Boston bicycle safety has markedly improved over the past two years with several new safety initiatives, including the creation of new bike lanes, publication of the city’s first biking map and installation of hundreds of bike racks.
But Boston bike safety is back in focus this month after three bicycle accidents within the city, including one fatal bike accident that claimed the life of a 22-year-old cyclist and another causing serious personal injuries.
“The biggest problem compared to other cities I’ve ridden in … whether people are biking, walking or driving around the city, everyone has this ‘me first’ attitude,” David Watson, executive director of the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition, recently told the Boston Metro newspaper. “That’s a huge issue – changing the way everybody thinks.”
We applaud Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino for calling the city’s first Bicycling Safety Summit after the accidents to provide bicyclists and city officials a chance to discuss ways to prevent bicycle accidents in Boston.
The reality is that both drivers and bicyclists need to take responsibility for co-existing with each other, along with walkers. This means education, especially considering the fact that the laws governing bicycling were amended by the Massachusetts legislature in 2009. Drivers still need to learn their new responsibilities when overtaking cyclists, when turning, and when opening doors in traffic.
For anyone thinking about enjoying the city on two bicycle wheels this summer, we encourage you to register for one of the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition’s upcoming bike safety classes on May 6 or May 19 at City Hall. The move could save a life.
Our firm supports cycling programs and bicycle safety in Massachusetts. We are proud supporters of MassBike, the Northeast Bicycle Club, the Charles River Wheelmen, Bikes Not Bombs and the New England Mountain Bike Association.