Wheels in motion for ’11 Bike Week
Bikers, city officials and advocates endured yesterday’s raw temperatures and downpours to kick off Bike Week and celebrate the strides made in the past four years in creating a more bike-friendly city.
“Almost anyone you ask who bikes will say Boston is really changing,” said Pete Stidman, director of the Boston Cyclists Union, an advocacy group that participated in a Bike Week party in the Fenway yesterday. Bike Week is a national event that promotes cycling and more than 100 events will take place in the Bay State in the next few days.
In 2007, after complaints surfaced that Boston was a hostile environment for bike riders, Mayor Thomas Menino set out to transform the city’s reputation. Since then, Boston has delineated 38 miles of bike lanes, set up 750 racks and created 1,600 parking spaces for cyclists as part of a long-term initiative.
According to Nicole Freedman, who heads up the city’s cycling program, 2011 will be a pinnacle year. A cycling lane will be established on Massachusetts Avenue, a bike-share system dubbed “Hubway” will be installed citywide giving people access to low-priced bikes, and officials are pushing for the creation of a “harbor bike” lane from South Station to around the North Washington Street bridge, said Freedman.
“We never would have considered coming here in 2007,” said Brad Klipping, marketing director with Giant Cycling World, a national bike retailer that opened their flagship store in Boston last year. “The market has expanded dramatically.”