For Immediate Release
August 09, 2013
Parks and Recreation
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The Boston Parks and Recreation Department announced today that a prohibition on bike riding will remain in effect for Boston Common, the Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall due to the volume of foot traffic and quantity of events held on those sites on a regular basis. Cyclists may continue to travel on the properties if walking their bikes.
This announcement follows several discussions between Parks Commissioner Antonia Pollak, City of Boston Bike Director Nicole Freedman, the Friends of the Public Garden, Walk Boston, bike advocates, and property abutters. Although the meetings were productive, some intrinsic facts remain regarding these properties and the nature of cycling:
- Riders on bikes come up quickly and quietly behind pedestrians often catching people on foot, in wheelchairs, and pushing baby strollers off-guard,
- Boston Common, the Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall are among the busiest pedestrian thoroughfares in the city,
- The three properties have historic park designations, being part of the Emerald Necklace Park System,
- Events occur year round which make the locations incompatible for sharing space with riders on bikes, such as, festivals, athletic events, Freedom Trail and other tours, protests and other permitted events, and,
- Current uses of several permanent venues including Frog Pond, Tadpole Playground, Visitors’ Center, Swan Boats, and MBTA transit station entrances and exits generate crowds on a regular basis which could be endangered by cyclists traveling on paths.
Therefore, following today’s announcement, members of the public should please note:
- Signs prohibiting the riding of bikes will remain at entrances to Boston Common, the Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall.
- Anyone traveling with a bike is still welcome to walk their bike through these spaces.
- The Boston Parks and Recreation Department will continue to have discussions with the cycling community and other City of Boston entities to find safe street routes for those traveling on bikes in the vicinity of Boston Common, the Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall.
- Cycling is allowed in City of Boston parks only on those paths designated for bike riding.