26 August 2009

I didn't even know it was my birthday

Yesterday, under cover of night, Boston Public Works visited my commute and left me...

Thank you Boston Public Works
A BIKE LANE! Stretching as far as the eye can see in both directions, a beautiful brand-new official reflective bike lane.

Boston Columbus Avenue bike lane
Doesn't it suit Columbus Avenue nicely? I think they go perfectly together.

Columbus Avenue bike lane in Boston
Thank you Boston! It's beautiful. It's just what I always wanted!!!

18 comments:

Carice said...

Wow!
So exciting! And there aren't even any cars double parked in it yet ! :) It is great to see Boston finally getting serious about adding some bike lanes!
Isn't it great when the universe hands you a gift like that!

I was riding down Broadway in a group of about 10 cyclists this morning, and we all cheered when a motorcycle cop made a taxi move out of the bike lane!

Grendel said...

That's a Door Zone Bike Lane. Send it back. It's a death trap. Check out this video to see what I mean. http://gsocycle.blogspot.com/2009/08/avoiding-door-zone.html

Charlotte said...

Grendel, you're right of course, but in Boston any tiny bit of progress is worthy of a massive celebration.

SK said...

that's great! what a pleasant surprise :)

JPTwins said...

hooray! where exactly on Columbus is this?

speaking of bike lanes, there's a fantastic post over at Copenhagenize about larger scale bike lanes. Can you imagine if Rt 2 had a parallel bike lane all the way to North Adams!?

Kat said...

Yay - we got another one! Yes, the Door Zone is still a problem, but it is progress.

Thom said...

I agree Charlotte, even bike lanes with door zones represent some sort of progress. We can't expect our auto-centric cities to just sprout ideal bicycle infrastructure over night (although in your case, it seems that *something* sprouted over night!). This bike lane will lead to a separated bike boulevard, will lead to a separated path, will lead to a whole city full of them. We're working on reversing about 80 years worth of auto-centric city planning, it's going to take time to get it right. In the meantime, just ride well to the left of that lane and keep your eyes open.

Charlotte said...

JPTwins - I rode a section in the South End, but it looked like it went down past Mass Ave and up really far - maybe all the way downtown even! I'm going to have to ride it after work and see where it goes.

I rode parallel bike paths in Finland that were astonishing. The whole country is filled with them running along the highways, and the paths are lined with wild strawberries that were ripe when I was there. It was like some cycling Nirvana. Maybe someday...

Charlotte said...

Thom, you're right. Here is another section of my commute and I would GLADLY take a door-zone bike lane through this part.

Any progress is good.

Filigree said...

How cool! I admit that I've been avoiding that section of Boston, because my skills were not advanced enough to deal with it yet. Now I will go and cycle there just to check it out.

Rhea said...

Fabulous! I ride downtown on weekends and could use some bike lanes in the area!

Dottie said...

Awesome! What a fantastic surprise. Too bad they don't keep the no-parking sign up permanently.

Trisha said...

Any bike lane is better than none! I would be happy for a birthday present like that. :) Enjoy it!

dc said...

this is amazing, i am going to make a special trip this evening just to ride it!

Sean said...

Charlotte, Congratulations, but I caution you to still be careful. We have these painted bike lanes on some streets here in New York City, and compliance among drivers is spotty.

Some drivers have no hesitation about swooping into them to avoid an obstacle, double parking in them, or swinging their car door into them without looking.

White paint is better than nothing, but it's not as good as separated from traffic by a curb or cones.

If you ever visit NYC, try cycling in Chelsea on the Eighth Avenue bike lane. You get seven blocks of separated bliss, and are then tossed back into a painted lane. The difference is amazing. In the separated lane your blood pressure goes down; you can relax; it's quieter. You feel respected.

Mark said...

Cool. Even though a door-zone-lane - at least it shows you the safe distance to ride away from parked cars... i.e. to the left of of the bike lane :)

lisa said...

Charlotte, what a great start to your day. :) I miss Boston! Here in Atlanta we get bike lanes removed more than they're added... Could I suggest to everyone that has commented with enthusiasm, please contact your department of public works, your city council, etc., and thank them! Showing appreciation and support goes a long way to encourage the creation of more bike infrastructure.

Dave said...

Can't they put a death's head in the door zone bike lane so that both bicyclist and drivers know that they aren't safe to bicycle in?

Problem with door zone bike lanes are
1) bicyclist think it is safe to bike in them. Bike lanes in door zones are of course the most dangerous part of the road.
2) Car drivers think that a bicyclist out side the door zone (outside the bike lane) doesn't belong there and can be more hostile towards a bicyclist then if there was not bike lane at all.

After seeing the aftermath of a dooring (on Cambridge St near Whole Foods) last night I don't just don't see the point of promoting door zone bike lanes.
(I think it included