• Rich Barlow

    Senior Writer

    Photo: Headshot of Rich Barlow, an older white man with dark grey hair and wearing a grey shirt and grey-blue blazer, smiles and poses in front of a dark grey backdrop.

    Rich Barlow is a senior writer at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. Perhaps the only native of Trenton, N.J., who will volunteer his birthplace without police interrogation, he graduated from Dartmouth College, spent 20 years as a small-town newspaper reporter, and is a former Boston Globe religion columnist, book reviewer, and occasional op-ed contributor. Profile

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There are 10 comments on BU Survey Seeks to Improve Campus Bicycling

  1. Here’s a suggestion for making biking safer at B.U.: it’s illegal in the City of Boston to park vehicles in bike lanes that abut curbs, as this forces bicyclists out into traffic. Nevertheless, the bike lane in front of the G.S.U. on busy Commonwealth Ave. is routinely filled with delivery trucks servicing G.S.U. eateries, B.U. vehicles, and on occasion – oddly enough – the truck that services the bicycle sharing station that’s there! B.U. vehicles like shuttle buses could park behind the G.S.U. Delivery trucks have a loading dock at their disposal.

    Last year, the elderly wife of a B.U. employee got a $100 ticket for briefly parking in front of the GSU, as she escorted her cane-using husband in. The other gazillion “professionals” who park there year round? No fines, no problem, and no response from the City of Boston as to “why”. If it’s illegal to park in certain bike lanes (there’s a sign to this effect in front of the G.S.U. for crying out loud), and if B.U. is concerned about making things safer for bicyclists, then it should address this matter. The city should also enforce the law across the board and fine the drivers of B.U. shuttle buses and ACME Potato Chip trucks, not just elderly women on fixed incomes.

  2. The BU and City police need to enforce the no stopping and no parking for cars in the bike lanes between Kenmore and the BU Bridge. The lanes are frequently blocked. I bike that stretch regularly and have never seen the police making cars move. Of course, the law needs to be enforced everywhere, but the blocked bike lane in that stretch is a constant problem and danger for cyclists.

  3. I agree. Some of these are easy fixes. The only time of the year where there are no parked cars on Comm. Ave. (especially in front of Warren Towers) is on Move-In/Move-Out days when there is actually a BU PD officer standing there and there are traffic cones between traffic and the bike lane along that entire block.

    1. Hopefully it’s because someone’s aware of the research on bike helmet safety. (Short version: the evidence that they help is tenuous (e.g. the main paper people cite is a laughingstock among those who have actually read it), and there are more reasons to think that they do harm.)

      More likely, since the USA as a whole has been pretty thoroughly brainwashed, someone was just careless.

      But yes, it’s an interesting question :)

  4. Thank you for offering the survey and interactive map to the BU community. It’s encouraging when all are asked to provide input.

  5. BU needs a campus. Close Comm Ave to cars, bury the T, and create something green. This seems like a no-brainer even before you read the research on the value of open car-free space on health.

    But since Boston may not care:

    * Lower the speed limit on Comm Ave to bike-compatible speeds (20 mph tops).

    * There’s scant need for 2 lanes of car traffic. Put hard dividers between the two lanes each way, and make one unavailable to motor vehicles. (Bike lanes need to be several bike-widths wide since cyclists go at a wide variety of speeds, whereas cars all go at the same speed so there is no need to create room to pass. And creating room for more cars to just sit there in traffic is, to borrow Donald Shoup’s brilliant comment about free parking, “a fertility drug for cars”.)

    * Laws are pointless if the expected cost of breaking them is close to zero. Maybe enforce one or two of them every decade or so…?

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