Jul 30, 2014

Somerville Bicyclists' Wish List: Cycle Tracks, More Programs

An annual meeting in November with city officials will give the Somerville Bicycle Committee a chance to put forward new and old proposals.

Somerville Bicyclists' Wish List: Cycle Tracks, More Programs

When the Somerville Bicycle Committee meets in November with city officials, members plan to push for cycle tracks, a plan for bicycle programs and a , according to conversations at the committee's  Sept. 20 meeting.

In the past, the committee has proposed that the city install cycle tracks along Beacon Street. Cycle tracks, popular in many European cities, would create a physical barrier between moving vehicles and bike lanes. Such a barrier could be a curb or even a row of parked cars. 

As for the creation of a plan for bicycle programs, committee member Alan Moore said he had discovered a draft that he and other members began writing in 2009 and would present it at the November meeting.

Meanwhile, Alex Epstein, who presides over the committee, said he had already spoken to members of the National Complete Streets Coalition and had found examples of policies he thought might work in Somerville.

Members of the committee suggested at their August meeting that Somerville adopt a local policy that would guide the design of the city’s roads so that they’re accessible to bicyclists, pedestrians, drivers and MBTA passengers.

Other notes from the September meeting

  • The committee plans to present to the mayor’s office a list of the ways the city could make the area around the McGrath Highway safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. Their suggestions would include installing more crosswalks and bikes lanes there.
  • The city plans to sign a contract this month to arrange for the installation in the spring of the Hubway bicycle share program, which is already up and running in Boston.
  • Somerville’s director of transportation and parking, , said the Department of Public Works would probably paint sharrows, instead of bicycle lanes, through Union Square and along Washington Street to tie together the markings in the area. 
  • The city has not decided how many miles of bicycle lanes it will paint in 2012, said a representative from the mayor’s office. For 2011, it committed to 11 miles and is close to meeting that goal.  

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