Archive for September, 2010

Impressions of 2nd safey summit…

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Hey! Boston Cops and EMS good job integrating bicyclists into your statistics. Fascinating to see that Mass Ave is perhaps the most dangerous stretch of road in Boston for cycling… Dot Ave came in the top 25 too. The self reported accidents had several at Blue Hill and Talbot and two in the stretch of Talbot Avenue that got sharrowed… Glad to see the T at least trying. That’s like trying to turn the Titanic. We got a number to complain everytime a bus stupidly pulls by me within 50 feet of their next stop. That’s good. Mass Dot? Don’t see much help there, although if I were the least bit interested in going over the Charles River they might be of more interest. Vineet Guptka of the Boston Transportation Department? He knows his stuff, but I believe I met him about 12 years ago at a Melville Park Association meeting where we were trying to get some traffic calming, most notably speed bumps. I believe it was he who swore to me up and down that there wasn’t ANY speed bumps on any road in Boston, which caused me to ask him when Eliot Street in JP was annexed into Brookline… (I did some research and Mr. Guptka had just begun his tenure in 1998 when he assure me of same, so perhaps I should cut him some slack since he may not have known about JP…) It must have been when it was indicated that South Street and Centre Street in JP is wider than Dot Ave south of Glover’s Corner that my memory of that Melville Park meeting arose setting off that Dorchester Chip on my shoulder. Perhaps the narrowest spot and certain stretches, but certainly NOT the entire stretch of that road. If they can alternate from lane to sharro and back in JP, why not in Dorchester?????…We’ll do the work to get it ALL figured out for our friends in Transportation… Thanks Nicole! I feel like I am doing something positive after you said I should do this. I like being positive instead of negative. Engage me more like this and actually respond and my loud complaints can easily turn into praise… It’s more fun for me to be for something than against something that’s for sure. I can’t say I think the ride share has been worthy of the time and effort you’ve put into it, especially with so many other worthy tasks to take on. More safety summits and/or open public meetings around other issues like organizing strategies to support biking at a community level would be good. Or perhaps a more interactive and attentive digital existance instead of more tiring meetings? If the Mayor has challenged us to see how it goes in the community, remember many of the folks yelling from their cars at riders urging us to get off the road show up at community meetings too and argue against ANY accomodation for cycling. So… watch for the dotriderblog survey of Dorchester Avenue.

Just goes to show…

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

100 yards of parking stripe. 2 sharrow arrows. 2 bike-guy lane chevrons. There is evidence that they were laid out by the engineer on Talbot Avenue but the guys with the paint truck didn’t bother to include them. Why? Did they run out of paint? Did they only owe so many miles of stripe, so many sharrow arrows and bike guys? Anyone following this blog knows what dotriderblog thinks. It’s just more evidence… Feel free to take a look for youself… http://www.flickr.com/photos/dotbike/5033891928/

Questions and reworking our site name…

Monday, September 27th, 2010

I bike to work! should have been the original name of this site. We finally got nerdy enough to go back and fix it.

Start of draft of questions for Wednesday’s bike safety summit…
1. What resources does the Mayor’s Bike program need that they don’t have?
2. Why bother having a web presence if you don’t work it?
3. How come none of the submissions made on the city’s reworking of the bike map were executed? There is still a bike lane in Franklin Park that is fenced off inside the Zoo! Ditto on the bike rack page…
4. How come some jobs get extra attention while others you just ok the weak adjustments by road planners? We think you know and can do better!
5. Isn’t it time to give up on the bike share program? How many hours have you spent on it? Wouldn’t that time have been spent better doing the hundreds of other tasks to improve the infrastructure and develop educational programs?
What questions would we ask the state transportation planners?
1. Why not continue bike lanes on Mass Ave to Everett Square?
2. Why not use more imagination and work a bit harder to do more than just sharos on Dot Ave south of Glovers Corner? We can show you plenty of places where at least one lane could be installed.
That’s my start. Any suggestions?

My brother was right…

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Dotrider blog has an older brother that lives in West Philadelphia. He has always kept a bicycle. Typically he goes for a 24 inch Schwinn which is as much like the one he got in 1956 when he turned eight which was the year our father determined it was appropriate for a kid to have a bicycle. He is an urban pioneer, moving to the city in the 1960s and making a life on the edge of the urban decay of the era. Much of my approach to city living was derived from working for him a few summers during college. He has the family activist gene as well, but he’s learned that being an activist doesn’t always yield what you’re looking for. When we talked about being bicycle advocates he spoke strongly and firmly AGAINST anyone promoting cycling. He believed that the law of unintended consequences would take hold and the improvements would wreck his vision of good urban bicycling. He likes the independence he gets from riding his bike sans traffic laws. He argued that riding on the sidewalk has a time and place. That successfully advocating would make bicycling more regulated, thus taking away from the freedom many of us riders derive from powering ourselves around town. He like me believes it isn’t how fast you go on a bicycle, it’s how little you go zero that makes them work in the city. Today the Globe and the bostonbiker posts report that Cops were ticketing bicyclists! We haven’t gotten much in terms of public accomodation or driver and rider education and now we’re being harrassed by Boston police? My brother was right…

Questions for the bike safety summit…

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Somehow my e-mail address must have been unreadable as dotriderblog had left it at the first safety summit at BU back in the late spring as we didn’t get the e-mail notice (although I might check my spam filter…). Either way we caught wind of it and we’re now registered to attend on Wednesday evening… We didn’t make any comments or ask questions at the first one because we became disenchanted with our fellow bike advocates and their central focus on themselves rather than any big picture. It seemed like the entire time was spent on folks describing their ride and the pitfalls around them. We got up a few times, but it wasn’t working for us. Anyway, this time we’ll be there and ready. Would anyone have any suggestions for questions or comments we might present? I’m working on my list and outside of my cynical vindictive counter-productive questions that instantly leap to mind, we’re feeling that there has to be another way to make our point….that the neighborhoods are suffering half baked solutions thanks to a half baked (and someone pointed out and I’ve agreed in previous posts in fact that the half baking starts at the top with Mayor Menino and I shouldn’t be so hard on his minion) unthought out solutions for bike accomodations that are being implemented today. While some advocates are acting grateful, dotriderblog believes that we deserve better and our voices should remain firm in driving the city to do the best it can rather than accepting half assed solutions along with the dozens of missed opportunities. I’ve always felt that way and most of my life in community action has been built around striving for equitable and quality services for the neighborhoods, particularly Dorchester. So, with that in mind send us your potential questions and comments and we’ll see what we can do.

Who’s afraid of photographs?

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Dotriderblog posts a link to the dotbike flickr site here and on several bicycle sites. Some were unsolicited, but others were in response to questions from the site for photos of a certain installation. The photos are plain representations of what is there. There is no artistic merit or attempt to be more than just a visual reporting service. Of course our editorial comments and questions might put a little ‘edge’ to the photos, especially when it is obvious what’s wrong. Well pardon dotriderblog’s enthusiasm but someone on facebook has marked the flickr site as abusive! At first I was a little angry, but as I’m writing that I’m beginning to be increasingly amused. Did we hit a nerve somewhere? Why are we afraid of a few photographs of the painted streets of Dorchester? Good luck stopping me! Moves like that serve as INSPIRATION to dotriderblog…. Ask Bernie Lynch of the Boston Parks Department what happened to his vow to never plow the Glen Road section of Franklin Park. Thank you fb flagger! I was riding to the edge of the fading away alternative until now. Thanks for the inspiration! Your move will ilicit exactly the opposite reaction you had intended. Next I’ll learn how to get photos up on this site…

No need! Here it is! Dot the bikingest spot

Monday, September 13th, 2010

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dotbike So Sharrows from Adams & Adams to Peabody Square. Plus the new bike boxes at Codman Square (ugh). And keep scrolling for Talbot Ave and over 400 folks doing it in Dot.

Where’s the oversight? Public communication?

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Dot is exploding with bike chevrons. Some of the installations are a bit sketchy. I haven’t seen it yet but there is one report of a bike box in Codman Square that has riders sitting out in cross traffic. Of course we’ve outlined here the, as of Friday yet uncompleted, paint job on Talbot Ave that deferred to sharos. We’ve since posted a photo of what looked like a future location for a sharo chevron on Dot Ave in Lower Mills and today we posted a sharo chevron from Dot Ave at Peabody Square on the Mayor’s site as well as the dotbike flickr site with questions about plans. We’ve seen and heard of several other questions presented as well without any confirmed replies… Hello?

Talbot Sharo view…

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

dotriderblog can’t figure out how to upload photos to the site, but here’s the link to the dotbike flickr site which chronicles the half mile stretch of Talbot Ave that was sharoed instead of laned… Outside of getting off the bike and pacing out the entire stretch showing why the myriad of cross streets, bus stops and driveways along with the total off street parking alternatives in this stretch the flickr site should give a pretty clear idea of what they look like… http://www.flickr.com/photos/dotbike/?saved=1 So there it is. Anyone who has ever riden this stretch would know why dotriderblog feels the sharo is not enough protection for riders in this stretch. In fact more than one dotbike member has told dotriderblog they’ve had an accident in this stretch…Certainly it’s the one dotriderblog ends up yelling and waving at cars more than anywhere else in the city…

“We can’t let reality get in the way.”

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

72.9% of Boston Bike survey participants indicate that improving biking infrastructure would encourage them to either start biking or bike more…

The quote of this title is from Nicole Freedman’s 2009 report on the state of the city bicycle program. What was she referring too? One guess what I thought when I saw it…

It’s too bad the quote gets in the way of the survey info…

This week there are signs that dotriderblog’s moaning is either being heard or other more reasonable people are being successful in promoting the same agenda.  News today of a part of Blue Hill Ave have bike lanes painted is a start. If only Bowdoin St and Park St would get the same treatment. Two important internal Dot Streets that get a lot of bike traffic.