The “Centre/South Streetscape and Transportation Action Plan” is proposing bike lanes in the Centre Street business district in Jamaica Plain from Eliot Street to Lakeville Rd. The images from the presentation at the January 2010 meeting of the Citizens Advisory Committee for the project show bicyclists safely out of range of car doors in the existing conditions but clearly within range when bike lanes are added (see images above, doors added to original). Shared lane markings should instead be used on Centre and South Streets to encourage bicyclists to safely use the streets and to discourage motorists from harassing bicyclists. Gore stripes can be used to indicate that the door zone is unsafe. Shared lane markings have already been used at Forest Hills and in Roslindale Square and several other locations in Boston, and are proposed for the majority of the Centre-South Street corridor that is less than 44 feet wide and thus considered too narrow for bike lanes.
This morning on my way to work on Centre Street, a wrong-way rider is coming right at me in the 4 feet between stopped traffic and parked cars. I slow and wave at him. He just keeps charging along. Fearing a collision, I hop off the bike, and he barely fits past, still zooming, and giving me a scare. I look back and see him continue to charge along at speed, barely avoiding a right-turning police car.
Wait. A police car? The officer couldn’t have not seen him. How about a little enforcement here? I go back to the intersection, where the school crossing guard is saying something — maybe to the officer. I say I want him to come back. She motions, he reverses. I go to his open window and say — hey, did you see that wrong-way bicyclist going fast? He nearly hit me. He asks for a description, which I give. He gives an impression that he might do something to find this guy. But probably not. Nah, not likely.
The new bike law in Massachussetts allows police officers to use the standard ticket book they always carry to give tickets to bicyclists. It also requires training — for example in why wrong-way riding is dangerous. But it’s expecting too much to see any actual enforcement.
Peter DeMarco’s “Who Taught You to Drive?” column recently took up the subject of mopeds. This topic is timely, since people are discovering these small motorcycles now that gas is more than $4/gallon. He also brings up two issues related to non-motorized bicyclists: passing between lanes of stopped traffic and parking on Boston sidewalks. Continue Reading »
This month the trolley tracks in Jamaica Plain were paved over. All gone. It took two days. They had been a hazard and a nuisance, especially for cyclists, causing many injuries. And they had not been used by a trolley since December 1985. That’s 22 and 1/2 years of unnecessary pain. Completely unnecessary, because the plans for trolley “restoration” always called for replacing the existing tracks to provide greater support for the “Light Rail Vehicles” that are now the only kind used on the Green Line (and which are ironically heavier than the old PCC cars previously used in Jamaica Plain). Continue Reading »
UPDATE June 27, 2008: Aaron Fine was sentenced to two years, but only two months in prison, followed by a suspended sentence for six years with supervised probation, including these special conditions: mental health counseling, abstaining from driving for four months, 600 hours of community service, and no contact with the Shatz family. Continue Reading »
The City of Boston is co-sponsoring a “Commuter Challenge” as part of Bay State Bike Week. Well, I have a Bike Week Challenge for the City of Boston. Here are some critical policy changes–and a few fixes–that we desperately need. Will we see them this week? Bike Week 2009? Continue Reading »
Newsflash: In Boston, the filling of potholes “appears to be a totally subjective decision of the supervisors and is unsupported by any records, data bases, or even a planned survey approach.” Continue Reading »
Remember Me? I was the first birthday gift that you asked for and actually got. We’d get away and explore new places, limited only by imagination and sunlight. All the other kids wished they were you: lucky, fast, and free. What do kids wish for now? Continue Reading »
A few weeks ago I bought a new bike — a Jamis Commuter 3.0. Mine is black, the 2008 model, but Harris Cyclery was good enough to put on the 2007 bars, which are more of the moustache variety, and a shorter stem. I also put on a lighter, narrower seat, a Delta rack, toe clips, and Cateye LED lights. It’s been great fun to ride. Continue Reading »