Archive for June, 2012

Losing momentum…

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

After peaking at the end of last year with the miraculous transformation of parking on Mass Ave to make 50 miles of bike accomodation in Boston it is obvious we’ve lost a lot of momentum.

Nicole Friedman’s departure took the pressure off other City workers who may not share her view of cycling. She got what she wanted because it was obvious the Mayor had her back. Her temporary replacement doesn’t have that aura so bureaucratic ennui is setting in and stuff is being forgotten.

What? How about replacing the Sharrows on Dot Ave south of Gallivan Blvd? Nine months and counting… How about all the Share the Road signs in Dot or along any of the newly minted bike accomodation? Few and far between from what I see. Half the Sharrows on Dot Ave from Peabody Square to Fields Corner have already been compromised by our friends at NStar or National Grid, so that is soon to be history in terms of the 50 miles…

Are there any plans to expand bicycling education efforts in the neighborhood? Yeah right!

So our new associate Kris Carter has big shoes to fill and until he’s made permanant or a permanant replacement if appointed these type of issues will continue to build. They just show themselves out in the underserved neighborhoods first there folks, so watch out!

Ennui setting in?

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Dotbike didn’t choose to ride in the Dot-Day parade yesterday. Our immortal leadership was either commited to other causes or we were out of town. Personally I just wanted to relax and watch the parade for once. It’s been a while since I sat somewhere and watched everyone pass by. It is a generally entertaining hour and a half. The parties afterward can be good too. Although that’s true even if you march in the parade…

That said there were dozens of Dotbikers riding in the parade. Along with the police and EMT’s who were riding along (that’s pretty new) about half the floats had at least one or two folks hanging on while riding a bike. It was pretty cool. I wish I’d brought my camera.

Given this is the third plus year of bike advocacy in Dorchester it’s becoming plain that boredom has begun to settle in and our group is bigger but the core is fraying. We’re bigger simply because there are hundreds more riders than there were three years ago. In fact every day there are more riders than the day before. The bromide Maggie has come up with is that cars should just get used to having bicycles around because there won’t be less bikes going forward only more. What a comforting thought.

That helps to dull the urgency dotrider blog has felt in the past related to pushing bicycle issues for Dot. Over the past three years we’ve gotten a modicum (although the usual half-assed city treatment) of bike accomodation, revived efforts to build the missing link along our waterfront, saw a new bike shop open and brought to bear enough political awareness that we’re even getting some token Hubway sites.

The Boston Globe had its entire Stops and Starts page dedicated to bike riding. They didn’t even say anything dumb that called for a letter to the editor. It seems that the city and the Globe understand what’s happening in Dorchester and they’re making sure we get what we need. Of course it could always be better but hey it’s progress.

So it seems we’re getting bored with promoting biking. Of course the city is laying low too with Nicole Friedman gone there’s no leading light. We might have tried harder to stir the pot, but hey it’s spring and we’ve been busy.

Had we been squeaking at our usual volume, we’d be pointing out the sharrows on Dot Ave south of Gallivan Blvd are gone not to be replaced after the repaving. We’d be pushing Nicole’s admission that Dot Ave from Melville to Peabody Square is wide enough for lanes and not sharrows. The door issue is moot there since 90% of the cars there are long term parkers… We’d be still wondering out loud where the educational efforts are in the neighborhood. Where are they by the way? We’d have our fingers crossed waiting to hear if DCR got a Tiger Grant for the Missing Link. We’d be lamenting Mass Ave is still not laned south of BMC.

I guess we are, but the urgency is gone…. Now if you want to talk about Parks budgets and their total disregard for maintenance at Franklin Park (outside of the golf course and the zoo–they’re less than half the park tho), now you have an issue that is getting my attention! So watch out Parks! Clean up your act! Stop using Franklin Park as a dumping ground for the rest of the park system….Now THAT has me excited…