Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Protected bike lanes on the increase

From an article in Streetsblog. You can read the entire article here 

Number of Protected Bike Lanes in America Nearly Doubled in 2012

This is becoming a more common sight in American cities. Photo:BicyclesOnly/Flickr
They’re the Cadillac (or, should we say, the Colnago) of bike infrastructure: protected bike lanes.
But on-street bikeways that give cyclists some measure of physical protection from traffic have been more or less unheard of in American cities — until recently. After New York City implemented a protected bike lane on Ninth Avenue in 2007, the treatment began to spread. Now, through their Green Lane Project, Bikes Belong is on a mission to make this type of bike lane an unremarkable sight in the United States. And cities are making real progress on that front.

MIT, Stats and City Cycling

A lot of discussion around cycling is emotional without stats to back it up. This review of City Cycling does a good job at looking at cycling from a stats perspective. The book written advocates cycling but also uses stats from a wide range of areas to back up their findings: cycling helps you live longer, kids like to bike to school and beware the guy driving the car

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Back At It

This blog took an extended vacation. We had a little bit of activity about starting up a bike committee in town over a year ago. That went away. In the meantime, there has been an upsurge of activity on the international, national and local level. Nearby, the Methuen rail trail committee has made great headway at developing a nearly three mile multiuser trail. I'll write more about that. In North Andover, there is a lot of activity around building a series of linked trails to tie schools together. I haven't heard of any activity in Andover. I've done a couple of charity rides lately and I've run into enough folks in other communities to try to revive this blog.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Rails to Trails could use your help for TE funding

From an email I received regarding transportation funding, "Along with others, like Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), who offered an amendment to prohibit funding for walking and bicycling, Sen. Ensign does not realize that more trails means people walk and bike more and drive less. This translates into less congestion, healthier people, a healthier planet, more money available to our communities, and much, much more.

Moments ago, the U.S. Senate passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan. Unlike the House of Representatives’ version of the bill, the Senate did not explicitly fund Transportation Enhancements (TE), the nation’s primary funding source for active transportation.

However, the Senate and House will work to reconcile their differences “in conference” over the next few days.

We must convince the Senate to protect TE in conference.

Please go here to get started.

This is exciting, because we know we can make an impact: After more than 15,000 of us signed Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s (RTC) petition to Congress and the president to explicitly fund active transportation in the recovery package, the House allocated $1.35 billion for TE.

Please give a few minutes of your time—I promise, together we can make a difference.

Thank you so much.

Kevin Mills,
Vice-President of Policy,
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy"

Monday, February 9, 2009

2009, A new year for bicyclists

The start of the new year has seen some major developments.
On the federal level there is the potential for bicycle commuters to benefit from the increased transportation funding. It will be a battle between funding for traditional road building and alternative transportation including bike paths, etc.

In the good news during bad news category, a bicycle commuter $20 per month credit was added to the bank bailout bill.

At the state level, after years of effort a bicycle bill of rights has been enacted. This law is worth reading as it does change how bikes and cars are supposed to interact.

And in Andover, I think you will see a more formal bike committee formed. More to come on this,

Monday, August 11, 2008

August Rambles

Wow, This blog has not been updated for while. But that does not mean that all is quiet in commuter bicycling. I've been riding regularly but not to my office which was relocated to Topsfield. I could do it, but it is about 30 miles up Route 133 and there are no showers to be found in the little office park where I am now located. Anyways, interest in biking has escalated along with the price of gasoline. Once you get involved in biking, it starts to seem as if biking would ease everything: banish the obesity epidemic with biking, cut your carbon footprint, save money, make the town a nice place to travel instead of getting stuck in traffic on Main Street. It really doesn't work that way. Let me know is you are new or renewed in your bike efforts.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Bruce Freeman trail

The Bruce Freeman trail is a 25 mile rail/trail that will eventually go from Lowell to Framingham. These trails take a lot of time to develop and fund. The Lowell Junction area of Andover was once a major hub for rail lines headed north. Maybe someday Andover will have trails of its own, but right now it is probably wiser to think about how to connect to trails such as the Freeman, a North Andover trail on the old Essex railroad line down through Middleton and the 104 mile Massachusets central rail trail.

On a cold New England Day, think London cycling

Too cold for me to be out biking today. I draw the line when the temps hit the teens. Here is an article about the mayor of London's plans to spend nearly $1 billion on cycling infrastructure in London over the next ten years.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Let Us Now Praise Famous (Bike) Men

Bike women too for that matter. But the recent passing of Sheldon Brown who worked at Harris Cycle shop in West Newton. Anyone, and I mean anyone, that wanted to use the web to find the history of bikes, how bikes work or were simply looking for some great advice eventually ended up at Sheldon's site. He was fearless in offering unbiased advice and fearless in taking on any bicycle fix up project including delving into the gearing structure of English Sturmey Archer three speed repairs.
He died recently at 61-years-old. You can read his Globe obit which does a good job at honoring him. In my opinion, Sheldon Brown for his huge enthusiastic knowledge of bikes and Paul Dudley White for his early advocacy of cycling in Boston are the two people who have so far contributed the most to the Massachusetts bicycle culture.

2008: Year of the Bike

Okay, I know it is the year of the rat, but I'll take a bike instead. I've been attending a couple meetings of the transportation advisory board to talk about a bike to work day for the businesses along River Road. I'm excited that I'll be taking a four week bike maintenance course down at Broadway Bikes in Cambridge along with my son's fiancee. I've been out riding a few times since the start of the year, but I don't think I will ride regularly until the end of Feb.
Here is a quick rundown of national, state and local bike activities. On the national scale, the League of American Bicyclists has named fifteen new cities across the U.S. to the status of bicycle friendly communities, alas none in Massachusetts. The 2008 Federal Transportation bill is still way overweighted to expanding automobile travel. I guess this is to be expected. In the Massachusetts area, there are some signs of encouragement particularly in Boston where Mayor Menino has become a biking advocate. The big city mayors, taking a cue perhaps from bike friendly projects in London and Paris, have become some of the biggest biking advocates. Locally, Andover is up to vote on Community Preservation Act . Andover has left a lot of money on the community development table by not taking part in this state matching program. If you look at the town budget, you'll see a couple million gap between costs and expenses. The current thinking seems to be that an override can get us on course for the next couple years. I don't see how. Too many employee contracts remain unsigned, too many capital expenditure projects (capping the landfills, road maintenance) remain to be funded and -- the big elephant in the closet -- declining housing valuations will stymie any quick budget fix. What this means to me is that bike lane etc funding will have to be found elsewhere.

A Peddling Wish

Thanks for coming to this blog. Here's what I'd like to accomplish. The long term goal is to be part of creating a safe, comprehensive bicycle plan for Andover. I'd like to think that at some point (I'll call it the 25-year bike plan), the town will have a series of linked paths and safe roadways which the residents can use for recreation, shopping, business and commuting. Students will learn the rules of safe biking early on, drivers will share the roads willingly and our town will be viewed as a model for other community biking efforts. Care to join in for the ride? My email is BLOG RULES 1. I've enabled comment moderation. This means I get a chance to approve comments before they appear. This is intended to keep the blog on topic, civil and appropriate for all to read. 2. Please stay on topic: Bicycling in Andover 3. Please participate. If you want to stay anonymous on the blog, please say so.