Reader makes case for curbed bicycle lanes
I am writing to comment upon your May 7th article, “Charles Street” that speaks about the problem of bicyclists traveling the wrong way on the street.
Cyclists have a responsibility to obey the traffic laws. Additionally, the city has a responsibility of creating a viable pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure.
The current system of creating bicycle lanes by simply painting a white line on the side of the street or a green box in front of a stop light is simply not a solution. Curbed bicycle lanes separated both from automobile lanes and sidewalks complete with dedicated stop and go lights would create a traffic flow that could be more easily enforced.
Currently, many of the city streets that run through residential sections are laid out as three lane highways, and drivers use their automobiles on them accordingly. Both pedestrian and bicycle traffic is treated as an afterthought. Such makeshift urban highways have no place in residential sections.
Last July, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation initiated a “Park and Pedal” program. It is a system of bicycle corridors that lead from the suburbs into central Boston. The difficulty here is that a cyclist traveling down the pathway on the Charles River Esplanade must eventually travel into the streets of the city, and, then, must somehow just know what one-way streets lead into and what one-way streets lead out of the city.
Curbed bicycle lanes separated from vehicular and pedestrian traffic need to be constructed on such streets as Beacon Street, Commonwealth Avenue, Charles Street and Cambridge Street. Historically, the call for such action is usually preceded by white markers showing the place of fatal accidents. We do not need any more of these markers to realize that a problem is seeking a solution.
When Storrow Drive was being planned, the planning board said that Storrow Drive would only bring automobiles from the western suburbs into a city not designed to handle the traffic. The chronic daily gridlock is testament to their wisdom that was ignored. Perhaps, in this century we can do it right and construct a city where people not only commute in and out, but live.
Beacon Hill and the Back Bay are still places where many people walk to work. We need to consider how we can continue to foster a sense of place where people, not machines, come first.
Maurice “Rick” Laurence
BHWF thanks sponsors
The Beacon Hill Women’s Forum (BHWF) put on a their third annual “Charles Street Couture” Fashion Show last Tuesday at The University of Massachussetts Club, featuring Beacon Hill designers, shops, and vendors. Over 250 attendees enjoyed the fun-filled event which included lovely local models and even a few tots and an elegant senior on the runway. The BHWF would like to thank its sponsors, without whom this event would not have been possible: 75 Chestnut; Adela’s Hair Studio; Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro; Beacon Hill Wine & Spirits Co.; Suzanne Besser; Boston Art & Framing; Caffe Bella Vita; Pat Carucci; Ceremony Boston (bridal boutique); Charles Street Family Chiropractic; Charles Street Supply Co. & Hardware; Cheers™; Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage; Senaida Currie; DeLuca’s Market; Everett Design Inc. (web, branding, print); The Steven E. and Michelle Karol Charitable Foundation; Martha Garlik; Sandra Gilpatrick, CFP®, CDFA™ (wealth consultant); Grogan & Company (auctioneers); Hampshire House of Beacon Hill, Hingham Institution for Savings, Infinity Portrait Design (photography); Susan Korthals; Kostseas Concierge; Catherine Long (Wells Fargo Private Mortgage); Lisa Macalaster (Coldwell Banker Beacon Hill); Martha McAllister; Noreen McCloskey; Panificio Restaurant; Period Furniture Hardware Co.; Persona Jewelry; Red Brick Real Estate; Savenor’s Market; The Sevens Ale House; Amy Tsurumi; Twentieth Century Ltd. (vintage costume jewelry).