National Bike to Work Day is Friday, May 17, which means hundreds of Boston residents will be pedaling to work. To prepare for the event, and because of a 31 percent increase in ridership from 2011, the Boston City Council is holding a hearing tonight aimed at promoting bike safety within the city.
The hearing follows several tragic bicycle accidents in the city, including one in December involving a Boston University grad student who collided with the trailer of a semi-truck that had swung out into Commonwealth Avenue. A total of five bicyclists were killed last year, and city officials want to do everything they can to lower that number as we enter bicycle season.
One council member plans to propose that a safe bike infrastructure should be created within the city, which would encourage more people to ride bikes as well as improve air quality and the health of residents. His proposal includes “cycling tracks and ‘complete streets’ design,” which are said to improve safety for cyclists, drivers and pedestrians.
Another city council member met with researchers and students from Harvard University, who presented their own suggestions for making the city more bike friendly, including a movable four-camera system that could be installed at various busy intersections to allow officials to better understand how bicyclists use city streets.
In addition to Bike to Work Day, a group called the Boston Cyclists Union has organized a “ride of silence” on Wednesday, May 15 to commemorate the cyclists who were killed last year. The ride begins at 7 p.m. and go through downtown Boston and over to Back Bay. It seems that bicycle safety is finally getting the attention it deserves in Boston.
Source: Examiner, “Council to address Boston bicycle safety,” May 8, 2013