Diverged & Digression Ride Beneficiary 2017: MassBike

MassBike is familiar to most of the Overland Base Camp community.  Dedicated to making Massachusetts a more bicycle friendly Commonwealth and increasing bicycle ridership, their collective voice of over 3000 members looks to create solutions for the traffic, health, and environmental challenges that face our community.  We wholeheartedly believe in the work of MassBike and are donating half of the proceeds from both the Diverged Ride and Digression Ride to support their efforts.

MassBike educates cyclists.  From bicycling basics for beginners to instruction for aspiring racers.

MassBike works with communities on bicycling initiatives.  Harnessing the energy of local cycling communities and providing planning assistance to municipalities that are interested in a bicycle project.

MassBike provides bikeability assessment services.  Working with local cyclists to advocate for better conditions in their community.

MassBike advocates.  In partnership with other organizations such as the Vision Zero Coalition, Livable Streets, WalkBoston and the Boston Cyclists Union, MassBike crafted an omnibus traffic safety bill to make our roadways safer for the bicycling community, as well as other roadway users.  Some of the topics included in An Act to reduce traffic fatalities (Senate Docket #1545, House Docket #3006) include:

  • Requiring state owned and state contracted trucks to be equipped with side guards between their front and rear wheels to prevent cyclists and pedestrians from falling underneath the chassis if impacted. Also requiring convex and crossover mirrors. 
  • Lowering default speed limit on state highways and parkways in thickly settled or business districts from 30mph to 25mph.
  • Prohibiting usage of mobile devices, except those in hands-free mode, while operating a motor vehicle.
  • Requiring bicyclists to use both a rear red light and red reflector when riding at night. 
  • Requiring motor vehicles to pass cyclists, pedestrians, and other vulnerable road users at a distance of at least three feet when traveling at 30mph or less, with an additional foot of clearance for every 10 mph above 30mph. Allowing motor vehicles to cross a double yellow line into an adjacent travel lane, when it is safe to do so if needed, to achieve a safe passing distance.
  • Allowing cities and towns to operate limited automatic road safety camera systems. 
  • Allowing bicyclists to continue straight through an intersection upon a leading pedestrian interval (a walk signal followed by a green light three to seven seconds later), allowing bicyclists to treat a red light signal as a stop sign if there is no road to the right, and allowing bicyclists to proceed through a red light signal if it proves unresponsive after two minutes. 
  • Requiring the state to issue new guidelines for signage for bicycle, pedestrian, and other non-motorized routes. 
  • Establishing that a motor vehicle must yield to a bicyclist at an intersection of a bicycle path and a road, so long as the crossing is marked.
  • Requiring the state to develop a curriculum for elementary school students emphasizing safe bicycling, pedestrian, and motor vehicle practices.

This bill package still has a very long way to go before it gets placed before the Governor to be signed. MassBike will be calling upon a member to make calls and attend hearings to show support for the bill. 

MassBike valets.  Encouraging cycling to events, they offer fully staffed and secure bike parking for events and venues of all sizes.

MassBike rides.  Organizing rides to increase bicycle ridership in Massachusetts.

Check the MassBike site for updates on active legislation and to become a member.

Thank you to all of the staff and volunteers at MassBike – the work you do is so important.  We're excited about the funds we're raising from the Diverged Ride and Digression Ride; in 2016 we raised more than $1,000 for MassBike.