Recently in Senator Brownsberger’s office, the issue of bike safety has been raised. We thought it may be a good idea to compile resources for cyclists in the district. There are 3 categories of items: Bike Laws, what to do if you are in an accident, and maps and routes around the Greater Boston Area.
Bike Law in Massachusetts
MassBike has a succinct summary of laws and rights as a cyclist, which can be found here: http://massbike.org/resourcesnew/bike-law/
If You Are in An Accident
MassBike offers a step by step guide for what to do if you are involved in an accident, which can be found here: http://massbike.org/resourcesnew/what-to-do-if-you-crash/
A map of Greater Boston Bikways can be found here: http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/articles/2012/07/08/connecting_dots_for_cyclists/
Another great set of maps can be located here: http://www.cityofboston.gov/Images_Documents/bike%20map_tcm3-14074.pdf
Intern, Office of State Senator William N. Brownsberger
I have a question regarding bicycle laws. A friend of mine was walking her bike on the sidewalk on Mass. Ave. in Central Square, Cambridge, and was told by a police officer that it was illegal. He told her to walk her bike in the street. She didn’t feel that it was safe to ride there, so walking in the street was probably also unsafe. I thought it was always legal to walk one’s bike on the sidewalk. Is that correct?
I have talked to Cara Siederman, the bicycle coordinator in Cambridge Community Development. While it is true that there are certain districts in Cambridge where you may not ride your bicycle on the sidewalk (Central Square business district being one of them) there is certainly no law or regulation saying you cannot walk your bicycle on any sidewalk. They certainly don’t want people walking bicycles in the street. In fact, the map and guide they give out says if you use the sidewalk, you must walk the bike. She said that there had been some misinterpreting of bike law and regs by some officers and she is working on training and clarification.
Barbara Miranda, Chief of Staff to Senator Brownsberger
In Chapter 85, section 11B of the Massachusetts general laws it states “bicycles may be ridden on sidewalks outside business districts when necessary in the interest of safety, unless otherwise directed by local ordinance. A person operating a bicycle on the sidewalk shall yield the right of way to pedestrians and give an audible signal before overtaking and passing any pedestrian.” Hope this helps!
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