Report on Waltham Bicycle Committee Meeting, january 17, 2019

Participants: John Allen, Tim Smith, Brandon Morphew

Events
7 PM Feb. 27th: CRW social event and presentation about the Paris-Brest-Paris ride in France at Lexington Depot – CRW members who rode PBP will give the presentation. Free and open to the public; refreshments will be served. PBP is running again in 2019. https://www.crw.org/pbp-presentation

Women-only March 24th CRW Winter riding and flat repair, 3-5 PM @ Ride Headquarters in Sherborn — https://www.crw.org/content/women-only-flat-tire-repair-workshop-new-session-added

John and a co-instructor will teach a CyclingSavvy class May 3 and 4; need help with publicity. There may be as many as 10-12 in the riding session and an unlimited number in the classroom session. Registration: https://cyclingsavvy.org/events/

May 12th – 20th is Bay State Bike Week – any thoughts on what to do?

Larry Finison and John will run the Waltham Bicycle History Ride again in the spring — Date TBD

The “East European Ride” — a CRW ride starting at the Spellman Museum in Weston, 29 or 47 miles, will run in June, date TBD.

May 11th Steam Punk Festival – Can we attend?

Riverfest (generally mid-June) event/ride – Can we attend?

Advocacy:

Waltham Traffic Commission meetings occur usually on the third Thursday, 10 AM at City Hall, September-June and usually bicycling issues come up. Bicyclists John Allen, Martha Creedon and Leo Keightly attended on January 17. https://www.city.waltham.ma.us/traffic-engineering

The Mass Central Rail Trail was mentioned at the Traffic Commission meeting but mostly in connection with the Mayor’s question about making a north-south connection and connecting to the High School. She suggested the Western Greenway as an alternative to Lexington Street, but this would seem unlikely due to environmental issues and terrain. Alternatives? How can we help? Ask Laurel Carpenter?

Also at the Traffic commission, City Councilor Logan spoke up for improvements where the Charles River Greenway crosses Farwell Street (near the Watertown line). The Greenway is on the north side to the east of Farwell Street and on the south side to the west. The connection across the bridge is awkward. John attended and spoke in favor of Councilor Logan’s request. The Commission voted for Traffic Engineer Michael Garvin to study the problem.

John raised the issue of vehicle detectors which do not respond to bicycles and motorcycles. The committee chair, Police chief MacPherson, indicated that the Commission does not have jurisdiction over this. However, Tim Kelly of the Wires Department indicated that he will work with John on this. John has comments on the issue here: http://streetsmarts.bostonbiker.org/2018/11/30/non-responsive-signal-actuators-in-waltham/

MassDOT bicycle plan review is open till the end of January. John is going to provide some comment. https://www.mass.gov/service-details/bicycle-plan
Transportation for Massachusetts conference coming up? and are there other conferences, goal of John is to make a presentation about bicycling education.

Contacts with MassBike/Livable Streets/Lexington Bicycle Committee/Newton Bicycle Committee/ Need help connecting to other organizations.

Brandon would like to lead a small team interested in getting a pump track installed in Waltham. A pump track is an undulating track where people can propel themselves on bicycles without pedaling. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pump_track

The Bicycle Committee would support a Velodrome at Fernald. There is a task force from racing clubs that wants to build one in the Boston area, see http://nevelodrome.org/

Committee projects:

Can we prepare a map? John can post routes for getting around by bicycle on the Internet, how to get to Boston/Newton/Watertown/Cambridge/ Weston/Lexington? Can we actually print a map and get it sponsored? (Brandon interested in leading)

We discussed committee housekeeping – Regular roles: Meeting announcements, dates, Meeting notes/ minutes.

Next meeting

Next meeting will be Thursday, March 7, 7 PM at the Waltham Public Library.

2 Comments

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  1. Regarding consideration of establishing a bikeway or multipurpose path through the Western Greenway: The environmental damage (tree and vegetation clearing, animal and plant communication and pathway destruction, and constant disruption due to pedestrian and bicycle traffic), for me, far outweighs any transportation gain. I see simply more sacrifice of an irreplaceable resource in the name of providing exclusive use of existing public ways (Lexington Street in this case) for motor vehicles.

    After the next few years of school and infrastructure development, Waltham will have an opportunity to decide how best to use this corridor.

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  2. A couple things: I won’t be able to make tomorrow’s meeting but, Cambridge Riverfest is June 1st; I can connect you with Cambridge CCD to be involved.

    I’ve been talking with communities which have installed pump tracks and skate parks locally. Communities have been very pleased with the investment/return on these parks. Happy to discuss and connect.

    Any bike related facilities at Fernald is welcome. MassBike would like to support any efforts in that direction.

    The MAPC Trailmap https://trailmap.mapc.org is being updated and might have the capability to create custom maps. The Trailmap shows bike facilities, multi-use trails and walking trails. Happy to advocate on WBC’s behalf on this.

    I hope this is helpful and am sorry I can’t make tomorrow’s meeting.
    Tom

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