- Bike4Life Ride
Issue #55 / March 2011
#55 / March 2011
In this issue
· Spring member meet & greet, April 27, 6-8 PM - Mark your calendar.
· Support transportation. It's as easy as 1, 2, 3.
· Join the LivableStreets board
· City of Boston wants your input, April 5
· Longfellow Bridge public meeting, April 11
· Mass Ave, Arlington public meeting, April 12
· Casey Overpass / Forest Hills project public meeting, April 6
· Economic benefits of multimodalism
· Cities release new bikeway design guide
· Wish list: computer-savvy volunteer
· Transportation, health, and livable communities blog update
Calendar - Click here to view full listing of upcoming events and public meetings
Spring member meet & greet
Short films, potluck, happy hour
Wed, April 27, 6:00-8:00 pm
Membership required. Renew/join for discounted membership. Free for members.
LivableStreets is celebrating spring, and hosting a kickoff to bike month, with you! Come to our office to meet fellow members, watch short films, bring a dish to share, and more!
Spring has arrived, people are out walking and bicycling more, and thoughts of BBQs and freshly paved bike lanes are on our minds! With everyone bundled up through the long winter months, now is the time to get to know the LivableStreets community. Take advantage of this special member-only event to relax, have fun, and meet other transportation enthusiasts.
Mark your calendars. Registration and more details coming soon!
> Questions? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, call 617.621.1746
Action e-lert _____________________________________________________
Support transportation. It's as easy as 1, 2, 3.
Call your representative today!
1. Go to wheredoivotema.com
2. Enter your address
3. Call your representatives, and say I support the 'Transportation Economic Development and Ridership Act HB2660'
What is HB2660 legislation?
The Act builds for the future of the Commonwealth by spurring job creation and economic development through maintaining and repairing roads and bridges; growing public transportation ridership across all transit modes each year; and creating improved regional fairness and equity in the way that we fund transportation across the Commonwealth.
LivableStreets Alliance is one of over 20 community supporters of the act. For more information, check out a fact sheet here >>>
Seeking board members to help grow LivableStreets
Apply, or nominate someone, today
We have grown from a volunteer-led organization to a staff-led organization. Now we're ready to grow to the next level!
Seeking enthusiastic, resourceful people who have organizational development experience in one or more of the following areas: strategic planning, business development and sponsorship, grant writing and fundraising, marketing and PR, membership development, treasurer, certified accountant, and law. Responsibilities include:
Apply online, or nominate someone you know, with this short form: http://livablestreets.info/help-us-make-livable-streets-reality.
For more information about LivableStreets Alliance, visit www.LivableStreets.info.
City of Boston wants your input!
Tuesday, April 5, 5:30-8:30 pm
@ Madison Park High School, Cardinal Hall, 75 Malcolm X Boulevard, Roxbury
The City of Boston is hosting a Bicycle Network event to get your input on what you would like to see in the future.
The creation of a network plan is an exciting opportunity to connect existing, and create new, bicycle routes to create safer conditions and encourage more people to bicycle. Separated bicycle lanes, connections to major transit nodes, and consistent signage, are some of the recommendations LivableStreets has for creating a world-class transportation network. This is the first of two public meetings by the City, and LivableStreets is a member of the Boston Bicycle Network Advisory Committee.
For more information, click here >>>
Longfellow Bridge public meeting
Speak up for better biking and walking!
WHAT? Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is holding a public meeting regarding the Longfellow Bridge reconstruction project. MassDOT is preparing to submit an updated Environmental Assessment to the Federal Highway Administration this Spring, which will include the recommendations of the Task Force that met in the Summer of 2010.
WHY GO? We have achieved a more open, transparent process, and temporary improvements to the sidewalks entering Charles Circle/MGH, but now is the time to speak up about final designs! LivableStreets encourages the public to attend and support designs that allocate more space to pedestrians and bicyclists than the bridge does currently.
BACKGROUND: The Longfellow Bridge is one of six Charles River bridges undergoing full reconstruction in the coming years as part of the State Accelerated Bridge program. LivableStreets started the Better Bridges Campaign to ensure that in addition to structural repairs, improvements for people on the bridges are part of each project. We are advocating for bicycle lanes, safer crossings, access to parklands, bridge underpasses, and improved transit connections.
Mass Ave, Arlington public meeting
Tuesday, April 12, 7 pm
@ Arlington Town Hall, 730 Mass Ave, Arlington
WHAT: MassDOT will be holding the 25% Design Public Hearing for the Mass Ave Arlington Project (from Cambridge City Line to Pond Lane), and it is the last big opportunity for the public to express their views about the project.
LIVABLESTREETS POSITION: strongly supports the proposed design, which includes wider sidewalks, bike lanes, new and improved crosswalks, and clearly defined travel lanes, all while serving the current and projected traffic volumes. These improvements will result in a street that is safer and more appealing for all modes of transportation.
We urge folks who use Mass Ave to attend this meeting and speak in support of the proposed design. Your voice is critical at this time!
Casey Overpass/Forest Hills project public meeting
Wednesday, April 6, 6:00-8:30 pm (6-6:30 open house, 6:30-8:30 meeting)
@ Agassiz School Community Center, 20 Child St, Jamaica Plain
LIVABLESTREETS POSITION: favors designs that help re-knit the parklands and improve connectivity and safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit riders, while accommodating motor vehicles through the corridor.
For more information, click here >>>
Economic Benefits of Multimodalism
Sustainable transportation infrastructure draws 20-40% more patrons
Several new resources document the ways that walkable, bikeable streets are good not only for our personal health, but for our community's economic health too. A one-page brief from Bristol, Australia notes that neighborhood shops with sustainable transportation infrastructure draw in 20% to 40% more patrons than those in less pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods and people traveling by foot, bike, or public transportation were more likely to support their local shops than car drivers.
The National Building Museum's Intelligent Cities initiative took a closer look at how that works: by reducing expenditures on cars, people might opt to move closer to public transportation and to shops, work, and services - and spend the money otherwise put toward fuel and insurance into their local economies. Over at Grist, columnist Elly Blue launched a new series on "bikenomics" with the first two installments exploring how bicycling adds value to local and regional economies and the ways auto-centric infrastructure is far more costly to maintain and expand than retrofitting existing streets to be more bike friendly, offering numerous examples.
This piece was originally published in the CompleteStreets.org March 2011 news.
Cities release new bikeway design guide
New manual reflects spread of innovative street designs in U.S.
At the National Bike Summit earlier this month, Janette Sadik-Khan, NYC DOT Commissioner and NACTO President, announced the release of a new bikeway design guide.
"NACTO,a coalition of transportation commissioners from major American cities [including Boston], launched a new design manual for bicycle-friendly streets... NACTO undertook the project because many of its members found existing design manuals inadequate for their efforts to promote bicycle transportation... Tom Tinlin, Commissioner of Transportation for the City of Boston, said, "NACTO's Cities for Cycling Urban Bikeway Design Guide is perfect for any city looking to start a bike program at the highest level." Read full press release here >>>
This is a great new document that cities, consultants and advocates can use when designing streets. See the guide here >>>
Computers and computer-savvy volunteers
LivableStreets is seeking a computer guru to come to our office one day and help get our computers up to top notch for 2011 and beyond! Are you familiar with Mac and PC processors? Know how to install Windows, DVD drivers, wireless applications, and more? You think so? Great! Contact email@example.com to find out more. It would be a huge help!
Don't know much about computers, but want to volunteer? Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to join the volunteer list serve and let us know about your interests!
Do you have a working computer you want to donate? E-mail email@example.com. Thank you!
by Steve Miller, LivableStreets board member
Transportation systems are shaped by the money spent to create them and how those investments are prioritized. Like most states, Massachusetts has spent the past 50 years or so under spending on walking and bicycling (and transit) facilities, most glaringly through it's under use of the available federal Transportation Enhancement and Recreational Trail Program funds. But the eager media coverage of the isolated opposition to the small changes that have occurred is so out of scale that it feels like the "backlash" is more of a media creation than a news story. The media also hyperventilated about the "falling light fixture story" - missing the real news that public safety was actually protected by positive changes in MassDOT's operations and culture.
Complaints are fun, but useful suggestions are better. And after this winter, we need to work on making it safer and easier to cycle through the snow. We also need to remember that safety is as much about perception as it is about road structures.
Finally, most public action takes place through "programs" - not just in transportation but also in public health, community development, social services, and everything else. We need to design those programs in ways that build supportive constituencies, help understaffed agencies develop capacity, and create enough visible improvements to justify their continued funding.
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