December Meeting Report; Next Meeting Feb. 7

Thanks to all who participated in the December meeting. Here's looking forward to building momentum around improving safety and accommodations for bicycles in the Town!

We had fourteen attendees at the Library on the evening Dec 11th. Special thanks to Lois Levin and Helen Rittenberg from Newton, who brought excellent insights and suggestions from the work they are doing in the neighboring community.

We discussed four key issues. If you are interested in getting more involved in any of these, please contact me or the person listed as coordinating.

1. Updating the bicycle plan (Coordinator: Gary Levine). The plan was created 12 years ago. Understanding that the bicycle plan should be considered as part of a broader system and network that includes all modes of transit, the discussion focused on revisiting the plan and evaluating which streets should be the focus of the next phase of signage and/or street marking.

A key element of this approach was to get Needham Bikes better aligned with the DPW. This involved two steps:

  • Inviting representatives of the DPW to the Needham Bikes meeting periodically
  • Aligning the streets that are the focus of our updated bike plan with the DPW's long-term plans for paving

A small group agreed to work on updating the bike plan, including getting together in January. Gary Levine will lead this effort, and will coordinate the volunteers, who included Jeff MacMann, Harvey Winchester and Barry Michelson.

2. Needham-Newton Routes (Coordinator: Dan White). Dan and Tad will continue to work on the concern over better passage between Needham and Newton, with particular attention on the new bridges over Rt. 128. Next step is to convene a meeting with our counterparts in Newton.

3. Needham Bike Fair . The planning process will begin in February. Chris Dollase volunteered to work on that effort.

4. Bikes at the RTS . There is the prospect of changing how discarded bikes are handled at the RTS. Tad will coordinate, and Harvey Winchester and Jeff Heller (in absentia) will constitute the working group that will evaluate that prospect.

We also discussed the need for a bicycle shop in Needham, or some from of co-op that would provide bicycle repair while possibly teaching local youth how to run a business. The idea was tabled for the time being.

Working groups will set up their own interim meetings. The next public Needham Bikes meeting will be on Thursday, Feb. 7th at 7:30pm at the Needham Public Library, in the Community Room .