Sam Coren & John Allen – Beacon Street Reconstruction Project (4.2.13)

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Tonight on Greater Somerville host Joe Lynch gives equal time to two opponents of the proposed cycle track on Beacon Street.  The $4.5 million dollar Beacon Street reconstruction project now proposes to include a “cycle track” as part of the upgrade of utilities, ADA compliance upgrades and roadway and sidewalk reconstruction.  In addition to the loss of on-street parking, the opponents of the “cycle track” have stated that there are serious design flaws in the Design Consultants Inc. plan, unaddressed public safety concerns not only for cyclists, but for motorists and pedestrians as well.



2 thoughts on “Sam Coren & John Allen – Beacon Street Reconstruction Project (4.2.13)

  1. Joe:

    After watching KyAnn Anderson’s episode the previous week, I was extremely disappointed by your lack of due diligence and highly biased leading statements in this “equal time” show.

    KyAnn asked both Hayes Morrison and Mark Chase where they’re from, and she gave Hayes a hard time for not being from Somerville. She did not let the guests get away without making them discuss controversial parking changes.

    You did not bother to ask John Allen where he’s from. He’s from Waltham, FYI. And he doesn’t work or have any connections to Somerville. You also introduced Sam Coren as a “Somerville cyclist” and then ask her what MassDOT thinks as though she’s a resident expert. Did you ask her where or how often she actually bikes, or how she can possibly speak for the state? No. Instead you led the show with biased blanket statements–“Is there a false sense of security for cyclists on a cycletracks? How about pedestrians–you’ve alluded to the FACT that pedestrians are also in danger with the cycletrack?” No discussion of dooring, nor sidewalk cycling today. That’s just lazy reporting.

    You’ve let an electrical engineer swoop in from Waltham and take our city for a ride. I expect far better reporting from your show in the future. Somerville deserves better.

  2. Why Alex, I walk, bike, or drive on Beacon Street every day! While I’m somewhat disappointed about my intro as a just a Ward 2 resident and cyclist, with only 28 minutes to chat I (and likely Joe) didn’t feel like it was an effective use of very limited time to harp on my bio. Fortunately, myself and John are actually pretty public people. We’re always a mere google search away if you want to find out who we are, what we do, and where we’re from. You can even tweet me if you want, but you’d have to email John 🙂

    I never once claimed to speak on behalf of MassDOT – my response to Joe was based on MassDOT’s traffic and safety engineering review which is primary source documentation:

    I’ve also been in direct correspondence with the MassDOT project manager who stated that they asked the city to resubmit the 25% design on March 18th.

    ” an electrical engineer swoop in from Waltham and take our city for a ride.” John Allen has been an advocate and expert on bicycle safety since before we were born, Alex. The man has provided expert testimony under oath on a number of bicycle accident cases over the years. He’s a published author on Bicycling Safety and a Certified League of American Bicyclists bicycling instructor. He’s reviewed and critiqued bicycle infrastructure all over the country – some he finds good, others he finds poor. He uses his time and expertise to thoroughly analyze designs on a case by case basis before endorsing or disapproving them. It’s fine to have different philosophies about cycling advocacy efforts, but you don’t need to belittle someone who has dedicated themselves to promoting bike safety for most of their life. It doesn’t do the cycling advocacy community any good. The man could easily accuse you of being a just being a “materials engineer” whenever you get on a soapbox, but I think he’s a bit above that.

    Where are the cycling infrastructure experts consulting DCI on this project? Sure the bike committee is a good place to vet concepts (although it doesn’t do you much good to vet things post-submission…), but those concepts should be created with the help of people who know what they’re doing before they see the light of day.

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