Bike Safety Initiative Wheels Out
Cycling and Pedestrian Safety Day tomorrow
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 firstname.lastname@example.org Comments