Newsflash: BU Bridge Bike Lanes Complete! Hey, Where’s the Road Rage?

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.

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5 Responses to Newsflash: BU Bridge Bike Lanes Complete! Hey, Where’s the Road Rage?

  1. Ian Brett Cooper says:

    Looks dangerously narrow to me. What was wrong with the road, other than the fact that cyclists were too timid to cycle in the traffic lane and instead cycled in the gutter?

    This lane will end up injuring or killing more cyclists than we’re injured and killed previously.

  2. Fenway says:

    Why is it the vehicular cyclists have to rant at every possible forum against any form of dedicated bicycle infrastructure? Do you not realize that it is not possible for every cyclist to be physically fit, in some cases due to being feeble from old age, enough to keep up with traffic in a higher speed lanes over bridges? Dedicated bicycle lanes have been in use for almost a half century in other parts of the world without causing the carnage predicted by the most vocal of vehicular cyclist. Insulting others as “timid” for not living up to your standards isn’t going to win anyone over to your cause either.

  3. Phil Lindsay says:

    Probably the first nudge in turning the Titanic. We have a lonnnng way to go in order to get cycling perceived, accepted and dealt with as a regular activity. Planners and most folks are still overly auto-centric. However since over half of us live in suburban communities that almost require an automobile to exist that’s a hard cycle to break. Oh for the day someone doesn’t yell at me to get off the road when I’m just riding within my rights. (And for the day cars and trucks aren’t sitting idling all along my path to work.)

  4. Jake Norse says:

    Ian Brett. You are a lazy bum and ride the vehicle of the weak.

  5. Pingback: Boston Biker » Blog Archive » Riding The New Bike Lanes On The BU Bridge

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