Editor Chris Orchard email@example.com
10:07 am on Monday, May 20, 2013
You do realize that 40 mph in that case is the speed LIMIT right, not the minimum? The only roads that have minimum speeds are interstate highways, and the minimum there is usually 45 mph. And that bicyclists have every right to use as much of the lane as they need to be safe. On narrow roads especially riding too far to the right encourages motorists to pass too closely or when it is not safe to do so. In addition, the far right side of the road often has a lot of dirt and debris, which can cause a bicyclist to crash or get a flat tire.
7:56 pm on Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Seeing cyclists as people pull out of their driveways a legitimate concern but as it is now, when they pull OUT of their driveways, they can't really see bicyclists in the bike lane. This issue will go away, but people will just have to be more cautious pulling INTO their driveways instead on the side with parking. On the side without parking, visibility will be improved for pulling into and out of driveways (and side streets).
That's true that on the no parking side, the cycle track would have to go down to street level if you wanted to provide a mid-block crosswalk. Although even better would be if the crosswalk could be a raised one. It would be safer for pedestrians and more convenient for bicyclists. But even if you couldn't do that, I don't think having the cycle track go down to street level for a few mid-block crosswalks is a terrible thing.
6:24 pm on Wednesday, April 3, 2013
I do travel on Beacon St regularly, by bike, walking, and driving, and you're right the impacts to me will be minimal, including when I drive and am looking for parking to go to one of the businesses. But it's not about me. It's about a solution that makes it safer and more accommodating for everyone, that benefits the residents, businesses, and those who are traveling through.
I'm not sure which data you are looking for. You asked me to show you proof that the three organizations are in support of the current plan, which I did. Here is another post from the Boston Cyclists Union that states more clearly that they fully support the current plan AND would also like to see the cycle tracks extended for the full length:
They say: "The design isn’t perfect yet, so even though the Union is in full support, we’re also asking for a few improvements:"...
Is there anything else you are looking for me to provide?
5:18 pm on Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Yeah, I live in Somerville but not directly adjacent to Beacon Street, so unfortunately I would not have gotten a robocall.
Boston Cyclists Union has had a petition of their own for people who use Beacon Street and support cycle tracks to sign:
They also had this article that talks about their collaboration with LivableStreets Alliance:
LivableStreets has been advertising all the public meetings on Facebook with posts like this one from January 21:
"The next Beacon Street Somerville public meeting is Monday Jan 28 at 6 pm at the Argenziano School Cafetorium (290 Washington St). Please come and urge the City to include cycle tracks along the ENTIRE length of Beacon Street!"
As for MassBike, they posted this on their Facebook feed on November 16:
"MassBike has been following the Beacon Street project in Somerville closely, and working with local advocates to support an innovative proposal for cycle tracks. We think the project will be most successful if cycle tracks are included for the entire length of Beacon Street. Strong support from the local bicycling community is needed, so please sign the online petition posted by the Boston Cyclists Union. This is a challenging project, with parking and design issues to be solved, but it is very achievable and we want to see it happen."
4:46 pm on Wednesday, April 3, 2013
The design the City submitted was at the pre-25% phase of the project. At that point, the major details can easily be changed. As the City refined the design after meeting with the public, they submitted a revised design to MassDOT. MassDOT held their 25% hearing (it was the second to last public meeting) and at some point will approve 25% Design (I don't believe they have approved it yet). Once MassDOT approves the 25%, changing the major design elements is more difficult. But there are still a lot of design details to be worked out, like intersection details, signal timing, etc, as the design moves along to 75% Design.
2:19 pm on Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Not quite. The City was informed last Spring by MassDOT that the project timeline had been bumped up and that they needed to submit designs within two weeks of that. The City scrambled to have DCI create the initial cycle track design, since that was what the City had been considering at that point. The intent was always that future submissions could change (including removing the cycle tracks if desired) after community input and feedback.
The City advertised the public meetings via email and ResiStat. I'm not sure if they did robocalls or mailers. They were surprised how poorly the first meeting was attended and increased their outreach for the latter meetings, which since then have been very well attended, with at least 100 people at each in my estimation.
The Somerville Bicycle Committee, Boston Cyclists Union, MassBike, and LivableStreets Alliance all support the plan. These groups all include transportation engineers and designers who are familiar with bicycle facility design best practices. There are a few bicycling "experts" who are against the design, but they do not hold the majority opinion amongst transportation professionals today. There will always be some folks who belong to the school of "separate facilities for bicyclists along a roadway are dangerous (except for a few rare cases)". These same folks opposed bike lanes in the Boston area before they were installed (including the ones on Beacon St today).
5:10 pm on Thursday, March 28, 2013
Also, I don't know what cycling and pedestrian advocates you are referring to, other than a few individuals who do not officially represent any of the local advocacy groups, and for whom their opinions are 180 degrees at odds with those groups.
5:08 pm on Thursday, March 28, 2013
A lot of bicyclists who use Beacon St showed up at the first few meetings to show their support for the cycle track. Just because they didn't all attend the last meeting doesn't mean they support it any less. The last meeting certainly had fewer people in attendance than the prior ones. I've seen this happen before, and it's usually due to "meeting fatigue". If someone is in general supportive of a project, they are unlikely to show up to a 4th or 5th meeting and continue to repeat themselves, especially if the plan hasn't changed in a way that they disagree with. The people who were at the last public meeting we generally those who are strongly in favor of it and wanted to continue to express their support and those who continue to be against it (which seems to also be shrinking group). There are a few people who are definitely the loudest in opposition to it, but I certainly wouldn't call it the majority.
12:37 pm on Thursday, March 28, 2013
Glad to see this. The sheer number of bus stops really slows things down. Fewer stops means faster service. And even if they removed half the stops, you still wouldn't have to walk that far to get to one.
12:30 pm on Thursday, March 28, 2013
Agreed about parking enforcement. In other places, a big problem was employees taking up prime on-street spaces in front of their places of employment, leaving few spaces available for customers. I wonder how big of a problem this is in Medford Square.
Also agree that more "destination" businesses are needed. A movie theater, bowling alley, etc are excellent ideas. Sidewalks cafes in the summer months would be excellent as well.
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