Cyclists kind a human ‘bike lane’ to protest plans in Fenway

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Cyclists kind a human ‘bike lane’ to protest plans in Fenway

Cyclists protested plans to put in painted bike lanes close to a Fenway intersection the place a neighborhood librarian was killed in February by staging a “people-protected bike lane” Thursday morning.

“We can do better than just paint,” the Boston Cyclists Union, which organized the protest, wrote in a tweet.

We can do higher than simply paint. This morning, we’re giving commuters what they need to have on a regular basis – bodily separation from automobiles. @MassDCR can assist us have this on a regular basis. #ProtectedBikeLanesSaveLives#bospoli #mapoli

— BostonCyclistsUnion (@bostonbikeunion) July 11, 2019

The 8 a.m. demonstration consisted of greater than 100 individuals standing within the roads close to the intersection of Fenway and Brookline Avenue in the course of the busy morning commute to “highlight the dangerous conditions cyclists face every day when given no protection beyond paint,” in line with the union. Advocates independently staged an analogous protest on the Congress Street bridge in 2017, which was a primary for Boston on the time.

Becca Wolfson, the manager director of the Boston Cyclists Union, mentioned Thursday morning that the occasion acquired a lot curiosity they shaped two “people-protected bike lanes” of roughly 50 individuals every: one the place a motorcycle lane is being painted on Fenway from Brookline Avenue towards Avenue Louis Pasteur and one in a northbound car lane on Brookline Avenue between Park Drive and Fenway.

The undeniable fact that so many supporters mobilized on two days discover — the union introduced plans for the demonstration on Tuesday — is “indicative of how important the issue is to people,” Wolfson mentioned.

Well, a number of individuals confirmed up in response to our name for an 8am individuals protected bike lane….#ProtectedBikeLanesSaveLivves #bospoli #mapoli

— BostonCyclistsUnion (@bostonbikeunion) July 11, 2019

In reality, so many individuals confirmed as much as assist create a individuals protected bike lane, we wanted to create two.#ProtectedBikeLanesSaveLives#bospoli #mapoli

— BostonCyclistsUnion (@bostonbikeunion) July 11, 2019

Amazing prove this morning to guard individuals who bike + demand #ProtectedBikeLanes. Thanks @bostonbikeunion for organizing! #ProtectedBikeLanesSaveLives

— Elena Pilar (@elenita_pilar) July 11, 2019

I’m a flexpost

— George S (@noisecapella) July 11, 2019

The protest is the primary in what’s deliberate to be a continued marketing campaign calling for bodily separated bike lanes within the Boston space — particularly highlighting challenges their efforts have run into with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.

While the Department of Transportation manages most state-owned roads, DCR has jurisdiction over the parkways working alongside most of the state’s parks and inexperienced areas. According to Wolfson, the distinction is that DCR doesn’t have the identical sources or coverage requirements with regards to bike infrastructure because the City of Boston or MassDOT (each of which have particular guidances relating to separated bike lanes, even when Wolfson has criticized their degree of urgency on the difficulty).

DCR is putting in painted bike lanes on Park Drive and Fenway alongside the Emerald Necklace between Brookline Avenue and Avenue Louis Pasteur. According to Wolfson, the brand new bike lanes concerned eradicating one of many three car lanes on Fenway and narrowing the 2 car lanes on Park Drive. The union nonetheless believes it’s a “dangerous set up.”

“Despite the painted bike lanes, we still saw many cyclists on the sidewalk, who told us they don’t feel safe riding in the area,” the group wrote in a Facebook submit Wednesday, together with photographs of the newly striped lanes.

Neither parkway had any kind of bike lanes earlier than, however the bike union says protected or separated lanes ought to be the “norm” for DCR initiatives within the area. According to Wolfson, the company has mentioned it lacks the capability — when it comes to monetary sources, gear, and staffing — to assemble and keep bodily separated lanes. Still, the union factors to research exhibiting that separated lanes, whereas dearer, dramatically cut back the danger of damage and loss of life for bikers and pedestrians.

“We’re concerned that their lack of capacity to do enough will put people in more danger,” Wolfson informed

DCR officers say the painted lanes had been a means of swiftly incorporating bike infrastructure into a bigger roadway resurfacing effort within the Fenway space. The $650,000 challenge spans 1.5 miles of roadway and is on tempo to be completed later this month. According to the company, the challenge — significantly the elimination of a Fenway journey lane — quantities to a major enchancment for cyclists, whereas additionally sustaining the wanted car stream for commuters, medical personnel, and guests to the native hospitals, faculties, museums, and Fenway Park.

The bike union, nonetheless, stays unassuaged.

In a press launch, the advocacy group mentioned DCR’s determination was “particularly unsettling” following the loss of life of Paula Sharaga, a Cambridge resident and Brookline librarian. In February, Sharaga was hit and killed by a cement truck whereas biking to work by means of the five-way intersection the place Park Drive and Brookline Avenue meet. Colleagues mentioned the 69-year-old was an “avid cyclist.”

“If Paula were here, she would say, ‘Don’t mourn: Organize, and make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else,’” Todd Kaplan, a pal of Sharaga, mentioned throughout her “ghost bike” ceremony in February.

The bike union’s DCR-focused marketing campaign gained’t finish in Fenway. The subsequent location for potential demonstrations is the Arborway rotary in Jamaica Plain. Wolfson says the stretch was the location of 177 accidents in a latest 18-month span and is “in desperate need of an overhaul.”

People-protected bike lanes first got here to Boston in December 2017, after metropolis officers washed away an impromptu, spray-painted bike lane on the Congress Street bridge. One was additionally staged final yr in Porter Square in Cambridge, and so they’ve been shaped throughout the nation — together with San Francisco, New York City, and Philadelphia — by cyclists in an try to make the purpose that painted strains don’t present sufficient safety from automobiles, significantly on busy streets.

In an analogous demonstration this previous spring, cyclists in Boston, Cambridge, and Newton positioned strains of red Solo cups alongside the painted striping that divides bike lanes from the car lanes to point out how automobiles typically encroach on their territory. Many of the cups had been crushed.

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