Issue #85 - June 2014

In this issue: 

  • Register for Bike4Life, September 13 
  • Training to become a Street Ambassador, tonight
  • Join the LivableStreets Advocacy Committee
  • Vote "NO" on the November ballot
  • South Station Expansion Survey
  • Help shape the Cambridge Bicycle Network Plan
  • Myths debunked: Carsharing doesn't reduce overall driving
  • How our streets became car-centric
  • Funding cut for Allston Commuter Rail?
  • Public meetings & other opportunities

What's happening  


Bike4LifeRegister for Bike4Life, September 13
Join us for a day of biking and fun on Saturday, September 13Register today!
New for Bike4Life this year:
  • Saturday ride date - start your weekend right. 
  • 8:00am start time - more time to enjoy the BBQ!
  • Live band - come hear Red and the Boys blue grass band along the Charles River.
  • Team registration pages - create/join a team to get your family and friends to Bike4Life.
Register today. Can't make the ride? You can still register and fundraise to help us reach our goal of $75,000 for more livable streets.

Training to become a Street Ambassador, tonight
Make change happen. Become a Street Ambassador this summer.


Our 2014 Ambassador season has begun! You may have already seen our Ambassadors this year at Cambridge Walk/Ride Day and Fresh Pond Day.


If you couldn't make May's training, be sure toRSVP for tonight's training.


In 2014, we want you to join our Street Ambassador team to:

-collect postcards in support of our Safer Streets Campaign

-represent LivableStreets at events throughout the summer

-and more!


"Whenever I see a bunch of folks standing on a corner in bright orange shirts I know they are fighting the good fight and getting stuff done." - 2012 Street Ambassador


Attend the training tonight at 5:45-7pm to become an Ambassador and help create safer and more livable streets in Boston.


Join the LivableStreets Advocacy Committee


Help organize, provide technical support and advocate to win our Safer Streets Campaign. Join ongoing projects or bring your own questions and project ideas. Monthly meetings will include trainings and guest speakers.


Email Campaign Coordinator Jamie Maier at [email protected] for more information and to RSVP for the next meeting.


Wednesday, June 25, 6:30-8:30pm

@ LivableStreets office

100 Sidney St., Cambridge

Vote "NO" on the November ballot
LivableStreets is working with our campaign partner Transportation for Massachusetts on the  
gas tax issue.


You have an opportunity to help protect vitally important transportation funding for Massachusetts. A question is headed to the state ballot in November which would prevent the gas tax from rising with inflation. We need the tax to fund safe roads and bridges and improve regional bus service around the state. A cut to the gas tax could have a major impact on transportation funding. LivableStreets is working with our campaign partners at Transportation for Massachusetts (T4MA) on this issue. 

South Station Expansion Survey


MassDOT is looking for input from people who regularly walk and bike in downtown Boston.


South Station is being expanded and you are invited to influence the new design. Help MassDOT identify ways to make traveling on foot or on abicycle easier, safer, and more convenient in the South Station/Dewey Square area. Share your thoughts by taking the 5-7 minute anonymous survey.


Take the South Station Expansion Survey and help shape access to, from, and around the future Boston South Station. The questionnaire is available in English, Spanish and Chinese.

Help shape the Cambridge Bicycle Network Plan


Cambridge is developing a Bicycle Network Plan

and the City is looking for input from everyone who is interested in biking in Cambridge.
Participate by:
Share your thoughts to help create safer and more convenient bike access across Cambridge.

Myths Debunked


Over the first half of 2014, we have been debunking common transportation myths. Last month, we highlighted the myth: People biking don't pay for roads they use. This month, we explore another popular myth.
mythMyth: Carsharing doesn't reduce overall driving.
Debunked: Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) reduce by an average of 27% when carshare is available.

Carshare options, such as Zipcar, RelayRides, City Car Share and Enteprise CarShare, provide people the opportunity to use a car without owning one. Each car shared takes between nine and 13 other cars off the road, and these numbers are consistent across the globe. Whereas, first-year carshare members drive quite often, "VMT [vehicle miles traveled] among carsharing customers drops in subsequent years, often quite dramatically, as people figure out that it's not really so hard to get around by public transit, bike, or on foot," says UC Berkeley civil and environmental engineering professor Susan Shaheen in the SFBG carshare article.
Share your thoughts about this #MythDebunked on Facebook and Twitter.



How our streets became car-centric



An article in Collectors Weekly helps us understand the evolution of Americanstreets, the way we think about transportation, and the current implications of this history.

Before World War I, "roads were seen as a public space, which all citizens had an equal right to, even children at play." More than a century later, the popular slogan "We are traffic," adopted by many people who ride bicycles, is an indication of how much our society has changed.  



"At some point, we decided that somebody on a bike or on foot is not traffic, but an obstruction to traffic. And if you look around, you'll see a hundred other ways in which that message gets across. That's the main obstacle for people who imagine alternatives-and it's very much something in the mind."  



Read more about some of the social and political reasons that American city streets were built primarily for cars at the expense of people who walk and bike in: Murder Machines: Why Cars Will Kill 30,000 Americans This Year.
Want to help keep our streets safe for all people? Get involve with the LivableStreets Safer Streets campaign by signing the Safer Streets Petition. We're working to deepen Boston's commitment to safety and advocate for better infrastructure - such as cycle tracks and improved traffic signalization - to allow people to confidently explore the city on bike, foot, and public transit.

PoliciesFunding cut for Allston commuter rail


As part of the Mass Pike realignment project,

the Harvard-owned property, Beacon Park Yard, was a suggested site for West Station. "The proposed stop would be part of a new Indigo Line, which would employ multiple diesel engines on existing commuter rail tracks to deliver direct, subway-like rides between Allston and Kendall Square, North Station, and beyond." However, a few weeks ago, MassDOT announced that the $260 million turnpike realignment budget will not include funding for West Station.


"According to Glen Berkowitz of LivableStreets Alliance, a public advocacy group,the potential loss of the new West Station rail facility is troubling. 'We remain committed to find out how to get it back into the plan," he says, noting the service would "allow Allston residents and visitors a superb 10 to 15 minute train option downtown.'"


Read more about the new commuter rail and the funding cut in DigBoston's: Off Track: WTF Happened to Plans for an Allston Commuter Rail Line.


Public meetings & other opportunities  

Attend the July 10 Greenough Blvd
 public meeting.

Boston Bike's Bike Friday

Friday, June 27, 7-9am
@ One City Hall Square, Boston
Free breakfast and fun when you bike to work on Friday.



LivableStreets Volunteer Friday

Friday, June 27, 12-2pm
@ LivableStreets office, 100 Sidney St., Cambridge
Best way to start volunteering.
Riverfront Park Restoration along Greenough Blvd Public Meeting 
Thursday, July 10, 6:30-8:30pm 

@ Shady Hill School, 56 Coolidge Avenue, Cambridge

Voice your support for reclaiming a mile of waterfront along the Charles River.   

More information here


Thank you to StreetLife sponsor: 


Interested in sponsoring our monthly newsletter? Email [email protected].