Quantcast

Make Boston Bicycle Free?

  • Enter the Ridemonkey Secret Santa 2021!

    Come exchange gifts with other monkeys! From beer, to light-up bike nuts, to custom machined holiday decorations by our more talented members, there's something for everyone. To participate, make sure you submit the form by November 26th.
    Click here for details and to learn how to participate.
http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2011/07/15/make_boston_bicycle_free/

Make Boston bicycle-free
By Brian McGrory
Globe Columnist / July 15, 2011


As Mayor Tom Menino prepares to roll out an ambitious bicycle-sharing program on the streets of our great city this month, offering hundreds of bikes for short-term rental all across town, I might urge him to go in a slightly different direction.


He ought to ban all bicyclists from Boston instead.

Ban them as in, here’s the city line, Lance, there’s a bike rack. Lock it up, and flag yourself a nice air-conditioned cab. Maybe you won’t be sweating so much when you walk into work.

Oh, I know, bikes are the future. Bikes are clean. Bikes are quiet.

I couldn’t agree more, which is why this is not an indictment of the bicycle, an efficient, affordable instrument of transportation. But to paraphrase the National Rifle Association, bikes are not the problem, it’s the people on them.

And those people are the scourge of the city. I don’t mean anything negative by that. It’s just plain fact, painfully clear to anyone and everyone who has ever exercised their government-sanctioned right to sit behind the wheel of a combustion-powered vehicle and drive on roads that were built for, yes, cars.

In a crowded city like Boston, with narrow streets, daring pedestrians, and delivery trucks double-parked nearly everywhere, this task can already be perilous enough. Throw in a bunch of cavalier cyclists who believe with every cell of their beings that they own the road, and it’s near impossible to get around.

Here’s the biggest problem with urban bicyclists: Their personalities. They exude a sense of superiority as they sip vitamin water amid an afternoon breeze while I, just for argument’s sake, may be tucking into a Filet-O-Fish in the sealed confines of my car, quickly abandoning hope of finding parking near my gym.

That superiority leads them to blast through red lights and stop signs with no hesitation, swerve into traffic with the entitled expectation that everyone else will screech to a halt, glide the wrong way down streets, across sidewalks, through pedestrian malls, constantly yelling, “Watch it, dude!’’

They are a self-celebratory lot, these cyclists, parading around in Lycra even though most of them inexplicably have shapes that beg for L.L. Bean, proselytizing through ham-handed bike commuter days, gathering at their little festivals to talk about how they’re saving the world. Shame on us for buying into their act.

And these are the good cyclists, the ones who actually own their own bikes. We’re about to get hundreds upon hundreds of amateurs pedaling all over our city who have no idea what they’re doing. Orthopedists will be flocking here like it’s the Gold Rush of 1849.

I caught a glimmer of hope this week when Boston Police announced plans for a crackdown on reckless cyclists in preparation for the bike-sharing program. Finally, sanity. Cart the offenders away in the backseats of squad cars, just for the irony. I called yesterday to see how it was going. Over the first two days, police handed out no - that’s zero - citations, and 40 warnings. It gets better. They gave out more than 100 free helmets to offenders. Oh, and everyone got a local bike shop 20-percent-off coupon.

That’s some crackdown, folks.

Let me stress, these cyclists are more than welcome in the suburbs, riding in flocks along uncluttered roads. I figured they were perfect in Cambridge, until I learned that there’s a bit of a rebellion going on in the kumbaya capital of the world. Police have begun cracking down on sidewalk riders, and a courageous councilor named Henrietta Davis publicly admonished reckless cyclists in December.

We can’t let Cambridge, of all places, beat us to the punch. Our mayor likes being on the vanguard these days, and this is our big chance: Boston, America’s Bicycle Free City.

Brian McGrory is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at mcgrory@globe.com.
 

stevew

unique white person
Sep 21, 2001
36,383
6,260
i was surprised at the number of people riding around in philly and not smeared across the pavement.
 

C.P.

Monkey
Jan 18, 2004
547
8
SouthEastern Massachusetts
*shrugs* It seems as though this Brian Macgrory hasn't been paying very much attention lately. I mean with the growth of cycling in Boston in recent years, to include "Boston Bikes", infrastructure improvements like bicycle friendly lanes and bike-racks being installed all over the city, a cycling mayor, and many more trips in town being made on bicycles, heck there is now even a cycling tour company that's set up shop on the waterfront, that this editor is a LOT out of touch. OK, move on, nothing to see here but a summertime globe editorial to get more attention on the globe...
 

jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
72,133
14,242
media blackout
*shrugs* It seems as though this Brian Macgrory hasn't been paying very much attention lately. I mean with the growth of cycling in Boston in recent years, to include "Boston Bikes", infrastructure improvements like bicycle friendly lanes and bike-racks being installed all over the city, a cycling mayor, and many more trips in town being made on bicycles, heck there is now even a cycling tour company that's set up shop on the waterfront, that this editor is a LOT out of touch. OK, move on, nothing to see here but a summertime globe editorial to get more attention on the globe...
WRONG!!!!

 

blackohio

Generous jaywalker
Mar 12, 2009
2,775
120
Hellafornia. Formerly stumptown.
"Here's an idea for you, why not let his next article be about why fags suck or even better how black people are ashy.

Brians article is a celebration of stereotypes and generalizations. Maybe we should ban idiot dickheads from writing articles that encourage excess. Lets not forgot how awesome Boston drivers are by placing piles of trash in the street to hold their spots and even beating eachother up. Yeah, those are the people we should be catering to.

What a load of crap this guy wrote. Why do cyclists often times ride defensively (lets all agree Critical Mass is full-on retard) because drivers blatantly do stupid things. Earlier this week I was hit by a driver because she of all things decided that I wasnt allowed to pass between the ample room from her passenger door to the row of parked cars. Excuse us if we take our own lives into our hands as time in, time out drivers have proven

As a taxpayer, and license holder I have as much right as anyone else to be on designated roadways. Im going to go out on a limb here, but I bet Brian's 30 lbs overweight and sits in his car at the local fast food drive-through sneering as all the healthy, active cyclists pass by as he stuff's factory food down his facehole.

**** that dude."

sent off.
 

stoney

Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde
Jul 26, 2006
18,072
3,346
Colorado
"Here's an idea for you, why not let his next article be about why fags suck or even better how black people are ashy.

Brians article is a celebration of stereotypes and generalizations. Maybe we should ban idiot dickheads from writing articles that encourage excess. Lets not forgot how awesome Boston drivers are by placing piles of trash in the street to hold their spots and even beating eachother up. Yeah, those are the people we should be catering to.

What a load of crap this guy wrote. Why do cyclists often times ride defensively (lets all agree Critical Mass is full-on retard) because drivers blatantly do stupid things. Earlier this week I was hit by a driver because she of all things decided that I wasnt allowed to pass between the ample room from her passenger door to the row of parked cars. Excuse us if we take our own lives into our hands as time in, time out drivers have proven

As a taxpayer, and license holder I have as much right as anyone else to be on designated roadways. Im going to go out on a limb here, but I bet Brian's 30 lbs overweight and sits in his car at the local fast food drive-through sneering as all the healthy, active cyclists pass by as he stuff's factory food down his facehole.

**** that dude."

sent off.
I went the other way. shameful, disappointing, I would have thought the Globe was better than this. And straight to the senior editor.
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
17,373
0
SF
BTW, weren't the streets around Boston originally designed for horses? Maybe we should get rid internal combustion vehicles.