Currently I work at home and have what I call a “60-foot commute” from my bedroom to my office. (Probably not even 60 feet.) But this week is Bike Week here in the Boston area and tomorrow, Friday, is National Bike to Work Dayand so I think I’ll join one of these convoys headed into Boston. Just to see what is going on. And there are new Bike Lanes running along Commonwealth Ave., so this will be my chance to check those out.
In general, I’m not in favor of bike lanes because there are so few of them. The message they send to drivers is “this is where bikes belong.” But what about those places where there aren’t bike lanes. (Like almost everywhere!) For instance, in Coolidge Corner in Brookline, there’s a bike lane along Beacon Street that runs for half a mile or so. And then after you pass over Harvard St., it just disappears. And the lanes narrow, so bikes that are sticking to the right-hand side of the right lane are right up against parked cars. And parked cars are potentially dangerous because drivers open doors without looking back. I’ve been knocked to the road by an opening car door. (And 30 years later my left shoulder is still out of whack because of that incident.) Nearly everyone I know who bicycles has been ‘doored’ as we say. It hurts. And can potentially kill.
I’d rather that bicycles and cars learned to share the roads together. Hopefully these bike lanes are the first step to that beautiful future.