On Tuesday night, Lowell residents turned out in numbers to let Mayor Rodney Elliott and the City Council know that they want more opportunities for people to ride bikes in Lowell, and they were heard.
On the agenda at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting was a motion, introduced by councilor Rita Mercier, to remove the recently-installed bike lanes on Father Morissette Boulevard and revert the street to its previous configuration, four lanes in either direction for cars. Thanks to the strong showing of support for bicycle infrastructure, the council decided that the city should review the bike lanes in question and make recommendations on how to improve them, rather than remove them outright.
MassBike issued an Action Alert to our Lowell email contacts and through social media to motivate people and provide talking points. But local advocates truly took the initiative, spreading the word through social media and bringing together Lowell residents who are concerned with making their city a better place to bike and walk. Friends of biking packed every available seat in the City Council chamber.
MassBike Executive Director David Watson attended the meeting, and took to the podium to recommend the formation of a Bicycle Advisory Committee in Lowell, urging the city to work together with the community. He also offered MassBike’s technical and educational assistance to Lowell as they work to expand their citywide bicycle network.
Watson urged local bicyclists not to lose their momentum and to take this opportunity to get organized. On Wednesday morning, after the meeting, Lowell residents formed the Facebook group Lowell Bike Coalition.
Momentum is building for better biking in Lowell, and we look forward to continuing to work with the city and local advocates to help expand the city’s growing bike network.