Boston Bikes hopes new Urban Cycling Guide will cut crash injury rate by half

Cyclists near Boston University / Commonwealth Ave. Photo Credit: ERIN BALDASSARI/BOSTON METRO.
Cyclists near Boston University / Commonwealth Ave. Photo Credit: ERIN BALDASSARI/BOSTON METRO.

More than 30 college, university, and bicycle advocacy groups have joined together with Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s Boston Bikes program to release the Urban Cycling Guide. The goal of the campaign, keeping cyclists safe, is part of the Mayor’s commitment to reducing the city’s crash injury rate by 50 percent by 2020.

“The Urban Cycling Guide is the latest step forward as we work to make Boston a world-class cycling city,” Menino said in a statement. “We want to encourage as many people as possible to safely bike through our City and enjoy all Boston has to offer.”

City officials said the Urban Cycling Guide stresses four key messages for urban cyclists:

1. Beware of doors
2. Follow the rules and yield to pedestrians
3. Avoid large vehicle blind spots
4. Use helmets and lights at night

The message points were carefully determined based on the findings from the 2013 Cyclist Crash Report, which looked at more than 1,500 cyclists crashes in Boston since 2009.

“It became apparent that if we can educate cyclists these four message points, we can dramatically reduce the crash rate,” said Nicole Freedman, Director of Boston Bikes.

Boston Bikes and campaign partners plan to reach more than 100,000 cyclists through a coordinated social media effort and a grassroots effort that includes fliering nearly 20,000 bicycles in Boston.

Cyclists are also invited to “Test their Bike-Q” by going to the Boston Bikes program website  and taking an online quiz, which reinforces the four message points. Participants can earn free safety gear, including bike lights, bike maps, and coupons for a discounted helmet.

Officials today said promoting bike safety and ridership also supports Menino’s sustainability initiative Greenovate Boston, which encourages residents to bike, walk and use public transit more to help reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS


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