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Posts Tagged ‘bike sharing’

We’ve been speaking of public transit and well-planned cities of late. Here’s a story from the radio show Living on Earth about a Boston neighborhood that is fed up with streets built to keep cars and trucks happy and is demanding a more human focus.

“JAKE LUCAS: On a bright Tuesday morning, in Boston’s western neighborhood of Allston, a small group of locals with picket signs crowds onto a little wedge of concrete. They’re standing on Cambridge Street, right where a highway on-ramp splits off from the fiercely busy six-lane road that has been a sore point for years.

“HARRY MATTISON: Cambridge Street is a street that’s a crucial link in our neighborhood, and it’s also an incredibly unsafe, dangerous street.

“LUCAS: That’s Harry Mattison, a 31-year-old software developer who’s a longtime advocate for pedestrian and cyclist rights in the area. Since Cambridge Street was last redesigned 50 years ago, it’s been high on the list of residents’ complaints, and with good reason.

“Two pedestrians were killed here in the last two years. And one of those accidents happened just a few weeks before this rally, when a car hit a man as he tried to cross from the on-ramp to where the protesters are standing now.

“They’re holding signs with messages like ‘My kids walk here,’ and they’re demanding a safer Cambridge Street. Mattison has three kids, and laments not feeling safe on a street that cuts through the heart of his own neighborhood. …

“The city is already working on a short-term fix to make Cambridge Street safer. But in the long term, the transportation department has bigger plans. It’s going to bring the street into the modern day and transform it using the principles of what’s called a ‘complete street.’ Complete streets look different in different places, but the idea’s simple – make transportation systems about people, so there’s equal access for all forms of travel and all people.

“Boston’s Transportation Department has its own complete street guidelines. The head of policy and planning, Vineet Gupta, says that in Boston, every street redesign will include a handful of features from a menu of possibilities.

“GUPTA: Any street that’s going through a redesign process will have some elements of complete streets in it based on its size, based on what the community wants and based on where it’s located.

“LUCAS: In some places that’s as simple as narrowing the road by adding a bike lane. Projects with more room and better funding, like Cambridge Street, might also allow for things like new bike sharing stations, more trees along the street or smart parking meters that direct drivers to open spaces. The final design will be tailored toward the wants and needs of the people who use it.” More here.

Photo: Jake Lucas
Harry Mattison and residents of Boston’s Allston neighborhood march at the Rally for a Safer Cambridge Street on July 28, 2014.

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Boston Medical Center is an inner-city hospital that takes a special interest in immigrants and the poor. It also treats patients holistically, offering a referral service for problems that get in the way of good health.

With the support of the City of Boston, Boston Medical Center has added a new item to its medicine cabinet: bike sharing.

Catalina Gaitan writes at the Boston Globe, “The City of Boston has announced a program to subsidize bike-sharing memberships for low-income residents, in partnership with Boston Medical Center.

“The program, ‘Prescribe-a-Bike,’ would allow doctors at Boston Medical Center to prescribe low-income patients with a yearlong membership to Hubway, a bike-share program, for only $5.

“Participants would be allowed unlimited number of trips on the bicycles, provided they use them for 30 minutes or less at a time. They will also be given a free helmet, the mayor’s office said in a joint statement with Boston Medical Center.

“ ‘Obesity is a significant and growing health concern for our city, particularly among low-income Boston residents,’ said Kate Walsh, chief executive of Boston Medical Center, in the statement. …

“Statistics show that 1 in 4 low-income residents in Boston is obese, almost twice the rate of higher-income residents, the statement said.

“To qualify for the prescription, participants must be 16 years or older and be enrolled in some form of public assistance, or have a household income of no more than four times the poverty level.”

More here.

bikes-in-boston

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