- Bike4Life Ride
Issue #38 / September 2009
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In this issue
· Tell Congress To Support Public Transportation, Cycling, and Pedestrian Facilities
· LivableStreets hosts new blog
· Craigie Bridges at Museum of Science gets bike-friendlier during construction
· New bicycle lanes in Boston and Cambridge
· Progress in Somerville
· Volunteers needed: Boston Bikes bicycle counts
· Launch of "bike rack request" website
· Join LivableStreets Alliance team and volunteer at Hub On Wheels, Sun, Sept 27
· Professional bicycle racing returns to Boston
· Rail-Volution conference is coming to Boston
· A library of success stories
Abu Dhabi: sustainable transportation in the desert? The future of urban mobility in the Middle East
by Mark Chase, Transportation Planning Consultant
Thurs, Oct 1, 7-9 pm
@ LivableStreets office, 100 Sidney St, Cambridge [ map...]
What are oil rich cities are doing with the money we spend on gasoline? The Capitol of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, has launched an ambitious effort to become the world's greenest city by transforming itself from a car-centric city to one that is pedestrian, transit and bicycle friendly: all in less than seven years. Come and learn, through Mark's first hand experience, why and how this change is taking place.
Mark Chase has transportation planning experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors. He was part of the senior management team that launched the innovative car-sharing program Zipcar.com, and GoLoco.org, an innovative web-based car-pooling tool. Mark is actively involved with car-parking reform as key component of sustainable transportation systems. Currently Mark is a consulting associate for Nelson/Nygaard Consulting Associates, and is a professor at Tufts University.
StreetTalks are open to the public, $5 suggested donation, beer/sodas provided compliments of Harpoon Brewery and delivered thanks to Metro Pedal Power.
Sponsored by LivableStreets Alliance. For more information, click here.
> Related Article: 'A Zero-Emissions City in the Desert: Oil-rich Abu Dhabi is building a green metropolis. Should the rest of the world care?' from Technology Review, March/April 2009. "The construction is the start of a vast experiment, an attempt to create the world's first car-free, zero-carbon-dioxide-emissions, zero-waste city."Read on >>>
> Related Article: 'Abu Dhabi Releases Ambitious Transport Plan' from The Transport Politic, Feb 2009. "Abu Dhabi's future, hope the city's planners, will be sustainable and result in a pedestrian-oriented, less polluted environment. As a result, the plan envisions tramways running throughout the city, with many parallel lines along the waterfront. In certain districts, the city plans personal rapid transit service, which would supplement the streetcar system." Read on >>>
August StreetTalk movie screening a big hit!
On August 26, over sixty people attended the LivableStreets StreetTalk to watch the film 'Taken for a Ride', the story of how the automobile industry hastened a shift from public transportation to private cars through tactics ranging from cultural propaganda to ripping up tracks, followed by a lively discussion about transit today. If you missed the movie screening, or want to show the movie to a friend, you can find it online here.
Tell Congress To Support Public Transportation, Cycling, and Pedestrian Facilities
"Here's a riddle: what is inexpensive, accessible to all, can help create jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on foreign oil, improves the health and safety of Americans, and has a great return on investment for our country?" asks Transportation for America.
The answer is public transportation. Even though health care reform will dominate the rest of the legislative session, Congress must also deal with several transportation-related bills including the Fiscal Year 2010 Appropriations bills, the passage of a long-term surface transportation authorization bill or an extension of current transportation programs, and climate change legislation.
· Contact your members of Congress and urge them to pass the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations bill prior to the end of the fiscal year on September 30.
For details, see the American Public Transportation Association website or Transportation For America
LivableStreets Alliance Hosts New Blog
"Musings on transportation, health, and livable communities" written by Steve Miller, a founding LivableStreets board member. It serves as an "op-ed" section rather than the official editorial position of the organization. Postings are intended to be analytic commentaries about larger issues rather than a daily recounting of personal activity or opinions.
"We are as we move. We make personal choices, but those choices are shaped by our surroundings. And our surroundings are shaped by a web of inter-connected systems including transportation, energy, technologies, economics, and more. These systems make some choices easy and others extremely difficult - even to the point of shaping our assumptions about what is possible versus what we don't even bother thinking about," the blog overview states.
"Transportation, like the others, has a huge impact on where we live and work, the kinds of work we do, the types of food and shelter we consume, how we play and relate to others, our health, our environment, and everything else. As Winston Churchill said about architecture - "We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us" - so, too, about transportation."
"This blog will explore how our transportation system can be structured to improve our lives - by creating more livable streets."
Miller's blog can be accessed fromLivableStreets Alliance's home page or directly at http://blog.livablestreets.info/.
Some recent postings include:
Why the Dutch Don't Wear Bike Helmets: Building Safety Into The Road
What Happens If You Build It...Or If You Take It Away?
Craigie Bridge at Museum of Science Gets Bike-friendlier during construction period
Signs of changes can be seen during the construction of the Craigie draw and dam bridges. Because of advocacy work by LivableStreets Alliance and others, the state Department of Conservation and Recreation has significantly improved its plans for the Charles River bridges to incorporate better accommodations for walking and cycling.
As part of the DCR repair of the bridges, sharrows (share the road symbols) and "Bicyclists May Use Full Lane" signs have been installed. We hope this will help bicyclists riding in the roadway and for motorists to give bicyclists their space.
For more information on our advocacy work, check out our project page here >>>
New bicycle lanes in Boston & Cambridge
New bike lanes on Columbus Avenue and North Harvard Street; plans for lanes on Commonwealth Ave.
Boston add additional bike lanes by the end of this year. Two notable locations are on Columbus Avenue in the South End (shown here) and along North Harvard Street in Allston. Local observers have noted that cyclists seem more likely to stop at the red lights at the end of the lanes now that they feel they have a safer space on the road. And cars are no longer parking in the bike lane now that the city has started ticketing violators.
There was a public meeting at the Copley Public Library in Boston to discuss extending bike lanes on Commonwealth Ave from Kenmore to the Public Gardens. A proposed design will place the lanes on the left-hand side along the mall -- away from the parked (and double-parked) cars. As the consultant pointed out in response to complaints of "wild cyclists," the addition of bicycle facilities typically increases compliance of traffic controls by bicyclists.
Also, check out the new bike lanes installed this week on River Street in Cambridge; bike lanes on companion Western Avenue were added last year.
Progress in Somerville
Keep up the momentum by emailing the Mayor!
Somerville Avenue rebuilding will soon end and, through the efforts of LivableStreets Alliance members and others, 1.2 miles of continuous bike lanes from Porter Square to Union Square will be installed. Next spring the City is planning to stripe bike lanes along Broadway between Magoun Square and McGrath Highway. Sharrows (shared lane markings) have also been added to Elm, Mossland, Washington and Park Street - about 1.3 miles combined.
If you bike through Somerville, show your support for these improvements by sending anemail to Mayor Joe Curtatone. If you're a Somerville resident, you can also e-mail your Alderman (find your Alderman here).
Join the PARK(ing) Day Celebrations - Friday all day
Tomorrow, Fri, Sept 18, join us to reclaim a piece of the street for social life.
LivableStreets Alliance and WalkBoston will transform a parking space in front of Boston City Hall into a mini-park with sod, chairs and a hammock. The first ever PARK(ing) day spot was last year in front of city hall (photo). Watch our film about last year here >>>
Other Boston PARK(ing) Day parks will be on Newbury Street in front of the Boston Architectural College, on Commonwealth Avenue at Boston University, in Allston at the intersection of Brighton Ave and Harvard Ave. There will be two parks in Cambridge - one in Harvard Square and one in Porter Square.
Originally created by Rebar, San Francisco art and design collective, PARK(ing) Day is an annual, one-day, global event where artists, activists, and citizens collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spots into "PARK(ing)" spaces: temporary public parks intended to promote creativity, civic engagement, critical thinking, unscripted social interactions, generosity and play.
For a press release, click here >>>
MoveMASS: Creating an MBTA that is Accessible to All
Tuesday, September 22, 2009 8:15-9:30 AM
@ Brown Rudnick, One Financial Center, across from South Station (Photo ID is required for entry to building)
Gary Talbot, MBTA's Assistant General Manager for System-wide Accessibility, and Chris Hart, Director of Transit and Urban Projects at Institute for Human Centered Design and LivableStreets Alliance Board Member will be speaking.
Click here for more information.
Volunteers Needed: Boston Bikes bicycle counts
The Boston Bikes program are counting the number of cyclists in select areas around the City of Boston.
The things that are counted, count. Boston Bikes needs to document how the city's new bike lanes have changed the number of on-road cyclists, and develop baselines for measuring the impact of future improvements.
Launch of "bike rack request" website
When you bike to your Boston or Cambridge destination and can't find a bike rack, what do you do? Lock to a sign, railing, or (gasp) tree? Now you can use our new on-line website to request a location-just point to the location on a google-map! All the requests are delivered to the bike-rack coordinators in each city who will add them to the queue. Made possible in part with funding from REI/Bicycle Friendly Communities Grant, and some tech-savvy volunteers!
Click here to request bike racks in Cambridge or Boston.
Join the LivableStreets Team at Hub on Wheels
Hub On Wheels, Boston Mayor Menino's annual Bike Ride & Festival, has played a critical role in raising public awareness for the Boston Bikes program. LivableStreets Alliance has been involved in Hub On Wheels since its inception. This year, you can both join the city-wide ride and support LivableStreets (at no extra cost). When registering, just indicate that you are a member of the LivableStreets Alliance team when prompted for a team affiliation.
Not riding, but want to get involved? Volunteer for LivableStreets on Sept 26 & 27 at Boston City Hall during the bicycle festival. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Professional Bicycle Racing Returns to Boston
For the first time in 20 years, Boston will host an elite level professional bicycle race at city hall on Saturday, September 26th.
The first annual TD Bank Mayor's Cup Pro Race on Saturday, September 26th starts at 2 pm with a Boloco Block Party, then a kids race, a mascot race, men and women's pro races (with equal prize money for each), and wraps up with a free concert featuring Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra.
Check it out today and enter to win a free bicycle.
Rail-Volution Conference is coming to Boston
RailVolution brings together advocates, policy-makers, technical experts, and others interested in making transit and land-use work together for the betterment of our communities and country. From Oct. 29 through Nov. 1 this huge event will be in Boston. LivableStreets Alliance will be attending, and participating in the "Advocates Reception" on the opening night. See Rail-Volution Registration and Scholarship Information for more information.
A Library of Success Stories
Case studies for advocacy, classroom, or simple morale building.
The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center Case Study Compendium contains a collection of all of the case studies developed by the PBIC and the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP). The case studies, or success stories, cover pedestrian and bicycle projects and programs from across the US and abroad, including engineering, education, enforcement, encouragement, planning, health promotion, and comprehensive safety initiatives.