14 November 2008

Cyclists who cross the Charles River - please read this!

I could almost have the most glorious route home - stopping along the dedicated bike lane on Cambridge Street to go to the fishmonger's, the green grocer's, and the Italian bakery - supporting these local businesses and providing my family fresh food. Then I'd head down to pick up the Esplanade to ride along the river and then across town to my home... It's almost idyllic, world-class even, except for the section by the Museum of Science which is the scariest cycling I've ever done in my life.

I'm not alone in regretting this section - the glorious paths along both sides of the river dead-end into this disaster.

Cambridge Route 28 Museum of Science
For me, this is the only place in all of Boston where I always ride on the sidewalk, due to the absolute visceral terror of being in the six lane road with freeway-speed cars. In the summer I don't even try this route - the sidewalks are filled with distracted tourists enjoying our fair city, as is their right, and even getting off and walking with a bike is a hassle to them (and me) as there's just no room.

Cambridge Route 28 Museum of Science

But it doesn't have to be this way, and the DCR could fix all that! They're even having a public meeting about it on Monday. I was very saddened to learn from MassBike that:
It is vital that bicyclists be well-represented at this meeting, as it appears that the DCR plans to shunt bicycles onto a narrow shared-use path rather than including bike lanes on the road.
We already have a narrow shared-use path and it doesn't work at all! Please come out and help support the development of a viable bicycle infrastructure in Boston. Please?

Craigie Drawbridge Museum of Science
Arrow points to the drawbridge in question. What we need is a path for pedestrians and a bike lane wide enough to allow bike traffic going both directions. It can wind around the Museum of Science, that's fine. If we need to find more space we can take it from the sidewalk across the road which connects one freeway to the other.

Photo Credits: Google Street View

2 comments:

cris said...

a few years ago, I had a commute from Brookline to First St. in Cambridge, near the Galleria. The first half of the route, through Brookline and along the Esplanade was idyllic. The second half, having to cross three lanes of traffic to make a left onto Cambridge then First St? Not so idyllic.

I hope to make it on Monday.

man said...

Charlotte -
Good luck with the meeting and that the word gets out so that you have enough support.

Also thanks for bringing up the unsafe issue in your blog. I have to cross a drawbridge on my commute to work and I always ride on the sidewalk when I cross there. Other riders have actually argued with me saying that it is perfectly safe. That helmet isn't going to be much protection is my thought process..

I digress; the point is if there is a possible remedy to a dangerous situation and people are willing to listen one should fight for it.

Go for it & Good luck!

- man