Fast Forward: A cleansing rain, safe biking, and Obama-Biden memes
The Boston Globe - 11/15/2016
Riding a bike around Boston and environs can be a risky proposition: In the first four months of 2016, eight people were killed and 307 injured from bicycle crashes on Boston streets. In Cambridge, two bicyclists have been killed this year. At noon, a Northeastern University professor will urge a City Council committee to consider instituting what are known as stress-free bicycle networks: Routes that are safe enough that even the most traffic-shy bikers will ride on them.
The prof, Peter Furth, is a civil and environmental engineer and has been studying how to get more people to ride bicycles for several years. And the biggest obstacle is scary streets: roads with high speed limits, few if any bike lanes, and large intersections. He has mapped the safe bike roads in cities like San Jose and Boston. There are plenty of them. The problem is they are disconnected: tiny islands of safety cut off from each other by dangerous, high-traffic routes.
So if all you want to do is cruise around your neighborhood, you’re all set. But if you want to bike to work, or to the store, or to a friend’s house, you’re out of luck.
His solution? Connect those islands of safety by making the dangerous roads in between safer with slower traffic speeds, median refuge islands, bike lanes separated with a barrier, among other ideas. (City Council President Michelle Wu saw the concept in action in Copenhagen.) His presentation to the council’s Parks, Recreation, and Transportation Committee in in the Piemonte Room on the 5th floor of City Hall.