Talbot Ave bike lanes about two months away!

Many of you have surely noticed that Talbot Avenue is being repaved this week. Suspense is building up in anticipation of the first bike lanes in any neighborhood of color in the city and the first win for the BCU and a passel of neighborhood groups! But hold your horses, there’s still more work to do before the stripes go down.

According to the public works department, about two months of work to bring adjacent sidewalks up to ADA (American Disability Act) compliance with new ramps is required before bike lanes can be laid down. This is an interesting hitch that our advocacy is running into more and more. Repaving a street is routine and requires no extra alterations, but laying down a bike lane constitutes a design change and thus requires ADA compliance—which makes bike lanes much more expensive than they otherwise would be. Of course, it’s also a win because it gives better access to the street for disabled persons and our older residents.

The Talbot Avenue bike lane effort was begun by BCU director Pete Stidman while at the Dorchester Environmental Health Coalition by building on and amplifying the work a individuals and organizations in the neighborhood, including DotBike, the Codman Square Neighborhood Council, the BOLD Teens, the Codman Square Health Center, the Talbot Washington Safe Neighborhood Initiative, and others.

This campaign and a handful of others in Dorchester formed the basis of the BCU model: Taking the cycling safety goals of neighborhood residents and making them real through focused advocacy. Essentially, the BCU amplifies neighborhood advocacy using the BCU’s strong connections in city and state governments and by building a massive citywide BCU membership to back up individual neighborhood demands. Being citywide also allows us to tackle larger issues, like crash reporting and better training for MBTA bus drivers.

Starting this Sunday at the BCU’s table at the Bikes Not Bombs Grassroots Festival in Jamaica Plain, anyone will be able to become a member of the Union—whether you ride every day or just wish you could feel safe enough to ride every day. Membership dues will be $25 per year if you find us in person (online membership coming soon!) and will support all of our advocacy efforts in the city.

Continuing our work, which has been so successful thus far (we also have won plans for bike lanes on Columbia Road, Blue Hill Avenue, Warren Street, and MLK Blvd) will be highly dependent on a strong union membership.

For updates on Talbot Avenue, stay tuned to the BCU website, sign up for our newsletter, or connect with us on Facebook.

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  1. Phil Lindsay on June 16, 2010 at 8:06 am

    MassBike did work with the Bold Teens as probably the initial foray on Talbot Avenue. They did a great job with their traffic survey!

  2. pete on June 16, 2010 at 8:20 am

    Yep. The BOLD Teens did a great job on that. I’m not sure, but I think even before that Leslie Moore and the Washington-Talbot Neighborhood Safety Initiative were advocating for lanes on Talbot. But in any case, it’s a big win for the neighborhood and I’m proud to have been a part of it.

  3. Charlie Denison on June 16, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Great work guys! Glad to hear that so many roads in Dorchester will be getting bike lanes!

  4. Sarah Fresco on June 30, 2010 at 7:02 am

    Glad to see that Bike Lanes are coming to Talbot Ave. The Green Street Initiative has been recommended for a Federal Grant that will allow us to expand Walk/Ride Day Program to Boston neighborhoods. We have gotten a jump on things with outreach at Healthworks Foundation in June–they will be doing on going raffles on Walk/Ride Days. It would be great to see a bike ride happening on a Walk/Ride Day on Talbot and in the surrounding neighborhood once work is complete.

    Please contact me so we can get this effort going.

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