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Installation of Somerville Hubway Stations Begins Next Week

At least three Hubway bike sharing stations will be installed during the first week of August, but the city must wait longer for manufacturers to supply equipment for all 12 stations.

The first three or four Hubway bike sharing stations will be installed in Somerville during the first week of August.

That's according to an email from Sarah Spicer, senior transportation planner with the city's Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development.

Hubway, which launched in Boston last summer, allows people to make short-term bike rentals at automated stations positioned throughout the city. The program is expanding to Somerville, Cambridge and Brookline this summer.

Somerville has bought a total of 12 Hubway stations, and Spicer said they're being installed east to west, which means the first three stations in Somerville will be in Union Square, Beacon Street (near Washington Street) and City Hall.

Because Hubway is an expanding network—people can rent bikes at one station and drop them off at any other station—the system needs to expand in a "successive pattern so that each new station is supported by other stations," Spicer explained.

Installations will occur in Cambridge and Brookline at the same time they're happening in Somerville, she said.

Spicer did not know when the installation of all 12 stations in Somerville would be complete. "The remainder of them will be installed depending on how fast manufacturers can supply the equipment," she said in the email, adding, "We intend that each station should be operational as soon as it's fully installed."

Spicer said the city has provided about $235,000 to the program, and the Federal Transit Administration has contributed about $390,000.

The city is also planning a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the first stations on Aug. 8.

Sand Man July 28, 2012 at 04:08 PM
TAKE NOTE that the cycling jackasses are back to using the sidewalks in the squares, back to wreaking havoc on pedestrians...so much for enforcement and the feeble spasm of concern for public safety from City Hall. And into this dangerous environment Hubway will be added to the chaotic mix and for pedestrians, yet again, there'll be Hell to pay from Hell on wheels!
Benjamin Mako Hill July 28, 2012 at 06:19 PM
AHM: Are you assuming that bicycles are not going to be customers? I think in an apartment in the center of Diesel and think that the additional bike parking added to the street in Davis has been a huge benefit. The rack in front of Diesel is always totally full of bikes and you sit outside and watch -- the vast majority of folks using it are going to Diesel or other local businesses. The alternative situation was horrible. People locking their bikes to every parking meter pole, garbage can, etc. which made it hard to get in and out of cars and to navigate the sidewalk. The cost of *1* parking spot to facilitate so many bikes like a very very good deal and improves the square for businesses.
Benjamin Mako Hill July 28, 2012 at 06:26 PM
I live in the center of Davis and cannot wait for Hubway to arrive! Bravo to the city for helping make this possible. I just spent a week in DC where they use the same system from the same bikeshare company and can tell you how wonderful it was to have bikes as a part of the city infrastructure. We used it all the time and it made renting a car unnecessary and the experience of the city immeasurably better. There are bad bike riders out there. But there are at least as many bad drivers. And the consequences of a bad driver is much more dangerous. The police need to enforce the law for all road users. Opposing Hubway because some bike riders are irresponsible is saying people should cut down car dealerships or rental places because the Boston area is full of bad drivers. Less cars on the road well benefit everyone -- especially motorists.
Benjamin Mako Hill July 28, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Also kind of interesting how everyone who seems to be attacking Hubway is posting anonymously or with a pseudonym while everybody posting with the full identity seems to support it. What's going on here?
Sand Man July 28, 2012 at 06:48 PM
I'm not opposed to Hubway--but I AM opposed to the countless buttheads who ride on sidewalks and endanger pedestrian public safety. And I'm opposed to the lack of enforcement. And to City Hall's pretensions that public awareness has been raised by their candyass pronouncements... You can dilute the issue all you want by bringing up "bad drivers, etc." but being a senior and having to dodge your dangerous confreres on the sidewalks is reprehensible! Walkable City, my backside!
Benjamin Mako Hill July 28, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Biking on the sidewalk is already illegal in business districts. The police should give tickets for it and I think it's crazy that they don't do it more. I think if the police enforced the law evenly, we'd see a lot of less annoying behavior. I've also had to dodge vehicles in various situations. And it's just my experience, but the only time I had to be hospitalized because of it, it was because I was hit by a car right outside of Porter Square. I'm not diluting the issue. Quite the opposite, I'm focusing it: The issue is our dangerous behavior from our fellow citizens. That problem is not limited to bikes and it's important to emphasize that. And if we're looking for behavior that is actually hurting (and killing!) people on our roads, bikes might not even be a great place to start looking.
Sand Man July 28, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Sorry about your injury by car, BMH. I was assaulted by a cyclist.
AHM July 29, 2012 at 12:30 AM
Benjamin Mako Hill, "AHM: Are you assuming that bicycles are not going to be customers?" Not at all, just if anything was available to save some of the parking that would be helpful to the businesses. If there is anything nearby that could work. At least when possible. Example, Winter Hill, maybe the old Star parking lot. Anything to help out everyone. I was not suggesting at all not having the bike stations or whatever they are called. I no longer know the layout of Davis Square to comment on it as I have avoided that area for years.
Ron Newman July 30, 2012 at 03:34 AM
A bike is absolutely the best way to make sure you get to a place three miles away in a reliable amount of time. If it takes you 15 minutes to ride there today, it'll take the same 15 minutes to ride there tomorrow or next week or next month, unless you encounter a strong headwind. Can't say that about public transit or driving a car.
Virginia July 30, 2012 at 12:30 PM
I am a 64 year old Somerville nurse and like to bike to work in Cambridge sometimes though I do own a car and pay taxes and insurance. It should be safe for me to choose to use a bike on any given day depending on the weather and stamina. It is great exercise, is better for the air quality and for public health. I do my shopping too by bike on those days. Please stop being small minded and thinking bikers are only adrenalin junkies, ignore rules, or don't support our infrastructure. Virginia
Tom Walsh July 30, 2012 at 01:42 PM
First, special insurance is required here in Massachusetts to cover damage and injury to OTHER people and their property. For the typical person, the only special insurance they're required to have is for their car. That's because their driving is the only thing they do where there is a decent chance that they will kill or maim someone else, or cause expensive damage to someone else's property. Bikes simply don't cause much damage to other people or their property. Is it possible to injure someone with a bike? Yes, of course. But, it's not common. That's why we don't have biker's insurance. We also don't have softball insurance or lawnmower insurance or vegetable peeler insurance for the same reasons.
AHM July 30, 2012 at 07:34 PM
The insurance is for when the biker gets hurt. What happens now and I had it happen to me first hand is that when it is the bikers fault and they get hurt the auto insurance pays and jacks up your rate. Even though the driver of the auto is not at fault. I don't want to pay for idiot bikers and idiot automobile drivers, might as well throw in idiot pedestrians too. My problem with bikers is mostly the ones who run the red lights, just like motorists. I have come pretty close to taking those out. I don't know waht's wrong with some of them, when I bike I just pay close attention to what is going on in front and in back of me and stay away from trouble.
Some Day July 31, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Really? We were voted the 9th best biking city in the whole country: http://www.thestreet.com/story/11190564/3/10-best-us-bike-cities-of-2011.html
Michael Monroe July 31, 2012 at 05:41 PM
More cyclists, thanks to MassBike.org and training police officers (which was a program sponsored by MassBike), are obeying traffic laws. Statistically it's on the rise, although there are still plenty of numbskull cyclists. I would point out, however, that there are plenty of absolutely inconsiderate drivers that make me (a cyclist and driver) cringe and fear for my life on a regular basis. People who live in glass houses....
Michael Monroe July 31, 2012 at 05:43 PM
As a cyclist myself, I stop at stop lights and stop signs. And happily, I've noticed more and more people doing so. Cycling is sustainable positive way to travel, and for every bike on the road there is one less car jamming things up. Many law-abiding people want to be out on the roads as cyclists - the word's getting out there.
Michael Monroe July 31, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Dan - I have a vision for a more sustainable future, and I love that Boston/Cambridge/Somerville are friendly to cylists. But cars, delivery trucks and the like are here to stay too - we have to create infrastructure so everyone (motorists, pedestrians & cyclists) is safe, everyone knows the laws, and everyone watches out for one another. Your attitude is, I believe, not going to help much by way of constructive improvement.
Michael Monroe July 31, 2012 at 05:49 PM
As a resident and homeowner in Somerville, I do believe my taxes go to roads and infrastructure upkeep too, even though my bike doesn't wear the streets nearly as much as cars and trucks. So no, Jo, our taxes all go to the same thing. We are paying for the roads, we're just not paying for vehicles we don't own. You choose to have a car, so that's on you. P.S. Law abiding cyclists are not a problem for drivers. Also, we're healthier and aren't polluting and creating more cars for you to get mad at because you're in another traffic jam. Every time you see a cyclists you should thank god an angel just got its wings, because that's one less car on the road to get in your way, Jo. Use some logic.
Michael Monroe July 31, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Again, when more people are choosing bikes (Hubway statistics are showing that a lot of people switch to bikes for their in-town commutes thanks to Hubway) you are seeing (and will continue to see) a percipitous drop in cars on the road. That means more parking for your car, because someone else isn't using their's anymore because Hubway is cheaper / more logical for them. And as for monitoring - cry me a river, Barry. It's the responsibility of two ton tank drivers to watch out for pedestraisn and cyclists, and as more cyclists are obeying laws (which is being demonstrated), you're not going to have much left to be all mad at. We all keep each other safe.
Michael Monroe July 31, 2012 at 05:53 PM
I've been cycling in Boston, Cambridge and Somerville for 8 years and so have a lot of my friends. The actual statistics on bike accidents for law abiding cyclists who obey the rules of the road and make themselves visible is WAY less than car accidents. I feel pretty darn safe, and the reason is I know how to ride safe so motorists see me and I see them, and we make room for one another. Check out www.massbike.org for more info.
Michael Monroe July 31, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Yes, the motorists making those arguments are just people who are set in their ways and can't see the forest for the trees (or employ logic and critical thinking skills). It's all just reactionary. They forget that cyclists and motorists get along splendidly in many a tried-and-tested European city because they have applied logical solutions through laws and infrastructure to make things safe, and to create a culture of law abiding citizens who all see one another's safety as key. I get that we're not Europe, but seriously - what works there works here. This is 2012, not 1983.
Michael Monroe July 31, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Charlie, stop using logic and good sense - it's clearly not welcome. A lot of motorists are just being emotional and reactionary curmudgeons. You don't want to take away their thill of being angry at "those damned cylists" (even though more and more of us are obeying all laws).
Michael Monroe July 31, 2012 at 06:00 PM
"Opposing Hubway because some bike riders are irresponsible is saying people should cut down car dealerships or rental places because the Boston area is full of bad drivers. Less cars on the road well benefit everyone -- especially motorists." -- Benjamin Mako Hill Brilliant!
Michael Monroe July 31, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Curious, isn't it? : ) Anyway, a lot of motorists just aren't familiarizing themselves with all the facts. The fact is that police have been trained to pull over cyclists and ticket, and it's starting to happen. This was a program initiated and sponsored by MassBike (www.massbike.org) which I'm a member of. My dues in MassBike helped train cops to pull my ass over if I'm doing something stupid. To that I say: PROGRESS! Car drivers just need to wake up and smell the handwriting on the wall - cyclists are here to stay, and fewer and fewer of them are cause any problems in terms of poor practices and endangering road safety.
Michael Monroe July 31, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Three cheers, Virginia! More people need to remember that for every cyclists they see on the road, there really is one less car getting in their way. Everybody wins. And people who lives in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. An earlier comment made the astute remark: "Opposing Hubway because some bike riders are irresponsible is saying people should cut down car dealerships or rental places because the Boston area is full of bad drivers. Less cars on the road well benefit everyone -- especially motorists."
Sand Man July 31, 2012 at 07:26 PM
Not that Hubway is a bad idea, but City Hall is pushing implementation of it while failing to enforce public safety... In Union Square, for example, the sidewalk cyclists are frequent and flagrant all day (& evening) long, putting senior and disabled pedestrians at risk. Is bringing attention to public safety violations being "small-minded?" The small-mindedness exists in the violators, the non-enforcement, and in the inclination of those who take umbrage at cyclists being called to account.
Lucas Rogers August 02, 2012 at 03:09 PM
The Globe ran a story recently about how car traffic has diminished in Kendall Square in part because of pro-bicycle policies, leading to less congestion for those who must or prefer to drive. So, as someone who bikes and drives, Hubway seems like a win-win for Somerville to me.
JPC August 02, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Saw the Hubway set up in Union Square last night, this morning rode to work outside of Faneuil Hall. Nice morning ride, no trouble, and system worked great.
Jeff August 02, 2012 at 04:47 PM
I have been working in the Union SQ area for 20 years. The square has always been choked/overrun with cars! The green line extension and innovative solutions like the Hubway are going to make things better for everyone. It's time to look forward not backwards to solve our transportation problems.
Cat B August 06, 2012 at 03:47 PM
I live in Union Sq. as well, and I don't see the sidewalk cyclists you speak of all day and evening. I occasionally see people with their toddlers on bikes, but that's about it.
Sand Man August 06, 2012 at 04:15 PM
"I live in Union Sq. as well, and I don't see the sidewalk cyclists you speak of all day and evening. I occasionally see people with their toddlers on bikes, but that's about it." --cat b. Really? Well, you ought to get a new pair of glasses, because I sure as hell see it happening, day & night! And I have lots of video footage to prove it!

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