Right on, ride on

Ceci n'est pas une vélo

Recently Fallen: Two Area Cyclists Struck Yesterday; Hit and Run Suspect Attempts Cash for Clunkers Trade-In

Posted by @teeheehee on 20th August 2009

I have some sad stories to share, but I think they are relevant with the current bike-car-pedestrian unfriendliness currently abuzz in the Boston area.

The first is a TreeHugger article which spreads the story of an alleged hit-and-run driver who killed a cyclist, then tried to trade his car in as part of the Cash for Clunkers program as an attempt to get rid of the evidence. An astute dealer didn’t buy Timothy Kissida’s tale that he had hit a javalina (a medium sized, pig-looking animal) and decided to follow up with a call to the police. The make, model, color, and area of damage to the car was all consistent with the hit-and-run the night before.

Next are a few articles about a Marshfield man who was struck and killed yesterday. Another boston.com article also mentions a cyclist hit in Lowell. I have not been able to find any information on the current state of the Lowell-area, I hope he does not succumb and he makes a complete recovery.

My condolences to the families of 52-year-old Charles Waldrop and 69-year-old Charles L. Campbell; my thoughts go out to the 41-year-old man struck in Lowell.

Update, August 21st:
More sad news folks, the cyclist from Lowell succumbed to his injuries. More info here.

Posted in news media, sad, wtf | 2 Comments »

Road Design: Boston.com op-ed, MassBike response

Posted by @teeheehee on 19th August 2009

You, my few readers, may recall the recent Boston.com article on Boston’s unruly riders, or the op-ed that left a particular vomit-taste in any cyclist’s mouth. Finally we may have something sane to consider and discuss: roads are designed to kill (which is another op-ed.) Excerpt:

I took a photograph of the scene where I had found the runner. When I showed this picture to friends from Sweden they asked, “This is where you live? This is your neighborhood? Your streets are designed to kill people.’’ They said that the thin painted white lines at the intersection could not be seen at dawn, nor was there a raised bump to or a narrowing of the road to demarcate the intersection and slow down traffic. They said the speed limit should be 30 kilometers per hour (about 18.6 miles per hour) or less if we wanted pedestrians to have much of a chance of surviving. They also said traffic lights increased the number of deaths because people often speed up when the light turns yellow.

 

When Sweden removed red lights from intersections and replaced them with traffic circles or rotaries, death rates at these intersections fell by 80 to 90 percent.

This is the closest article I’ve yet seen that seems in line with Liveable Streets: the engineering is directly related to the use of the system. The usual discussion page is also available.

In addition to this op-ed there is a letter in response to the Unruly riders article as written by MassBike. (Here is the discussion page.) Concluding excerpt:

By all means, let us build better roads, which lead people into safer behavior by design. But each of us can help make everyone safer now, today, by more often following the rules of the road whether driving, bicycling, or walking.

We need more of this!

Posted in news media, traffic | No Comments »

Boston Bike Sharing

Posted by @teeheehee on 29th July 2009

There’s an article today on Boston.com introducing a bike sharing proposal. (There’s also a sweet video with Nicole Freedman performing a small track stand in rainy conditions while waiting in traffic.)

From the article:

Over the next few weeks, officials expect to name the company with which they would negotiate a contract on how to run the system. They hope the program will lead to tens of thousands of people saddling up in Boston daily.

Bike sharing is the next step. The city envisions making available between 1,000 and 3,000 bikes at stations 300 or 400 yards apart, located at subway and bus stops, main squares, tourist sites, and across city neighborhoods.

This makes me wonder, would I ride my bike around as much if there were publicly accessible ones available? I guess we’ll have to wait and see, either way I’ll be very happy that a program like this will be made available.

Posted in bike friendly, news media, personal view, traffic | No Comments »

Latest BU Bridge Bike Lane Plans – Comments [Updated]

Posted by @teeheehee on 10th February 2009

The latest article from Boston.com is set up as a sounding board for all road users who use the bridge.

The biased title “BU bridge plans could spur road rage” comes from the prediction of Stanley Spiegel, you’ll see the quote in the third paragraph on the page. The article itself gives fair play to both sides of the story, then opens up for discussion among the community.

So, pay a visit, maybe even make your voice heard. Don’t get into too much of a tizzy over the comments, it’s not worth raising blood pressure over, but do try to read them and keep yourself informed. This is a microcosm of the daily struggle that a lot of riders face in the Boston/Cambridge area. I found that after a certain level of detachment is reached a comical sadness can set in.

Update

A genuine-appearing comment from DCR Commissioner Rick Sullivan offers up an e-mail address targetting public response for the Accelerated Bridge Program, of which the BU Bridge reconstruction falls under, and encourages people to contact them with their comments.

I think I might leave a couple there myself. Anyone else care to voice up?

As Commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), I am sensitive to the varying perspectives that surround this and other DCR bridge projects. We are extremely fortunate that Governor Patrick has made repairing the state’s bridges a high priority through his Accelerated Bridge Program, and we are working hard to balance the public’s many viewpoints and interests as we move forward on all our projects statewide. Regarding the BU Bridge, we are still trying to find the best ways to accommodate all traffic – including cars, trucks, buses, bicycles, and pedestrians – and I would urge anyone who would like to comment on the plans to contact the agency directly at dcr.updates [at] state.ma.us. That e-mail address has been set up specifically for feedback from the public on the Accelerated Bridge Program, so you can send your comments there for any bridge project. Also let us know if you would like to receive regular updates and notices of DCR public meetings on the agency’s bridge projects. We are doing our best to create a transparent process so that everyone’s concerns can be heard.
Rick Sullivan

The comment can be found on page 13 of the comments for the article.

Posted in news media, rant | No Comments »

Boston.com pothole map, leave your mark!

Posted by @teeheehee on 30th January 2009

Boston.com has an interactive map up right now that you can use to view noted potholes in the Boston area. You can submit your own doozies as well.

Remember, ride safely everyone! Keep an extra buffer around you if you can: with increased numbers of potholes comes more unexpected swerving from clunky cars and conscientious cyclists. (Ahh, who’m I kidding – most of you know this already, amiright?!)

Posted in safety, traffic | No Comments »

Shifting Gears

Posted by @teeheehee on 23rd March 2008

Oh, hey! Bikes Not Bombs and Bostonbiker.org got a mention today in an article from Boston.com. Check it out. After reading this I find myself wanting to read more things by Ethan Gilsdorf already.

The article goes on to introduce Shifting Gears, a regular column Ethan will write that will focus on Boston’s stated goals of becoming a world-class bicycle-friendly city. This kind of attention is precisely what we need to help keep the motivation from collapsing into apathy as can happen with governments not kept in check.

Best of luck, Ethan! Your work is supported!

Posted in bike friendly, news media | 2 Comments »