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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Boston is catching on

It may actually be possible to ride a bike there pretty soon.

Comments (5)

"My life fades, the vision dims, and all that remain are memories. I remember a time of chaos, the wounded streets, this wasted land. And yes, I remember the Bikepath Warrior, the man we called Irate Ian."

I rented a bike in Boston during the 2004 Democratic Convention. Traffic was lighter than usual because a lot of working people stayed away while the convention was on. It amazed me that I could ride from South Boston to Cambridge in less than 20 minutes, even not knowing exactly how to get around. It could be a great biking city since it's so compact.

Riding a bike during the convention was a good choice, since it allowed me to hit a lot more convention parties per night.

I used to bike all over Boston, Cambridge, Somerville. It was great adventure for a teenager/twenty-something, offered many of the thrills of a rollercoaster without all those annoying safety measures that can be such a buzzkill.

But I'm not sure I'd recommend it for someone whose main aim is to get from point A to point B with most of their limbs intact.

Glad to hear there's some progress being made, but it will take a lot of hard work to overcome the many challenges of biking in Boston.

I commuted by 3-speed for nearly a quarter-century in Cambridge and Boston. Felt safer there than in Stumptown, where some drivers really are out to damage cyclists and have been encouraged to do so by enthusiastic but faulty design, such as bike lanes susceptible to the notorious right hook. (PBOT so seldom takes responsibility for its many failures.)

In Cambridge/Boston, cyclists generally know and practice rules of the road. That's not really the case locally, where cyclists have been encouraged by, among others, our alleged mayor and his predecessor (who does not recall Ol' Tom's Critical Mass cruise?) to act in decidedly anti-social, self-destructive, and quite foolish manners. Ignorance may be bliss on a bike, but it is usually short-lived.

Notice, however, that this piece is from the NYT, the rapacious entity that has very nearly consumed the Boston Globe to cover its own profligacy and that has shown unlimited capacity for misrepresenting Portland and OR (or Ore.). Boston area drivers may be inventive but they usually do things that OR drivers do not, such as employ turn signals. Indeed, my experience has been that Stumptown drivers are far less communicative, far more dangerous than Boston drivers, who, after all, come from all over the country -- including, especially, New Jersey, a state with a dearth of institutions of higher learning -- and all over the world. Believe less than you read.

I'm sure biking will be very popular on those heavy snow days.

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