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Needham Bikes Posts

Bike to Work in Boston, Friday May 19th!

As part of the annual Bay State Bike Week (May 13-21) , as well as the National Bike Month of May, the City of Boston is hosting festivities in honor of National Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 19th.

For the past eight years, one of the many planned convoy routes begins with two locations in Needham:

  • The green in front of Needham Town Hall, leaving at 6:15
  • Cutler Park parking area on Kendrick St. at 6:30

The route continues to the Newton Town Hall, then snakes safely down to the Charles River near Watertown Square, and the rest of the ride in is off road until the last stretch up Cambridge St past Mass General Hospital to Boston City Hall.

The city hosts a nice celebration on City Hall Plaza, where you can get a free breakfast and coffee, listen to music and browse through an expo at City Hall Plaza.

More information and suggested registration here at Boston’s Bike to Work Day site.

Thinking Ahead to Bike Week

One month from now will be the beginning of Bay State Bike Week, which runs from May 13th to the 21st. There will be many related activities around the Bay State of course, and here in Needham there will be a few opportunities to participate.

1. Bike Week Bike Challenge

First, there’s the MassCommute Bicycle Challenge, which the Mass Commute Bicycle Challenge website describes as a week-long, free and friendly competition among Massachusetts businesses, educational institutions, and municipalities. It’s sponsored by MassDOT, MassRIDES and MassBIKE.

It would be great to get more Needhamites tracking their mileage that week. You can see last year’s leaderboard here where Needham was ranked 48th with a mere 124 miles, though Needham Heights was listed separately at 51st with 118 miles. Even if the two were combined to total 242 miles, greater Needham would still have been ranked a lowly 27th.

A total of 600 miles would break the top 10. Tom Francis’s mileage alone will get us halfway there! Please consider signing up, it would be a fun way to rally support for cycling in Needham and continue building the Town’s self-awareness as a cycling friendly community.

2. Bike to Work May 19

There will also be a Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 19, with a convoy to Boston leaving from Needham Town Hall (6:15) and then Cutler Lake (6:30). We then meet up with the Newton Convoy at Newton City Hall at 6:45. The routes are described here. If you go all the way to Boston, there is a nice celebration on City Hall Plaza, with free breakfast and bicycle exhibits.

3. Bike Fair

The Needham Bike Fair will be held on Saturday, May 20th, and feature quick bike tune-ups by Landry’s and 2-3 group rides of various family-friendly lengths. If you’re willing to be a ride leader or if you want to get involved in any other way, please let us know by replying here or emailing participate@needhambikes.org.

 

Needham Bike Fair 2017 Planned

The Needham Bike Fair is an annual event that takes place in May during Bay State Bike Week. If we can get enough volunteer support, we can hold a Bike Fair this year on Saturday, May 20th.

Used Bicycle Exchange. Bicycles in good repair can be dropped off and sold to interested buyers. Bikes not sold will be donated to needy families in Needham and the rest picked up by Bikes Not Bombs.

Bicycle Tune-up Workshop: mechanics from a local bike shop offer quick advice and tune-up.

Bike decorating for kids. Materials and help will be available for kids to decorate their bikes. There will be a mini-parade for kids to show off their work. Other kids can ride their decorated bikes on the family fun ride.

Bike-related exhibits and merchandise

Family Fun Ride: 8-mile easy ride around the circumference of Needham

Location to be determined. Stay tuned here or the Needham Bikes Facebook page for updates on this favorite family event.

 

Complete Streets Public Meeting March 7

Following our meeting in February, we’ll continue to focus on ways we can advocate, promote and celebrate non-automotive travel in Town. This includes:

  • Reviewing the Board of Selectmen’s recently approving Needham’s adopting a complete streets policy . The evaluation of the policy was on the Board of Selectmen’s goals for 2017-2018. The Town works off these goals, which are re-visited each summer. So it’s not too early to start forming a plan to get implementation of the policy on their goals.
  • Discussion of participation at next week’s monthly Traffic Management Advisory committee meeting (March 8, 2017 at 7 p.m., in the Charles River Room of the Public Services Administration Building, 500 Dedham Ave.)
  • There is interest in holding another Needham Bike Fair this Spring during Bay State Bike Week (likely date Sat., May 20th). More details about the event will be discussed.
  • We also discussed updating the Needham Bike Plan. We’ll discuss how to do this, and who can be involved.
    Other topics that you raise.

The meeting will be Tuesday, March 7 at 7:30 at First Parish Needham, 23 Dedham Ave. Come in the door facing Dedham Ave, and go downstairs to the meeting room on the left.

Hope to see you all there! Please feel free to invite others you know might be interested. Our real purpose is to tap into the population of Needham residents willing to support and volunteer to help in this effort. With a broad enough base identified, we’ll be able to more effectively advocate and gain support from the Town.

10 Accidents in Needham Involving Pedestrians in 2016

This week’s Needham Times featured a cover story on the dramatic increase in pedestrian accidents in 2016. The unfortunate trend underscores the needs to improve bicycle and pedestrian traffic accommodations in Needham.

Needham sees high number of pedestrians hit by cars in 2016

A number of Needham cyclists are coming together again to revisit the priorities for improving conditions for cyclists and pedestrians. If you would like to become involved in this effort, please email advocate@needhambikes.org.

Globe Article: The road to fear-free biking in Boston

Nice article in the Globe quantifies the benefits of cycling, predictably using Copenhagen as the model.

“In Copenhagen, cyclists make up 45 percent of all commuters, and city planners have quantified the benefits. Adding up costs avoided by reducing traffic congestion, noise, crashes, wear and tear on infrastructure, and air pollution, they estimate 64 cents of net social gain from every mile traveled by bike instead of car. More residents getting regular exercise drives down health care costs by an estimated 61 cents per mile cycled.”

The road to fear-free biking in Boston

The Southwest Corridor is Fantastic for Biking from Needham to Boston

For anyone thinking about biking to Boston from Needham, you might want to check out the Southwest corridor park system, which provides a lovely bike path from near the Arboretum all the way in to Northeastern University and beyond.

The corridor actually runs all the way to Copley Square, though you need to make an unmarked left turn on Camden before Mass Ave to find the continuation of the park on the eastern side of Mass Ave. Continue reading The Southwest Corridor is Fantastic for Biking from Needham to Boston