City of Boston Announces Major Bicycling Safety Initiative: MassBike To Provide Bike Safety Classes

The City of Boston has just announced a major bicycling safety initiative, commencing with a bicycling safety summit next Wednesday, April 21st. MassBike will provide free bicycling safety classes (details below) as part of the initiative, as well as free valet bike parking at the summit.

Read the press release:

Mayor Menino Convenes First-Ever Bicycling Safety Summit

Mayor and City Officials Call for a Shared Respect When Traveling Boston’s Roadways and Encourage Helmet Use

Today, Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced the city’s first-ever Bicycling Safety Summit at 5:30 PM on Wednesday, April 21 at Boston University’s Morse Auditorium. The Summit will gather area bicyclists and high-ranking city officials to discuss ways of improving safety for everyone who uses Boston’s roadways. The Mayor’s announcement comes in the wake of a third recent bike accident and ahead of Boston Bike Week next month.

This is about the need for a shared, common respect amongst everyone who uses Boston’s roads, said Mayor Menino. We have to come together and recognize that everyone is responsible for keeping our roadways safe and that we all have the right to safe passage through our beautiful city. We can start by fulfilling the personal responsibility of wearing a helmet.

Mayor Menino has ordered the Boston Police Department (BPD) to immediately launch a focused enforcement effort aimed at both cyclists and motorists in an effort to assist them to better share the road. Officers will more proactively seek out and fine for safety violations committed by those on a bicycle and those operating a motor vehicle. This effort will include the strict enforcement of Massachusetts laws dedicated to bicycle and pedestrian safety. The BPD is also researching the possible implementation of an enhanced reporting mechanism to document all accidents involving bikes.

Two years ago Mayor Menino developed Boston Bikes to increase cycling safety around Boston through the use of marked bike lanes and various educational campaigns. Since, Boston has seen much improvement including:

  • the installation of 15 miles of bike lanes with another 20 slated for this year;
  • the publication of the first-ever Boston Bikes map;
  • the installation of more than 500 bike racks;
  • the formation of the Boston Bikes Advisory Board designed to advise city officials on how best to implement proven safety measures such as dedicated bike lanes;
  • and the passage of a city ordinance making it illegal for cars to be parked in bike lanes, the enforcement of which will be heightened by Boston Transportation Department ticket writers.

In light of the recent accidents, however, city officials encourage people to:

  • Visit the Boston Bikes fanpage on Facebook or join the Boston Bikes Twitter feed to learn more about the program and share concerns about specific roads in Boston;
  • Call the Mayor’s 24-hour Hotline at (617) 635-4500 if they notice a safety concern that needs immediate attention including roadway obstructions like potholes or debris;
  • Visit the Boston Bikes homepage at www.cityofboston.gov/bikes to receive updates on the Cycling Safety Summit;
  • Visit www.massbike.org to register for classes on bicycling safety conducted by MassBike on April 22, May 6 and May 19 at City Hall;
  • Wear a protective helmet at all times when riding a bike (helmets can be bought for $5 at the Boston Medical Center gift shop);
  • Come to the¬†Bicycling Safety Summit on Wednesday.

In response to the three recent serious crashes in Boston and in cooperation with the City of Boston’s new bicycling safety initiative, MassBike has scheduled additional bicycling safety classes in Boston in April and May. This is a great opportunity to learn the secrets to safe bicycling, for new and experienced urban riders alike. The classes are FREE and open to the public, but pre-registration is required by emailing shane@massbike.org or calling 617-542-2453.

Intro to Bicycling Skills, (a classroom session, 2 hours Free):

Evening classroom session (off-bike) covers bike-safety principles, bicycling laws, guidelines for riding in traffic, and more. You must take one of these classes before you can attend our on-bike classes.

Cost: Free

Intro to Bicycling Skills: Thursday, April 22, 6-8pm
Intro to Bicycling Skills: Thursday, May 6, 6-8pm
Intro to Bicycling Skills: Wednesday, May 19, 6-8pm

Intro to Bicycling Skills
Boston City Hall, Room 937
1 City Hall Square, Boston, MA 02201
Enter at corner of Broadway and Third
Nearest T stop: Government Center on Green and Blue Lines; Haymarket on Orange Line.
Enter at Congress St. after 5:30pm, take elevator to 9th floor, then follow signs.
MUST RSVP for this class by emailing shane@massbike.org or calling 617-542-2453

Click here to donate $15 to support these classes

MassBike is proud to work with the City of Boston on its bicycling safety initiative.

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4 Responses to City of Boston Announces Major Bicycling Safety Initiative: MassBike To Provide Bike Safety Classes

  1. sean April 15, 2010 at 11:25 pm #

    Menino can make all the proclamations he wants, but starting an ordinance making parking in bike lanes illegal and actually doing something about it are two totally different things. I used the mayors hotline to report that the bike lane around JP was packed with cars, as it is often, and the city replied that Boston Traffic Officers don’t work on the weekends. This is but one of the many bike lanes frequently turned into a parking lot.
    Until Menino decides to enforce bike lanes for bike use only, he should immediately stop wasting money to pretend he cares about Boston’s bike community. In the end, he will always side with people like himself, slovenly suburbanites.

  2. matt April 15, 2010 at 11:57 pm #

    nice to see they will “encourage” cyclists to wear helmets, but they need to make it a law & then enforce it.

    cagers will continue to shake their heads if there are more deaths involving cyclists who aren’t wearing helmets and yet we try to point the fingers everywhere else but ourselves.

  3. Charlie April 16, 2010 at 11:51 am #

    The City of Boston actually does have a new “no parking in bike lanes” ordinance which carries a $100 fine, enacted in the Fall.

    http://bubikes.bostonbiker.org/2009/08/04/btd-ordinance-prohibiting-parking-in-a-marked-bike-lane-or-shared-lane/

    The City has been doing a pretty good job enforcing it. For example, when N Harvard St had bike lanes added, at firs there were many people parking in them. Since the ordinance was passed, that problem has gone away.

    I think the issue with the bike lane in JP that sean refers to is that the road is actually under DCR jurisdiction, so Boston cannot ticket or tow, DCR does. And unfortunately DCR’s enforcement thus far leaves a lot to be desired.

  4. sean April 16, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

    Charlie, I would love to believe Menino is serious about keeping bike lanes from being parked in, but whether it is DCR or Boston they could work something out to fix it. Especially when there it is so commonplace.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/15179098@N00/

    Recently, the city and the state agreed to both be able to ticket people parking in bus lanes. They could do that, or the city could work with the state to put separators up so cars couldnt park. Last week cars were parked on the bike lane on Washington St near Forest Hills for hours.