City Council President Michelle Wu calls for bike safety improvements in Boston Globe op-ed

Boston, MA   12/29/13   We ride the city of Boston on a bike with the city's bike czar, Nicole Freedman to record the uptick in winter biking, and detail some of the pitfalls.  Freedman paused for a light on Massachusetts Avenue in the South End.  She was instrumental in getting a bike lane installed on Mass Ave.  Lane Turner/Globe Staff; Reporter: David Filipov: METRO Slug: 31winterbiking
An unprotected bike lane on Massachusetts Avenue. –Lane Turner / The Boston Globe

Boston can do more to ensure a fear-free commute for those who navigate the city’s streets on just two wheels, City Council President Michelle Wu wrote in a Boston Globe op-ed.

“We can do better,” Wu wrote in the Tuesday column. “We must reimagine our streets as spaces for all, not just cars.”

After completing a bike tour of Copenhagen, Wu compared the city, which has been voted the best in the world for cycling, to Boston.

“My head filled with flashbacks to the two previous bike tours I’ve joined in Boston: sweaty hands gripping handlebars where Massachusetts Avenue meets Columbia Road in a six-way intersection; silent prayers as cars zoomed by too close for comfort on River Street in Mattapan,” Wu wrote.

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The difference, she writes, is infrastructure: While Copenhagen boasts protected bike lanes that support 45 percent of the city’s commuters on every street, Boston’s overcrowded streets and dangerous intersections make commuters wary, and only 1.9 percent of people use bikes to get around.

The solution to Boston’s traffic woes and complaints of an overcrowded commute on the MBTA is to expand infrastructure for cyclists, which will in turn help to reduce the city’s environmental impact, Wu wrote.

“We can solve the car-bike conflict, and the solution unlocks a brighter, more inclusive economic and environmental future for Boston,” Wu wrote.

Read the full Globe op-ed here.

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