This year MassBike celebrates thirty-five years of promoting better biking. With its humble beginnings as the “Boston Area Bicycle Coalition” back in 1977, MassBike has had a history of growth and success. Since that time over three decades ago, we have expanded into a statewide organization with three local chapters, developed strong partnerships with other advocacy groups and government organizations, and hired an efficient staff of three full-time employees. MassBike has worked continuously to foster a safer, more accessible biking environment through education, legislation, and infrastructure design.
Here are just a few of the major successes we have had over the years:
- 1970s – Launched our education program, which has since educated thousands of adults and schoolchildren on safe riding
- 1985 – Successfully lobbied the MBTA to lift their ban on bikes
- 1992 – Helped lobby for the creation the Minuteman Bikeway, now one of the most popular rail trails in the U.S.
- 1996 – Secured passage of the Bike-Pedestrian Access Law, making Massachusetts one of only three states to guarantee equal access for cyclists on the road
- 2000-2011 – Lobbied the MBTA to: allow bikes on the T without a special pass (2000), dramatically expand the hours during which bikes are allowed on the subway (2004), purchase bike racks for 250 buses (2005), revamp bus driver training to ensure that drivers are aware of bicyclists (2010), and Helped to win reduced peak hour restrictions on the T’s Blue Line (2011).
- 2004 – Passed legislation requiring the Registry of Motor Vehicles to update the Driver’s Manual to include more information about bikes and bike safety
- 2005 – Persuaded the state to create the first Bicycle Advisory Board in more than a decade
- 2006 – Worked with the federal congressional delegation to win more than $5 million over five years to help make it safer for kids to bike and walk to school.
- 2009 – Helped work with legislators to create the Bicycle Safety Act which supplies significant legal protection to bicyclist throughout the state.
- 2010 – Partnered with MassDOT and MassRIDES to expand Bay State Bike Week into a truly statewide event
- 2011 – Launched our Same Road, Same Rules safety campaign, aimed at educating both bicyclists and motorists about their rights to road.
Over the years and with each new success, MassBike has evolved to meet the needs of bicyclist in Massachusetts. Currently supported by a membership base of roughly 3,000 members, we hope you join us in supporting all of the great work we have done and continue to do to advocate for the rights of bicyclist throughout the Bay State. If you haven’t already, please follow the link to become a member and support better bicycling for Massachusetts today!