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Bike Safety Initiative Wheels Out

Cycling and Pedestrian Safety Day tomorrow

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Photo by Kalman Zabarsky

Two new bicycle lanes now coursing along Comm Ave are, by any measure, among the best improvements made to the old artery since they laid the MBTA tracks.

The bike lanes have improved traffic flow. They also helped Boston earn the title “A Future Best City” for cyclists from Bicycling Magazine in 2008, after years of being listed as one of the worst cities for cyclists.

But after a few accidents on and near the BU campus — involving both bicyclists and pedestrians — administrators wanted to make the campus safer.

As a result, BU recently launched a new bike safety Web site that is the work of BU’s bike safety committee, formed last year and comprised of students, faculty, and staff.

Their work is coming into focus tomorrow, with a Cycling and Pedestrian Safety Day at the Granby Street parking lot. Free events include bike inspections, fittings, bike registration with the Boston University Police Department, discounts on cycling safety equipment, and raffles for bicycles, locks, helmets, and more. Representatives from MassBike and Boston Bikes will be available to answer questions and give safety tips.

"In order to make our campus more bike-friendly," says Dwight Atherton, director of parking and transportation services, "we must involve everyone in the bicycle safety education process, including motorists and pedestrians. We believe that on-campus safety will improve with increased vehicle and bicycle traffic enforcement efforts, especially at key locations such as University Road and the BU Bridge area."

The committee’s Web site includes not just bicycle safety and bicycle laws in Massachusetts, but also information on how to register a bike with the BUPD and Google maps showing bike racks and bike routes around campus. Maps show the number of bikes that each rack can hold and directions to each rack.

Committee members are looking for more advice and counsel, in the form of a short cycling survey. "Although we have some cycling data from previous campus traffic studies," Atherton says, "we actually don’t know how many students and staff currently ride on campus. We’ve e-mailed those in the Charles River Campus community asking cyclists to participate in our first annual bike safety survey. We hope it will give us much better data about the size of the cycling community and better understanding of their needs and concerns." The committee asks cyclists to take a look and fill it out.

"In the future, the annual Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Day will be held in September," according to Atherton, "which will allow those new to our campus to be introduced to a myriad of support resources and to learn how to travel safely across campus."

Cycling and Pedestrian Safety Day will be held on Thursday, April 23, at the Granby Street parking lot, 665 Commonwealth Ave., from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, click here.

Amy Laskowski can be reached at amlaskow@bu.edu.

3 Comments

3 Comments on Bike Safety Initiative Wheels Out

  • Patrick Michaelyan on 04.22.2009 at 8:19 am

    A step in the right direction.

    Efforts, such as those that will be rolled-out today, are part of larger step forward for the CRC and the City towards a better transportation network.

    The desire to free-up congestion on the roads, reduce GHG emissions, and create healthier residents (and visitors) involves a lot of concerted effort, but it can — and in my opinion — will translate into a better City for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists alike.

    Setting-up a safety campaign and outreach effort in September is a great step forward as well.

    Kepp up the good work BU, and the same goes for the City of Boston!

  • amader blog on 06.15.2009 at 12:11 pm

    A step in the right direction ...

    in my opinion — will translate into a better City for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists alike. Setting-up a safety campaign and outreach effort in September is a great step forward as well. Keep up the good work BU, and the same goes for the City of Boston! 

  • Ron in bicycle shoes on 05.09.2010 at 11:40 am

    Bike Safety News From Redding CA

    I guess all cities are dealing with the struggle between 4 wheel and two wheel vehicles. In Redding, CA the attitude toward cyclists is appalling. Here’s what a retired California Highway Patrolman wrote in the local paper lately…

    “Bicycling for 30-plus years and 10 trips to the coast via Igo, Ono and Highway 36 to Highway 101 qualifies me to write that the city of Redding’s plans to make the streets bicycle friendly is laudable. However, the plan is for geography/pavement/striping only! The mind-set of the Redding driver toward bicyclists (motorcycles too?) is beyond comprehension. Suffice to say a large percentage of drivers paint a target on the cyclist if the driver sees the two-wheel vehicle. Redding drivers do not have the mind-set of drivers in Medford, Ashland, Chico or Davis.”

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