Archive for May, 2011

Bike week fall out

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Dot road report: We saw a “Bikes can take full lane” sign at the Corner of Blue Hill and Seaver Street. Haven’t noticed any other signage, but with the lines fading fast it would be nice to have signs sometime. There are a couple of sharrow squiggles in a few of the Ten Intersections on Dot Ave. What ever did happen to the City’s promise to make it a bike lane? Seems like they think it is mission accomplished on their maps. Meanwhile Talbot Ave and Columbia Road remain on the punch list as uncompleted. We’re desparate for a sharrow guy heading west in front of the Lee School. Of course with the T working on the station from there to Codman Square perhaps we can review and ditch some parking and add a bike lane? Fingers crossed. We saw Neponset Ave being scraped for repaving this week. Any plans for lanes there? It’s wide! It’s well ridden all year round. Nah, we’re too busy working on our Hubway system to actually make bike access better in a neighborhood that won’t be served by it…(sorry I can’t stop). 

The press for Dotbike and riding was great this week! We got a front page piece in the Dorchester Reporter and an editorial the next week. Sadly the editorial painted an all is good picture instead of it could be better if the city took Dot as seriously as the rest of the city (and Cambridge and Somerville for that matter) attitude. Another Dotbiker has promised to write a letter so my diatribe won’t affect the conversation 😉

The Virtual Globe did a patronizing piece indicating it’s surprise that Dot has a bike group at all opposed to our friends in JP and A-B (who naturally would have one). Jeesh! Cut it out! Dot has it all folks! They also used the population count in Dorchester that has Mattapan expanded up to Grove Hall, cutting out about 30,000 Dotites in their assessment. Small wonder we’re under served. We’re under counted too! Of course it’s hard for folks to realize the depth of Dorchester’s spirit and population looking at it through the Media-if it bleeds it leads perspective… We got our issues but we also have more millionaires than any other zip code in Boston… Just saying. Stop selling us short.

When the city had to be brow beat into a curb side recycling program we had the largest and most diverse group of recyclers of any neighborhood. Well guess what? The same is true of bicyclers. While we all don’t work in town and donn our stretchy outfits and bitch to City Hall about any bump in the road, we’re out there riding. If it is as simple as a gang banger hanging with his dudes on his dirt bike or the hotel worker saving a half hour getting to Kenmore Square the range is complete. With nearly 500 images of folks riding in Dorchester on the dotbike flickr site, how can anyone argue?

We had the second largest group enrolled for Friday’s bike event to City Hall. Just think if we’d tried? In fact on the ride back to Dot after the event I saw more folks riding than did the ride! We’re out there more and more and more and more. Just like everywhere else. We’re not counted but we’re out there. Ignore us at your own risk.

Bike month

Friday, May 6th, 2011

What happened to April? Dotriderblog rode quite a bit last month through the showers in Boston as well as in Savannah, Georgia and Palm Beach, Florida. Savannah is starting to work it out and Palm Beach has an extensive bike path system, although not many road markings. Both places are flat though and we had fun.

We’re still waiting for the spring construction season to give us finished paint on Talbot Avenue and Columbia Road. The Dot to Dot Dot Ave project is slllooowwwwwwwwlllyyy getting underway this year. McCourt must have more business elsewhere this year and/or they’re realizing their low-ball bid is losing them money so they’re doing it at a slower pace (read less assigned to the task). Frankly we’re not expecting much in the positive way since the prevailing thinking is auto-centric despite our mayor’s strong verbal commitment…

I appreciate being out of town for the Bike Share announcement. Just thinking about the time and money wasted on this project gets my blood boiling. I do expect the anti-passion I feel must be matched or exceeded by those looking to implement this boondoggle. Just think how much MORE bike infrastructure issues, educational programs and local outreach might have been done had the effort to sign up sites for bike sharing, helmet rentals, etc. etc. etc. been redirected. Still no hearings and the City is committing to a $6 million deal with dim hopes of recovering the money. Doesn’t sound free to me. We’ll just hope I’m wrong here.

Ashmont Cycles is doing pretty well. Their sales have been building up slowly, but their repairs are off the hook. Every time I stick my nose in there I run into another Dotite that has dug out their bike and given it to AS for their restorative treatment. I just hope we see these folks out there for the biking season.

That said, the best day the first week of May I rode from Peabody Square to JP and I would say there wasn’t a moment that I didn’t see another rider out there on their bike. Even on the back roads I use. There was a steady stream of riders of all ilks (stretchy bike outfits to old dudes side walking, men and women of all races and ethnicities) out there doing it. I just wish I had my camera. My new cell phone is sooooooo slow that it isn’t an effective tool for catching folks on the move. It killed me today to miss the groover zooming down the hill on Columbia Road on the huge red girls cruiser. That and about 100 other photos.

Progress toward getting Mass Ave laned is good in town. Remember though that there is more of Mass Ave south of Melnea Cass Boulevard than north of it (in Boston) and that it originates in Everett Square in Dorchester. While in Dorchester it passes the largest shopping plaza in Boston as well as the building that houses the most city employees not to mention our last industrial area where you see bikes parked willy nilly near the food warehouses.. Why? Because like me there are a lot of folks who “bike to work!” Have fun, be safe and peddle on!