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Posts Tagged ‘nicole freedman’

Bike Share came to Boston last summer. I blogged about it here. I did wonder if people who used the Bike Share would be bringing their own helmets. It turns out that only 30 percent of Bike Share users do, compared with about 70 percent of those who have their own bikes.

MIT to the rescue! Thanks to a group of determined problem solvers, a bike helmet is in the works.

“The prototype of the product they call HelmetHub would dispense headgear to what until now have been the mostly helmetless riders of Hubway. …

“Much of Hubway’s allure is its immediacy,” writes Eric Moskowitz in the Boston Globe, “making even that side trip to the store — or the prospect of being saddled with a helmet after returning the bike — inconvenient for some users, said Nicole Freedman, who runs the city’s Boston Bikes program, which oversees Hubway.

“The HelmetHub prototype features a touch screen similar to those on Hubway rental kiosks, draws power from solar panels, and occupies half the space of a soda machine. And it works, dispensing helmets that adjust to fit most head sizes.” The prototype is almost ready to launch, and knowing the enterprising MIT mindset, it won’t take long. Read more.

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More curiosities seen on the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston: Waves. The first wave pictured below has a sign saying, “From the Greenway.” The second says, “From the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA.”

This website helps to explain that an urban collaboration led by artists Susan Hoffman Fishman and Elena Kalman is behind this project, “The Wave: An Interactive Public Art Installation Fostering Global H20 Awareness.” I love it, but it didn’t raise my water awareness immediately because I had trouble figuring out what it was. Thank goodness for Google.

A couple weeks ago, I wrote to the Greenway people (and to the city of Boston) about bikers who were using the Greenway paths despite signs saying not to use “bicycles, skateboards, personal transportation, i.e. Segway.” I like that people bike instead of use cars, but not on footpaths. The signs cause walkers to lower their guard. I’ve seen near misses.

The city wrote me: “Thank you so much for your email. It is illegal to ride on the Greenway. We at the City of Boston are aware of this issue. We will be installing a bike lane on the road for the cyclists this season. Research shows that that bike lanes dramatically reduce sidewalk riding.”

The Greenway people wrote: ” For the safety and enjoyment of all Greenway visitors, biking is not permitted anywhere in the parks. When our horticultural and maintenance staffs witness a cyclist, they will ask them to dismount; City of Boston Police Department handles enforcement.  … The City of Boston installed five new Hubway stations along the Greenway.  This fall, the City will be installing painted bike lanes onto the street which will help alleviate the problem in the parks.”

(At the moment the Boston police are more preoccupied with Occupy Boston. They arrested 141 Occupiers early Tuesday because they had spread into the Greenway from Dewey Square. Funny how a few days can change one’s perspective. Today the concerns of the Occupiers and the concerns of the police both seem more serious than bikes on footpaths.)



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Nicole Freedman is a woman with a mission. A professional bike racer from 1994 to 2005 and a competitor in the 2000 Olympics, she was appointed by Boston Mayor Menino in 2007 to move the city from the bottom of the bikable-cities list to the top. In a few years, much has changed. Protected bike lanes have appeared all around the Greater Boston area, citywide biking events have enticed everyone from beginners to experts, and new bike maps are widely available.

Now Freedman and the New Balance company have brought bike sharing to the Hub. It’s not just for Europe anymore.

“New Balance Hubway is your Boston bike sharing system. Launched in Boston on July 28, 2011, with 61 stations and 600 bicycles, with an eye towards expanding into Boston neighborhoods and surrounding communities, New Balance Hubway provides you with an accessible and green transit option. Rent a bike near your home or office and pedal your way to the next lunch meeting, errand or shopping trip, or to visit friends and family.”

Read more here. Learn how you can borrow bikes and where you can return them.

But BYO helmet because Boston drivers are still Boston drivers.

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