Thursday, May 21, 2009

Riding my bike around the city...

I had a few meetings to go to in the City tonight and it was so beautiful I decided to take my bicycle. First it was up to Center Plaza to introduce myself to the Mayor's campaign manager Emily Nolan to set up a time to talk about debates. Then it was off to City Hall for the BRA's first in a series of meetings about their future plans for the development along the Rose Kennedy Greenway. (Why do we pay the woman in charge of the Greenway more than the Mayor makes with our tax dollars?) It was an excellent presentation by the Toronto consultants overseen by new father Kairos Shen of the BRA.
The laborers union were there in force and they had a couple of telling points about pushing development and jobs. The proposal was heavy on development, adding height to current parcels, and making it so there is more attractions in terms of shops and buildings to attract people to the Greenway. They repeatedly spoke of how the Greenway is the Foundation of the area and that they want to treat it with utmost respect.

Finally I rode over to Cambridge where the Livable Streets folks were having a cookout, get together and beer tasting at the bicycle shop on Mass Ave. They are involved in helping to make Boston streets more bike and pedestrian friendly amongst other things.

As I rode home, it was too easy to notice the difference between Cambridge and Boston. In Cambridge they have well marked out bike lanes on Mass Ave, but after crossing over the bridge and counting the Smoots one gets to Boston where bikers are in no mans land with no protection from our chaotic traffic.

It will change when I am Mayor.


John Mc said...

Greenway? Oh, you mean the worlds most expensive median strip :)

John Allen said...

I heard on the WBUR program about the mayoral campaigns that you work as an expert witness in motorcycle crashes. I suggest that you inform yourself on bicycling issues, a closely-related topic that should be easy for you to grasp. Some measures proposed as good for bicycling are sensible and others are unsafe or impractical. For example, a bicycle path down the Rose Kennedy Greenway would have multiple crossings of busy streets, a problem which leads to more delays and hazards when riding on a path than on the street. Boston has been there, done that and it didn't work: a path down the median of Commonwealth Avenue in Back Bay, designated in the 1970s, quickly fell into disuse. And those Cambridge bike lanes you praise are mostly within range of opening car doors, among other problems. Google on my name and the word "Cambridge" and you will find a longer description of such issues. Thank you.