The Union Rider: April 2020

Keeping people safe while
making essential trips

Along with our partners in the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition, the BCU has called on city and state leaders to take specific steps to keep people safe during this crisis, including making more space for people to walk and bike. (Read our full statement here.) Brookline has extended sidewalks, the Department of Conservation and Recreation has closed some roads to traffic, and Cambridge has requested that DCR close Memorial Drive, too. In Boston, City Councillors Michelle Wu and Liz Breadon are pushing for a hearing about doing the same there. We’ll continue to advocate on your behalf on this issue, and will keep you informed of opportunities to get involved in that advocacy.

A Boston Bike Budget walk-along meeting, in March

Testify in support of the Boston Bike Budget

Next Thursday, May 7, the Boston City Council will hold a hearing about the next fiscal year’s proposed budgets (FY21) for the Public Works and Transportation Departments. This includes an increase, to $2.6 million, for the city’s capital budget for building bike lanes. We had originally asked for more funding through our #BostonBikeBudget campaign, but given the slowing of projects due to challenges around engagement and construction, we are pleased with this modest increase and the commitment to bike projects across the City, as well as other specifics in Mayor Walsh’s proposal. We encourage Boston residents to tune in next week and share your stories about why bike lanes matter to you so we can ensure this increased funding makes it into the final budget. For more info about how to watch the livestream and testify, either during the hearing or in writing beforehand, click here.SUPPORT THE BOSTON BIKE BUDGET

How has COVID-19 impacted
how you get around?

Last week, we relaunched our #BostonBikeStory project to highlight how coronavirus is impacting how people get around. (Read the first installment here.) We’d love to hear from more of you about this topic, especially those of you who work in essential jobs. Email with “Boston Bike Story” in the subject line if you’d like to share your story.

Image: Peter Cheung

Ghost Bike Ceremony for Thomas Anderson

We are saddened to share that on Wednesday, April 22, Thomas Anderson was killed by a person driving a truck while riding his bike at the corner of Mass Ave. and Harrison. Our condolences go out to his family and community. This was the first cyclist fatality of 2020. His death is a reminder that we must continue to push for safety regulations on trucks, like the legislation currently at the Statehouse, and to secure safe, separated infrastructure and signal timing for cyclists especially on high-truck routes. The city is working on designs for separated bike lanes, wider sidewalks and other safety improvements on this stretch of Mass Ave., which they say will be implemented in spring 2021. We are working with Ghost Bikes Boston and Reverend Laura Everett to hold a viritual ghost bike dedication ceremony sometime in the next week. We will post details on our Facebook page when we have them.

Bikes Not Bombs: Bike Match Program

Bikes Not Bombs is seeking bike donations to direct to people in need of some wheels. This program, part of the national “Bike Match” movement begun in New York City, aims to connect first responders, medical professionals, and other essential workers with free bicycles during the coronavirus pandemic. 


Bicycle-friendly business spotlights

With coronavirus devastating local businesses, we’re highlighting in our newsletter bicycle-friendly small businesses and sharing how you can support them in this difficult time.

Flat Top Johnny’s has been a stalwart supporter of the BCU for years, offering generous financial support to our organization, hosting our events and sponsoring Bos/treal. John Adams, the owner, is personally a long-time Boston cyclist and advocate. Though the restaurant, bar and pool hall is currently closed, you can support Flat Top Johnny’s through this difficult time buy buying a gift card here.

home.stead bakery + cafe serves delicious food and drinks in Dorchester’s Fields Corner neighborhood, and supports the community through intimate events and its business practices, like hiring locally and composting. The owners, Vivian, Elisa and Jack, have also regularly offered up the cafe for bike-related meetings and events including hosting Dotbike, the Dorchester chapter of the BCU. While home.stead is also closed at this time due to coronavirus, you can support the cafe and its staff by donating to their fundraiser here. As a bonus, if you live within walking/biking distance you’ll get a free sourdough loaf in return!

Biking in the time of COVID-19 

Coronavirus has changed everything about our daily lives, including best practices for biking. So to answer any questions you may have about the safety and practicality of biking at this time, we put together the following FAQ.


What We’re Reading

Chain of events

  • Boston City Council Hearing: Transportation and Public Works Budgets — 5/7
  • Louis D Brown Mother’s Day Walk for Peace — 5/14
    Last year, we got a BCU team together for this walk, and although we aren’t able to do so this year with coronavirus, we encourage you to donate to this community organization working to make streets safer. Street safety to us means safety from many forms of violence, not only traffic violence. The Louis D Brown Peace Institute is a center of healing, teaching, and learning for families and communities impacted by murder, grief, trauma, and loss.
  • Boston Cyclists Union Activist Group Meeting — 5/19
    Please note: As of now we plan to conduct this meeting remotely via Zoom. Email Eliza at if you would like to get notifications and details about Activist Group meetings. 

Full chain of events here.