Friday, July 1, 2016

On protected bike lanes and incomplete streets

Not too long ago I wrote about death of Allison Warmuth, killed on the streets of Boston by a Duck Tour vehicle. Last summer, it was Anita Kurmann, killed by a driver of a large semi truck. Last week - Amanda Phillips, killed by another inattentive driver (Interestingly, all women - are they more vulnerable?). 

Whenever a bicyclist gets killed, there's an outcry from bicycling advocacy community to install more protected bike lanes in the city. This demand is certainly well-intended. The number of bicycles on streets has been growing quickly in the recent years but the necessary infrastructure is still lacking. Even when the city finally builds new bike lanes, what we usually get is this:
A DZBL in Boston (From bostonbiker.org)


The picture shows a very typical DZBL - a Door Zone Bike Lane. Just two stripes of paint and a few bicycle symbols are supposed to protect you from 3000lbs vehicles moving at over 40mph. Either someone in the city of Boston has absolutely no imagination or simply doesn't care. If you still don't see where the problem is, try riding your bike there. You will face cars passing you at a very intimate distance on your left and car doors randomly swung open in front of you on your right. In other words, the city could save money by not painting those two stripes at all and the effect would likely be the same.

Therefore, we complain. And sometimes, we get more. More paint, that is. Just take a look at this magnificent "protected" bike lane in Allston:
 A paint-"protected" lane in Allston (By Steve Annear from bostonmagazine.com)


Is a little bit more paint going to keep you safe? We know it won't and this is why bicycle advocacy groups call for true protected bike lanes. In a simplest form, these could be painted on the street, but right between the parked cars and the sidewalk. Next, we just need a simple barrier, such as a concrete, non-continuous curb (a "curbed dashed line") from the street side. Otherwise, you can be sure drivers will park their cars in the bike lane. Ideally, we should simply follow the excellent street design guide by Copenhagenize.com:
As you can see, the guide suggests that on streets with a maximum vehicle speed of 30km/h (20mph) no separate bicycle infrastructure is needed. Once the speed goes up to 40km/h (25mph) you should provide simple painted lanes (Note - between the parked cars and the sidewalk!). On streets where vehicles move at up to 60km/h (40mph) curb-separated lanes for bicycles should be included. Then finally, when cars move faster than 70km/h (45mph), fully separated (protected) bike lanes should be present. Now, considering that on most city streets in Boston Metro Area drivers easily reach 30-40mph, we should see protected bike lanes pretty much everywhere. This should make bike activists very happy, cyclists safe and drivers out of the way. Right?

Wrong.

Here is the problem. We hear lots of advocacy about adding protected bike lanes everywhere. But every straight section of the street has to end at an intersection and that's why a street with a protected bike lane but an unprotected intersection is only a half-baked solution.

In fact, such a street could be potentially much more dangerous for bicyclists that a street without any bike lanes. How come? Picture a scenario where a cyclist rides in a protected bike lane, away from cars. Most drivers wouldn't even register his/her presence, especially if he/she is hidden behind a line of parked cars. Now this cyclist approaches an intersection that has no protection, only a few stripes of paint to bridge bike lanes on both sides. Motorists will likely be unaware of any bicyclists entering such intersection. Collisions will be imminent.

On the other hand, if that street had no bike lanes at all, cyclists would have to share the road with cars - certainly a very unpleasant and stressful scenario for most of us. Yet at the same time, the situation will remain the same at intersections, where drivers will have to pay as much attention to cyclists as they do at those straight sections of the road.

Therefore, no street is complete with a protected bike lane but without protected intersections.

We know how such intersections should look like. Massachusetts has prepared a new street design guide that looks very promising and incorporates the best Dutch design practices. The problem is - we still have to start using it.
A complete intersection (Source: Streetsblog.org)
 
The main obstacles in implementing such solutions are the cost, available space and public push back. I'm not going to discuss the cost here but space is widely available on most main intersections. It's because our main streets look like an airport runway - they are wide. The key to a protected intersection are the four oval islands that reduce the turning radius for right-turning cars. No more cutting corners. On a protected intersection you would need to take a nearly full 90 degree turn before your path intersects with a bicyclist coming from your right. Had Mass Ave/Beacon St intersection been built this way, Anita Kurmann would be still with us.
Of course, adding such islands means that the space for cars gets reduced and some parking would have to be removed. This shouldn't be a problem as those spots right next to the intersecting roads are illegal anyway (Cars parked that close to the intersection block the view).

When it comes to smaller intersections, such as those with a connecting side street, likely the best practice would be to simply raise the crosswalk and the bikeway to the sidewalk level, thus creating a bump in the street that would force drivers to slow down. Not only this would be safer for pedestrians and cyclists crossing this side street, but also for drivers merging with traffic on the main street - they would need to slow down, stop and look around before entering the intersection.
A speed bump and a crosswalk in one - traffic calming measure and a safe way for pedestrians to cross the street.

There are many good practices we could use to stop people from being killed by cars on our streets. Protected bike lanes are one of them. Just don't forget to protect bicyclists at intersections as well.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

"You can have any color as long as it's black"

That's what he said. Well, not exactly. Nevertheless, this was the meaning. Ford Model T was offered in black only, which was one of the measures to lower production cost and simplify assembly.

I've been bitching here on this blog about many things that are just "wrong" with the bicycle industry and now it's the time to discuss the next one - color.

Color is a very personal thing. Everyone has own preference and bike brands answer with frames, forks and accessories painted in all colors possible. Some offer their products in so many different options that it's likely you will find what you're looking for. Headsets, hubs, bar tape, even pedals and saddles come in plethora of colors and if you are thinking about making your bicycle stand out by using these components, you are well served.


Headsets - one of the few bike components offered often in many colors. 

But for some reason, unknown to me, many bicycle component manufacturers release their products in black and black only. Handlebars or stems? Almost all are black with few exceptions. If you find the one you like (and comfort is priority here) you can get it in black. Anything else? Tough luck.

Even worse - try finding a modern non-black crankset. They are almost non-existent. SRAM or FSA just make everything black and don't care. Campagnolo has many polished silver options but... Campy is the Apple of bicycle world - those who use it, love it, but it's expensive and incompatible with everything else. Then, there's Shimano that pretends to have some "silver" options but it isn't really silver at all - just a bit brighter shade of grey. Same rule applies to their derailleurs (the newest ones).

I'm not saying that everything should be offered in all the colors of the rainbow but a polished silver (or aluminum, actually) option next to the black one could be considered. Maybe I'm the only individual here who would like to see more of such parts again. What happened to all those classic, shiny cranksets? Or those beautiful derailleurs, like my old Ultegra RD-6600? Do we need to all buy black because Henry Ford said so?

Shimano RD-6600 - one the last Shimano's truly silver (polished) derailleurs.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

My own Kearsarge Klassik

I never really loved road cycling. I always found it too boring. Exploration of those paths less traveled, unpaved, technically challenging - this is something that just seems more "right" to me. More fun, more variety and more of the unknown.

The problem I have now is that after a few years of riding in my neighborhood I know it pretty well. There are still some places off the beaten path that I haven't fully explored but those are only few trails of limited length. Craving for some more, I understood that my approach needed to change. This doesn't mean riding across the interior of Iceland or traversing Sahara. I'm not ready for this and my time is limited (unfortunately). But it's easy to load a bicycle into a car and drive to those places a bit further away to ride there.

Kearsarge Klassik is a randonnee in southern New Hampshire, around Mt. Kearsarge, that takes place every early fall. This "race" comes with no prizes and attendees do not compete with each other but the event is still timed. You are supposed to complete to route within a certain time limit, reaching all of its control points. Other than that, you're on your own. This formula gained lots of popularity in recent years but somehow still doesn't really appeal to me. I don't want to limit myself to a certain time limit because I may want to stop more often on the way taking pictures. I don't need a group ride either. I also don't want to ride this route on a certain day as I have no idea how much free time I will have in September.

But yesterday morning I finally found some. Therefore, I loaded my bike in the car, left early and drove to Mt. Kearsarge to ride this route on my own. Because details are available online, it was easy to figure out what to expect. Based on this info I designed my own route that was essentially identical to the original one, with the exception that moved my start point a bit, just because there's plenty of on-street parking on Main St in New London where I could leave my car.

Kearsarge Klassik comes in a few flavors. The ones I considered were the 60 mile and 90 mile routes (or 100 and 145km accordingly). I rode such distances multiple times before but never in such a hilly terrain and on unpaved surfaces. The shorter one seemed definitely doable, the longer one could be too much for the first time for me. Not knowing how my body would respond, I planned for both trails and decided to make my decision en route. The longer one adds an additional loop about 77km (48mi) after start, giving me lots of time to get familiar with the conditions before figuring out which way I want to go.

Then there was a question about the equipment. It's not like I have a large quiver of different bicycles to choose from, but at least I could pick from two different tires, both by Clement - either X'Plor USH 35mm that I know quite well or the brand new X'Plor MSO 36mm. The latter one is a dedicated gravel/dirt road tire and can be set up tubeless, not that I would use it this way. Right now, I only have one wheelset available and I'm planning on switching tires again in the nearest future, which means that it was easier to use the MSO with tubes. I originally leaned towards this tire but then after doing some research, I figured that only about 60% of both routes is unpaved. Not as much as I originally thought. So maybe the faster USH made more sense? Ah, decisions, decisions. In the end, I rolled the dice twice and the MSO became my Kearsarge tire.

Planning for the ride, I also encountered a problem I usually don't have in the more urban (or suburban) Boston Metro area - a place for lunch. If you are looking for a nice cafe to sit down and have lunch, forget it. The route (especially the longer one) will take you through some pretty remote areas in New Hampshire where no grilled Reuben sandwiches are present. This means - I had to pack some more food and be completely self-sufficient. This should actually come as no surprise. The Klassik is an organized brevet, where this level of self-sufficiency is not only expected, but required.

Getting up at 4:00 AM was pretty painful, but this way I could pack my stuff in the car and hit the road by 4:20. The ride to New London was smooth and quick, as highways are completely empty at this time of the day (or dawn, actually). Anyway, I got to my destination safely (passing at least 4 dead deers on I-89 in New Hampshire) and by 6:15 AM was ready to hit the trail. But first, I did a quick pressure check on my tires to make sure they were properly underinflated (It may be improperly inflated for the rest of you). You see, even though the MSOs are rated at 40-60psi I run them at 35-40psi only (with tubes). They do feel like half-flat sometimes but I like it that way.
The first few miles flew by very quickly and the only minor issue was the air temperature. I knew it was going to be a hot day and I didn't take with me neither arm warmers nor a jacket. That early in the morning it was barely 55F (12C) outside and I got pretty chilly on long, steep descents.
Soon, the route takes you off the main road and into the forest. The surface changes to dirt and gravel and then, on Baker Hill Rd, you need to face the first serious climb of the day (10%). Fortunately, after each strenuous climb comes a satisfying descent. However, if you ask me, bombing down the hill on a bumpy dirt road and an unsuspended bike at 70km/h (43mph), which was my case, is pretty nuts.
The next miles towards the town of Warner are lots of fun. This section is mostly a descent, with just a few short climbs and my bike was "flying" over there. On top of that, the long dirt section on N Rd is very scenic, running along the Stevens Brook. Then just before you get to Warner, you have to cross the Waterloo covered bridge, which... was closed.
Fortunately for me, the bridge surface didn't have a giant hole that I was unable to cross. A DPW worker who noticed me let me go, as long I dismounted from my bike. Right after the bridge the route turns onto Bean Rd and takes you to the top of the hill. Be ready for a steep climb (10%).
The next mad climb comes right after Warner and the road there is very appropriately named - the Burnt Hill Rd. It's not that long, but it soon gets bloody steep (14%). On top of that, I had to deal with swarms of mosquitoes and flies - something the cyclists who ride this route in September probably don't have to worry about. I remembered that as long you move faster than 10mph those little blood suckers won't get you. Unfortunately, unless you have some superhuman abilities, there is no way to ride that fast uphill on Burnt Hill Rd.
Once you get to the top, you can pat yourself on the back and take a deep breath. The views are gorgeous. Ahead of you are many more miles of dirt and gravel, some I found actually quite boring (Couchtown Rd). Eventually, you will approach Andover, where you now merge with Northern Rail Trail. If you are familiar with any bicycle rail trails, you will know by now that this means one thing - they are flat. No regular train would ever make it up a 10% slope. This also means that you will be crossing a few old railway bridges.
Moving along, I finally got to the Keniston covered bridge and the old Potter Place Rail Station. Soon I was about to reach the point where both Kearsarge routes split and I could either continue back towards New London or add an extra 40km to my route. I decided to keep it short this time. It was around 11:00AM and the sun was blazing making the last miles much, much harder to ride.
The next section on N Wilmot Rd and then Sawyer Rd sucked the whole life out of me. It wasn't extremely steep (8%), but it was long and steady. And I had to ride through it with sun scorching my head. When I reached Stearns Rd I was out of breath and now was facing another mad 40mph downhill ride. My water supplies were disappearing quickly and I still had a long fight up the hill on Pleasant St - the last mile of the route.

After 6.5hrs on the road and 105km I made it back to the Main St. I put my stuff in the car and drove to a nearby supermarket to get some water, Gatorade and food. It was a really fun ride and probably the hardest one I have tried so far. If I could change something, it would be riding it on a less sunny day and moving the start point to E Main St in Warner. You may say it's a cheat, but this way I could start riding earlier (as Warner is closer to Boston) and the last miles of the ride would be mostly in the forest (shade!) and on a descent.
The beer had to wait until I got back home. Oh, and by the way - D2R2 will be next. Sometime.

Monday, June 6, 2016

The misfortunes of Eddie

Spring is pretty much over and pollen levels have settled a bit, which means I can hang out with my kids outside more. This often involves The Big Eddie - my electric Xtracycle Edgerunner. And it also means that start finding more and more little annoyances with this bike.

Don't get me wrong, I still very much like my electric Ed. But because nobody's perfect, it does come with just a few issues. However, most of these can be easily fixed.

Small wheel requires more effort to keep the heavy bike rolling?
I keep wondering if this is just my feeling or is there really something about it. Small rear wheel is great for acceleration and torque - no doubt. But at the same time it lacks inertia and once the bike is at speed, it seems to take a significant effort to keep it rolling. Obviously, my main problem here is that I can't put a larger wheel on Edgerunner to compare apples-to-apples. I can only compare it with other bicycles, none of which are heavy cargo bikes. So maybe it's not about the wheel diameter but simply bike weight? I don't know. I solved this problem by adding BionX electric assist to Eddie, which gave me even better acceleration, higher average speed, easier handling when loaded and ability to climb steep hills. Expensive addition, for sure, but well worth it.

Small wheel and fat rear tire means that the derailleur rubs on the tire sidewall occasionally when in low gear.
 That's pretty close. Too close for my taste.

The drive side of the rear tire lost most of its brand markings. All due to extensive rub from the derailleur and chain.
 
In the lowest gear the derailleur cage nearly rubs on pavement. Unfortunately, because tires on Edgerunners are very wide, it also rubs on the tire sidewall. I don't see a way to fix it at this point except, maybe, using less gears, like an 8-speed cassette. Fortunately, because of the electric assist on this bike, the lowest gear is rarely used.

Stock saddle of poor quality.
Brooks B67 another pricey upgrade that should be default.

This is common on nearly all bicycles but I think I should mention it here. For such a nice bike, it's a shame to be shipped with a $20 saddle. I would really like to see an option for a Brooks saddle upgrade, especially with the higher-end Edgerunner models. I replaced mine with B67 right away.

Factory-set handlebars too high.
The original stem. Looks nice but its functionality sucks.

The first time I hopped on my bike it felt very awkward to ride. The position over the bars just didn't feel right. All Edgerunners come with a very long steerer tube and a stem that has an integrated locking cap. That may look nice but makes it very difficult to adjust handlebars height without cutting off the steerer inch by inch. You can't simply slide the stem lower and add more spacers on the top. I knew that a much more natural and efficient riding position for me was one with lower handlebars but because I didn't feel like cutting the steerer, I swapped the stem immediately to a more standard one.

Front mudflap secured by just one screw.
This issue is very minor but drives me nuts. The front mudflap is secured to the fender with just one screw and often gets bumped over to the side. Just one more screw would keep it in place. I may have to add one myself.

Small rear wheel, lots of spokes and large brake disc means it's difficult to inflate the rear tire.
 The problem...

... and the solution.

You will never think about this one until you have to inflate the rear tire. There is simply not much space left between the spokes and the brake disc to fit a larger pump head. To be fair, what you see in pictures is not the original Edgerunner wheel but BionX motorized unit. While it was possible to inflate the tire on the Xtracycle wheel with the presented pump I cut my hand multiple times on the sharp brake disc trying to pull the pump head off the valve. So yes, it does fit but clearance is very tight, simply because the distance between the brake disc and the rim is so short on a 20" wheel.
 
With the BionX wheel it gets far worse. Because of the electric motor, spokes are so short and tightly spaced thaI had to buy an angled valve adapter in order to use the pump. This is the only way now to add more air to the rear wheel on my bike.

Despite all these little bugs I like my electric Ed more and more. It's a lot of bicycle in one nice package.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Farm Food "Fondo"

After a very soggy week the sun returned and it got much, much warmer again. Unfortunately, this means that pollen are back in the air. The strong wind that came early this week made the whole situation even worse. After my Sunday ride my eyes were more red than the Soviet flag. Now I use the trick from the last year to wear safety glasses from my lab. They provide a much better protection from wind and pollen.
After just a few miles on the Minuteman Bikeway my tires turned neon-bright green from all the pollen on the pavement. A new safety feature by mother nature - eco-friendly, high visibility coating!

Anyway, last Sunday morning I headed towards Bedford starting a nearly 45 mile ride visiting local farms. This Farm Food "Fondo" took me through the neighborhoods of Lexington, Bedford, Carlisle, Concord and Lincoln where I could resupply in locally grown produce, ice cream or other farm-to-table goodies. Well, theoretically at least. For me, this ride was more to scout out the area as (1) I was there too early in the day or season and many of those places were still closed, and (2) my road bike does not have any provisions to haul any significant number of veggies. But should you decide to ride this route in the late summer on a different bike, take big panniers with you.

The first major stop comes at the Great Brook Dairy Farm in Carlisle, where you will be welcomed by lots of livestock, including goats, pigs, sheep and cows in all sizes. The farm is a fun place for kids and while you won't be able to buy any vegetables here, you can try their delicious ice cream. Unfortunately, as I was there at 7:30AM, the ice cream stand was closed. No one eats ice cream before breakfast, I suppose.
Great Brook Dairy Farm as seen from N Road.


If you have never been to this area you should quickly fix this mistake. The farm is part of a much larger state park and even if cycling is not your thing, the hiking trails in the forest are fun as well. And if you do arrive by bicycle, the N Rd in Carlisle is one of my favorite places to ride a road bike around. There is almost no car traffic, it's quiet and it's not a straight stretch of asphalt. The road has multiple hills and tighter turns making the ride much more fun.

Bessy, #1042, was watching me curiously.

Ice cream stand at the Great Brook Dairy Farm.

Once the ice cream have been consumed we can keep going the Curve St to the next stop - the Cranberry Bog. It's not really a farm the way other places on this route are, but you should still stop and look around. This place looks very different depending on the season and you may either see it empty, full or red berry bushes or flooded during harvest. Also, if you have wider tires on your bicycle, try exploring trails through the bog area.
Moving on, we approach Carlisle center, which isn't much of a center to be honest. Carlisle is a very rural place without the typical Main St. Once you get closer to its midpoint, you will see a grocery store, a few churches, a school and Clark Farm. On Sunday morning this place was nearly dead silent but later in season you can count on some locally-grown veggies to be offered here.
Once you pass this area and keep moving Bedford Rd south, you will see a sign to the popular Kimball Farm Ice Cream stand. I've seen this place really crowded in summer but at 8:00AM on Sunday it was still closed. People must prefer eating their ice cream later in Carlisle.
Time to keep moving further south on Monument St where you will find several more farms on the way. However, most of them will be places like Water's Edge Farm that would look great to someone who prefers real horse power, instead of the mechanical one.
All horses at the Water's Edge Farm had their eyes covered. Anyone know why?

One exception to this rule is the Hutchins Farm at Monument St. I shopped there a few times and they do have a decent selection of veggies in season. The cool thing is that even if they are closed, they would offer some produce on their self-service bench. Organic asparagus was in season for about $4 a bunch. I would probably get one for dinner but somehow it didn't feel right to ride with a bunch of asparagus sticking out from rear jersey's pockets.
Hutchins Farm - the farm land.

I kept going and quickly passed Concord Center to reach Verrill Farm - my next stop at Sudbury Rd. Compared to the previous places this one looks more like a small supermarket. They offer lots of their own produce and some other locally-grown goodies.
Unlike Verrill Farm, the next place on my list was tiny. Lindentree Farm is a bit hidden, adjacent to the Old Concord Rd. The whole area offers more than just some produce. There are many hiking trails around (Mt Misery area) on the eastern bank of Sudbury River.
It was time to go back home and I moved east towards Lincoln to stop at one more place on my way to Arlington. Wilson Farm is probably well-known to people in this area. It's large, it does look like a supermarket and it offers lots of food, not only their own produce. You have to try their coffee ice cream if you shop there.

It's also one of those places that I like visiting only by bicycle. It's popular, so parking gets very crowded, especially on weekends. You can find yourself stuck in a long line of cars waiting to get a parking spot. But if you ride your bike there, expect your own private spot right at the front door.
Wilson Farms in Lexington

That was it. My "Fondo" was complete. I could get back home, wash out all the pollen from my eyes and refuel with another locally made product:

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Vision Zero or zero vision?

Vision Zero - two words that became increasingly popular here on the East Coast within the last couple of years. Everyone likes them as they promise so much. The problem is, everyone seems to understand a bit differently what they're supposed to represent:
  • For cyclists and pedestrians, Vision Zero is a hope that they won't be dying as often under the wheels of city buses, trucks and cars.
  • For drivers, it's a hope that those bloody cyclists will stay away from "their" streets and stop "slowing them down".
  • Finally, for politicians, it's a hope that popularity rankings will go up just by sending out a message: "See? We care!".
Now, what do you think? Which one of these was the original intention of Vision Zero? You would think that safety of those unprotected people, such as pedestrians and cyclists, would be taken seriously. Unfortunately, it seems that American approach to Vision Zero means simply zero vision - a total lack of any serious action that could truly reduce number of fatalities on streets of Boston or New York. Instead, we are getting more and more examples that our Vision Zero program means one thing - pretend to do anything or do it  as long as it doesn't inconvenience drivers. That's right - car is king and let's not forget about it.

These examples are plentiful.

A 29-year old Allison Warmuth was killed last weekend while traveling on a scooter with her friend. This time however, it wasn't a driver of an ordinary car who ran her over with his vehicle, but a Duck Tour operator. Duck Tours are popular in many American cities. These are amphibious vehicles adapted to move tourists on streets and rivers. While such business idea looks great on paper, Duck Tours have a less-than-perfect safety record. Many of these vehicles, Boston's included, are modified WWII-era amphibians that were designed for military use in a battlefield - not on congested city streets. Their drivers have a severely limited visibility from behind the wheel and they may be completely unaware of any foot or bicycle traffic in front of their vehicles. This was exactly the reason of the last weekend's collision.
(Photo by Jonathan Wiggs - Boston Globe)

You would think that such a massive vehicle with poor visibility should not be allowed on city streets. If Boston wanted to truly implement the original Vision Zero program, it should either ban all Duck Tours in the city or at least demand their major redesign, which would limit Duck Tours to operate smaller, street-friendly amphibians. Such solutions have been proposed but whether they are going to be taken seriously remains unknown.

Meanwhile, New York, a city that may not have Duck Tours but it does have NYPD and Woody Allen, works on its own version of Vision Zero. It seems that in NYC these two words have a very similar meaning as here in Boston. Last Thursday their Department of Transportation hosted an event where they were giving away official Vision Zero helmets! It's interesting how helmets are seen as the miracle cure to all traffic-related fatalities. NY's DoT seems to think "Just make them wear helmets and they will be safe". Unfortunately, examples of some countries (Hello, Australia!) where cycling helmets are mandatory show that nothing can be further from the truth. As the article on Brooklyn Spoke put it: "The media and police reflect the public's pro-helmet sentiment by implying that its role in any major crash is highly significant". Sad. Allison was wearing a helmet on her scooter. Did it help her from being crushed by a Duck Tour truck?

And how about Woody Allen? It turns out that he doesn't like bicycle lanes seeing them as "unacceptable" in his neighborhood. He and other citizens criticized the plan to add such infrastructure to several streets in the Upper East Side, despite presented with evidence that bike lanes calm traffic and thus make streets safer in general. This "not in my backyard" approach is often used by those who are afraid of the new. And while Allen is somewhat right that theses streets can't "accommodate a bike lane in a graceful way" (If by graceful he means keeping everything else as is - you would have to give up on something, such as car parking on one side), he's wrong at the same time that "every street has a good argument why it shouldn't have a lane". The only "street" that shouldn't have an adjacent, unprotected bike lane is an interstate highway.
Seems like Vision Zero is failing in New York not only because of some incapable governors or police but also the residents.
E 77 St in New York - one of those considered for bike lanes.

Now back to Boston. Our local radio station here, WBUR, ran a series on traffic congestion in the city. However, they seem to miss the point and fail for the obsolete metrics that answers the wrong question: "How many cars can we move on the street within one hour?", instead of using the correct one that focuses on the number of people an artery can move. 

Media can be an excellent aid of the Vision Zero campaign but when it fails to notice that city streets should be open for all people, not just drivers, it doesn't help reaching the original Vision Zero's goal - to reduce the number of fatalities in city traffic. For that, our streets will have to stop being high-speed highways and become less car-centric. We can't fit everyone's vehicle on Boston's streets but we can try to fit everyone.