Mayor Thomas M. Menino released the annual Boston Bikes Annual Report last week, highlighting the success of Boston’s biking initiatives and previewing plans for its continued growth.
Menino launched Boston Bikes in 2007 with the goal of making Boston a world-class cycling city. Four years later, Boston has officially gained recognition as one of the great cities for cycling in the United States. Highlights include the success of New Balance Hubway, the 50th mile of bike lane recently installed on Massachusetts Avenue, and Boston’s designation as a “silver” level bike-friendly city from the League of American Bicyclists.
“Over the past four years, we have taken great strides toward making Boston a city that welcomes and encourages bicycling,” Menino said. “This year, I’m proud to say that the car is no longer king in Boston. With 50 miles of bike lanes now on our streets and the huge success of Hubway, we are well on our way to making Boston one of the best cycling cities in the country.”
Menino launched the New Balance Hubway bike share system in July with 60 stations and 600 bicycles across Boston. In its first year, users took 142,000 trips across Boston on Hubway bikes. Due to its tremendous success, many of Boston’s neighboring cities are now making plans to join the Hubway system and Boston looks to add more Hubway locations in 2012.
Menino and the City of Boston have also taken significant steps towards improving Boston’s biking infrastructure and safety outreach. Prior to the launch of New Balance Hubway, Boston implemented an aggressive, multi-pronged approach to improving safety, education and enforcement with the goal of making Boston the safest walking and bicycling city in the country. This year, Boston installed bike lanes on Massachusetts and Commonwealth Avenues; the two roads were identified as having the highest and second to highest accident rate in the city for cyclists. There are now more than 50 total miles of bike lanes on the streets of Boston.
Boston Bikes plans to continue to expand its programs in 2012 to make biking a fun, healthy, and accessible activity for all Bostonians. The city’s Community Bike Programs, working with the Boston Housing Authority, Boston Centers for Youth and Families and community partners, donated more than 1,000 bikes to low-income residents and provided on-the-bike training to nearly 8,000 youth, while the mayor’s Hub on Wheels and Mayor’s Cup signature bike events this year brought nearly 5,000 cyclists to Boston’s streets.
National recognition for Boston’s bike programs include:
• “Silver Bike Friendly City” Award -League of American Bicyclists, 2011
• #1 Safest Walking & Bicycling City/ #8 Safest Cycling City – Alliance for Walking & Bicycling, 2011
• #1 Rate of Walking & Bicycling/ #13 Rank for Cycling – Alliance for Walking & Bicycling, 2011
• 50 percent Increase in Bike Commuting, 2007 – 2010 – American Community Survey, 2011
• “Best Walking and Bicycling City” – MSNBC, 2011
• 26th Most Bike Friendly City – Bicycling Magazine, 2011
For more information on Boston Bikes, visit http://www.cityofboston.gov/bikes/.