Sound Familiar?

With nothing much happening in the American League East this Fall, we’ve been turning our attention to Boston’s burgeoning Livable Street movement instead. Last year a fellow named Jeff Rosenblum founded an organization called the Livable Streets Alliance that is setting out to do work similar to that of New York City’s Transportation Alternatives. Jeff’s group appears to be doing a good job of moving the issues up on Boston’s civic agenda. Last week’s Boston Globe ran a story on a City Counci member’s efforts to transform a congested street in Little Italy into a pedestrian piazza and an op/ed arguing:

BOSTON SHOULD be one of the best cities in the United States in which to ride a bike. It’s beautiful, it’s largely flat, and it has wide avenues that could easily accommodate cars and bikes together. It also boasts the Emerald Necklace, the Paul Dudley White Memorial Bicycle Path, and the upcoming South Bay Harbor Trail, some of the country’s most scenic and useful bike paths.

Change the name of these "scenic and useful bike paths" to "Hudson River Greenway" and you may as well be describing New York City. Of course, as in baseball and most other things, it sounds like in New York City is still way ahead of Boston when it comes to bike-friendliness and Livable Streets.

  • Sean

    A big Boston-based ouch! Now, is that the kind of spirit you want to foster?

    By the way, Boston’s going to have a ’round Boston bike ride on October 1. See hubonweheels.org.

  • Just checking to see if any Bostonians are reading.

  • d

    NYC might be ahead of Boston when it comes to political movement and advocacy groups such as TA, but having lived in both places, I will say that Boston is far friendlier to bicycles than New York and a better biking city overall. Why?

    1. A huge student poplation in Boston means more cyclists.

    2. Curving city streets, as opposed to long, straight, avenues, means that drivers can’t speed as easily, and definitely can’t time their driving so they hit every green light.

    3. Boston proper is quite small. It’s relatively easy to get to good bike paths for recreational riders and commuters. The Minuteman trail stretches from Lexington to Somerville, and lets off right at a T stop, meaning some commuters can bike most of the way to their destination, lock their bike, and get on a train. Compare this to riding in across the GW bridge.

    4. Better bike security. Universities and business have more bike parking, both inside and out. That’s far different from NYC office towers.

    5. Memorial Drive. This major roadway on the Cambridge side of the Charles River is closed in sections during summer weekends. FDR drive is never closed, and even Central Park is open to cars a lot of the time.

    So, if Boston could have better cycling advocates it would be far ahead of NYC when it comes to safe conditions for cyclists.

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