Archive for July, 2010

Where was the process?

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

While one thought of dotiderblog is just to retire and fade into the background and then resurface once the bike share becomes the fiasco we think it will be, we’ve decided to hang around and review how we got to a bike share…. Were there extensive surveys to see if there was a constituency? Not that I saw… Was there tons of public process (hearings) to get resident feedback? The only hearing I attended I was shouted down by Councilor Connolly and told I was out of line, but as yet I have not been presented with a public forum to present my views… So who decided Boston needed a bike share? It wasn’t a grass roots uprising of local activists. Apparently there was someone pushing the agenda that got Nicole fired up. Are you out there? Can you explain why this idea makes any sense when our infrastructure is pathetic and regular riders are not getting the service they need? We won’t hear from you, because you’ve won and we just have to live with the consequences. Thanks a lot!

City Hall = City Stall SOP

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

The Mayor’s Bike Program and its progress or lack there of reflects what is typical of a new initiative. Remember it took the Menino administration 16 years to get its curbside recycling program to be comprehensive. It still stinks in terms of how many of us actually recycle. So biking is about the same.

The Mayor hired Nicle Freedman. She’s got a fancy degree but she’s missing ears and much political savy outside of kissing Menino’s butt and acting smart and perky with ideas in his presence. I’m glad I’ve never witnessed that as I might gag.

He’s let her go out with this assinine bike share program. It’s already broken all of its stated goals and outlines. It was supposed to be up and running by now. Nope. It was supposed to be free. Nope $3 million in Federal Tax dollars. Why Menino didn’t see that it didn’t cover Boston means he doesn’t care and wasn’t paying attention. Thanks Tom.

Now all we here is poor Nicole is toooo busy to keep on Public Works and the state to keep bike accomodation as part of every repaving project on any major thoroughfare in Boston. Dorchester has missed getting lanes on Bowdoin Street and Park Drive already. Bowdoin is a very bikey stretch used primarily by my minority neighbors who dominate that part of town. I ride through there often. The roads are wide and there was plenty of room for lanes. I’d wager Ms Freedman would be totally lost if we dropped her at the corner of Bowdoin and Hamilton… so I guess I was expecting too much there. Park Street was only the most heavily bicycled road as observed by the BOLD Teens traffic survey (which Mass Bike did a great job of supressing by the way). Now a nice road with only parking on one side will become a race track thanks to the new pavement. I’m sure there are more streets too as I go away alot in the summer. The corner of Quincy and Bowdoin come to mind already…

So what do bicycle advocates get out this? So far bike lanes in the more affluent parts of Boston. Promises and missed opportunities in the rest of town, half assed compromises with Public Works and no advocacy. The way public officials practically genuflect when they say Nicole Freedman, one might think she has more ‘power’ than she knows. What difference does it make if she’s only using it to promote an elitist tourist attraction aimed at getting cheap publicity? Sadly another waste.

Meanwhile Tom Menino thinks the bike program is going great! It gets easy press. The swells across the river are impressed. He hasn’t ridden a bike in two years only there is still an aura of Tom the Rider. He doesn’t see how the neighborhoods get short changed (of course his doesn’t so what does he care?). Oh well. Some things never change. Half assed solutions aimed at coopting the advocates and keeping them shut up. Well I’m not going to shut up. How about it those of us who are unhappy with today’s Boston Bike Reality? Your turn!

Bike share madness…

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Dotriderblog seems to be one of the few in the Boston bike scene who dares say anything bad about the senseless and wasteful bike share plan. It started when all of Cambridge and Somerville was included but NOT an equivalent area and population of the ACTUAL City of Boston. The anti-ism goes up everytime we hear that Nicole Freedman is too busy to do what she should be doing. It went through the roof at the safety summit when Ms. Freedman was espousing on the nuances of finding local shops to offer helmet rental near kiosks…(There’s someone too far into details thus proving its unviability in one sentence). Now, what was supposed to be at no cost has snagged $3 million in Federal TAX dollars (who pays that?) to buy bikes? How about plans for a seperate bike track on Talbot Ave? How about not taking sharos south of Glovers Corner in Dorchester when the road south of Melville Ave down to Lower Mills would be plenty wide enough for lanes? How about any paving project in Boston having some form of bicycle accomodation put into it? Sorry we’re too busy making an accomodation for tourists who wouldn’t make a trip where a sharo goes in a car (unless it was a cab) anyway. I feel like the kid who said the emperor has no clothes… Why do I feel this way? 25+ years of community activism has made me a cynic I guess. Does anyone have a reasoned response to my anti-ride-sharism? So far I haven’t heard one. I’m open though….

Transport or exercise?

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

There are many kinds of bike riders. With the temps nearing 100 who do we see riding now? It’s the folks who still have to ride to work. Those looking for exercise are not out there. While you could create subsets of riders within varying sets, the most basic difference I see is between those who ride to work and those who ride for work. I’m one of the former. So are most of my Dorchester neighbors. The riders for transport are the area bike advocates need to focus as well as government officials looking to expand biking. To heck with the atheletes, they’ll put their bikes on their bike racks and drive to exercise (sic).