Bicyclists urge Wu to backpedal on Linehan vote

Peter Stidman, director of the Boston Cyclists Union, is urging members and bike fans to call Michelle Wu - and other city councilors, but especially newcomer Wu - to try to convince them not to vote for Councilor Bill Linehan (South Boston, South End, Chinatown) as the next city-council president:

You may remember that Bill Linehan is the only city councillor to oppose a bike lane anywhere in the city this decade. ... City Council has to approve all federal and state funding for bike projects and we cannot risk having the one councillor who opposed bike infrastructure setting the agenda.

The Dorchester Reporter posts a statement from Wu on why she plans to vote for Linehan to take over from Steve Murphy:

I'm supporting Bill because of his ideas for the structure of the Council and his years of experience in City Hall. His plan to decentralize power and engage individual committees in deciding relevant priorities will empower Councilors to advocate for Boston residents more directly, clearly, and effectively.



Free tagging: 


It's not all about his bike policy:

Do we really want a president who thought he should lead the St. Patrick's Day Breakfast because "it's a cultural thing"; who compared including LGBTQ groups in the parade to allowing the KKK to march; who attempted to use his position on the redistricting committee to protect himself, and reduce the power of communities of color? The JP Progressives endorsed his opponent, as did four of his colleagues. This the man who stands to be the next City Council President.

We can do better.


Not true

The points you've made are untrue except for the breakfast being a cultural thing. Should Dan Cullinane host Hatian American festivities? He's the rep that represents most of the Hatian community, of course leftys would dismiss that as ridiculous but going after the Southie guy for same argument is ok? The LGBT akin to KKK simply never happened, neither did he try to gerrymander his district. He was repeating what the parade Marshall said to make the point there is much work to do. He'd support gays marching and has offered to broker a meeting between LGBT groups and parade organizers. The liberal nutcases on council were trying to gerrymander the district in favor of Suzanne Lee. But nuts like you and the Globe don't mind lying to bolster your argument. But Linehan loses 3 precincts that voted for him and Lee loses one precinct that voted for her and Linehan still trounced her. It was not close, Linehan won by 1250 votes.


Yes, it is true. Documentation of Linehan's bigotry, below:

"compared including LGBTQ groups in the parade to allowing the KKK to march":

"attempted to use his position on the redistricting committee to protect himself, and reduce the power of communities of color"

"The JP Progressives endorsed his opponent"

Four City Coucilors endorsed Lee over Linehan:

Don't let the facts get in the way of your argument.

You people are pissah. You

You people are pissah. You actually used an opinion piece as documentation. You do understand that what Yvonne Abraham writes is her opinion, right. Columnist write opinion. Reporters report. You also used the south end news article to back up KKK statement. Why don't you read it again. Linehan says "the parade organizers said... " This was during a debate where he also said he'd be willing to get a meeting with LGBT and parade organizers regarding inclusion but that organizes have the right (Supreme Court 9-0) to say yes or no to anyone and it is not his parade. It's theirs. The south end news, like the globe, has always killed Linehan. So they include the KKK statement (without context) but no mention of his willingness to expend political capital to get LGBT into parade. The JP progressive link and colleagues endorse Lee link you add just leave me confused. What is their relavence to the previous post? So because a bunch of JP liberals and liberal councilors who don't represent district 2 endorsed the empty pant suit Suzzanne Lee that is documentation of Linehan's supposed bigotry?



Yvonne Abraham is a straight up bigot. I lost all respect for her after reading her column following the mayoral primary. Her opening line was something to the effect that yeah, 2 Irish guys are in the run-off but it's not as bad as it looks. Imagine her bashing 2 black men or 2 Jewish men like that. It would never happen. But the Irish are open targets.


bikers already have a strong

bikers already have a strong sense of entitlement when it comes to roadway travel & following traffic rules/patterns. Giving them their own lane in various neighborhoods will only make them more of a nuisance.



Motorists already have a strong sense of entitlement when it comes to roadway travel & following traffic rules/patterns. Giving them their own lane in various neighborhoods will only make them more of a nuisance.


Troll away dude

Cause a car has NEVER broken the law, amirite? With all the stories of drunk driving that I've seen recently on UHub, I'm wondering if we need to attach breathalyzers to the car ignitions. I mean, if I read one story about a drunk driver, it must mean that ALL drivers are driving drunk.



Ya because I don't see 20+ bikers run red lights daily, however I can't say that about drivers. Ps I take the T, so I have no horse in this tired race.



Of course there is no hard data to prove that case, if parking enforcement actually did their job and issued tickets to the motorists double parking. I support issuing stop light cameras to finally document the pots calling the kettle black.

I've seen the opposite

While I've seen the BPD come out in force to pull over cyclists along the Comm. Ave corridor, I have not seen this same zealous attitude towards catching drivers that the break the law along this same route. Bike lanes are blocked daily along this route by regularly scheduled truck deliveries yet they are never cited or the fine is low enough that it doesn't hurt the bottom line of the delivery business.

And never mind that the BPD insists on illegally stopping law-abiding cyclists that aren't wearing helmets, the effort reeks of victim blaming when the city only chooses to lightly enforce the laws for a portion of vehicles for a few days here and there.

Although I'll also admit that this statement is anecdotal.


You've lost it

You're now saying traffic enforcement focuses mostly on cyclist (whom they really can't ticket) more than motor vehicles.

Speed Traps
DUI Check Points
Parking Enforcement
Registration of Property

Are only a few ways the "Man" is holding down us cyclist.

You're being willfully ignorant

You know I didn't say that traffic enforcement focuses on cyclists more than cars in this city. I highlighted the lack of traffic enforcement for ALL vehicles, bikes and cars included, along my route and I pointed to a weak effort by the BPD to ticket cyclists for running reds.

With regards to the specific route along the Comm Ave Corridor that I have ridden daily for years, I'm talking about the specific enforcement that I have witnessed first hand. Their enforcement efforts are not enough, they are too focused and too infrequent to stick in the minds of motorists and cyclists.

They posted a few cops around the BU Bridge area to stop cars from blocking the box and causing traffic jams a few months back. Guess what happened when they removed the police? Cars were back to blocking the box, hell a cyclist can't even run that red light with all the cross traffic blocking the intersection.

Speed Traps
DUI Check Points
Parking Enforcement

Lot of good that does, people still seem to find a way to speed, drive drunk and park illegally. And aside from that, I can't tell you the last time I saw an actual DUI checkpoint in this city and I do drive regularly with friends and family. But I can point to several incidents in the last month alone regarding drunk drivers crashing and killing people.

Registration of Property

That tired argument? Guess what brother, I pay taxes, own property and I'm a licensed driver. Next.


That's because drivers kill other people

Cyclists mostly kill themselves. As has been discussed before on UHub, motor vehicle drivers kill about 100 pedestrians and cyclists for every cyclist-at-fault death. Also, the numbers have to be proportionate to the number of vehicles by type - a big reason why Cambridge does cycling law enforcement, but only at certain times on certain routes. You can't single out any one class of legal road user.


I disagree, anon.

Giving bicyclists in the city their own lane(s) to bicycle in won't make them more of a nuisance. On the contrary, having bike lanes makes it way safer for bicyclists, not less.

Linehan Vote

This is great stuff. I am reading the so called progressive posts with a smirk on my face. This is politics. You don't have to like the guy to support him, as long as you get yours. "One hand washes the other!" I guess that part went over their heads. Here's another tried and true political cliche: "Politics make for strange bedfellows."


So councilor Linehan supports

So councilor Linehan supports numerous bike infrstructure projects in his district... New bike lanes in Southie & South End... Additional bike racks all over the district... 2 new Hubway stations in Southie. But he opposes the terrible idea of putting bike lanes on Broadway and he's anti-bike. This is why people like Pete Stidman will never be taken seriously. You help him 10 times and disagree once and he tries to screw you. Pete get over it... Linehan is Council President.


Read press release from

Read press release from Linehan on subject, never a mention of double parking. Terrible idea because it's unsafe due to huge amounts of pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Also there are parralel roads on each side of broadway that would fit lanes just fine. When this was mentioned to fanatics like Stidman he didn't want to hear it. As usual this blowhard from JP wants to come tell ppl in Southie how I unenlightened they are for disagreeing with his bike lane stupidity. Pete, go back to JP and cry with non-president Omalley.

Parallel Roads

Then why don't the cars use them?

Maybe because drivers are running errands ...

Seriously, do you really think it is only about riding in circles or up and down streets somewhere there is a bike lane - a playpen put somewhere motorists don't want to go? Or is it about fundamental transportation cycling - about getting from homes to businesses and workplaces?

You can fit a heck of a lot more bikes into tight urban spaces than you can fit cars - take a look at Davis Square sometime. Bikes are a big reason the small businesses there thrive.


cars do use them. If I want

cars do use them. If I want to get from one side to the other, I never take Broadway because of the congestion. 2 bus routes, a narrow street with one lane each way, and a ton of pedestrian traffic as well. (For reference, I am talking about Broadway from Perkins Sq to D St.) Say what you will about Linehan, but he was right on this one.


Comm Ave has lots of traffic and pedestrians

Bike lanes seem to work pretty well there, so I don't think your argument holds much water. The only thing that makes it unsafe are drivers/cyclists who refuse to following the rules of road like signaling, stopping at reds, double parking in the bike lane, etc.

Plus, Broadway is a main road of transit connecting main parts of Southie, why should I be relegated to side roads when I'm traveling there to see friends?


Bike lanes are a terrible

Bike lanes are a terrible idea on Broadway because it is just too congested, as other posters have already described. And there already exists a much better alternative, which is Third Street.

I live in South Boston and ride my bike along West and East Third Street all the time.

Third Street is only one block off of Broadway and runs parallel to it's entire length. Third Street is safer, it's low traffic and a much prettier ride. Third Street is interrupted only briefly between M Street and N Street where it meets Medal of Honor Park, and where you can safely jump onto residential East Broadway.

So my question to those who seek to impose bike lanes on Broadway, why can't you just ride on Third Street? Even if your destination is on Broadway, it's a short block's ride. Why is that so difficult?



That was the first thing I thought of when I heard the proposed idea, I would love to ride my bike around Southie, but its often too dangerous, although when I do, its usually on second and third streets, since they hit A, which already has bike lanes, which hits the surface road downtown, which also has bike lanes, and has a park you can ride through in the center. That being said I do wish they could fins a way to put on on Dorchester street for better access to Andrew

Smokes and mirrors

I am more concerned with Councilor-elect Wu's naivety. Councilor Linehan wants to "decentralize power?"

'm supporting Bill because of his ideas for the structure of the Council and his years of experience in City Hall. His plan to decentralize power and engage individual committees in deciding relevant priorities will empower Councilors to advocate for Boston residents more directly, clearly, and effectively.

That is silly. Councilor Linehan may be singing a tune of "empowering" individual Councilors but it is just a back door way to give himself more power. Maybe the real purpose is to disempower the City Council as a whole so that he is the only person who has a real power. Create an illusion of empowered Councilors while behind the scenes he accumulates real power. For what purpose? By gutting the City Council as singular body he effectively becomes the only source of power on the Council. Then he can play the role same role that the House Speaker plays when dealing with the governor. Maybe he is looking for a way to run for mayor down the road? Or run for governor?

Councilor-elect Wu's statement itself sounds like a paragraph of diversion and doublespeak. Decentralize power means neutralize an already weak governmental body. Words such as advocate more directly, clearly and effectively simply diverts attention away from the main reason which is to shift power in the Council.

This is Boston. Politicians do not just give up power.


Rookie Councilors

I'm not sure it's clear who the other choice was either Jackson or O'Malley.
But what this tells me is that the rookie Councilor-Elects were the ones who able to make their mark with their first vote. We have 3 of them and looks like Zakim was the smartest one. Genius if the grading scaling is based on a curve.

1) Wu decided to go against her base and went for Linehan. After her statement, I'm still confused why she went with him. She could have backtracked before that statement & just said they were rumors. You upset the GLBT community, the JP Progressives & Lee's supporters. Didn't Tito also endorse her when there was like 25 people running for that seat? Is this why Senator Warren didn't want to introduce you with the top vote getter Councilor Pressley? And your not even in office yet.

2) Roslindale has only one person in the last 30 years on City Council and that's O'Malley. Granted I don't know if he was the choice, but the Globe article said you were one of his votes. So you decide to go with a guy that the Haitian community is upset with over a guy that was born in your district? A guy the former D-5 Councillor (Consalvo) and Mayor Menino have supported in the past? I understand if the choice was Jackson since he endorsed Jean-Claude Sanonn.
So now, you hurt yourself in the Haitian community even more and turned your back on the Parkway. And now known as a flip-flopper.

3) Josh Zakim had to have gotten pressure from both sides. But Linehan's side couldn't sway him. I mean Tito did endorse him and he stayed loyal. And he is aligned himself to work well with the 2 district councilors that border his district now. He looks like an all-star after all of these rookie blunders by Wu & McCarthy. He now has more support in his community, district and the City. He better send McCarthy and Wu thank you cards.

Things will die down, but the voters that show up in non-mayor years have good memories.


O'Malley is not from Roslindale

Raised in Westie, lives in JP. He's the kind of guy who would have 6 tattooed on his arm, and for the past decade 6 has not been Rozzie.

While represented by councillors since 1873, the last councillor from Roslindale was Dapper, who makes Linehan look like a flaming liberal.

He was a Rozzie rat or: Oh, God, I hate neighborhood lines

The O'Malley clan lived (maybe still does) on Centre Street by Weld Street, just past where Centre takes one of its seemingly insane 90-degree turns, off what then becomes VFW Parkway.

Until a few years ago, that was Roslindale, so yes, it's fair to say he grew up in Roslindale (as you say, he now unambiguously lives in JP). Then the residents finally convinced the post office to switch them from 02131 to 02132 because that would mean an immediate jump in their property values (no, wait, I'm sure they had a more altruistic reason for spending a decade or so trying to get their Zip code changed). This is why Yucatan Taco, which is a block or so closer to Holy Name than the ancestral O'Malley estate, and which used to serve Mexican food made by Mexicans in Roslindale, now serves Mexican food made by Mexicans in West Roxbury - even though they're still in the same building.

Interestingly, he wasn't the only person on the ballot this year facing this issue - some people began raising the question of whether Connolly could claim Roslindale heritage (his family's house was even closer to Holy Name).

As for Dapper, um, well, yeah, he did live in Roslindale, but he never represented the neighborhood specifically - he was an at-large councilor, so we can blame the entire city for him. I think the last elected official to actually represent Roslindale who was from Roslindale was Marc Draisen, a state rep for four years back in the 1990s.

I stand kind of corrected

I swear that when he was first running the press had him as a West Roxbury kid (and yes, the coverage was about him being so youthful.). That could have something to do with the succession (from Roslindale) movement out those parts.

I also remember that when the redistricting before the last one, the one that ended in the seat O'Malley got elected to, there was a big deal about keeping the bottom 3 neighborhoods and JP whole, hence my view on O'Malley's neighborhood of his youth.

Still, Dapper, though citywide, has to count as a councillor from Roslindale. I do wish we had better representation. Nothing against the various state reps and city councillors, but I want to say that the state rep district lines ended at the Square. Those 4 reps might have been good, but they were representing Hyde Park, West Roxbury, and JP.

You're misinformed. O'Malley

You're misinformed. O'Malley grew up in Roslindale and most of his family still lives there. He also has a lot of supporters that live in District 5. They will not forget what McCarthy pulled here, especially where many of them backed him in his race this time. McCarthy has a Hyde Park base with little presence in Roslindale or Mattapan. He just made himself a whole lot more vulnerable. Why he would back a guy from Southie with a sordid history over a solid guy from his area who just got the most votes ever for a district councilor is beyond a lot of people, nevermind flip-flopping like he did.


Can we stop with this like its significant...

"got the most votes ever for a district councilor"

It was the first open seat in over 20 years for Mayor, and JC mobilized Westie in record fashion, JP also came out. He was not the draw and quite frankly pretending that this "record" says more about him then the Mayoral race turnout is stupid.

As for where he's from he personally used to identify as a west roxbury kid in his first and second at large race. I think that says enough, he wanted to tap into their typically strong voter base.

Also Wu's decision here is terrible.