Metal Pipes and Found Wooden Pallets Make for a Custom-Designed Bike Corral for the Village

A Roslindale Village Main Street and Street Ops Collaboration

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Street Ops, a collective of urban planners, designers and urbanists, and Roslindale Village Main Street have teamed up to bring a custom bicycle parking corral to Roslindale Village. The public is invited to attend a ribbon cutting celebration outside Fornax Bread Company on Monday, June 6th at 6:00 pm that will open the corral up to public use and celebrate the completion of a year’s worth of efforts and advocacy. Following the ribbon cutting guests are welcome to meet for an informal gathering and drinks at Sophia’s Grotto, 22R Birch Street in Roslindale Village.

The idea of building a custom corral for Roslindale Village was hatched almost a year and a half ago. RVMS brought together neighborhood stakeholders who had been advocating for a corral with Street Ops, who was scouting locations to do a corral demonstration project.  Residents and business owners of the Village, with the support of City Councilor Tim McCarthy, participated in working groups, site walks, and public meetings to discuss the lack of bike parking and evaluate opportunities for siting a corral.

The bike corral is funded by a grant from the Boston Society of Architects Foundation, and elements of the corral and ribbon-cutting ceremony have been paid for by the Steve Gag Fund, set up by RVMS for bike-related efforts in the neighborhood.

“The businesses in our neighborhood are eager for more customers — especially visitors from outside of Roslindale. More people are biking to our community to shop and go out to eat. If we continue to build our district around the needs of car drivers, we ignore a growing population that is eager to spend money in our local businesses. This bike corral will allow multiple bikes to safely stay in a spot that cars weren’t even allowed to park in — what a win,” shares Executive Director Christina DiLisio. 

In January 2015, Street Ops, at the suggestion of then-Director of Boston Bikes Nicole Freeman, reached out to RVMS to see if they’d be interested in working together to find a site for a bike corral. The groups went on a site walk and decided on the stretch of road adjacent to the existing parklet outside Fornax Bread Company. From there, Street Ops and RVMS continued to work with Councilor McCarthy’s office as well as the new Active Transportation Director for the City of Boston, Stefanie Seskin, Program Manager for Boston Bikes, Najah Shakir, and the Director of Planning for the Boston Transportation Department, Vineet Gupta.

In order to maximize the benefit of its grant award, Street Ops decided to pursue a design that would be simple for other bike enthusiasts to replicate. They chose to use metal pipe from the hardware store as the structure and found wooden pallets to adorn the facade and create unique flower boxes. In the end they will produce a set of instructions for others who wish to replicate this corral. After months of refining the design, gathering materials, and construction Street Ops and RVMS are looking forward to making the corral available to the public.

“This project is about showing—not telling—how bikes are good for local businesses, our health, and our community,” states StreeOps Founding Director Allen Penniman.

In addition to the ribbon cutting celebration the corral will be formally dedicated to the tireless champion of bicycling Mr. George Ulrich. Ulrich was a resident of Roslindale and the co-founder of Boston Cyclists Union and Rozzie Bikes. He passed away in February from cancer.

Welcome to the Neighborhood: P.S. Gourmet

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written by RVMS Marketing Committee Member Elizabeth Hawley

If you’ve got your ear on the pulse of Roslindale, you’ve probably already heard the buzz for new arrival P.S. Gourmet. Taking over the storefront on the corner of Poplar and Washington Streets, the yellow signs have announced the coffee shop’s imminent arrival for several weeks. A couple of weeks ago, P.S. Gourmet officially opened, and the lines are already forming.

“It’s been great,” said store manager Rob, noting that they opened to little fanfare and have seen the traffic in the store grow everyday so far.

So far, the customers at the Roslindale location are similar to those at the Dorchester shop – a lot of students and young people, according to Rob, who also notes that “we don’t see that crowd in South Boston.”

If you’re dropping by P.S. Gourmet, Rob recommends the P.S. Special – a cinnamon hazelnut mocha with whipped cream and “by far the most popular flavor, across all locations” – but if that’s not your style, they have over 100 flavors to choose from (just remember, they’re cash only)!

Meet Erica Soma, co-owner of LYFE CYCLE

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LYFE CYCLE was created by owners Erica Soma and Janine Aston as a cycling studio that offers a great cycling class, right in the heart of Roslindale Village. RVMS got a chance to chat with owner Erica, a new resident of Roslindale, who has been in the fitness industry for over five years. With both her BA and MS degrees in Exercise Science, Erica became a personal trainer because she was promised a free gym membership during graduate school at Northeastern. She immediately fell in love with training, working with people, and making her passion fun for others. Erica left the gym she was working at almost two years ago to pursue her own in- home personal training business, which she still runs today. While working out of various studios, Erica began teaching at Janine’s yoga studio in Charlestown and the wheels behind LYFE CYCLE started turning almost immediately. Almost exactly a year later, LYFE CYCLE is open in Roslindale and is excited to offer a great new workout program to the neighborhood.

 

Thank You to Outgoing Farmers Market Committee Chair and Welcome New Chairs!

RVMS would like to thank outgoing Board Member Lucy Galvan for her years of service at RVMS and most recently for her leadership on the Farmers Market Committee. Lucy was an RVMS Board Member and Farmers Market Committee Member for the last 6 years.  Among other things, Lucy helped to expand the free children’s programming at the market, bringing in diverse and quality entertainers. Lucy, alongside her husband, Alejandro, were owners of El Chavo Mexican Products and have made a significant impact on the community as both business owners and residents. Thank you, Lucy!
 
We wish to extend a very warm welcome to the new Farmers Market Committee Co-Chairs for the upcoming summer season — Liz Graham-Meredith and Richard Chalfin. Liz and Richard are both longtime Farmers Market Committee Members and Richard most recently served as Co-Chair of the RVMS Winter Farmers Market. Look for them at the market or around the Square and don’t hesitate to ask them any questions about the upcoming season.
 
Here is a little more info about Liz and Richard. Thank you Liz and Richard for taking the reins! 
 
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Liz has worked in EdTech for well over a decade. When moving to Boston from California in 2009, Liz and her husband were convinced Roslindale was the right neighborhood because of the convenience and walkability of the Square. What sealed the deal for them was seeing the Farmers Market bringing residents together on Saturdays in Adam’s Park.
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Richard is a realtor at Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty and has been a Roslindale resident for 7 years. Richard has been involved in farmers markets and community supported agriculture (CSA) since the 80’s. He has been a member of the Farmers Market Committee for 6 years and most recently was the 1st Place Winner, alongside his wife Joyce, in the large yard garden division of the City of Boston Mayor’s Garden Contest. 

 
The Farmers Market Committee is a dynamic group, always looking for more volunteers. If you are passionate about food or about pop-up activities then contact Market Manager Dan McKenna at rvmsfarmersmarket@gmail.com or the RVMS office at (617) 327 4065

 

Thanks to Outgoing Board Members

Every spring, RVMS hosts the Annual Meeting in order to share news of upcoming events and projects, as well as highlights from the past year, but also to both welcome incoming board members and thank outgoing board members. The RVMS board is a working, all volunteer board, operating in concert with RVMS staff, committees, volunteers, and community groups to do everything from running the Farmers Market to helping pack up and store office files.

We hope all of our friends and neighbors from the community will be able to join us on the night of April 12th, starting at 7:00 PM, at Saint Nectarios Church, to welcome new members to the RVMS board and to give a big round of applause to our outgoing members whose dedication and service will have a lasting impact in our community. 

This year, we say thanks to outgoing members Max Fripp, Jennifer Madar, Vinny Marino, Emily Meneer, Mary Perry, Elizabeth Swanson, Ben Warner, and Vernee Wilkinson. Each of these members brought unique talents and strengths as well as diverse backgrounds and we are so grateful for all that they have shared with RVMS and with the broader community. RVMS also wishes to extend heartfelt thanks to Jennifer Madar for her dedicated service to the Roslindale community as an RVMS Board Member since 2011, and most recently, as President since January 2015. Jennifer’s leadership in streamlining and documenting policies and procedures to support continuity and consistency, updating the bylaws, and reopening a discussion of long range planning will benefit RVMS for years to come. Vice President Hilary Sullivan will be stepping in as interim president for the remainder of the year.

Thank you outgoing members!

Bussey Bridge Disaster: 3/14/1887

written by RVMS Marketing Committee Co-chair Carolyn Donovan

The 7:00 am commuter train from Dedham, with its usual variety of businessmen, shop girls, and school children, started their days as they normally did. Just a normal day.

Without warning the forty-foot high bridge the train was crossing collapsed, plunging three wooden passenger cars onto the road below or tumbling down the embankment, and 37 people to their deaths. Sixteen of those people were from Roslindale.1887_Drawing_of_Collapsed_Bridge

It was called “The Bussey Bridge Disaster,” and it changed Massachusetts law. Today is it’s 129th anniversary.

The bridge was, as the Boston Globe reported, “Bad in Contract and Bad in Make, Bad in Testing and Very Bad in General.” It was designed by a man without any civil engineering qualifications who created a sham company in order to get the contract. His work was not overseen by the Boston and Providence Railroad, and the bridge itself had not been regularly examined during its life.

The tragedy made The New York Times.

There were three things that prevented greater loss of life:
1. The doors of the stoves used to heat the compartments were locked, preventing the coals from escaping and setting the wooden carriages on fire.
2. The train engineer flew down the rest of the track to the Forest Hills station with the emergency whistle sounding all the way, alerting the fire house;
3. The people of Roslindale rushed to the scene to help.

Following the tragedy, the bridge was rebuilt with stone and cement. It still stands, and is still used for train travel.

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Massachusetts now requires that all railroad bridges be examined by a qualified professional every two years.

To read more about the tragedy and its aftermath:

“The Bussey Bridge Horror,” page 627; Mixed Train to Providence.

“Photos of the Bussey Bridge Disaster of 1887,” Roslindale Historical Society.