Cycle Tracks Vs Parking Spaces: False Argument Continues In Somerville

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 23

The Boston Globe got it slightly wrong with its “Cycle Tracks Vs Parking Spaces” Headline, mostly because there is no reason that both can’t coexist. Assuming you reduce lane widths, lower speed limits, and in general design streets for people and not cars. Parking spaces can even be integral parts of cycle tracks. So called parking buffered, or parking separated tracks use parked cars to protect cyclists from traffic.

During peak commuting times, over 300 bicycles travel Somerville’s Beacon Street an hour, making it Greater Boston’s busiest cycling corridor. It’s also considered to be the most dangerous in the state, with 154 bicycle accidents in the Inman Square area between 2002 and 2010, according to a state Department of Transportation report.

The street is riddled with potholes, and in certain areas cyclists are frequently exposed to the danger of being “doored:” struck by an opening door of a parked vehicle. But despite the dangers, it has become increasingly popular as a direct bicycle route from Porter Square to Kendall Square.

Using a combination of federal and state grants, Somerville and state transportation planners have devised a $5.5 million project aimed at addressing safety issues and making the street more bike-oriented. It will reconstruct 1.1 miles of Beacon — from Oxford Street to the Cambridge city line, including creating a cycle track, which separates bicycle traffic with a barrier dividing it from cars — and give cyclists their own traffic signals.

City officials and proponents say the plan will enhance bicycle safety without impacting vehicle traffic. But it has become a divisive issue as some residents and business owners have objected to the sacrifice of parking spaces to make room for the cycle track. As currently drawn up, the plan will eliminate about 100 street parking spaces.

But if you MUST eliminate parking spaces in order to increase the number of cyclists, local business owners should be happy. Increased cycling and pedestrian traffic (a side effect of designing streets for people and not cars) leads to more business.

I know people get upset when there is change, but they should relax. Other cities (in fact many many other cities) have implemented these changes before. In almost every case they found that lessening traffic, reducing parking, and generally making streets more people friendly led to higher property values, less pollution, increased business, and happier residents.

We are not re-inventing the wheel here, we are following the example of decades of European (and to a lesser extent American) city planning research. These designs have been tested in lots of places, they work and Somerville should be commended for installing them.

submit Cycle Tracks Vs Parking Spaces: False Argument Continues In Somerville to Add to Reddit.

Tags: , ,
Posted in advocacy, infrastructure | 38 Comments »

38 Responses to “Cycle Tracks Vs Parking Spaces: False Argument Continues In Somerville”

  1. By Jane on Feb 23, 2013 | Reply

    Are cars waiting to turn from cross streets going to wait behind the cycle track line, or will they stick out into Beacon Street and block the entire travel lane? I dislike riding on raised bike lanes for a bunch of other reasons, but it seems like travel will be much more frequently disrupted here than on Concord Ave, where there’s less side-street traffic.

    As for walkable cities – I’m all for it. However, there is a finite density to a neighborhood like this, and a business like a laundromat, where people have to lug tons of stuff, probably still needs parking for many customers to bother coming. Nobody is going to want to walk four loads of laundry half a mile from home. I sympathize with their issues.

    Also, I’m just grumpy because I’d rather bike in the street.

  2. By Boston Biker on Feb 23, 2013 | Reply

    Cars don’t wait for anything as it is, so no I doubt asshole behavior will lessen. What will happen is that more people will choose to cycle instead of drive, which will decrease the total number of interactions between dangerous cars, and bike/ped/public transportation users.

    You seem to think of “travel” as cars on the street, when in fact car traffic is down, and other forms of “travel” are rising. So no “travel” will not be disrupted it will be shifted to other forms. And those forms will be easier, so a win win.

    The laundromat I (cycle) go to is 90% walk ins. And that place is packed. There is a total of 3 parking spots out front, and roughly 20 people doing laundry at any time, so do the math. These are very popular,

    You may want to ride in the street but the vast majority of cyclists (or potential cyclists) do not. Lucky for you, installing cycle tracks wont keep you from riding in the street.

    There is a limit to the density of cities, and we are no where near it.

  3. By Paul Schimek on Feb 23, 2013 | Reply

    you’re absolutely right that people cling to their parking spaces. Also right that there are solutions, such as sharing off-street lots, neighbor-only permits, and more metered parking.
    That said, it’s not a good thing for bicyclists to be forced off the road, especially on to a glorified sidewalk (only not glorified). On NYC cycle tracks, they have either separate traffic signals or 100 feet of merging space before side streets. The plan here calls for about 20 ft of space at the 4 intersections, and NO setback at the 17-22 driveways, thus NO visibility (think van parked next to driveway). The result is that the “cycle track” will be much more dangerous than the road, especially at commuter bike speeds.
    If you have the cycle track you must remove MORE parking — because of the intersection visibility problem — than if you just got rid of parking on one side so you could have bike lanes outside the door zone.
    This is supposed to attract more people bicycling? The current plan calls for only 0.4 mi of cycle track and 0.7 mi of door zone bike lane. Not very different than now. Those who are afraid of traffic from behind (but not afraid of turning traffic) will either not ride or will continue riding on sidewalks — why should they ride in the road when they now it’s incredibly dangerous (otherwise why would you make a cycle track)?
    We bicyclists need to preserve and enhance the right of bicyclists to bicycle on roads that are designed, maintained, and policed with bicyclists in mind, alongside motorists who are aware that bicyclists have equal rights (and even if they don’t like the idea, also know that the bicyclist ahead of them might be a plainclothes police officer).

  4. By john on Feb 23, 2013 | Reply

    Thanks for the post, I love off Beacon and am excited for a safer road for all users with the cycletrack. Another problem with the Globe article not mentioned here is the myth that the car crowd keeps perpetuating about 100 parking spaces being removed for the cycle track. 100 spaces are being removed, but most of them are being removed to comply with the ADA laws for sidewalks, which on parts of Beacon are illegal or non-existent. Only 30-35 spaces are being eliminated for the cycletrack. Its not surprising the Globe would be wrong and anti bicycle, but the fact that those who are against the cycletrack need to resort to lying seems to say they don’t have much credibility.

  5. By Sam on Feb 23, 2013 | Reply

    Hello, I’m a resident of this neighborhood who happens to bike down this street regularly. I’m also a musician and need to keep a car for my day job and getting gear to gigs… I’m by no means a hardcore all season, any street type of bike commuter but I have never had an issue biking down beacon in its current configuration. Pot holes are really what the problem is, not space for cyclists. I find the design being proposed by the city to not only be wildly unsafe, and not up to any real standard for separated bikeways (NACTO, AASHTO, or even MassDOT’s) but a HUGE burden on the neighborhood. There will be a few handicap spaces that will have to be removed, bus stops relocated, businesses put in jeopardy (there is not much foot traffic on north beacon where the most severe eliminations will occur). I also feel that this will turn a popular commuter bike route into a glorified obstacle course… There will be a mountable curb for the side without street parking and no doubt that vehicles will drive up on it for delivered and unloading. Even on the side with parking, people will have to unload things in front of homes and businesses… And they’ll end up doing so in the middle of the cycle track. Also parking enforcement will likely have to walk up and down the track in order to do their jobs … And they’ll likely be on patrol more frequently than they currently are because the amount of parking loss will be pretty oppressive for the current demand between businesses and residents. I’m pretty tired of having every news post about this turn into a cars vs bikes debate. Most of the motor vehicle traffic on Beacon st IS NOT people from this neighborhood, but people commuting in and out of the burbs to downtown and Kendall. Two small sections of cycle track that run for a total of 4 tenths of a mile will not magically make people stop driving down beacon st every morning at rush hour. What I’m most upset about though is the city’s lack of communication and of alternative treatments. It is possible to get a nice wide, buffered protected bike lane to run the entire length of the street without losing nearly as much parking as the city’s proposal (you’d still lose some, but we’re talking 30% loss vs 60%) They’re just too hell bent on getting “the first cycle track built with federal money” to give a damn about the actual safety of cyclists or even the needs of the people who live and earn a living in this neighborhood.

  6. By JJJ on Feb 24, 2013 | Reply

    Sam, let me summarize your argument.

    “Even though its been done in hundreds of places, hundreds of times, it wont work here because here is special, and were also not very smart so if any problem arises it cant ever be fixed”

  7. By Sam on Feb 24, 2013 | Reply

    @JJJ: “if any problem arises it cant ever be fixed”

    Beacon hasn’t been repaved in DECADES and the sidewalks and lack of cross walks don’t really give me or any of us in this neighborhood a whole lot of faith that any issues with the track would be fixed post-installation.

    Also there is a HUGE difference between European drivers’ and cyclists’ education and American’s…but that’s another debate.

    If you actually familiarized yourself with the design you would probably find it pretty ridiculous yourself. Cyclist of all levels WILL need to end up biking in the street regardless on this design – they’ll have to get around vehicles parked or pass slower cyclists on the cycle track on one side (a width of 5′ with mountable curb) and the 9′ side welcomes pedestrians, garbage cans, people unloading cars, etc. And that road is going to be much, much narrower than it is today.

  8. By Daniel on Feb 24, 2013 | Reply

    I’m all for the new path but, like other people commenting here, I believe it won’t be perfect and there will be some losses for everyone. I disagree that the overall travel lane width is a concern since it is officially one lane in each direction already and city speed limits, when observed, should make staying in the lanes easy. I use Beacon/Hampshire when commuting by bicycle but never by car. Inbound it is a clogged mess during AM commuting hours in the project area and it will remain so after this plan is enacted.

    We are nowhere near the maximum density of cities but we are too poor as a nation to do anything about it in the next decade or two. And private property rights will probably make this impossible in the near term. Like it or not, we have the infrastructure of a city laid down 200 years ago with no thought to maximum density or vehicular traffic and it will change incrementally at best. If we all pay 70% taxes maybe it will go faster.

  9. By Sam on Feb 24, 2013 | Reply

    Daniel: you do realize that the clogged mess parts of the Beacon commute will just have regular bike lanes, right? Most of the track length will cover Oxford to museum where there is very low traffic… Washington to city line will be pretty much have the same bike lanes that are there today and that’s where the car and bike traffic starts to get congested… That’s the problem with how the city and people from the cyclist community that are in favor of this. Trying to hide the elephant in the room about having a woefully incomplete design so people can support a teeny cycle track. And when they are called on this you hear the same “we have to start somewhere” or “something is better than nothing” excuses. I’d much prefer a protected lane on the street than a sidewalk style track that keeps transitioning into door zone bike lanes. Cyclists will have better visibility and cleaning and maintainence will be easier while minimizing pedestrian conflicts. If you want to keep newbie cyclists out of the door zone because they don’t know how to ride in a regular bike lane this does that.

  10. By Lovely Bicycle! on Feb 24, 2013 | Reply

    I live off of Beacon St on the city line and ride my bike along the section in question every single day. I am ambivalent about the cycle tracks proposal, for all the reasons stated by Daniel above and others. As it is, I actually think Beacon St is one of the best urban commuter routes in greater Boston, and I want to make sure whatever gets done to it does not alter this for the worse. My only problems with the current state of Beacon St are the crater-sized potholes and the insufficient (for avoiding dooring) width of the bike lane in some stretches. Fixing these two issues will make the route pretty much perfect in my view, with fewer potential side-effects and less fallout than the proposed cycle tracks project.

  11. By Lovely Bicycle! on Feb 24, 2013 | Reply

    ^ oops, meant to say for the reasons Sam stated above

  12. By Daniel on Feb 24, 2013 | Reply

    In my experience the clogged mess frequently starts at Park and Beacon.

    I agree with Lovely – I use Beacon/Hampshire because it is the best of all possible routes from Davis/Porter and points west to Kendall/Boston and anywhere else I might ride in the city. Try Mass Ave between Harvard Square and the Harvard Bridge, the drivers and cyclists are crazy there.

    And, yes, potholes on Beacon are a real safety concern.

  13. By JJJ on Feb 24, 2013 | Reply

    @Sam, who said anything about Europe?

    Cambridge, Boston, New York,San Francisco, Portland, Washington DC, Chicago etc etc… know what they all have in common?

    They’ve installed cycle tracks. And the same damn “points” you mention were brought up. And every time, they were wrong.

    I am familiar with the design, which is a very standard one. What youll find is the same thing you find everywhere else….

    The spandex warrior are upset. Everyone else is happy, cycling rates go up by 50%+, and accidents go down.

  14. By cden4 on Feb 25, 2013 | Reply

    I’m glad john brought up this point: “Only 30-35 spaces are being eliminated for the cycletrack.” It’s an important one. It’s also interesting that the residents and business owners who are most upset about the cycle track don’t seem to mind that they are losing 70+ parking spaces to install a sidewalk where there isn’t one and to ensure that spaces are not too close to intersections.

    Unfortunately I feel like the City is in a position now where unless they completely give up on the concept of a cycle track, these same people will continue to be upset. The main issue as I see it is that their calls for “compromise” will only be met by partially or fully removing the cycle track from the design. What they either don’t realize or fail to accept is that the current design IS already a compromise. The City’s consultants did a parking study to determine where overall parking occupancy is less than 50%. It is in those areas that they decided a cycle track could be created by removing on side of parking. The City wanted to make the cycle track as long as possible, potentially going the entire length from Oxford St to Inman Square, but as a compromise they only designed one where the burden on the on-street parking would be acceptable.

    So the City’s position is essentially starting at a compromise, removing half the parking for half the length of Beacon St for cycle tracks in those segments. The neighbors’ and business owners’ position (the ones opposed to it) is “don’t remove any parking for a cycle track”.

    I almost think the City would have been better off saying “we are going to remove all the parking for a cycle track”, then when people complained, said “oh ok we’ll only remove it on one side of the street”, and we then would have resulted in a cycle track for the entire length! And it would have been a compromise!

  15. By terry on Feb 25, 2013 | Reply


    when science is for sale, some scientists get silly

    what does spandex have to do with your being upset?

    All it is, is a choice of clothing
    Does camel toe bother you?

    Would you care to disclose your financial interest in the construction of cycletracks?

    If you design them, then stay focused on the specific ways cycltracks address, sincerely expressed dangers.

    Please enlighten us with your source for accident statistics.

    a silly non-paid moderator

  16. By Erik on Feb 25, 2013 | Reply

    I have two main concerns with the cycletrack:

    1) The one on Vassar sucks. It’s full of aloof pedestrians and cars exiting parking lots. The latter aren’t actually too bad because they are looking out for the aloof pedestrians. These cycletracks really need some sort of demarkation that’s closer to eye level, like the pylons they use for protected bike lanes.

    2) Snow removal? The city has shown it’s relatively ambivalent, at best, when it comes to clearing snow from bike lanes. I hope they’ve got both a strategy and a budget from snow removal from the cycletrack.

  17. By Sam on Feb 25, 2013 | Reply


    Not to turn this into yet another parking vs cyclists debate because this audience doesn’t care, but your numbers are regarding the parking elimination are actually very inaccurate. The city is removing far more parking than they’re publicly disclosing from Oxford to Museum (where there are currently no metered spaces that will be turned to sections of sidewalk), because MassDOT is making them give very generous sight lines at intersections (far more beyond the elimination of those “illegal” parking spaces close to intersections). According to an email from one of the city’s engineers working on the project (which I’m happy to forward to you) “This section of roadway currently has 125 parking spaces. Our proposed section from Oxford to Museum Street retains about 40% of the parking.” Converting percentages to numbers this means they’re getting rid of 75 spaces and leaving 50.

  18. By cden4 on Feb 25, 2013 | Reply

    That’s very interesting Sam. Unfortunately none of the City’s presentations (at least not that I’ve seen, unless I missed something) have had a detailed breakdown of how much parking removal is needed for each piece of the project. My numbers are general estimates based on what I’ve been told.

  19. By mouth breather on Feb 25, 2013 | Reply

    I thought cycle tracks are for higher speed or volume thoroughfares rather than something like beacon street? Also – wouldn’t these be put to better use in places where you’d want to encourage more cycling, but traffic moves too fast? I don’t understand the reasoning here.

    I know this is for somerville, but I think there are places in Boston where something like this would make much more sense and have a much bigger impact – extending the southwest corridor down through roslindale either along washington street or hyde park ave, and between roxbury crossing and dudley and down along blue hill ave (and maybe all the way to blue hill reservation). route 28, 203, and columbia are also wide enough without many crossings and go through some of the densest areas in the city – and they’re mostly used by local traffic. People in these areas would definitely use bike facilities, but aren’t as young and daring enough as people in somerville/cambridge to ride on bike lanes. very few people are daring enough to ride where traffic moves 45-50 mph.

  20. By JJj on Feb 25, 2013 | Reply

    Yes terry, youve caught me. Im the CEO of Cycle Track Inc and stand to make millions if my plot to build a cycle track goes through.

    The point about spandex is that certain cyclists put speed above all else. Theyre comfortable taking the lane of a 65mph road.

    Most people arent. When cycle tracks sprout up, so do cyclists.

    Yes, a cycle track means you will no longer be able to bike 25mph down the street and pass everyone. Tough luck.

  21. By KillMoto on Feb 25, 2013 | Reply

    MassDOT stetes Beacon St is a major arterial, and throughput is important. Who are we to question their authority. After all, DOTs seized people’s homes and paid them less than the mortgages they owed just to get the “throughput” we now call Interstate 93. But I digress…

    A parking permit in Somerville costs no more than $30 per year. That’s 10 cents a day for 200 square feet, or a dollar a day for what amounts to the footprint of a nice home. Please, rent me a 2000 sq foot home in Somerville for a dollar a day!

    The parking problem is not a problem of supply. It is borne of the demand one inevitably sees when a product is priced too low – it’s essentially free.

    Price parking along Beacon Street at the real cost. How about $10 a day, not $0.10. Demand will plummet. Only then will we get to the real issue… how to make a straight, relatively flat and unencumbered artery available for those who need it: people in motion.

  22. By James on Feb 25, 2013 | Reply

    I wished we (as Canadian) have the separate bike lane like the photo but most communitues prefered cars over bikes. And we too have problems between cars and bikes. Lot of people still rides on the sidewalks because it is safer.
    I think the biggest problem is people don’t care and it is a “me first” society.
    I used to rides a bike years ago but now, my eye conditions won’t allow me drive or bike

  23. By terry on Feb 26, 2013 | Reply


    as CEO you’ll really like to hear about the public private partnerships that were discussed at the NATCO conference last October to “insure” that maintenance of public ways will not be neglected as they have been in every major
    city for the last 50 years.

    the pot holes and debris on the margins our OUR streets are usually the lowest priority.

    Nice to see and hear what Boston’s Tom Timlin had to say.

    When they build “it” I will still be
    choosing to pass buses on the left usually at 20-35mph (whatever speed is appropriate for the situation) in traffic where it is safer for me.

    Do you know the safety statistics for bicyclists passing buses on the “right” side, while buses are trying to pull over and discharge passengers?

    I think it very fashionable to know bicycle safety statistics when and where it matters.

  24. By JJJ on Feb 26, 2013 | Reply

    Terry, cyclists on the cycle track has as much interaction with buses as pedestrians do.

  25. By KillMoto on Feb 26, 2013 | Reply

    The city can bring debate about this to a close right now by aggressivelty ticketing those cars in illegal parking spaces, installing meters at places that can benefit from high turn over (laundromat, etc.), and by charging a legitimate market rate for the parking spots that remain

  26. By Erik on Feb 26, 2013 | Reply

    @KillMoto et al: The value of on-street parking is included in the property values, so it does cost more than the nominal cost of the permit. However, because residents cannot opt-out of the right to buy a parking permit, permit owners are subsidized by those who don’t own a permit. In essence, each dollar reduction in the price of the parking permit is a dollar transfered to permit-holders from non-permit-holders.

  27. By terry on Feb 26, 2013 | Reply


    I’m waiting for those statistics you claim prove that cyclists in cycle tracks are not sheep being led to lethal conflicts with buses at intersections.

    You claimed to know bout designs of these cycle tracks as if its as easy as “cut and paste”.

    Every intersection in the city needs a thorough analysis by those who have thought thru the design consequences.

  28. By cden4 on Feb 26, 2013 | Reply

    Re cycle tracks and bus stops, the best practice is to have the cycle track go behind the bus stop. For bus stops on the side of the street where there is parallel parking, this could be done very easily by putting the actual bus stop (sign and shelter) in line with the parallel parking. The cycle track would not have to deviate from its desire line at all. (Buses would just stop momentarily in the travel lane to let passengers get on and off.

    If the bus stop is on the side of the street where there is not parallel parking, I think you could divert the cycle track into what is currently the “furniture zone” and create a bus stop in the space where the cycle track would typically be. This would create a bit of a zig-zag in the cycle track, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The other alternative is to put the bus stop in the furniture zone and create signage and markings instructing cyclists to yield to pedestrians loading and unloading from buses.

  29. By Sam on Feb 26, 2013 | Reply

    Or in Somerville’s case just propose getting rid of bus stops that get in the way of the cycle track…

  30. By JJJ on Feb 26, 2013 | Reply

    Sam, are you perhaps confusing somerville with the MBTA project to condense stops?

    Terry, no Im not about to go and do research for you when you have just as much access to the internet. Why not try the reverse? How many cyclists have been injrued since DC opened their 15th st and L st cycle tracks? Vassar street is far from perfect, but has anyone been injured? How about western ave in Boston? Every time the same damn objections are made, and every time theyre proven false.

    First it was “just because it works in europe doesnt mean it will work here”.

    That became “just because it works in DC doesnt mean it will work here”.

    Which morphed into
    “just because it works in Boston doesnt mean it will work in Sommerville”.

    I look forward to the next natural evolution

    “just because it works in the previous block doesn’t mean it will work in this block”

    And while theres no copy and paste, there are previously designed, tested and peer reviewed models of cycle tracks. One can always make changes to accommodate truly unique situations (like a 6 way intersection) but the idea works.

  31. By cden4 on Feb 26, 2013 | Reply

    JJJ, we’re already there. I’ve already been hearing “Beacon St is unlike any other street in Somerville, therefore what works in other streets in Somerville could never work here.” It’s so frustrating. I just want to hit my head against a wall.

    Well that along with the “I’m not against bicyclists, I just think they should all use Somerville Ave” and “I’m not against cycle tracks, just this one… and all the ones in Cambridge and Boston”.

  32. By KillMoto on Feb 26, 2013 | Reply

    I’m not against motorists, I just think they should all use the McGrath Highway.

  33. By Sam on Feb 26, 2013 | Reply

    “Sam, are you perhaps confusing somerville with the MBTA project to condense stops?”

    I’m not finding any info on this unless this was back when several Somerville routes (entire route, not individual stops) were on MBTA’s chopping block a few years ago for budgetary reasons. But this is all purely Somerville’s doing with the idea to remove/relocate stops for the track.

    “here are previously designed, tested and peer reviewed models of cycle tracks. ”

    Of which Somerville is not following any design cues from…any recent implementations. if they did, we would have something street level that resembles what most of Portland, DC and NYC have and not a raised track.

    in DC::

    in NYC:

    in Portland:

    [I actually like most of these to be honest…I believe the DC one is two way which is ehhhhh…but it looks like it may be on a one way street]

    NONE of these designs look anything like what Somerville is trying to do. These are all clearly part of the road and separated from the side walk by a defined curb.

    There’s really NO REASON to have a raised track AT ALL. It further complicates issues with drainage, cleaning and maintenance and just invites more pedestrian to use it than something that was street level (which they will). “The city of Somerville is committed to maintaining the cycle track” Yeah…and they were sure committed to doing regular road maintenance on Beacon Street all these years….talk is cheap, but fixing stuff ain’t.

    I think people just really get off on saying cycle track – “protected bike lane” and “segregated bike way” just don’t sound as sexy.

  34. By cden4 on Feb 27, 2013 | Reply

    I think the photos shown of raised cycle tracks here look pretty similar to what Somerville is proposing:

  35. By J for Jess on Feb 28, 2013 | Reply

    I am not disagreeing with Sam when I say that if “protected bike lanes” did in fact protect cyclists through an intersection, that would be “sexy” to an engineer working for cyclist’s.

    Re-designing intersections seems to be the most cost effective way to save cyclist’s lives and reduce injury.

    On Fox news this morning it was reported that sketcher’s is revealing a new line of fashion sneaker’s called “Daddy’s Money”.

  36. By JJJ on Mar 1, 2013 | Reply

    Sam, portland has built a raised cycle track. Its not downtown though, and knowing nothing about their street names I dont know what to google. It was a street completely demolished and built again, so they did the cycle track raised vs those downtown pics where they just add plastic pylons.

    San Francisco is developing a raised cycle track.

  1. 2 Trackback(s)

  2. Feb 25, 2013: This Week’s Sign That America Is Falling Behind on Transport Policy |
  3. Apr 7, 2014: Boston Biker » Blog Archive » Cities Loose $1000 Or More Per Year For Every Parking Space They Have

Post a Comment