Boston selected for National Project to improve bike lanes
March 10, 2014
The PeopleForBikes Green Lane Project has selected Boston as one of six new U.S. cities to join its intensive two-year program to build protected bike lanes. Boston will receive financial, strategic and technical assistance to create protected bike lanes, also known as cycletracks. These low-stress streets help increase vitality in urban centers and are shown to dramatically increase bike ridership, particularly among novices. The six cities, including Boston, were chosen from more than 100 U.S. cities that submitted letters of interest for the program. Other selected cities include Atlanta, GA, Denver, CO, Indianapolis, IN, Pittsburgh, PA and Seattle, WA.
Launched in 2012, the Green Lane Project works with U.S. cities to speed the installation of protected bike lanes around the country. These on-street lanes are separated from traffic by curbs, planters, parked cars or posts to make riding a bike an appealing option for more people.
“It was extremely difficult to narrow down our selection to just six cities; we are seeing an upsurge of interest in accommodating bikes on busy city streets,” said Martha Roskowski, PeopleForBikes Vice President of Local Innovation. “Boston has ambitious goals and a strong vision supported by the elected officials and the community. They are poised to get projects on the ground quickly and will serve as an excellent example for other interested cities.”
“Over the next six years, I want to take Boston from one of the best bicycling cities in the country to one of the best in the world. Investing in protected bike lanes is a critical path to that success,” Boston’s Mayor Martin Walsh said.
Since 2007, Boston went from the worst bicycling city in the country, according to Bicycling Magazine, to one of the best. Boston launched one of the first bike share systems in the country, the New Balance Hubway system, which has since grown to 130 stations and more than 1100 bicycles. Boston has added 82 miles of bike lanes and1500 bike racks and created one of the most successful community bike programs in the country, donating 1,000 bikes to low income residents and training 5,000 youth in 2013.
Under Mayor Walsh’s leadership, Boston will begin investing in protected bike lanes consistent with the recently completed Bike Network Plan, implement a women’s cycling program and expand Hubway into the neighborhoods. “With Connect Historic Boston planning underway, we are on track to see some incredible improvements over the next few years, not just for people on bikes, but for all road users, “said Boston Director of Bicycle Programs, Nicole Freedman.
In the first two years of the program (2012 and 2013), the Green Lane Project worked closely with other major U.S. cities – Austin, TX, Chicago, IL, Memphis, TN, Portland, OR, San Francisco, CA and Washington, DC – to build protected bike lanes. Since then, the number of protected bike lanes on city streets nationwide has nearly doubled from 80 to 142 – with more than half of all growth coming from the Project’s six focus cities. The founding cities will continue as mentors to the new class while continuing to build their bicycling networks with the momentum driven by the Project.
Boston leaders will join the Green Lane Project at an official kickoff event in Indianapolis in late April.
About Boston Bikes: Boston Bikes is part of Mayor Walsh’s vision for a vibrant and healthy city that benefits all its citizens. It seeks to make Boston a world-class bicycling city by creating safe and inviting conditions for all residents and visitors. Boston Bikes focuses on improvements in all six universal bike planning areas: Equity, Engineering, Enforcement, Education, Encouragement and Evaluation. For more information visit: www.cityofboston.gov/bikes.
About the Green Lane Project
The Green Lane Project is a program of the nonprofit PeopleForBikes, a movement to unite millions of people to improve bicycling in America. The Project helps cities build better bike lanes to create low-stress streets. It is focused on protected bike lanes, which are on-street lanes separated from traffic by curbs, planters, parked cars or posts.