Daily Archives: April 14, 2011

Cyclists Campaign For Bike Lane On Mass. Ave.

Published April 14, 2011

Many bikers already use Mass. Ave. to cross the city. (David Salafia/Flickr)

Many bikers already use Mass. Ave. to cross the city. (David Salafia/Flickr)

The City of Boston is considering building a bike lane on Massachusetts Avenue in the heart of Boston, stretching from Symphony to the Mass Ave. Bridge. Sounds great, right? There is a small catch.

Building a bike lane on the already-crowded roadway would require the elimination of either parking or a travel lane. That’s sure to be controversial.

The Boston Cyclists Union, a bike advocacy group, is campaigning for the creation of the bike lane and plans to show up in force at a public meeting on the plan tonight.

“Cyclists are always going to use that street, there really isn’t another option,” said Peter Stidman, the director of the BCU. “There’s no way to get rid of the cyclists, they’re already there. What we’re just trying to do is make it safer for everyone.”

The city already has plans to build a bike lane that connects the Boston Medical Center to Symphony. The Mass Ave. Bridge and the Cambridge side of the river already feature bike lanes, too, so this section would connect the area for bikers.

There’s little doubt that it’s the parking that will be removed — there’s already a ton of car and bus traffic on the street — so some area businesses are sure to provide opposition to the plan. The parking isn’t that important to business though, Stidman and other cyclists claim.

“Pedestrians travel in herds on that street, so it would be hard for any business owner to argue that the two-hour parking that’s there comprises a significant portion of their customer base,” Stidman said.

Anyone who has walked around Newbury Street and Boylston Street in that area can attest to the frequent traffic jamming Mass Ave., so the bike lane proposal would mark a drastic change to the landscape.

“It is going to be a test for Boston, to see if we can be progressive and think about alternate forms of transportation,” Stidman said.

The public meeting on the bike lane plan is tonight at the Boston Public Library from 7-9 p.m. The city’s bike czar has a neat website full of resources and includes a map where you can share your bike-friendly ideas.

Get Set For B’s-Habs, Round 33

Published April 14, 2011

Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara, right, will need his team to play disciplined if they're to beat Brian Gionta's Canadiens. (AP)

Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara, right, will need his team to play disciplined if they're to beat Brian Gionta's Canadiens. (AP)

You just knew this was going to happen.

Ever since mid-season, with the Boston Bruins in the third slot and the Montreal Canadiens securely ensconced as the sixth seed, a collision course has been charted.

The series marks the 33rd time these two venerable rivals will see each other in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the third time in the last four seasons. The only Original Six playoff matchup in this year’s first round will again have fans of both cities perched on the edge of their seats — scowling.

This year there’s more animosity than in previous years. Boston is 2-3-1 against the Habs this year in six contests, but Game 5 at Montreal’s Bell Centre was the one that really set off the fireworks.

In case you’ve forgotten, Zdeno Chara finished his check of Max Pacioretty into the stanchion that separates the team benches in the Bell Centre. The hit launched a firestorm, as fans of the Canadiens thought Chara intended to injure their man, while Boston fans thought otherwise. There was no way anyone was going to change those opinions.

The NHL thought it was a “hockey play” and ruled accordingly. No matter what, it still comes back to the Bruins and Canadiens in a seven-game series to open the 2011 playoffs tonight at the TD Garden.

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Somerville > Cambridge, Mayor Says

Published April 14, 2011

Is Somerville's Union Square cooler than Central or Harvard or Inman? (twintermute/Flickr)

Is Somerville's Union Square cooler than Central or Harvard or Inman? (twintermute/Flickr)

Dos Equis’ Most Interesting Man In The World went to BU. Is Somerville the Most Interesting City In The State?

After learning that a Cambridge city councilor dissed his city, Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone challenged Cambridge to an “Interesting City Challenge” in an op-ed in the Cambridge Chronicle.

Curtatone claims that “it’s been well over a decade since Davis Square eclipsed Harvard Square’s hip factor,” and, “anybody who’s in the know these days will tell you that Union Square in Somerville (is) the new hip place to be.”

Harvard, how do you like them apples? Hide the college students and dive bars because clearly, them’s fightin’ words.

Somerville is great, Cambridge is great. But which is hipper and more interesting?

Thursday Morning: House Budget Takes On Unions

Published April 14, 2011

After releasing the Mass. House’s budget plan for the 2012 fiscal year, House Speaker Robert DeLeo is taking on unions by proposing to strip public employees of most of their health care bargaining rights.

House leaders yesterday released their plan for the 2012 fiscal year — a $30 billion budget that’s mostly in line with the plan Gov. Deval Patrick released in January. House budget leaders say their plan cuts nearly $2 billion and spends $94 million less than Patrick’s budget.

Suffolk Downs is reportedly close to finalizing a deal with Caesars Entertainment — the gambling giant, not the former Roman emperor’s party planning committee — to run a $600 million gaming resort planned for the East Boston racetrack. The deal, of course, would hinge on legalized gambling in the state.

Transit police say they’ve arrested two teenagers for allegedly beating a bus driver and causing him to crash the bus into a building.

The Bruins face off against the hated Canadiens tonight in the first game of their playoff series. The game is at 7 p.m. on NESN; we’ll have a series preview up later today.

What we’re following: We’ll continue to report on the Mass. congressmen slated to vote against the budget deal in Washington, the bus crash investigation and a hearing on state Constitutional amendments on Beacon Hill. Radio Boston will explore the debate over a new Whole Foods in Jamaica Plain.