Archive for October, 2014

RIP Tom Menino Just 2 miles of paint in 2014? Sadness

Thursday, October 30th, 2014 …

We only wish Tom Menino had found riding a bike a bit sooner in his life. He may well still be with us given the health benefits of riding a bike. Sadly he got hit by a car on River Street on a ride and that basically ended it for him.

We only wish the fervent effort of Tim Timlin and Nicole Friedman during the Mayor’s last year carried into the current administration. While the Dorchester Bike Infrastructure Deficit is down to a half dozen sharrows on the top end of Adams Street, the fact is there has been no new bike infrastructre installed in Dorchester during the the current Mayor’s term.

While we were moaning about that, we learned we shouldn’t feel bad because there’s only been 2 miles of any infrastructure installed anywhere during 2014. I might accept that, but since Dorchester covers 20% of the City’s area and houses 20% of the residents my question has to be, “Where’s our 4 tenths of a mile?”

Let’s see? That could have been Washington Street from Park to 4 Corners… Or perhaps Mass Ave from Columbia to South Bay Station… Get it? Both those areas were paved in the past year and neither of them got any new bike infrastructure. In fact Mass Ave got a host of new turn lanes. Just what a rider wants.

Anyway, back to Mayor Menino. He let his people do their work and backed them up with some tough politics. I would say his best efforts for biking was on Mass Ave as the State planners were DUG IN DEEP on the road’s reconstruction plans saying they couldn’t go back and add bike lanes.

Well not only did they pull off bike lanes, but within a year or so of their installation the Mayor spearheaded the removal of PARKING SPACES on Mass Ave in front of the Christian Science Complex. (If only it wasn’t perhaps the bumpiest crappiest hardest stretch of road just about anywhere to ride.. Oops sorry)

He let Hubway go through without any public input outside of an RFP created by the Metropolitan Planning Council which given the lack of Hubway in Dorchester as well as lack of infrastructure was just why I was against Hubway. So he’s credited with Hubway which did bring a lot of positive attention to riding.

Anyway, we’ll miss Tom Menino. He was an icon of his time and will leave a legacy for all of us to remember. We’ll hope that his legacy on support of bicycles in Boston will be mirrored and even surpassed by his replacement. It did take Menino 14 years to wake up to bikes. Let’s hope it doesn’t take Marty as long…

Less bike accomodation in Dot today than when Mayor sworn in…

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

#comeridewithusAt least for now. With two roads that had Sharrows, Adams St from Fields Corner to Meeting House Hill and Ashmont Street from Dot Ave to Neponset fresh with pavement and NO SHARROWS. Why the bike paint contract is so disconnected to the paving and road line contracts makes NO SENSE and shows the second class approach of Boston’s Road Planners…

I can hear them now, “Oh yeah we need to add that pain in the ass bike stuff. Boy will it be funny when they hit the new turn lanes.” That is certainly what it feels like as a daily rider in Dorchester. It’s bad enough to deal with the lack of respect (which is diminishing btw) from drivers than from transportation planners who should know better.

Throw into that plans to add Sharrows on Geneva Avenue that are now slated for April even though it was paved in August (that’s 7 months of no direction) and it’s a wonder we continue to moan and moan and moan and moan about being dissed and overlooked when it comes to Dot’s inclusion in bike infrastructure additions.

While we’re tossing though we’ll add the other parts of Dorchester that got pavement but NO BIKE ACCOMMODATION. Gallivan Blvd. Washington Street from Codman Sq to 4 Corners are the two I travel on that immediately come to mind. Last year we saw Mass Ave paved from Everett Square to the RR Bridge. We got two turn lanes, no bike lanes on a road plenty wide enough for plenty of lanes.

The Twitter #comeridewithus campaign hasn’t generated any direct response from Mayor Walsh outside of him waving at me at the Codman Square Men of Boston Cook event. So we’re thinking he’s aware but doesn’t care? Or is he hoping that the story gets out and we’ll be happy? What story? April for something paved in August? Great story. NOT.

C’mon Marty you’re doing so well in so many areas, don’t let us all have to hear the “I voted for Connolly” from the folks who are getting the infrastructure while the folks who did vote for you get zippo. It sucks and I’m tired of it.

This got added later: Thoughts while counting bikes in Codman Square. One woman an hour. One helmeted rider every 20 minutes. The other 74 riders all rode on the sidewalk and none wore helmets. 210 vehicles ran the light or turned right on red where it is clearly a no turn. That includes T Vehicle 2226 The Ride, buses #22125, 2715, 2098, school buses WB072, Hs214, B308, HS057 and MS125 as well as the Safety Supervisor for BPS in MB765. I didn’t even count the folks not stopping at all coming out of Norfolk or running any light down in that part of the Square. Nor did I count the folks who went straight in the right turn only lane. Yeah it’s all those scofflaw cyclists that make it suck.