Cleaning out the clutter… Ghost Bike Rides again?

Recently biking in Boston has shown how much it has grown in the past few years. First, it is steadily in the news, even in December! How good is that? Second, some of the press has even figured it out and understands urban biking to at least some degree. Hey, it’s a rapidly growing and evolving segment of our community, so we’ll give them some more time to catch up.

Sadly there are still folks out there riding around in automobiles and trucks who believe they own the road and bikes are a pesky nuisance they shouldn’t have to deal with. After all, there are the thousands of other folks in cars to deal with, isn’t that enough?

I find it amusing to hear complaints about scofflaw bicyclists when not a day goes by on my daily ride where nearly EVERY DRIVER that passes me is breaking the law… The speed limit in Franklin Park is 25, so every car that passes me there is no doubt breaking the speed limit. I know as I commuted by car through the park for years and I can tell my own stories of idiot drivers passing me over the double line or even on the right in the break down (now bike) lane while I was tooling along at between 30 and 35 mph… They’re probably from the same group of people who would complain about those idiot bicyclists…

Specifically for me is Boston Cab with the Medalian #1238 cut me off, yelled out of the car window and was generally fairly unsociable while I was riding on Ruggles Street on Friday. We’ve complained to the Hackney Division, but the only way to get any satisfaction is to go to the police station and file a report…. Could happen.

There’s also still the yawning gap in City Hall between those charged with advancing biking and those who actually do the work. Public Works and contractors for Boston don’t seem to be getting the message that the car isn’t king as they continue to put biking issues at the bottom of their punch lists. A year-long gap on Dorchester Avenue where a repaved stretch has yet to get sharrows is the most glaring example. C’mon! What a waste of energy NOT to get it done.

Second in the biking in Boston is growing are the continuing sitings on my part of other riders. Even today, a rainy day with hard rain forecast for later we saw a number of regulars along with the usual complement of local Dot Sidewalkers. Riding to town on Saturday night we saw at least a half dozen folks out on their bikes in Dorchester. They need more lights, but they were out there.

Third, Hubway’s so successful it is planning to go year-round. One aside here are congrats to Charles Yancey for making a big point of how inequitable Hubway is. He may be doing it wrong, but he’s spot on related to how unequal it is. Dorchester and JP in particular should be areas where Hubway needs to add more stations. We’re just as dense as Somerville and Cambridge and by the way, we’re actually in City of Boston limits… Imagine if City of Boston time and money getting Hubway in Cambridge, Somerville and Brookline was spent getting it into Boston neighborhoods? I guess that’s what Mr. Yancey and I see… Think about it from our perspective eh planners? Your excuses don’t hold water. PERIOD.

So, someone who read this post has sent me a shot of a local fellow riding a white bicycle that looked like the Ghost Bike. I’m going to post both here for you to decide. We’re still thinking of creating an installation for Mr. Bui too. If anyone can for sure tell us both bikes are the same ones, please respond.Ghost BikeaaaaaaGhost

3 Responses to “Cleaning out the clutter… Ghost Bike Rides again?”

  1. Charlie says:

    I agree that Hubway needs to expands into JP and Dorchester, however, the fact that it expanded into Cambridge and Somerville first is really irrelevant. The City of Boston is responsible for finding the money to add stations within Boston and they didn’t have money to yet expand further into JP and Dorchester. Cambridge and Somerville are separate towns that spearheaded their own funding efforts to get stations there. Yes MAPC is involved as the regional planning agency that coordinates the overall program, but it’s ultimately up to the cities and towns to participate and fund their piece.

    It’s possible that Hubway didn’t have the resources to build and install even more stations in Boston at the same time as Cambridge and Somerville were adding theirs, but that is not my understanding as to what the limitation was. I had always heard it’s all about the money.

  2. Mark says:

    The two bikes pictured are not the same. The chained up ghost bike has rigid forks, the one beside the tractor trailer has suspension forks.
    That said, I heard somewhere that Mr. Bui’s ghost bike has been replace at least once.
    If it is a stolen ghost bike thats unfortunate; but ghost bikes should be made un -ridable to deter theft.

  3. Dotbiker says:

    Charlie It’s true that Cambridge and Somerville had to pay, BUT City of Boston bike planners had to participate and they get a pay check every two weeks. Why MAPC just went out and had this happen is another story. It’s amazing there was NO PUBLIC PROCESS available for anyone who was opposed to Hubway to express their opinion. But that’s all water under the bridge. We’re stuck with Hubway now, so let’s make it equitable. So far the efforts have been limited and some poorly chosen, so we’ll be hopeful for more success in the future.
    MARK: Thanks for confirming that. I couldn’t quite tell. No one was for sure saying it was, but I had to put it out there.

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