Saturday, September 22, 2007

Boston mayor pushes bikes


From the Boston Globe, 09.21.07:

Pedal pushing: Menino mounting bid to make city a bicyclist's dream

Potholes, narrow roads, mean drivers. Riding a bicycle in Boston is something akin to combat. Cyclists routinely rank the city America's worst.

Stung by national criticism and hoping to take a bite out of traffic and air pollution, Mayor Thomas M. Menino is vowing to change that. A newly converted cyclist himself, Menino will announce today the hiring of a bike czar, former Olympic cyclist Nicole Freedman, and a first phase of improvements to include 250 new bike racks across Boston and an online map system.

In the next several years, Menino said, he plans to create a network of bike lanes on roads such as Massachusetts Avenue and Commonwealth Avenue in the Back Bay and the Fenway. "We need to get more people to take the bike around. It's good for their health, it's good for the environment, and there's less congestion on our streets," Menino said. "It's time for this issue to come to the forefront."

Boston has much to overcome if it's to be a biking mecca. Last year, Bicycling magazine put Boston on its list of worst cities for the third time since 1999, citing its "lousy roads, scarce and unconnected bike lanes, and bike-friendly gestures from city hall that go nowhere."

"It kills me," said Stephen Madden, a Dorchester native and editor of Bicycling magazine. But, he added, "I'd be derelict in my job not to put it on that list. My hope is to one day not just remove it from the worst places list but to put it on the best places list. The Red Sox won the World Series. Anything can happen." (Read more.)
You know that bicycling is truly on the ascendant in the U.S. when you see Boston embracing pedaling commuters. The article indicates that Menino is also looking favorably at adopting a bike-sharing system similar to Paris' wildly successful Vélib. Despite the occasional retrograde remark by the federal transportation secretary, bicycling really is emerging as an effective urban transportation mode.

Visit: Boston by Bike, Boston Globe, 09.20.07
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

wow - i recently visited Boston and was amazed at how much more bike friendly Boston is compared to my hometown, Atlanta. I guess that just means Atlanta is even worse than I realized....