking to pay more attention in order to reduce traffic crashes, when we know the majority of crashes that are taking place are caused by speeding and distracted driving, but that won’t stop us from continuing to work to make Boston a truly world-class biking city, where traffic fatalities are a thing of the past.

We’re all in this together, and we will continue to call upon you to take action. Together we will transform our streets so that anyone, from a 8-year old to an 80-year old, is safe biking from home to work, school or anywhere they need to go.