Over the years, the Boston Cyclists Union has worked hard to improve biking over the winter.
In the 2013/2014 winter, the coordinated #WinterBiker campaign was launched in response to poor clearing of the Southwest Corridor. Through a targeted social media campaign with Allston-Brighton Bikes, Southie Bikes, other neighborhood bike groups and individual activists, and using #WinterBiker on social media, we told a powerful story of the large number of people who continue to bike through the winter, and demonstrated that our municipalities have an obligation to clear bicycle lanes and paths.
The successful campaign led to the formation of a committee of transportation advocates and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) to deal with snow clearance and other issues important to our bike network and infrastructure. Our advocacy has led to the acquisition of new equipment to allow our municipalities to clear snow off of separated bike lanes and paths. We have continued to elevate issues of snow clearance to each municipality as they have arisen.
Last winter, Bike Union staff Becca and Doug, along with Board President Steve Bercu, went to Montreal for the Winter Cycling Congress. Conference sessions left them inspired to continue to push the region to innovate and make our streets more accessible for people to bike through winter.
We already know, through summer and winter counts on the Southwest Corridor, Longwood Ave, and the Eco Totem in Kendall Square, that 40-50% of the people who bike in the summer continue to bike in winter. Data like these counts are important tools to help us with advocating for better winter clearance, for more protected infrastructure and equipment to keep it clear of snow, and for year-round Hubway operations (which we’re getting, in Boston, starting this year!)
Now, here is where we need you: we are releasing a Winter Biking Survey to get a rich set of data about who rides in the winter, who doesn’t ride in the winter, what people experience, and what could be improved. Please help us out by taking 5-15 minutes of your time to fill out this survey. Even if you don’t bike in the winter, it’s very valuable for us to have your data — please fill out the survey! Share this with your friends, and colleagues, and people you know on social media. The good news? Anyone who fills this out by November 26th at 11:59pm will be entered to win a Bern Helmet and other great prizes!
A big thank you to Alta Planning + Design who inspired us to launch this survey at the Winter Cycling Congress in Montreal in 2017.