Mass. Ave Bike Lane Would Eliminate 70 Parking Spots

By Bill Shields, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – Another battle is shaping up in the unofficial war over expanded cycling in the city of Boston.

This time, a handful of businesses are getting involved.

In a continued effort to make biking safer in the city, Mayor Menino wants the city to add a bike lane to part of Mass. Ave. at the expense of about 70 parking spaces.

WBZ-TV’s Bill Shields reports

The mayor claims the city can get by just fine with 70 fewer spaces.

“We’ve increased parking spaces from 6,000 to over 8,000 on the street in the city,” he said.

The proposed bike lane would run on the northbound side of Mass. Ave., from Symphony Hall, all the way to the Charles River.

Cycling advocates say a bike lane is much-needed on this dangerous high-traffic road.

“This city is so dense, and the traffic so heavy, we don’t need more parking,” said Arielle Zibrak, as she was getting on her bike.

But some business owners are hesitant, saying it would only make it more difficult for customers to park.

“It’s already difficult to park here, but if you take away spaces, I’ll have that many fewer customers,” said Brian McCook, the manager at Dorothy’s costume shop.

Some drivers echo that sentiment.

“I wouldn’t frequent these shops, if there was no parking,” one driver told WBZ-TV’s Bill Shields as he was parking on Mass. Ave.

  • Linda

    OK Massachusetts now just how dumb would that be. I’m sure there’s a lot of revenue collected from those parking meters. Are the bike riders going to make up the difference in lost revenue ? Oh did I hear a resounding NO ? Somebody always wants something at the expense of others. Put a line down part of the sidewalk and tell the bikers to ride there, they shouldn’t be weaving in and out of traffic anyway.

  • emom

    This is really not going to work, there is litle or no room on most of bostons streets. there is always an issue… creating a bike lane in a city were there is little or no room is not the answer, Fining those that break the law is what needs to be done. I can only image the stories some could tell ,,, Why is it necessary to weave in and out of the cars, its very dangerous to all, Just dont get it. Why create risks,

  • fred

    Another reason not to go to Boston. Aren’t they trying to enact a rule that allows bikers in crosswalks to be treated as pedestrians even if they are riding their bikes. well i’m sorry, if they walk their bikes through the crosswalk then they are a pedestrian, but if they are riding it they are a vehicle and i am free to run them over as if they were running a red light. Go to Central Square in Cambridge and watch them run the lights and endanger pedestrians. If they want their own lane then they should have to register their bikes and pay an excise tax – it’s only their fair share.

  • Matt C

    A bike lane is totally unnecessary. Why can’t the cyclists do what I do – take the center of the travel lane. It’s much safer than being corraled into the “door zone”, it’s 100% legal, and with the lights on Mass Ave timed to a 30MPH max (look for the signs, people!) motorized traffic behind me is only slowed down about 15-18 MPH (since I average 12MPH).

    The result? I proceed safely to work, motorists have more time to sip their coffee and listen to NPR, no parking is removed, and pedestrians have safer crosswalks (due to slower motorists).

    Everybody wins!

  • dk

    it seems the posters here are more terrified of bicycles than the 1000s of 2 ton, high speed, veering, and (very often) completely inattentive pieces of steel zooming by. I wonder if all these opponents to our much needed public infrastructure would be happier living in Detroit, a perfect example of no bike lanes, no public transport, nutin at all, whoope, how happy they must be!

  • Anonymous

    As an avid bicyclist who bike to work every single day, I NEVER take Mass Ave even if there is a bike lane running on it.
    It is because there are quite, residential side streets like Northampton St and W Springfield St along side Mass Ave that ZERO drivers travel through. But it becomes complicated because of the confusing one-way pattern of these streets.
    Bicyclists don’t plan routes like drivers. I don’t want bike lanes on major arteries. I just want a pattern of quite residential streets with a simple one-way street pattern.

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