Archive for November, 2010

Gang bangers poised to attack Milton

Monday, November 29th, 2010

What a piece on the front page of the Dorchester Globe (they are on Morrisey Blvd) today! Here’s Dotriderblog’s letter to them. I probably went over the top so they won’t print it, but they should as how ridiculous are the suggestions being made by Milton residents? Ah I haven’t said it yet, but it is actually more RACIST than ridiculous… Of course there’s never been a NIMBY in Milton ever before, but boy it hurts to see how blatent and insensitive folks can be when they are afraid. Here’s about the only photo of anyone acting like a gangbanger that I’ve taken in Dorchester in almost two years… If Milton is afraid of this, then they better move further away from Boston…

Dear Globe, 

There’s no fooling those folks in Milton as they are onto Boston’s plot to export our street gang problem by installing a bike path along their side of the Neponset River. Certainly there are legions of gangbangers who can’t wait to jump on their Treks and terrorize the residents there. One would think the Milton police chief would have come out and accused Ed Davis of hatching the plan himself!

If it wasn’t so untrue and fear-based that proposition might be laughable. Of course those promoting the Neponset Bike Trail have heard it all before since National Grid’s predessor in owning the Dorchester Gas Tank had that segment stopped for years due to the threat of bicycling terrorists who might attack there after 9/11.

The evidence on the Neponset Bike Trail as it exists today shows that the biggest criminal activity has been graffitti which tends to be generated by taggers who come in from the suburbs. With that evidence, the folks on the Mattapan side should be against putting the bike trail through Milton as who knows how many taggers would come streaming in with the improved access?
How about some common sense and facts in the discussion about the viability of a bike path?  The evidence shows the fears of increased crime to be opposite of the actual results with other bike paths around the country. Add to that the benefit of increased property values to trail abutters and any good Miltonite should be leading the movement to install the path through their neighborhood instead of using the canard of spreading urban crime as an argument against it.
Meanwhile we’re heading into week 8 of no Talbot Avenue completion…Hopefully the hoo hah over in JP will quiet down enough that we can get a Bright sign installed this week as well…Peddle on!

Why not Dot?

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

So Sharrows are now in front of Ashmont Station and four other intersections on Dot Ave. Surprisingly, two are in the area where we were expecting lanes… Plus no lanes have been done north of there. The park here to request green light sign is still waiting for its bike chevron guy. Oh yeah, we’re headed to week 7 (doubt much painting will be done this week) of Talbot Avenue going uncompleted. Sigh…

The good news is that we may get Be Bright signs in Dot. However I wasn’t thinking that when I rode into town from JP on the SW Corridor today and saw two already in place there. I guess it is tiring to have to ask, why not Dot?…

But hey! When asked the city has responded! Hopefully we’ll get some signs. As big as Dorchester is though, dotriderblog came up with 16 spots where a sign would be good and we are already thinking of a few other spots…

In the spirit of Thanksgiving we’ll be grateful for what we have. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving! I wish I knew how to highlight photos off the dotbike flickr site as there is one from last Thanksgiving of a woman riding up Dot Ave with her panniers bulging at the seams. It made me smile almost all the way to Connecticut. Here’s the link anyway….

Peddle on!

Thoughts on a grey Monday & New store coming!

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Week 6 of Talbot Avenue not being done. Although the lines are scraped off Columbia and they took the biker chevrons out of Codman Square (a failed experiment or per me, ‘it looked better on paper’).  Dotbike is upgrading its website so look for a slick deal there. To me it is guilding the lilly a bit as I thought Andy did a great job with the tools that he had and it has been a very effective site. We’ll see how the new one ends up, but hey you gotta keep keeping on for sure. There may well be better accounting on the advocacy front from what I’ve seen…What ever has happened to the Neponset Path link (used to be the Missing Link but PR thought better of that…)

Otherwise it sounds as though Dot will have a new bike store beginning in March! I didn’t ask how public I could go with this, but anyone following biking in the city has seen a number of posts related to someone exploring the possibility of a store in Dot. Well I’ve heard from the horses mouth that a lease has been signed on an empty storefront in Peabody Square! Names have been discussed. Manufacturers are being contacted. Business plans completed. A March target date has been set to start. Good luck! You got all my business unless of course I get a flat closer to JP than Dot… Since I don’t repair tires, there will be 3 or 4 a year easy. We’ll be certain to post more as the time comes! Here’s kudos to someone thinking the best of Dorchester! I hope the guy cleans up!

We’ll get back to the ‘to do’ list this week. We could have some fun with that! Keep an eye on the flickr site for updates. Feeling like we might have some fun there with the width of Dot Ave as well as some more street scenes of bike lanes etc… Keep peddling!

Daylight saving… paving season ending

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Week 5 of no return of the paint contractor to fill in the missing bits on Talbot Avenue… Apparently the bike box there will be removed as well. Just waiting for the right combination of weather. It rains at least one day every week, so there is a good excuse built in, but it’s wearying to be hopeful each day only to be disapointed. I don’t know why after 27 years living in Dorchester I’m not used to it by now… I guess I’m still a bit naive and I always like to think positive. But the city has provided me with a great direct example of my insistence Dot gets half assed service…

Things I haven’t done…measure parts of Dot Ave to see if they are indeed wide enough…. Ride down Blue Hill to see how far the lane goes…. Take a full inventory of Columbia Road…. I doubt any of these will happen soon the way my life is shaping up at the moment. The Dot Ave project will go dormant for the winter as they’ve only done about half the intersections, so we’ll have a chance to go back there. The others apparently have most riders happy that I’ve met, so no big deal. The flickr site can use a rest from street scenes. We could fill it with folks riding on Talbot Ave or in Frankling Park on the lanes though… Build it and we’ll use it!

So a moderately successful bike lane paving season in Dorchester. Expect we won’t see completion on Dot Ave until next year about this time. Talbot Ave may never get finished. Still no bike chevrons come to think of it on Old Road. Nice surprise to get Columbia Road done (BCU claiming success here). Blue Hill Ave? Nice surprise too. No Bowdoin, Geneva, Park St., despite paving projects. Could use Washington Street on to do list. Harvard Ave. Neponset Ave. Adams Street all major roads. DCR might get it together with NatGrid on the not called Missing Link anymore Neponset connection…Some city outreach to riders in the area wrt safety might be an idea. Bike patrols back in the neighborhoods. It might be a coincidence but once they got taken off the street the number of murders rose…

So that’s my randomness for the week. Rescheduled Dotbike lite giveaway is on Thursday… Day off here and replacing my kitchen so may not make it. Brighten up it’s dark out there! (Of course I should heed my own advice).

Thoughts while riding…

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

We got to work before the rain came teaming down today. We’re glad we brought an extra pair of pants though as we don’t have fenders… We’re going on Week 4! of the failure of the paint contractor to return to Talbot Avenue to fill in the spots they missed. Just another contractor living up to their credo I guess….”Don’t kill the job.” We haven’t had a chance to ride past Grove Hall or down Columbia Road to see how those jobs look. There are still extra lines though, but it might be preferable that they be left rather than riding on the areas where the pavement is scraped away to remove the paint. We went up Dot Ave the other day and there is still no bike chevron guy at the light at Old Colony. It must be the same contractor. There are signals that sharrows will be painted at the intersections that have been completed on Dot Ave. My dream of bike lanes on Mass Ave in South Bay was just another construction job 🙁 Riding around town on election day was way cool. There were folks out on the street knocking on doors, yelling out car windows, blowing horns and doing all sorts of things to get folks attention and direct them to the polls. We want to thank Mr. Patrick for showing urban voters that THEY hold the power. We went to a half dozen polling stations and the energy was electric. Scott Brown won because urban voters stayed home. Patrick won because they came out in record numbers thanks to the unending drum beat of outreach that took place. The enthusiasm gap in Mass was from the Republican side as Baker got fewer votes out in the suburbs (Scott Brown country) than Brown, while Patrick somewhat surpassed Coakley out there and he blew away the field in the cities. Hopefully the politicians will remember who got them elected and bring more services in a fairer way to these communities. Particularly bike services! We’re not interested in making it easier for suburnanites to speed through our neighborhoods on their way in town. Planning should encourage them to stay on the HIGHWAY we have to endure slicing through our neighborhoods already rather than taking a ‘short cut’ through the neighborhoods. Or they can get on the T or a bike. Wouldn’t that be nice? We’ll hopefully see you all next Monday out on Dot Ave (and hopefully Talbot) to help light up Dot bike riders. A trip to the Blarney Stone is always nice too.