Mayor Announces Safety Summit/Changes To Policy

Written by Boston Biker on Apr 16

As I mentioned earlier today this is the mayors announcement:

press release below

I will mull this over tonight, and post more thoughts on it tomorrow, but so far it looks good.

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Mayor Menino Convenes First-Ever Bicycling Safety Summit

Mayor and City Officials Call for a Shared Respect When Traveling Boston’s Roadways and Encourage Helmet Use

Today, Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced the city’s first-ever Bicycling Safety Summit at 5:30 PM on Wednesday, April 21 at Boston University’s Morse Auditorium. The Summit will gather area bicyclists and high-ranking city officials to discuss ways of improving safety for everyone who uses Boston’s roadways. The Mayor’s announcement comes in the wake of a third recent bike accident and ahead of Boston Bike Week next month.

“This is about the need for a shared, common respect amongst everyone who uses Boston’s roads,” said Mayor Menino. “We have to come together and recognize that everyone is responsible for keeping our roadways safe and that we all have the right to safe passage through our beautiful city. We can start by fulfilling the personal responsibility of wearing a helmet.”

Mayor Menino has ordered the Boston Police Department (BPD) to immediately launch a focused enforcement effort aimed at both cyclists and motorists in an effort to assist them to better share the road. Officers will more proactively seek out and fine for safety violations committed by those on a bicycle and those operating a motor vehicle. This effort will include the strict enforcement of Massachusetts laws dedicated to bicycle and pedestrian safety. The BPD is also researching the possible implementation of an enhanced reporting mechanism to document all accidents involving bikes.

Two years ago Mayor Menino developed Boston Bikes to increase cycling safety around Boston through the use of marked bike lanes and various educational campaigns. Since, Boston has seen much improvement including:

* the installation of 15 miles of bike lanes with another 20 slated for this year;
* the publication of the first-ever Boston Bikes map;
* the installation of more than 500 bike racks;
* the formation of the Boston Bikes Advisory Board designed to advise city officials on how best to implement proven safety measures such as dedicated bike lanes;
* and the passage of a city ordinance making it illegal for cars to be parked in bike lanes, the enforcement of which will be heightened by Boston Transportation Department ticket writers.

In light of the recent accidents, however, city officials encourage people to:

* Visit the Boston Bikes fanpage on Facebook or join the Boston Bikes Twitter feed to learn more about the program and share concerns about specific roads in Boston;
* Call the Mayor’s 24-hour Hotline at (617) 635-4500 if they notice a safety concern that needs immediate attention including roadway obstructions like potholes or debris;
* Visit the Boston Bikes homepage at www.cityofboston.gov/bikes to receive updates on the Cycling Safety Summit;
* Visit www.massbike.org to register for classes on bicycling safety conducted by MassBike on April 22, May 6 and May 19 at City Hall;
* Wear a protective helmet at all times when riding a bike (helmets can be bought for $5 at the Boston Medical Center gift shop);
* Come to the Bicycling Safety Summit on Wednesday.


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Posted in advocacy, news | 11 Comments »


11 Responses to “Mayor Announces Safety Summit/Changes To Policy”

  1. By J on Apr 16, 2010 | Reply

    I’ve been complaining about Menino recently, but this sounds like a good idea. I’m glad he knows about the collisions and did not brush it off as an accepted part of living in a city.

  2. By William Furr on Apr 16, 2010 | Reply

    It sounds good to me.

  3. By robinite on Apr 16, 2010 | Reply

    Sounds great! I hope they’re planning on publishing these safety rules, rather than just ticketing us for breaking them.

    Or, if they are already published, where does one find them?

  4. By 100psi on Apr 16, 2010 | Reply

    i’d be there if i didn’t have to work that night. any plans to video or audio record for online or podcast? anyone at bu bikes know any film studies majors?

  5. By Cuppy van der Cake on Apr 16, 2010 | Reply

    I cannot WAIT for them to crack down on motorists in bike lanes. Please please please! It seems like almost everywhere that we actually HAVE bike lanes they’re so full of cars that it’s basically pointless!

    Also, I’m thrilled to see the number of bike racks that exist, but… Where are they? Whenever I go down to the Back Bay, I usually end up locking my bike to a tree or something. We definitely need a lot more bike racks.

  6. By teeheehee on Apr 16, 2010 | Reply

    @robnite you might want to check the MassBike site as they collect the bike laws and make it succinct: http://www.massbike.org/resourcesnew/bike-law/

    (FYI, for some reason when I went there in Chrome browser it popped up something saying a plugin was out of date… don’t know what’s up with that.)

    @100psi I can’t make any promises, but I’ll bring my flip so I can record it. If I’m not close enough for a good shot/sound then I’ll not record.

  7. By Boston Biker on Apr 16, 2010 | Reply

    I will try to film it, I have been thinking, and the one part that is left out of this is pedestrian enforcement, there are a very significant number of pedestrians that endanger me and them by just strolling out into the road at random times. They always do it in the same spots, and enforcement would be easy (you could capture them in herds like they used to do with buffalo)

  8. By mtalinm on Apr 16, 2010 | Reply

    i’m often more worried about pedestrians than cars. they often share our paths and have their ears plugged with music

  9. By J on Apr 16, 2010 | Reply

    There is no reason to harass pedestrians. Cyclists should always look out for them, just like drivers should always be looking for bikes and pedestrians.

  10. By Boston Biker on Apr 16, 2010 | Reply

    I am not talking harass them anymore than the motorists or cyclists would be “harassed” by having to follow the laws. Pedestrians are road users like anyone else, and if there is going to be increased enforcement of the law for cyclists and motorists I would like to see a little of that spread to the ped’s as well.

  11. By LS on Apr 16, 2010 | Reply

    I was hit by a car on my bike in a crosswalk, suffering a tib/fib fracture and then hurled over the car’s hood and thrown in the air last January. The police were completely uninterested and hardly retained any of the driver’s information. The driver also never reported the accident to her insurance provider. My mother works for an insurance company and was able to ferret the information on her own fortunately. Drivers need to be more aware that they are obligated to share the road with bicyclists and the extent of their responsibilities as drivers. Vehicles already dominate 95% of the road, I don’t think it’s too much to ask that they share it with a 50cm bike.

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