Post Content

Gerry Bingham EEA

Posted By Gerry Bingham, Department of Energy Resources

Sometimes change isn’t easy.  Here at DOER, I spend my day helping businesses find ways to reduce their annual energy costs through the state’s new and improved efficiency programs.  Even when changes that reduce a company’s impact on the environment also save money, change can be hard.  But, when change for the better happens, the results are real and measurable and that makes all the effort all worthwhile.
I was reminded of this recently in a surprising way; it was when I dropped my daughter off by bicycle at Arlington’s Hardy School and I saw for the first time that brand new bike rack out front and it was FULL OF BICYCLES!  That’s when it hit me:  good things can happen when you’re willing to do the work to get to that last, easy decision (in this case, the decision for parents and kids to ride their bikes).  
Bingham Safe Routes to Schools Kids
Historically, leadership for the town's schools had resisted letting students bicycle to school out of concern for their safety. But, when a new principal with a new point of view came to Hardy School, parents reinvigorated their efforts to solve the car line problem by breaking the roadblock to safe bicycling. One year later, a number of things contributed to increased acceptance of biking to school, including a MassDOT-supported Safe Routes to School pilot that successfully introduced students to bike safety and quantified the community’s car-free miles, and state funding for renovations at a nearby school requiring a transportation plan that included biking.

Other factors that made biking to the Hardy School a reality included:
•    State and local resources big and small – from donations of little prizes for kids in the Safe Routes program last year to the staff time that went into organizing the program;
•    Hardy’s forward thinking principal, who not only desired a solution for “drop-off gridlock,” but, actually wanted to ride to school herself;
•    Parents who put in hours and hours of planning and organizing to incorporate safety into walking and biking to school;
•    Non-profit organizations that dedicated resources and enabled a great walk/ride day idea;
•    And, last, but certainly, not least, Governor Deval Patrick, who has supported volunteerism on the part of state employees who worked on this project.

And now I see the payoff:  I can count the bikes on the numerous racks at the Hardy School and I see our impact is not only measurable, it’s significant!
So, what’s the lesson?  Use all the resources available, point them in the right direction and don’t be afraid to ask for help.  And when you achieve your change, move on to the next big thing, but don’t forget to look back and chart your progress.  It feels good doesn’t it?
… and, oh yeah, don’t forget to ride safe!

Check out more good news from DOER at our Energy Smarts blog.

Written By:

Recent Posts

Boston: I-90 Eastbound 4th Lane Reopens at Commonwealth Avenue Bridge posted on Jun 26

Boston: I-90 Eastbound 4th Lane Reopens at Commonwealth Avenue Bridge

MassDOT today announced the restoration of a fourth lane on I-90 Eastbound from the Commonwealth Avenue bridge to the Prudential Tunnel in Boston. The restoration of four travel lanes comes after MassDOT completed safety upgrades by replacing the median system with a new jersey barrier   …Continue Reading Boston: I-90 Eastbound 4th Lane Reopens at Commonwealth Avenue Bridge

RMV: 2016 Low Number Plate Lottery Applications Now Accepted posted on Jun 25

RMV: 2016 Low Number Plate Lottery Applications Now Accepted

MassDOT Registrar of Motor Vehicles Erin Deveney announced that applications for the 2016 Low Number Plate Lottery are now being accepted online or by U.S. mail. Starting this year, for the first time ever, customers will be able to enter the lottery online by visiting:    …Continue Reading RMV: 2016 Low Number Plate Lottery Applications Now Accepted

Casey Arborway Project Public Meeting Set posted on Jun 24

Casey Arborway Project Public Meeting Set

MassDOT has scheduled a fourth Casey Arborway Project Construction Update Meeting as follows: Wednesday, June 29, 6:30-8:30 PM, Boston English High School Auditorium 144 McBride Street, Jamaica Plain The purpose of this meeting will be to provide the community with an update on the progress   …Continue Reading Casey Arborway Project Public Meeting Set