electrical bike short-term bike lanes Downtown are right here to remain – The Every day Free Press
Bike lanes that popped up in Downtown Boston this 12 months are going to be sticking round because the Metropolis edges nearer to make Downtown jobs extra accessible to residents in different neighborhoods.
Mayor Marty Walsh introduced the plan in a press convention Tuesday whereas giving updates on the Metropolis’s COVID-19 response. He detailed the Metropolis’s fall transportation plans, together with the addition of an outbound night bus lane from Forest Hills to Roslindale Sq., a bus lane within the North Finish and numerous modifications to extend pedestrian security.
Amongst these initiatives are plans to transform the short-term bike lanes marked by orange visitors cones and barrels into everlasting fixtures. The pop-up lanes appeared earlier this 12 months as a part of the town’s “Wholesome Streets” initiative, with a number of routes rising across the Boston Widespread and Public Backyard. Different routes included Tremont, Boylston, Charles, Beacon and Arlington Road.
The initiative contributes to the Metropolis’s “Join Downtown” venture, the mayor stated, with the aim of connecting residents in numerous Boston neighborhoods to jobs within the Downtown space.
“We’re decided to come back out of this pandemic a more healthy and extra equitable metropolis than we entered it,” Walsh stated at Tuesday’s press convention. “Transportation has been a essential focus of our planning effort lately. The pandemic introduced a brand new urgency for secure and dependable transportation, particularly for our frontline employees and important employees which have been utilizing it probably the most incessantly over the past 5 months.”
The mayor stated the Metropolis will work with neighborhoods to enhance security in addition to pedestrian and bike entry on American Legion Freeway. Walsh stated the Metropolis has heard issues from residents, together with reviews of drag racing on the roadway, which stretches via Roslindale and Dorchester.
Bettering bikeways on American Legion Freeway is a significant aim of Wholesome Streets’ second section, in keeping with this system’s web site. Different enchancment places embody Cummins Freeway, which intersects American Legion.
Some native transportation advocates stated the announcement was a optimistic subsequent step within the Metropolis’s pursuit of fairness, however added that a lot of the present work seems to be centered in Downtown reasonably than different neighborhoods.
Stacy Thompson, govt director of LivableStreets Alliance, stated she helps short-term interventions just like the pop-up lane venture, however wish to see extra direct intervention on the subject of connecting the Downtown space with communities on the jap facet of the town, like Mattapan and Hyde Park.
“Cummins is an efficient first step, in fact. We’re very excited in regards to the progress on American Legion,” Thompson stated in an interview. “What about Warren Road? What about Columbia Street? These are corridors that serve an amazing variety of individuals strolling, biking … these are corridors that deserve consideration, too.”
Thompson stated she wish to see extra intervention to assist communities of colour most affected by COVID-19 meet their transportation wants.
The Boston Bicycle owner Union’s govt director, Becca Wolfson, stated her group is happy for the everlasting lanes, however requires extra work to be completed in communities outdoors of Downtown.
Wolfson stated one criticism she has is that the present lane work has been centered round Downtown, whereas some neighborhoods aren’t seeing the identical diploma of recent growth of their corridors.
Wolfson stated Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan are some neighborhoods the place her group desires to see extra progress. She added that when committing to fairness, it will be significant that these most impacted by COVID-19, particularly communities of colour, obtain enough help.
“It’s necessary, generally, that we proper the wrongs of disinvestment on the subject of transportation in these communities and likewise with the lens on fairness and [COVID-19] influence,” Wolfson stated. “It’s critically necessary that if the Metropolis’s making a Downtown community within the title of job entry, that you simply create routes from neighborhoods to that Downtown community.”
Wolfson stated these initiatives are taking place as Boston sees an uptick within the variety of new riders utilizing the Bluebikes public bike share program.
Throughout Tuesday’s press convention, Walsh stated the Metropolis’s 90-day free cross program for important employees remains to be supplied for BlueBikes and that the service noticed a brand new single-day report of 14,403 riders on Sunday.
BlueBikes Ridership has been returning to 2019 ranges because it hit its lowest level in April and Could, in keeping with Boston BlueBikes advertising supervisor Patrick Kelsey.
In an e-mail, Kelsey wrote BlueBikes has seen loads of biking exercise close to trails, with lengthy journeys by riders who start and finish on the similar bike station. He stated this means to his group that persons are driving for recreation, one of many largest use instances within the Boston metro space, along with others.
“There’s the commuting use case for certain,” Kelsey stated in an interview. “We’ve got a fairly large company program, together with loads of universities.”
He stated many Bluebikes stations are additionally positioned in giant employment facilities and Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority stations.
Kelsey stated BlueBikes is within the means of increasing the service to 5 new communities this 12 months, with plans to launch bike share stations in Arlington, Chelsea, Newton, Revere and Watertown. Some stations are already lively in Arlington and Watertown, in keeping with the BlueBikes web site.