CHARLESTOWN (CBS) — It was a sudden and unwelcome change for bikers when city crews removed bike lanes along Main Street in Charlestown.

Ron Newman says Main Street is his favorite bike route to downtown Boston from his home in Somerville. He was excited when the city installed a bike path on the street, and shocked when it was removed last week.

“I don’t understand why anybody would want them removed because they don’t take up any space that is used by either parking or driving. They are in between the parked cars and the cars that are driving, so why would you take it out once you put it in?” he asked.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Smith reports.

Three years ago Boston Mayor Tom Menino promised to build 20 miles of bike paths throughout the city. The project is about three quarters complete, but local leaders said the path in Charlestown was news to them

“All of a sudden we woke up one day and found white lines down the middle of our main street,” said Bill Galvin, a Charlestown neighborhood council member. “We feel very strongly that they should have come to us and tell us what their plans were, so we could discuss it, improved it, changed it, or endorsed it.”

Now bicyclists are riding through the neighborhood without a bike path, and sometimes taking to the sidewalks.

Galvin says Charlestown is open to bike paths, but Main Street is the wrong location

So for now the citywide bike path has hit a dead end.

The mayor’s office admits there could have been more community input. It would say how much it cost to paint the bike lane then remove it.

Comments (11)
  1. Their rude says:

    Thank god they need to remove them everywhere. These bikers are rude in the longwood/boston/brookline area. They go thru red lights, they go thru the light walkers have and do not care you’re in the walk way. They go on either side of your car and if they are going to be in the road, they need to be required to have insurance because if one of them causes an accident then I’m going to sue the hell out of them. Again, they are the rudest people and if they want to be on the same road as licensed drivers and insuranced/registered cars then they need to pay a price for it.

    I’m talking from both spectrums as I drive there and walk in that area about 8 times a day. My friends and I are were thinking of making a website dedicated to these rude people who think the roads are only for them.

    1. Jonathan says:

      “If they want to be on the same road as licensed drivers and insuranced/registered cars then they need to pay a price for it. ”

      Bicyclists may indeed be rude and largely exempt from the rules of the road, however the same could be said of pedestrians who have no insurance or registation either. Get used to it.

      1. DisagreewuJonathansorry says:

        A person on a bike can kill a pedestrian. Case closed.

  2. edwal says:

    wow bike riders have become sissies when they need bike lanes

  3. alleydweller says:

    Really. These bicyclists need to be licensed, registered by the RMV, and have a mimimun amount of iliability insurance, just as anyone else who operates a vehicle on the road.

  4. Jeremy says:

    Of course it’s the usual idiocy in the comment section. The same nonsense could be said about the operators of all vehicles: they run red lights, exceed speed limits, violate the pedestrian and bicyclist right-of-way, kill people, terrorize pedestrians, delay everyone, and on and on. This is all despite the fact that EVERYONE pays for ALL city streets (and the vast majority of highways), plus things like street cleaning, traffic enforcement, etc., and only motor vehicles cause costly wear and tear and terrorize or kill people daily. Why does nobody complain that drivers think they own the roads, rather than these silly anti-cyclist rants?

    Pick a busy intersection, stand there for a half hour, and tell me how many drivers actually respect the pedestrian right-of-way. Then you can complain to me about cyclists who cause no harm.

  5. JJJJ says:

    So many ignorant comment in one place.

    Fun fact: Local roads are paid for via PROPERTY taxes. Last I checked EVERYONE pays for that.

    Removing the lanes was a huge waste of money. Does the city also ask the community for advice when they touch up a crosswalk or repair a streetlight?

  6. if not here then where? says:

    Every anti-cyclist idiot says “I like bikes but not here” but of course nobody ever has any better ideas. And the city doesn’t have to consult with neighborhood big-shots for transportation advice. Nobody asks bicyclists if it’s okay to put a car lane!

    Biking is a popular form of transport and those of you stubborn selfish drivers better get used to it. We bike to work, school and to do our business. Shunning bicyclists isn’t going to help your local businesses.

  7. Rachel says:

    Everybody on a bicycle is doing everyone else a favor: one less car taking space in traffic, one less car competing for parking spaces, less wear and tear on the infrastructure, less air pollution, getting healthy exercise. And I say that as a rarely-biker and mostly-driver.

    Bikes have as much right as cars to space on the street and the bike lanes are a safer way to go.

  8. Somerville AL says:

    630 bicyclists died on US roads in 2009 (718 in 2008, 1,003 in 1975)
    In the last ten years, just over 7,600 pedestrians were killed by motor vehicles while 29 were killed by cyclists.
    So isn’t it more important to safely separate (where appropriate) motor vehicles from both bikes and peds than worry inordinately about separating bikes from peds?

  9. Boston Commuter says:

    Funny how the folks in Charlestown don’t know the law. According to state law, the bikes are allowed on Main Street whether or not there is a bike LANE (and its a LANE not a path as reported.) The bike LANE means that cyclists have a choice to be outside of the main travel lane. Else, they need to be in the traffic lane which is more likely to hold up traffic. It doesn’t matter if you like cyclists or not but people are riding their bikes in the city for the same reasons that people are walking or driving. Getting from point A to point B.
    If you are driving on city streets you just have to deal – or go onto 93 where cyclists aren’t allowed.

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