Archive for March, 2011

NYC biking and evidence it pays off

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Typically March has been a tauntingly wintery/spring-like month. This year in reverse as it seems colder the last week than it was the first one. Slowly however we see some of the old faces who went indoors showing up around town and hopefully as the new bike store in Dorchester, Ashmont Cycles, fixes up more of the unending store house of bicycles that are emerging from porches, basements, front halls and wherever they get stuck and forgotten we’ll see some new old faces. Hopefully they’ll sell a few bikes and we’ll start seeing more Linus and Fugi bikes around town as well. Personally the Linus line is calling.

Judging from the signs on the Interstate this weekend March 28th (today!) is the start of road work season. Hopefully that will mean the bike infrastructure improvements for Dorchester will resume and the oversights of last fall will be quickly addressed.

We saw a lot of interstate this past weekend as we had a big family visiting weekend. Uncles in Vermont and a sister in NYC wasted a few gallons of petrol and the Saab turned 219,000. As a result though we got to observe, but not try, New York City’s improved bike infrastructure and burgeoning bike culture. WOW! Your own lane up and down town! Lots of riders with some sweet rides. Lots of baskets on bikes too and anyone looking for parts to old Schwinns would do well on a scavenger walk down 15th from 5 Avenue to 10th. Lots of scofflaw riders though especially on the cross streets. Is it legal in New York to go the wrong way on a one way on a bike? Helmet use has to be below 50% as well. It’s sweet seeing traffic signals specifically for bicycles though. The next time we’ll have to find a ride and do some sampling.

It’s amazing the wave of research emerging that says the cities and towns that have invested in biking and pedestrian infrastructure are seeing it pay off for local businesses and the community in general through diminished traffic, improved health and a more community like feel. Dotriderblog’s dream piece to the local paper is looking more prescient than a dream in terms of what Boston and Mass transportation planners should be thinking. I hope these folks are reading the research insteading of clinging to the car-centric belief that an ‘improvement’ means making more room for cars.

So Earth Day here we come. Be sure to ride. They had a Darken the Night deal last weekend, but why not every night from 2-4am? Makes sense to me. Get out there and show up too folks. Now is an important time for bicycling in Massachusetts. We need to keep on planners and community officials showing them the overwhelming evidence that it is good for the community to invest in bike and pedestrian improvements at the cost to car access and even PARKING! No need for more parking if you get more folks riding! It’s that simple no?

Spring Forward!

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

As we head into the weekend that George Bush and his gang figured to be a good one for day light savings it’s been a quiet time for biking. We’ve been enjoying some good rides and the travel time has returned to pre-snow times for my usual trips.

Questions abound as we head into the construction season…. How will the Dot Ave half assed job go this year? Will any of the Share the Road signs or NO PARKING in BIKE LANES signs appear? Will get get an equal expansion of lanes and sharrows as we got last year? Will anyone come back and finish the jobs left undone for 9 weeks last fall?

The laugh I got this week was talking to a friend of mine from near Fargo, North Dakota. She said she’d been in Boston on a cruise. She booked a bike tour in down town and had a blast! That was the source of my suggestion for a name for the ill-fated bike share program which I actually submitted. Tourista-Ride. Just honest advertising in my name. Since they’re with the T they could put a circle around the T in tourista (the first or/and second one in fact).

Even though there isn’t much snow the Glen Road portion of Franklin Park has entered into its Glacial Period. Thanks Mr. Lynch!

The new bike shop in Dorchester looks like it will be awesome. I heard they even sold a bike already! Otherwise they’re cleaning off a lot of dust and finding screws as I slowly bring my aged fleet down and have them repaired beyond levels most of them have seen in years. Ashmont Cycles, or as I affectionally call it Jack’s Pelleteria. (the owner’s name is Jack Pelletier…) is one of the best things to come along for Dorchester in a while. There’s a lot of folks trying to do good things and this is a great example. I hope he makes a million!

Pedal on and we’ll see you out there somewhere!

There’s a survey out on the “Missing Link” between the Neponset and Harbor pathways. Glad to see they went back to our description. It is so true. Let’s hope there’s some real progress on it this year.

Otherwise dotriderblog may well be turning more attention to disc golf. We have already helped start one that is due to be constructed in the next six weeks on Nantucket. There’s one waiting to spring forth in Pope John Paul II (yuk who picked that name?) Park. We’ve done a demonstration at Franklin Park’s Snow Fest and we’re invited to their opening day on May 14th. See you there!