[*BCM*] Bike Racks in Brookline and hopefully A-B
tjvitolo at bu.edu
tjvitolo at bu.edu
Wed Jun 17 10:54:00 EDT 2009
I'm on the Brookline Bicycle Advisory Committee (though not speaking on
their behalf) and helped procure and site many bike racks in Brookline.
In fact, we've got some more coming -- post and hitch style which
will use currently existing parking meter posts.
We got our racks a number of ways:
* MAPC grant (
* included on major road projects like the Beacon St project
* donations from individuals/businesses (a new Brookline program)
If you want bike racks in your neighborhood, I recommend you do the following:
1. Print out color google satellite images of the local areas, zoomed
in enough to precisely mark where you'd like the rack.
2. Mark the maps clearly, being thoughtful about sidewalk clearance,
nearby racks, car doors opening, crosswalks and curbcuts, and any other
reason why your spot might not be a great one.
3. Indicate priority. A location near a coffee shop with no meters or
sign posts and along a bike corridor has higher priority than in front
of a furniture store where there's sign posts and meters and a bike
rack 100' away.
4. Prioritize public gathering places like libraries, schools, parks,
etc. as well as local businesses and larger apartment buildings.
5. Identify business owners who would like a bike rack in front of
6. Include photos of your location requests.
7. Suggestion what kind of rack to place in each location. Please
read Cambridge's bike rack brochure (pdf) first to understand which
racks are best where:
Once you've gathered up all of this information, pass it on! If you're
interested in Allston or Brighton, I might include:
* Nicole Freedman (Boston Bike Coordinator,
Nicole.Freedman.bra at cityofboston.gov )
* Tommy Vitolo (me!), who has created a nifty web-based mapping
program to help visualize all of this
* Mayor Menino's office
* Your state rep Mike Moran ( Rep.MichaelMoran at hou.state.ma.us ) to
see if he can help with regional funding.
Those are listed in order of likely helpfulness. In Brookline, our
biggest challenge is funding. There's widespread political support for
installing bike racks, but nobody wants to pay for them. While I find
it frustrating that the Town spends millions of dollars on parking
garages but won't budget for bike rack equipment, we were able to get
some grants and will continue to work on installing more racks around
/** On a slightly related side note, Harvard St in Brookline has
on-and-off bike lanes and lots of bike racks, but as soon as one
crosses the northern border into Boston (and onto Harvard Ave) the bike
lane stops. Bike racks do exist between Comm and Brighton, and the
road is certainly wide enough to install a bike lane there, which would
help to lengthen the bike corridor that Brookline has already
(incompletely) implemented along that axis. A corridor extending to
Cambridge St and one along Brighton Ave would do well to complement the
pre-existing infrastructure on Harvard St and the coming-soon! bike
lanes on Comm Ave west of the BU Bridge. **/
While bike lanes aren't the single most critical piece of
infrastructure necessary to move toward a more bike-friendly Boston
Metro, they are a piece which helps raise social acceptance of
bicycles, are a piece which doesn't tend to generate much opposition,
and are relatively cheap, so it's a nice place to start when trying to
make one's community more bike friendly. Best of luck!
Member, Brookline Bicycle Advisory Committee
tjvitolo at bu.edu
Quoting "so.eximo at gmail.com" <so.eximo at gmail.com>:
> Some polite suggestions:
> stop trying to assume one should re-create all of what Brookline and
> Cambridge succeeded in doing without first studying how it is they did it.
> It¹s not as simple as a vote with a roll call, and it¹s not the job of
> elected officials to do the legwork required before and after appropriations
> occur. If you think funding is an issue, for instance, find a civil
> engineering firm to consider consulting pro bono, or offer the name of a
> friend or professional group that might. If you make it clear to the City
> you¹re willing to stand behind your own project, you will be amazed at how
> willing they will be to step up and stand behind you. As someone who¹s done
> a small project within a bike trail proposal for a town, I find it
> fascinating how people think writing an E-Mail will make bike racks a
> Reality Check: City Hall roll call votes won¹t install the bike rack, your
> elected officials aren¹t suppose to know where to place the bike racks, or
> which kinds to order, or how to save money on them to make it feasible, or
> who to contact to consult with, or anything like that. They might represent
> you, but they also depend on you to help them help you.
> For the cynics: Find a city you feel is as equally apathetic as Boston, yet
> managed to one-up most cities that claim they¹re progressive on this issue.
> Think MTA for LA Buses. Ever LA bus has one, and Mass Bike points to this
> all the time. Bu did anyone bother to call someone behind that multi-year
> campaign, ask them what lessons they learned, how they pulled it off? Or do
> we think MTA are super cool and smart and decided to do it one day, and no
> one resisted? (disclaimer: for all I know, MassBike people did this, it¹s
> just an ex.)
> There is always a way, and few problems exist in one part of the world that
> were not successfully conquered in another part. Find that part of the world
> with the solution, talk to the people behind the solution. Then, reverse
> engineer it.
> Oh, and if I may suggest: avoid the term racks.¹ it sounds more complicated
> to build than a bike post. Racks sound complicated and expensive. Bike posts
> sound like wooden roads you want to hammer into a natural park... When I
> think of bike racks, I think of jackhammers and graffiti and hideously bleak
> black paint, constructed by people who would, if it were up to them, paint
> the SF Golden Bridge white or something.
> Even if they did get more bike racks in Allston, we still can¹t convince
> Allston to organize the real estate developers to lobby for planting trees
> in place of concrete street islands. And that¹s not apathy, that¹s
> stupidity trees always are cheaper than the rise in home values they
> create.... Can¹t we just get trees on Comm Ave first? We all know the bike
> racks will be painted some primary grayscale color, since it¹s Boston...
> What¹s the point of adding some ugly thing like that?
> On 6/7/09 10:43 AM, "Lee Peters" <leepeters at gis.net> wrote:
>> I think the city trawls this list for that kind of info. Be patient....or
>> give a call to your city councilor's office.
>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>> From: jb fentner <mailto:symboliceon at hotmail.com>
>>> To: BCM <mailto:list at bostoncriticalmass.org>
>>> Sent: Sunday, June 07, 2009 3:18 AM
>>> Subject: Re: [*BCM*] bike racky
>>> I'm always appreciative when I see any evidence of this town putting some
>>> money in to doing things that help us out, but we REALLY need some more
>>> attention in Allston. The fact that there are just SO many folks who ride
>>> bikes in that area and very few places to lock up is really starting to
>>> bother me. Every damn time I go to that convenience store near the
>>> Model on
>>> my way home from work I end up having to lock up to that bus stop overhang
>>> thing. About a mile away, in Coolidge Corner where there seem to be less
>>> cyclists there seems to be about fifteen thousand places to lock up.
>>> From: leepeters at gis.net
>>> To: list at bostoncriticalmass.org
>>> Date: Sat, 6 Jun 2009 13:14:37 -0400
>>> Subject: [*BCM*] bike racky
>>> There are some sweet new racks on the sidewalks of the Back Bay and
>>> elsewhere in Boston. Try them out.
>>> Windows Live SkyDrive: Get 25 GB of free online storage. Get it on your
>>> BlackBerry or iPhone.
>>> Boston Critical Mass mailing list
>>> list at bostoncriticalmass.org
>>> To unsubscribe email list-unsubscribe at bostoncriticalmass.org
>>> No virus found in this incoming message.
>>> Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
>>> Version: 8.5.339 / Virus Database: 270.12.55/2160 - Release Date: 06/07/09
>> Boston Critical Mass mailing list
>> list at bostoncriticalmass.org
>> To unsubscribe email list-unsubscribe at bostoncriticalmass.org
More information about the Bostoncriticalmass