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Bike Lanes Meeting

Can’t we all just get along

Planet Southie and Southie Bikes – a bicycle advocacy group –  hosted a meeting on Tuesday, August 20th to discuss the proposal of bike lanes on West Broadway.  More than 100 people came out to the Condon School to be a part of the discussion. 

The director of Boston Bikes, Nicole Freedman, explained initial designs of the bikes lanes, which would connect Albany Street in the South End and run along West Broadway to Dorchester Street in South Boston. Then a heated discussion began with both sides offering up questions and comments.  Don Wilson, the interim president of the South Boston Chamber of Commerce, expressed his concerns about double-parking laws being enforced which may affect local business.

Other residents worried about public safety having bike lanes on West Broadway fearing unnecessary accidents.  Tommy Flaherty, a life-long resident and Boston firefighter, went on even further by stating that South Boston “is getting victimized by stupid ideas and this (bike lanes) is right up there.”

Thomas Tinlin, Southie resident and commissioner of the Boston Transportation Department said double parking is illegal and cyclists should have the same chance to safely use Southie streets. He also went on to say that it shouldn’t be “neighbor vs. neighbor.  “We are in this together.”

Residents in support of the bike lanes stated it would allow them to travel safely  through the community and possibly get cars off of the road because there alternative modes of transportation available.  Also proponents said that if South Boston was more bike friendly, they would patronize local businesses more. 

Representative Nick Collins was in attendance as well as South Boston Neighborhood Coordinator Sean Regan.  Also on hand were representatives from Senator Linda Dorcena Forry’s office and City Councilor Ayanna Presley’s office.  Mark McGonagle was there on behalf of Councilor Bill Linehan. 

Another meeting will be planned in the future to continue the discussion of bike lanes in South Boston.   Stay-tuned!

 

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About the Author

Maureen Dahill

Maureen Dahill is the editor of Caught in Southie and a lifelong resident of South Boston sometimes mistaken for a yuppie. Co-host of Caught Up, storyteller, lover of red wine and binge watching TV series. Mrs. Peter G. Follow her @MaureenCaught.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    When people on bikes actually begin to obey the laws, and ride the correct way on one-way streets, and actually stop at stop lights and stop signs, then and only then will i ever care about them getting a bike lane.  What a joke.

  2. Tommy Flaherty says

    What will be the speed limit in these bike lanes? Are the bikes going to be allowed to travel faster than the motor vehicles? I think cars and bikes exceeding the speed limit is a little more dangerous than delivery trucks and other double-parked vehicles(parked that way due to the city’s inaction on the parking problem). The city seems to have no problem approving high-rise buildings all over South Boston so maybe they would get onboard with an idea to add a few levels onto the West Broadway parking lot to increase parking spaces and promote shopping in the neighborhood. A few years back, as a member appointed to a parking committee by the late Councilor Jimmy Kelly, I advocated for investigating the benefits of angle parking in certain sections of the neighborhood. I was hit with the familiar refrain “that’ll never work” and I suddenly stopped receiving notification of future meetings of the committee. Bike lanes may work on other streets in South Boston, but not on Broadway. If people have a legitimate concern for promoting other modes of transportation and getting the number of cars off the road, then I’m sure they would be in favor of bringing the streetcars back to Broadway. Wait a minute, “that’ll never work!”.