Monday, January 23, 2012
Clean it, lubricate it, wax it and keep it parked inside.
If you left your bicycle outside this weekend, susceptible to damage from snow, dirt and ice-melting salts, there are a few things you should do to get it back into good working order, according to local experts. Clean it, and keep it clean. Tyler Oulton, who owns Ball Square's Paramount Bicycle shop, writes on his website that cleaning a bicycle is the most important part of winter maintenance. Taking mild soap and a sponge to the frame will not only remove dirt, he says, but also get you to check for damage or deterioration. He recommends looking for wear or rust on the break pads, correct wheel alignment, broken spokes and cracks in the frame. Then to keep you and your bike as clean as possible, he writes, install either full or clip-…
Thursday, January 19, 2012
The city will store an abandoned bicycle for years before auctioning it off.
With temperatures in the 20s, you might have given up bicycling for the winter. But don't just lock your bicycle to a parking sign or rack in Union Square and expect to see it there come spring or even the next warm day. Somerville doesn't have a policy on the books for removing bicycles, said city spokeswoman Jackie Rossetti. But if someone calls 311 to report one that's been supposedly abandoned or illegally parked, the Department of Public Works will monitor the bike for two weeks, she said, before taking it away to its repair garage. If no one claims it after about six months, the department turns it over to the Somerville Police Department, which would store it indefinitely. During the December meeting of the Somerville Bicycle …
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Paul Bockelman will serve as chairman, and Mary Jo Rossetti will serve as vice chairwoman.
Somerville's School Committee voted unanimously to elect two new leaders Monday during a night of inaugurations. Paul Bockelman, the former vice chairman of the committee, is now chairman, and Mary Jo Rossetti will serve as chairwoman. Bockelman, who has lived in Somerville for more than 25 years, is the director of administration and finance at the Massachusetts Municipal Association and has a master’s degree in city planning from MIT, according to his biography on the Somerville Public Schools website. He has been a member of the School Committee since 2006 and held the position of vice chairman twice and chairman once before. Bockelman said in a speech (see attached PDF) that he would like the district to expand early childhood …
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Plus three things that could make bicycling better in Somerville in 2012.
With travel along Beacon Street becoming progessively worse, members of the Somerville Bicycle Committee have suggested that the city post signs directing cyclists toward alternative routes to popular destinations like Porter Square. Member Brian Postlewaite said during the December meeting that he would develop a map with possible routes that he would present to the rest of the committee. While bicycling on Beacon Street is unlikely to get much better before 2013, there should be several new programs and facilities created for cyclists this year.
Monday, December 5, 2011
These bicycle markings could be coming to Somerville streets next year.
The city has made some exploratory suggestions for having bicycle markings painted on several Somerville streets in 2012, said a planner from the Somerville Transportation and Infrastructur Division at a November meeting with the Somerville Bicycle Advisory Committee. Sarah Spicer said that the Department of Traffic and Parking has suggested striping the following streets: Spicer said that in the spring, the city plans to have lanes painted along Union Square's Bow Street, likely on the right side of the one-way street. At the same time, on-street parking would be changed so that drivers would have to back into a space at an angle. The committee discussed how the city or a contractor might have to move the bicycle corral in front of Bloc …
Monday, November 21, 2011
Catch up on news about bicycling in Somerville and suggest spots for parking.
The city plans to install seven more bicycle corrals this spring through a grant from the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, according to Sarah Spicer, a representative from the city's department of transportation and infrastructure. The announcement elicited a collective "wow" from the members of the Somerville Bicycle Advisory Committee, who met Nov. 15 at City Hall and who regularly encourage city officials to expand bicycle infrastructure. The Department of Public Works recently installed two bicycle corrals, one of which takes up a parking space in front of Davis Square's Diesel Cafe and another in front of Union Square's Bloc 11 Cafe. Each holds 14 bicycles. True Grounds, in Ball Square, will receive a corral in the spring, …
Monday, November 14, 2011
Two Somerville artists have decorated Union Square to strengthen the growing bicycle culture in the neighborhood and the city at large.
If you’ve been in Union Square lately, you might have noticed a new pop of color on the sidewalk adjacent to Creative Union Gallery’s vibrantly decorated storefront. Steps from the bicycle lane on Somerville Avenue stands a switch box covered in pastel and black-and-white bicycles, with the message: “Bike more, drive less.” Somerville artist Doug Moore painted the switch box under the aegis of the Somerville Arts Council, who launched the Switchbox Project in 1997 to encourage local artists to take their talent to the streets by painting the rectangular, gray boxes on the city’s sidewalks that contain electrical switches. And Ken Richardson, a photographer who lives in the neighborhood and has been commuting by bicycle since the 1990s…
Monday, October 17, 2011
The city recently created a page on its website where residents can register their bikes.
Until earlier this month, Somerville residents who wanted to register their bicycles with the city’s police department had to go to the Union Square station or call or e-mail the officer in charge of the free service. No longer. A few months ago, the Somerville Bicycle Committee suggested that the city create a page on its website that would allow residents to quickly register online, and the city did just that. Residents can click here to register their bicycles. You must provide your name, address, phone number, birthdate, the bicycle's make and model, serial number and distinctive features. In addition you may submit a photo of your bicycle and its attachments. The police department will then mail you a sticker and a copy of the …
Monday, October 10, 2011
The city counted rush-hour bicyclists and pedestrians this spring to discover the busiest intersections.
More bicyclists and pedestrians cross the intersection of Beacon Street and Somerville Avenue than any other intersection in the city, according to a city-sponsored count of commuters held this spring. In the mornings, a total of 831 people per hour biked or walked across that intersection, near Porter Square; at night, 826 per hour did. The city began counting the number of bicyclists and pedestrians in spring 2010 to figure out where to put bike lanes and other infrastructure—and to justify applications for state and federal funding for them. Now, each fall and spring, the Somerville Bicycle Committee and the mayor’s office recruit volunteers to stand at 36 different places in the city during rush hours to count the number of cyclists …
Monday, October 3, 2011
An annual meeting in November with city officials will give the Somerville Bicycle Committee a chance to put forward new and old proposals.
When the Somerville Bicycle Committee meets in November with city officials, members plan to push for cycle tracks, a plan for bicycle programs and a Complete Streets policy, according to conversations at the committee's Sept. 20 meeting. In the past, the committee has proposed that the city install cycle tracks along Beacon Street. Cycle tracks, popular in many European cities, would create a physical barrier between moving vehicles and bike lanes. Such a barrier could be a curb or even a row of parked cars. As for the creation of a plan for bicycle programs, committee member Alan Moore said he had discovered a draft that he and other members began writing in 2009 and would present it at the November meeting. Meanwhile, Alex Epstein, who…