12 May 2010

Bay State Bike Week 2010

Today as I rode in to work I saw my first 2010 bicycle citation being issued by the Cambridge cops. That's the surest sign that Bay State Bike Week is about to begin!

That said, the pancake breakfasts and parties all over town make it all worthwhile. Just be safe and reasonable out there!

12 comments:

Boston Reflector said...

Be sure to stop by the Broadway Bicycle School Pancake Breakfast Tuesday May 18th! http://www.google.com/calendar/event?eid=Yjk4azk3cjlnZTMydTdkZTY4b2Y1dDA3b2MgYXNrb2RuYnA0aWVudjNmNjI5NGhsbGlxNDRAZw&ctz=America/New_York

B-Bike-G said...

And also be sure to register your commuting miles at..

http://masscommuterchallenge.org/

cycler said...

May I posit the unpopular opinion that it's a GOOD thing that that the cops are enforcing the rules?

JPTwins said...

There are also BRAND NEW bike lanes on Comm Ave in the BackBay! They run on the left-hand non-doorzone side of the road. I have no idea how they'll be with lots of traffic, but this morning at 6:15am, they were heavenly. It even includes the Mass Ave underpass.

Not sure how I feel about the citations (are these tickets, with fines?), but if it encourages people to follow the rules, all right...

Charlotte said...

Cycler, I think it is good that they enforce the rules, I think it's unfortunate that they selectively enforce them right when the newbies come out and at no other time in the year.

JPTwins - those bike lanes sound awesome! I will definitely go check those out. I didn't stop to see whether it was a warning or a fine, but he had his ticket pad out and was writing on it.

Akos Szilvasi said...

I also received my first Cambridge citation. I was curious if they really standing on the road to catch me running a red light or just "police presence". The cops were friendly and polite.

However, they only monitor traffic within a quarter mile of the Cambridge Police Headquarter. This is unfortunate. The rest of the Boston area is a traffic-wild-west as before.

cycler said...

I agree that they should enforce them all the time and not pick on the newbies. I would bet a fair bit that they don't actually give many tickets, more warnings this time of year. I actually had a good conversation with the bicycle point person from CPD at the Boston bike safety summit, telling her that despite all the grouching about police during the comments, I had had nothing but good interactions with CPD, and encouraged her to increase enforcement of red light running.

I don't have a ton of sympathy for people who get tickets for something as blatant as running a red light though. I'd get annoyed if they were ticketing for something a bit esoteric or a grey area such as "not staying to the right" "failure to signal" or lane splitting.
Sorry, I should rant on my own blog- just saw someone nearly get killed this morning as he whizzed through the 2' space between a parked car and a just beginning to move car to try to run a red, and it just seems like a stupid way to behave.

Hope to see you at bike events around!

Charlotte said...

Akos, did they give you a fine? Or was it a written warning?

I've seen the Cambridge police in two places - in front of 77 Mass Ave, where they must be citing people for failing to stop for the pedestrians (because there is no cross street there) and in Central, again with no cross street at that particular place (photo on this blog). It is an interesting enforcement choice.

Cycler, I agree that there are tons of egregious moves every day and it would do everyone a favor if they started cracking down on those.

I'd also really love to see some enforcement against double parking in our bike lanes. Outside the Whitehead is constantly occupied, and there's a loading dock not 20 feet away with a direct entrance to the building.

Yesterday on Cambridge Street there was a Coca Cola delivery truck taking the entire bike lane. What was infuriating was that, had he pulled 15 feet forward into the empty space before him, he could have easily cleared the road and still effected his delivery. Grrrr.

I also hope to see you at the bike events and to get to meet your handsome new bike!

Akos Szilvasi said...

Hi, Charlotte, I did not get a fine. Only a written warning.

As for Cycler's "esoteric" or "grey area" traffic violation definitions, I vehemently disagree. I have been living in the Boston area for 20 years but still use turn signal and other "esoteric" driving practices. In my (strong) opinion those are communication tools that save lives. This is why people in Europe don't want to use bike helmets. They do not need it (which I also disagree with). I visited Berlin last year. Bicycling there is a great and safe pleasure and not a daredevil act as here where the turn signal is a "sign of weakness" (and people are proud of that).

margonaute said...

I'm also glad to hear of the bike citations. Aside from people riding totally lightless at night (which I don't understand AT ALL), what most terrifies me is bikers going the wrong way on the street. Especially now: I was taking a Zipcar out of a lot on Beacon Street in Somerville, preparing to turn right past the cars parked on the street. There was a huge SUV just to the left of the driveway, so I was really being careful to check for oncoming traffic and especially bikes coming up the bike lane. All of a sudden, just as I was about to pull into the street, a guy comes zooming down the bike lane coming the other way, from my right! It scared the living crap out of me! I think of myself as a bicycle-conscious driver, and yet I was moments away from possibly running into this guy careening down the hill like a maniac on the wrong side of the road. WHY??? Tell your friends, don't ever ever ever do this!! It's so freakin dangerous!

Akos said...

Just a comment to Margonaute's message: when I see those irresponsible riders (no light, wrong way, lacking of any common sense) I see the Darwinian natural selection principles at work.

I referred to the European cities' disciplined driving/riding culture earlier. When I think back I have to realize that those places usually consist of a more or less homogeneous culture where kids learn street manners at school and see others obey them. Here we enjoy high degree of diversity which may contribute to different interpretation of "freedom". When this gets combined with a lack of traffic enforcement we end up with a situation as in the Boston area driving habits.

Tinker said...

Wouldn't it be a better use of the police's time to pursue CARS for not paying attention to bicyclists at this time, than to spend it on writing warnings to BICYCLISTS (who are endangered by cars 12 months a year)? especially when you realize that cars are the primary cause of injury at intersections and when turning across a bicyclists path. (And bicyclists even without a warning, cause very little damage to pedestrians in or out of a crosswalk.