For Immediate Release
April 15, 2010
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Press Office
Today, Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced the city’s first-ever Bicycling Safety Summit at 5:30 PM on Wednesday, April 21 at Boston University’s Morse Auditorium. The Summit will gather area bicyclists and high-ranking city officials to discuss ways of improving safety for everyone who uses Boston’s roadways. The Mayor’s announcement comes in the wake of a third recent bike accident and ahead of Boston Bike Week next month.
“This is about the need for a shared, common respect amongst everyone who uses Boston’s roads,” said Mayor Menino. “We have to come together and recognize that everyone is responsible for keeping our roadways safe and that we all have the right to safe passage through our beautiful city. We can start by fulfilling the personal responsibility of wearing a helmet.”
Mayor Menino has ordered the Boston Police Department (BPD) to immediately launch a focused enforcement effort aimed at both cyclists and motorists in an effort to assist them to better share the road. Officers will more proactively seek out and fine for safety violations committed by those on a bicycle and those operating a motor vehicle. This effort will include the strict enforcement of Massachusetts laws dedicated to bicycle and pedestrian safety. The BPD is also researching the possible implementation of an enhanced reporting mechanism to document all accidents involving bikes.
Two years ago Mayor Menino developed Boston Bikes to increase cycling safety around Boston through the use of marked bike lanes and various educational campaigns. Since, Boston has seen much improvement including:
- the installation of 15 miles of bike lanes with another 20 slated for this year;
- the publication of the first-ever Boston Bikes map;
- the installation of more than 500 bike racks;
- the formation of the Boston Bikes Advisory Board designed to advise city officials on how best to implement proven safety measures such as dedicated bike lanes;
- and the passage of a city ordinance making it illegal for cars to be parked in bike lanes, the enforcement of which will be heightened by Boston Transportation Department ticket writers.
In light of the recent accidents, however, city officials encourage people to:
- Visit the Boston Bikes fanpage on Facebook or join the Boston Bikes Twitter feed to learn more about the program and share concerns about specific roads in Boston;
- Call the Mayor’s 24-hour Hotline at (617) 635-4500 if they notice a safety concern that needs immediate attention including roadway obstructions like potholes or debris;
- Visit the Boston Bikes homepage at www.cityofboston.gov/bikes to receive updates on the Cycling Safety Summit;
- Visit www.massbike.org to register for classes on bicycling safety conducted by Mass Bike on April 22, May 6 and May 19 at City Hall;
- Wear a protective helmet at all times when riding a bike (helmets can be bought for $5 at the Boston Medical Center gift shop);
- Come to the Bicycling Safety Summit on Wednesday.