Entries tagged: Boston Cyclists Union
A Fresh Idea: Boston Bike to Market
Attend one of Boston’s vibrant farmers’ markets and you’ll find healthy foods, an active community, and a growing number of bikes. The Boston Cyclists Union’s Bike to Market program, which began in 2010, is expanding to hold 58 distinct market events this June through September.
During Bike to Market events, volunteers and mechanics run bike repair stations and encourage safety by selling low-cost helmets. In communities where bike theft is a problem, folks at the market booth distribute locks and demonstrate how to use them. The program is a natural fit among the vendor booths and highlights the connection between wholesome food and physical activity.
“We can see the direct impact that we’re making,” says Pete Stidman, executive director of the Boston Cyclists Union. “In two years, we’ve repaired over 1,600 bikes. About 10 percent of those came out of the basement, garage or weren’t in use. This year our goal is 1,200.”
It isn’t just about tune-ups, though. The Bike to Market program also provides a venue for community outreach. Cyclists discuss ways to make biking in Boston safer and easier, and they even mark neighborhood maps with the improvements they would like to see. Through this grassroots outreach and improved survey and evaluation tools, the organization can prioritize projects and gauge the economic and community benefits bicycling is producing.
To read more about the Bike to Market program, visit the Boston Cyclists Union website here.
Posted by jake on March 30, 2012
Tags: boston cyclists union, bike to market
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Boston Cyclists Union Celebrates New Design for Casey Overpass
The Boston Cyclists Union had a major win last week, when the vote on the Casey Overpass came back with the decision to build at at-grade roadway.
The Casey Overpass is a crumbling bridge in the Jamaica Plains neighborhood of Boston. The bridge has to be torn down, and the debate raged over what to replace it with: a new bridge, or a new street-level road?
Replacing the old bridge with a new bridge seems like the easiest solution, however building that bridge would not include bike lanes, while the at-grade solutions would include greenery, bike lanes, and a generally more pedestrian-friendly atmosphere.
The Boston Cyclsits’ Union worked hard to see this happen. “We had a working advisory group and a neighborhood that was pretty divided as the process inched forward over the last year, but we were able to pull together a wide coalition of neighborhood and interest groups and dozens of passionate neighborhood activists to get the information out there on the project’s potential benefits for active transportation, economic development and even increased social activity,” Pete Stidman said of the efforts over the past year.
As the project moves forward, Pete is hopeful about what this means for the rest of Boston and active transportation. “The really exciting thing about the project is that it signals the beginning of a very different paradigm in street design in Boston and maybe Massachusetts altogether, which will now join several other urban areas around the nation that are moving away from elevate highways toward pedestrian and bike friendly boulevards. Hopefully this is the first in a long line of major reconstruction projects that will gradually make Boston’s streets among the safest and most beautiful in the country.”
Read more about the project here.
Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on March 13, 2012
Tags: casey overpass, boston cyclists union, boston
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Thanks to Advocates’ Nomination, Boston Official Headed to Velo-City
A few months ago, we told you about an innovative idea from SRAM and Bikes Belong to award scholarships to Spanish-speaking elected officials to attend Velo-City 2011.
Next month, the world’s premiere bicycle conference will bring together top leaders from around the globe and, thanks to nominations from Alliance member organizations, and a handful of Latino officials from across the United States will have a front row — and back room — ticket to the proceedings in Seville, Spain.
The Boston Cyclists Union was just one organization that nominated a local, Spanish-speaking official for this unique opportunity. Last week, the BCU celebrated the Velo-City scholarship awarded to Felix G. Arroyo, a city councilmember with family roots in Puerto Rico. Pete Stidman, the BCU’s executive director, says Arroyo has been a leader on issues related to asthma and a supporter of the BCU since its inception. Having Arroyo on the ground in Seville, talking to fellow city-level officials who have installed 75 miles of bikeways since 2007 and boosted its bicycle ridership from .6 to 6 percent, could plant the seeds of progress back home in Boston.
“Witnessing Seville’s transformation firsthand and absorbing the information from around the world at Velo-City could be a very enriching experience, giving Arroyo cutting-edge knowledge and tools to help move our city toward a safer and more enjoyable cycling environment,” Stidman says.
Arroyo certainly sounds excited about the experience. “I’m grateful for this opportunity brought to me by the Boston Cyclists Union,” he wrote in BCU’s latest newsletter. “By participating in this program, I can learn additional ways the city can further enhance Boston Bikes and other programs to facilitate bike usage in the city.”
We’ll keep you posted as other organizations — from cities like Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas — announce their Seville-bound officials. But, we’d wager all them share Stidman’s sentiment: “We’re grateful to SRAM and Bikes Belong,” he says, “for this brilliant idea and the money to make it happen.”
Posted by Carolyn S on February 28, 2011
Tags: velocity 2011, sram, scholarship, pete stidman, felix g arroyo, boston cyclists union, boston, bikes belong
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CORRECTED: MassBike and BCU: Improving Bus-Bike Relations on Boston Streets
In my post last week about the new bike-friendly developments with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, I failed to give the Boston Cyclists Union their due. The BCU played a key role in discussions with the MTBA and their work should have been highlighted in the headline. Thanks to BCU founder and director, Pete Stidman, for bringing the omission to my attention!
Speaking of progress in Boston, several other Alliance member organizations — MassBike, LivableStreets, and the Boston Cyclists Union — have been building on their relationships with the local transit agency to enhance bicyclists’ access to stations and safety on the streets.
Back in April, advocates from MassBike and the Boston Cyclists Union met with officials at the MBTA to discuss how they could work together to better align cyclists and buses as allies, instead of enemies, on city streets. The result: An improved bicyclist safety training for bus drivers that draws on best practices from other areas, like Chicago.
Last month, David Watson, executive director for MassBike attended one of the trainings. “We are happy to report that the new training is a vast improvement over past policies and should go a long way to making bicyclists safer on the roads,” MassBike reported in its newsletter. “During the training, a bus driver will review past incidents, participate in a classroom session with a bicycling advocate present to answer questions, go through a number of bicyclist-driver simulations, and finally be tested through road evaluations. The end result should be a bus driver who is knowledgeable and well-prepared for operating a bus safely around bicyclists.”
The MBTA is also making it easier, and safer, for cyclists to take advantage of public transit themselves. Again, with some urging from Boston advocates, the agency is upping its parking options for folks on two wheels.
“From now through next spring, the MBTA will be installing 50 BikePorts around their stations,” MassBike says. “The BikePorts are canopied bike racks, so you’ll be able to lock up with some protection from the elements… During 2011, the T will also complete six more Pedal & Parks — the T’s secure bike-parking facilities. So far, the three operational Pedal & Parks have been a huge success, and are constantly filled with bicycles. The new facilities… will be able to hold 100-150 bicycles… Lastly, over the next 18 months, 100 percent of the MBTA’s bus fleet will be equipped with bike racks, so you’ll finally be able to rely on the next bus having a rack (and let your bike do some of the riding for a change).”
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