The Union Rider: February 2021

Learning session: Contra-flow Bike Lanes

What are the benefits of “contraflow” bike lanes, and where can they be used to build out Boston’s bike network? Join us on Tuesday, March 9 to learn all about contraflow bike lanes from experts in the field and BCU staff/activists! Come with questions and ideas for BCU’s advocacy on improving neighborhood streets for biking. Attendance is free, though RSVP is required.


  • Liza Burkin, Lead Organizer, Providence Streets Coalition
  • Conor Semler, Associate Planner, Kittelson & Associates
  • Theja Putta, Analyst, Toole Design Group

Contraflow Learning Session
Tuesday, March 9
5:00 – 6:30 p.m.
FREE to attend; RSVP required


Build momentum for transportation legislation!

State lawmakers have proposed a number of important transportation bills this year, including ones to reduce crashes and fatalities, support e-bike growth, and address racism and inequities in traffic enforcement. Here’s how you can help us pass these bills into law:

  • Contact your state legislators TODAY — Follow the link below for an easy-to-use form, complete with template text, to contact your representatives. There are A LOT of bills we’re advocating for, so feel free to modify the form’s text as you see fit; this is your feedback. Please note: Friday was only the first deadline for lawmakers to co-sponsor bills, so it’s not too late to still take action.


Speak up to keep State Street’s new bike lane

Last summer, Boston widened sidewalks and put a protected bike lane on State Street. However, those changes were only a pilot, or test project — and now, Boston is asking the public what they think about the new design. Speaking up now will not only show that there is support for those changes to stay in place, but will help demonstrate the political will for more transformative changes throughout Boston, too. Sharing your two cents takes only two minutes using the city’s survey form, linked belowTAKE THE SURVEY

Sign the petition: Advance safe streets in Somerville

A new coalition, Somerville Alliance for Safe Streets (SASS), has formed to push City leaders to honor the community’s shared values and stated commitments to safety, accessibility, equitable investment, and to mitigate the effects of climate change. Want to join the movement? Then sign the group’s Declaration and Call to Action, and/or sign up to volunteer below.


Chief of streets to become chief of staff to Mayor Janey

The head of Boston’s transportation and public works departments, Chief of Streets Chris Osgood, is expected to become chief of staff to City Councilor Kim Janey when she becomes interim Mayor. (Mayor Marty Walsh is still awaiting confirmation to join the Biden White House.)

We’re optimistic about what this means for transportation issues in Boston. As our executive director, Becca Wolfson, put it to StreetsblogMass: “I’ve often seen Chris Osgood as an ally in the department – he really gets the systemic change that needs to happen” … “The fact that Council President Janey has picked him for this role looks like a sign that transportation issues will be really important to her administration.”

That said, we are concerned about the void Chief Osgood’s departure will leave on the Public Works and Transportation Departments. To ease the transition, we will push for a strong replacement to fill Osgood’s big shoes, and will remain vigilant that this change does not derail vital, ongoing progress.

Job Opportunities

Chain of events

What we’re reading

  • How to Support Women on Bikes in Winter (Streetsblog)
  • Berkeley City Council Passes Sweeping Reforms to Limit Police Traffic Stops (The Appeal)
  • Cycling for Sustainable Cities (MIT Press)
  • Before Its Teardown, Somerville’s McGrath Highway Could Get A Road Diet (StreetsblogMass)
  • White drivers got more breaks for hands-free cellphone violations, early data shows (WCVB)