Boston’s first annual Bay State Bike Week kicked off with quite the ruckus yesterday. First Mayor Menino struggled to bike the ceremonial half-mile from City Hall Plaza to Post Office Square in very windy conditions. I’ll admit it was quite windy and a struggle at times to pedal yesterday. Plus, I’m getting over a cold so that did not help matters. In either case, Mayor Menino’s ride launched Bay State Bike Week and brought some positive news to the Boston biking scene. The Boston Globe story also points out:
In July, the city plans to unveil its first designated bike lanes, on Commonwealth Avenue between the Boston University Bridge and Kenmore Square. The city may also add bike lanes to Massachusetts Avenue between Albany Street and Huntington Avenue, Tremont Street along Boston Common, and on American Legion Highway, which runs past Franklin Park.
The bike lanes are good news for Boston bikers but unfortunately some ugly news concerning bike lanes comes from the Republic of Cambridge where two bicyclists beat up two car drivers for swerving into the bike lane. One of the car travelers was beaten so badly they fell into unconsciousness. The Cambridge police further described the events by citing that the bicyclists where also swerving into the car lanes as they pedaled in a group of ten bikers. Some of the bikers were also allegedly popping wheelies in front of the car as they pedaled down highly used Massachusetts avenue.
Yesterday I was biking through Cambridge and Somerville, via Hampshire and Beacon Street and noticed a new feature on the Beacon Street/Somerville side of the trip. Bike lanes!
I’m not sure how new these are but the Somerville side did not have these bike lanes a week or two ago.
In some spots the lanes look quickly painted which leads me to think the Republic of Cambridge invaded Somerville in the middle of the night and quickly painted these lanes. That or Somerville decided to act fast and paint their part of the street after a Boston Globe article last month publicized the difference between the two sides of the same street:
I’m biking down Beacon Street in Somerville toward Inman Square. This stretch of road has no bike lane, so I’m extra wary of turning cars and doors suddenly flinging open. I feel like a guerrilla cyclist.
But when I hit the Cambridge city line, it’s like crossing from the dark side of the moon to the light. A bike lane suddenly appears.
The MBTA is getting in on the increasing attention paid to bikers by installing a 50 bike cage at the Alewife T station. The cage will be accessed via CharlieCard and monitored by surveillance cameras to prevent theft. Good idea but if it was me I’d just continue the ride into town rather than taking the unreliable T.
Finally, gas prices rose to a record $3.73 today on the heels of a report that Iran might cut crude oil production. With rising gas prices, the coming emergence of bike lanes in Boston, and it being Bay State Bike Week, now is as good a time as any to buy a used bike, and get off the oil addiction and get some exercise, if you physically can pedal (consult your doctor if you’re not sure).