Archive for June, 2011

Driving culture and more controls on scooters?

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Well a week away hasn’t softened much of dotriderblog’s hard edge. It’s odd how being on an island with no paved roads and no external infrastructure should remove you from the day’s issues. Well, over 100 mylar balloons later and nearly being flattened by a young lad joy riding on the family ATV kept it real for me.

This is not bike related, but if you EVER get a helium balloon don’t ever let it go! There are literally thousands of them floating around the ocean. Is Helium a green house gas too? It’s amazing how interconnected we are…

The other observation I made is that hardly anyone walked or rode a bike on this island. Everyone rode, even a few doors on their ATV, golf cart or broken down pick up to do the most mundane things. This makes me think that our overall society is so motor vehicle centric that it will take $6 gasoline to break the cycle and it has to be ther for a long time. The idling DPW vehicle in front of the sub shop today on Centre Street is the same to me as these folks riding everywhere. One would think they’d want to save the gasoline they have to carry over to use… The DPW guy? Just wasting tax payer money and he doesn’t care…

On my way home¬†a week ago last¬†Friday I was riding by Franklin Field (sorry Harambee Park) and I was watching the hoard of scooters dominating the pathway across the park from Talbot to the Housing Development across the way. I was thinking, ‘who’s coming down on those guys? It’s starting to look like trouble to me…’ Well sadly my suspicions proved correct and now the Mayor and the Cops are doing mia culpa let’s fix this reaction to something that ALREADY happened instead of trying to be proactive. Now we’ll get more cops on Talbot Ave, while the punch list to finish the the parts of the lane that the contractor forgot to install won’t happen…

Which brings me to the question of why would the Mayor want to add more laws controling scooters? There are plenty already. How about getting the Cops to enforce them! Simple request no? They are hard to catch, especially when you’re sitting in your cruiser oblivous thanks to the computer and other distractions that remove you from the outside world that are inside.

Well that was a rant! Sorry it’s all over the place. I guess the week off did something. Now for another! Peddle on!

Away on vacation good luck!

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Dotrider blog just trashed a post that was probably the most epicly negative post in this blog’s history. YIKES! Our fingers are still burning. But we feel better.

We want to apologize to anyone we verbally assaulted or embarrassed publicly in the past few days. While you probably deserved it, I know thanks to the wicked schedule we’ve been keeping lately our fuse may be a little short.

Those of you were at the end of my vitriole know who you are. You know I was a jerk, but oddly you probably realize there was a little kernal of truth in what I was saying… So think about what you did. I’ll accept your apology if you accept mine.

Bike-wise it’s been quiet in Dot. We did the Parade and had a pretty good time. It was fun to be involved with the folks trying to develop a Food Coop in Dorchester. Big dream by some pretty big dreamers. I bet they can do it. Luckily they didn’t get my name to volunteer. And it goes to show that everyone is a Dotbiker! Again there were hundreds and hundreds of bikes along the side of the parade route ridden by kids and oldsters alike. It is always nice to see us all out there riding!

Watching the 10-Street Solution, it continues to mount up as the biggest screw job to a neighborhood in quite a while. 10 intesections represents less than 20% of the total number of interesections on Dot Ave. The section from Old Colony to Broadway was finished last year but as yet hasn’t had the vaunted and already counted bike lane installed. Waiting for the final paint job? Why didn’t they put it in with the first temporary one LAST YEAR? D’uh!

The bollards in Peabody Square are made of paper mache. At least they feel that light. Small wonder the bid from McCourt was so much lower than the estimates. We’re getting what we’re paying for… We can go on, but most of this was covered in the post we trashed.

Now for some beach time! Good luck!

Not surprised, just disapointed…(what else is new?)

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

So we’re riding through the mix up of construction that is the 10-intersection solution (not the entire road) paid for by Stimulus Money and we’re noticing one change that flies in the face of the City’s emphasis on complete streets. Heading south on Dot Ave coming out of Fields Corner (south of Park) they’ve taken out 3-5 parking spots! That sounds awesome eh? Except they took the spots out to put a turn lane for folks wanting to turn down Gibson Street. While the guy who owns the liquor store on the corner will now have scofflaw parkers gallore at his store, Dot Ave’s plan does NOTHING to calm traffic, just get it going faster? Complete street? Completely cars.

We went to a number of meetings with Mass Dot designers with Boston Bikes Officials in attendance and got reassurances that this oversight would be reconsidered. Guess not. Why waste our time down here in Dot?

So if you joing Dotbike on Sunday and ride in the Dorchester Day Parade (12:30 Richmond Street be there!) you’ll see the real Dotbike riding up the street. There will be literally hundreds and hundreds of bikes littering the side with the spectators. Kids, adults, everyone brings a bike it seems. So who says Dot has low rider numbers? Ha! Given the lack of attention given to our infrastructure needs, it may be a small wonder if we’re actually less. I just don’t believe it. I ride all over the place and certainly at times there are parts of town that the bike culture is overwhelming. Those are generally in more congested parts of town where folks from ALL OVER congregate to go to work or school. Even folks from Dorchester ride there…

So now when someone is riding out of Fields Corner we’ll have to deal with two lanes of traffic and NO BIKE ACCOMODATION. Of course some may indicate a Sharrow, but so what? Given the rest of Dorchester that has lanes has yet to have any sign suggesting we ‘share the road’ or ‘no parking in bike lane’ why should we think that auto drivers will care about a little faded paint on the street with a bike chevron? I still get yelled at to get on the sidewalk on Talbot Ave in the sharrow stretch there…(almost daily in fact). Thanks Boston Bikes! You’re right on top of it as usual!