Boston Globe Peddles New City Bike Lanes

The local dailies take it to the street today in their coverage of a proposed new “cycle track” on Commonwealth Avenue in Brighton.

That’s excellent news according to this Boston Globe Metro piece.

Plans for bike lanes cheer cyclists

City to install protected paths along Commonwealth Avenue

The city of Boston will install protected bike lanes on a stretch of Commonwealth Avenue, a victory for biking advocates who have pushed for the city to make it safer to cycle down the bustling thoroughfare.bike2

City officials announced on Tuesday their plans to replace existing bike lanes with protected bike lanes — known as cycle tracks — from the Boston University Bridge to Packard’s Corner. The lanes will be about two-thirds of a mile and use parked cars as a barrier between cyclists and vehicle traffic, a move meant to cut down on accidents that have become common along the heavily used road.

The decision to install the protected bike lanes represents a turnaround for the administration of Mayor Martin J. Walsh, and could pave the way for more protected bike lanes in the city.

 

The stately local broadsheet also provides this handy graphic for the $17 million project:

 

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 12.36.40 PM

 

Surprisingly, Nicole Dungca’s piece has nary a discouraging word about the impact of the new streetscape on drivers or local merchants.

But wait . . .

Crosstown at the footy local tabloid (where the only legitimate modes of transportation are driving and walking), the street reconfiguration is seen as a naked lane grab, not to mention a parking disaster. From the Boston Herald piece by Richard Weir and Marie Szaniszlo:

Bike lane plan draws ire

‘Outrageous’ loss of parking $$

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At-large City Councilor Michael Flaherty, irate over what he called an “outrageous” plan to eliminate 73 parking spaces, plus an outbound traffic lane, to make way for a special “cycle track” for bike riders on a stretch of Commonwealth Avenue in Brighton, said he plans to grill the city transportation officials who proposed it.

“At a time when we just overspent tens of millions on snow removal and the administration is talking about the need to close five schools, someone comes up with the idea to remove 73 parking meters from the streets of Boston, meters that could generate up to $341,000 a year,” said Flaherty, who intends to call a public hearing. “I want to know who did that cost-benefit analysis and what other streets in Boston are they looking at?”

 

According to Herald columnist Howie Carrtoon, all of them: “They’re going to advance west, in search of new territory to annex, first in the direction of Harvard Street and on up Brighton Ave. It’ll be great for all those little barrooms and bodegas, once nobody can park within three blocks of them.” Yeah, Howie’s always looking after the little guys so they have enough dough to buy his cut ‘n’ paste books.

(Not to get technical about it but the Globe piece reports that “officials will begin construction in the spring on 4 miles of protected bike lanes in the heart of downtown.”)

So, to recap: The Globe piece mentions nothing about lost parking spots and opposition to the plan. The Herald piece mentions little else.

(To be fair graf goes here.)

To be fair, the Herald piece says that at a public meeting last night 
”attended by a largely pro-bike crowd of more than 200, speakers were overwhelmingly in favor of the proposed tracks.”

But that doesn’t mean the Boston Globe’s reporting should be.

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