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!