Motor traffic moved quite swimmingly over the BU Bridge today as I rode over on my bicycle in its brand-spanking-new freshly painted bike lanes; not quite the “spur” of “road rage” Boston Globe columnist Stephanie Ebbert predicted some two years ago that I was looking forward to seeing. Have a look for yourself:
Here’s a video of me riding from Cambridge to Boston
and back around from Boston to Cambridge
As you can see, road rage was nowhere to be found, and biking on the BU Bridge was quite pleasant; not quite the four-lane shoulder-less “Death Trap” it used to be:
However, biking into Cambridge, the bike lane turns into a shared bike lane, and as you can see in the video, things can get hairy, so you’ll need to signal and change lanes.
In case you missed it, yesterday marked a major victory in bike-advocacy; over three years after advocacy groups came together to fight for bike lanes on the BU Bridge, and two years since plans for bike lanes were finalized, bike lanes were finally installed on the BU Bridge. And the good folks over at Livable Street Alliance were out on the bridge today and yesterday morning collecting signatures for a thank you card to the City of Boston.
As a longtime advocate for these bike lanes, riding over these bike lanes felt like watching a child grow up, or the City of Boston really starting to get serious about bicyclists. It seems like only yesterday when in 2008 founding members of BU Bikes like Galen Mook and myself rallied students to show up to meeting to show the DCR meetings that yes, the BU Bridge needs bike lanes, and yes, we are supporters of them. Like only yesterday when I started reporting on these meetings and rallying troops at BU to show support for the bike lanes.
Jackie Douglas (also BU alumni) of Livable Streets once remarked how she stood out on the BU bridge with a ticker to count how many bikers crossed the BU Bridge, and how shocked the DCR members were to hear how high the numbers she reported to them were. Together, we fought for a cause we had no idea would come to be, that only came to fruition years after we’d all graduated, but one that will benefit cyclists crossing the BU bridge for generations to come.
I biked back around a third time just to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. I wasn’t, the bike lanes were real. I did, however, notice that even with the bike lanes, at least three other bicyclists were crossing the bridge on the separated sidewalk. I just wanted to yell at them: “there’s a NEW bike lane on this here bridge!” but who could blame them, when the protected sidewalk seems like an obvious choice coming off the protected Memorial Drive bike path? Nonetheless, maybe we can’t have protected bike lanes on the BU Bridge (though I did experience what it would be like if we did last month), but we can fight for more livable streets, and bike lane dreams can come true.