Results of Poll on Bike Safety

This post summarizes the results of a poll conducted online by two methods at the same time from July 6 at 3PM to July 9 at 5AM. The goal of the poll was to get a very rough sense of attitudes towards cyclist safety measures, some of which may be perceived to disadvantage motorists.

Poll Methods

The first polling method was through a mailing to my email list. The poll was sent to approximately 3466 email addresses. It was resent on July 8 at 5AM to those who had not yet responded. The total number of online forms completed between the two waves was 1203. This closely matches the number of unique people who clicked the emails before the poll closed — 1208. Among the people who clicked, 86% were people with known street addresses and of those, 89% were in the Second Suffolk and Middlesex District (Back Bay, Fenway, Allston, Brighton, Watertown, Belmont).

The second polling method was by a facebook poll. The poll was posted on my page. Facebook advertising showed it to 4126 facebook users an average of 2.04 times. Additionally, it reached 1718 users organically. The advertising was targeted to residents of Second Suffolk and Middlesex District (zips in Boston plus Watertown and Belmont). General location of respondents can be inferred to some extent by their internet address, but this is not reliable for mobile. 74% of the respondents were on mobile phones. An analysis of the IP addresses suggests that 125 were in district, either land lines or cell phones identifying as in district (treating all of Boston as in district); 62 were elsewhere in MA, but may have been in-district mobile users; 56 were identifiably mobile users; 31 showed as out-of-state, but could be mobile in-state. The total number of respondents was 279, so 206 were mobile. It seems fair to guess that half to 3/4 of the respondents were in-district, but this is not certain. The data does show that the poll was not shared heavily, so it does not appear it was heavily skewed by a campaign for responses.

At 5AM on Sunday a “neither” option was added to the last question on both polls.

Poll Results

Before or after poll change
First wave -- no 'neither' option re penalties113176%
Second wave -- 'neither' option re penalties35024%
How do you most frequently commute to work?
Walk or run856%
I do not commute to work32922%
How do you feel about road improvements for bike safety -- bike lanes, bike parking, bike priority at intersections?
I mostly like them. We need more protection for cyclists.109574%
Not sure1369%
I mostly don't like them. We are losing too much road space for cars.25017%
How do you feel about bike safety legislation?
Motorists should be subject to more penalties for endangering cyclists.43229%
Cyclists should be subject to more penalties for endangering others.25917%
Neither -- more penalties won't help (offered only second wave)574%
Not sure16011%
How do you feel about road improvements for bike safety -- bike lanes, bike parking, bike priority at intersections?
I mostly like them. We need more protection for cyclists.30761%
Not sure5511%
I mostly don't like them. We are losing too much road space for cars.13828%
How do you feel about bike safety legislation?
Motorists should be subject to more penalties for endangering cyclists.9619%
Cyclists should be subject to more penalties for endangering others.13527%
Neither -- more penalties won't help (offered only second wave)235%
Not sure4810%
How do you feel about bike safety legislation?
Motorists should be subject to more penalties for endangering cyclists.6819%
Cyclists should be subject to more penalties for endangering others.7120%
Neither -- more penalties won't help (offered only second wave)5716%
Not sure3510%


Overall, the poll should remind cyclists and cycling advocates that there is a lot of resentment among drivers and pedestrians for lawless behavior by cyclists. Including the “both” response, over half of respondents felt that cyclists should be subject to more penalties for road misbehavior.  I am a visible cyclist.   Many of the people who follow my email list and facebook page are environmentally oriented. In general, respondents to a poll issued by me through the methods above should be expected to be more sympathetic to cyclists than a truly representative sample of all voters.

Cyclists and planners should take some comfort from the relatively strong support, even among motorists, for bike lanes and other engineering safety measures.

A wealth of comments were supplied on the facebook poll — compiled below — and on this related post.

Free form comments from facebook poll

- Better enforcement against motorist that temporarily block biking lanes for loading or dropoffs.
- Bicycle signals along with pedestrian walk signals in advance of allowing cars thru intersections.
- Accommodations for bikes that need to make left turns at busy or multiple lane streets.
- Cleaner biking lanes
- More continuous biking lanes especially along busy and high volune stretches of road. Often cyclists especially less experienced cyclists end up on busy sidewalks because they’re uncomfortable on busy stretches of streets without dedicated bike lanes
- More frequent repainting of bike lanes
- More street signs and phamphlet distribution informing when bikes can use full lane and required passing distance from a cyclists
- Stop light signals that detect bikes
A lot of progress on this will come from shifts in attitudes towards cyclists. We need to be seen as legitimate modes of transportation. Laws can do that by both protecting cyclists and punishing us for the same crimes that drivers would be punished for. Hopefully, as cycling becomes safer and more respected by the public, more people will transition to cycling, which will improve community health, our effect on the environment, and road congestion.
Actually prosecute motorists who are at fault for car-bike accidents. Also implement the "Dutch Reach" style of opening doors in driver's education; make it mandatory and an automatic failure of a driving test if it is not done properly.
Although I almost always bike to work I would say that it doesn't even take a bike lane, just basic road improvement. Mount auburn is such a disaster at the edge of the outermost lane that it makes cycling dangerous. Fix the road and it will be a big win. Other roads are in a similar state where they are basically unrideable.
Appreciate more bike lanes
Encourage drivers to open their doors w/ their right hand - so the driver can look behind them to see if there’s a cyclist. Sometimes
called the Dutch Door Opening. Reduce accidents and make motorists aware of cyclists
Are cyclists subject to any penalties for endangering others? I’ve never witnessed it.
Are penalties the answer? Perhaps a focus on awareness, like PSA's.
As a 50/50 bike/MBTA commuter from Watertown square to Harvard: Mt Auburn St is a very dangerous section of road for cyclists. It’s in very poor repair and the location of the bus tracks makes it such that the 71 often passes you way closer than is safe. (I am not mentioning the cars because their behavior is a lost cause) Repairing the road surface and/or a dedicated bike lane like they have in parts of Belmont St would go a long way to help. Thanks for taking an interest in bike safety!
As a frequent cycle commuter, 90% of my 'near misses' are Lyft and Uber drivers pulling over suddenly into the bike lane to drop off passengers, or passengers suddenly opening passenger-side doors to get out (being doored on the other side!). Maybe we can work with Lyft/Uber to help alleviate this? (I'm all for non-legislative fixes if possible.) Work crews and delivery drivers also frequently block bike lanes. They're only useful if they are clear! Thanks for your attention to this.
Bad motorists and bad cyclists make it hard for the majority who are good motorists/cyclists. Need to look at bad behavior by both.
Bicycle projects are cramping the roads. The amount of people that switch to bikes because of new lanes are negligible. Spend the money on bus improvements
Bicycles using public streets should be registered and insured. Juat as mostorists pay designated taxes to maintain the roads, so to bicyclists should be taxed to pay for the bike lanes that are screwing up traffic on roads meant for cars.
Bicyclists are obviously far more vulnerable than motorists and ideally measure should be taken to protect their well-being from serious injury in what otherwise between cars would be a fender-bender. Having said that I have seen no shortage of poor behavior (mostly thoughtless) on the part of of both motorists and bicyclists
Bicyclists often ignore traffic rules and disrupt the flow of traffic on already congested roads. They dont always use an available bike path and often ride on sidewalks endangering pedestrians. I feel they should be licensed and subject to penalties for breaking the rules of the road. Right now there is no way to predict what a bicyclist will do and that endangers everyone. I will say that in cambridge i have seen bicycle traffic lights on Western ave that seem to be helping.
Bicyclists should always warn pedestrians when coming up from behind and passing them, but the overwhelming majority of riders don’t. It’s very rude and quite dangerous to both bicyclists and pedestrians.
Bicyicles should not share the road with cars. Our infrastructure, economy and interconnevity cannot sustain a road share on major throughways. MT. Auburn st will be a disaster if narrowed and as a reside t on that street I am adamantly against the road dier.
Bike lanes are great but the perpetual construction of the area also means in some spots they’re useless.
Bike lanes that are between parked cars and the sidewalk seem like a good idea. However, in practice, I find that there are frequent near-miss collisions with pedestrians who step off the curb without looking up from their phones. There needs to be some better indication that this kind of bike lane is not a sidewalk. Maybe a short barrier, or better education or penalties for jaywalking. Sometimes it is someone walking to their parked car, but it is mostly jaywalkers.
Bike safety is s very important issue to me. I would especially like to be able to bike safely w
It’s my 8 year old and 10 year old.
Bike safety starts with the cyclist. I’m infuriated when cyclists switch between road and sidewalk opportunistically and commit flagrant moving violations. I’ve also seen some near misses on the Fitchburg cutoff trail between cyclicists, each other, and pedestrians for lack of lights.
Bikes don’t follow the rules and most of the time are not using the lanes created for them. They run red lights dart in front of cars almost run pedestrians over, etc. Bikes are also not used during snow in the winter so the lanes go completely unused. I used to take the express bus to work but now drive because I could not stand the hour or more to turn three or four corners to get out of downtown Boston just to get on the MassPike. Then once on the Pike it takes hours in stop and go traffic. God forbid you need to use the restroom after the hour or two of sitting in traffic - you are trapped. The traffic is much worse now than it was three years ago. The busses were filthy and sweltering most times in winter and summer.
Bikes should be held to the same rules as cars, including traffic fines for running stop signs and red lights.
Bikes suck

I used to bike

They suck
Burden of safety should be placed on the individual with the most danger of harm. A cyclist breaking a law is not equal to a car driver breaking a law (and same for peds). Laws should be made with public safety as a goal, and roads designed and constructed for safety (not level of service throughput).
Commuting through Brighton to downtown, non-protected bike lanes are completely ineffective due to double parking by delivery/ Lyft & Uber drivers who act with impunity. This adds a huge amount of danger and stress unnecessarily to my commute. There needs to be more protected bike lanes on major thoroughfares (such as Washington Street) otherwise bike lanes are useless.
Could you please keep pushing to get the bike path from Watertown at Arlington St. to Frsh Pond built?
Cyclists have every right to be on the road. Drivers need to understand that they are a member of society and a member of some family who needs equal protection as motorists.
Cyclists have to be held to account for road safety in the same way car drivers are. Sidewalk riding, wrong-way streets, failure to obey stops and traffic lights all contribute to the chaos that leads to accidents.
Cyclists need protected bikeways. Uber in particular is a menace to cyclists.
Cyclists need to follow rules of road. Their disregard for red lights is very dangerous. They seem to have no sense of danger for their own safety st times.
Cyclists rarely kill people. Motorists regularly kill cyclists and pedestrians. As long as the motorist remembers to say, "Oops! I didn't see them" or "the cyclist/pedestrian was travelling recklessly", it's perfectly legal till kill a human on a bicycle or on foot. This is wrong and it needs to change.
Cyclists rarely stop for red lights and stop signs, and ride all over the place as it's convenient for them, at least around Belmont
Cyclists run red lights all the time and endanger pedestrians when they do, I have almost been hit by cyclists several times. They also selectively choose when to ride on road vs. sidewalk and that is dangerous.
Cyclists should obey the laws of the road just like motorists. Especially in the city , urban areas.
Most cyclists I observe do not stop for red lights and at pedestrian crossings. It apprears they feel they do not have to follow the laws.
Cyclists should obey the rules of the road. They can be as much of a danger to themselves as motorists. Cyclists are not pedestrians and should not use crosswalks while riding.
Cyclists should register their bikes. They should be fined for not following the rules of the road. Cylclists in Boston often cause accidents by not abiding by proper lane usage and not following the traffic signals.
Dedicated protected bike lanes are crucial to foster bike safety, generate compliance with bike laws and to encourage more commuting
Dooring kills. Educate and prosecute.
Drivers ed and driving tests should be revised to teach people best ways to manage cyclists. It’s not always obvious how to make right turns, and there should be special signs to alert drivers to blind spots for bikes in some places. Also bikers should be told that in certain places, the sun shines in motorists eyes so it’s hard to see bikes.
Enforce existing road user laws on scofflaw cyclists.
For bicyclists, I favor buffered cycle tracks and bikepaths. As a pedestrian, I have been very disheartened by how frequently bicyclists ignore traffic signals, weave dangerously through traffic and otherwise endanger themselves, pedestrians, and those in cars. I have asked police about the lack of enforcement of traffic safety with bicyclists and been told it would be very helpful if bicyclists were required to register/license their bikes. I would be open to that and other legislative remedies that will improve safety for all. I also feel that bicyclist organizations should make a high-profile effort to educate their members on safe practices and their importance.
Having dedicated lanes for cyclist are a good thing. But the roads are meant for vehicles and paid for by excise taxes, they should not be treated as second class including he use and operation of those vehicles
How it should go down is in order for someone to ride a bicycle on the same streets with automotive vehicles, in order for that cyclists to do so not only complying with traffic road laws etc., the individual has to pass a yearly physical strength and conditioning test in order to show and prove that they are capable of riding on the same roads with automotive vehicles.
Huge proponent of super blocks and multimodal transport reno. I thought the Boston25mph restriction was a lazy way to avoid more physical barriers while generating revenue (see also: Boston ticket increases). We're missing the main point. This city was not built for cars! More dedicated bus lanes. More 2-way bike lanes like on Atlantic. More protected bike lanes like on Western. But all of this will be kind of useless if we don't remove some parking and create Ride Share zones and more loading zones. I'd personally love musician/food truck loading zones at music venues like in Austin TX too. Get cars out of bike lanes!
I absolutely think that wearing helmets should be a requirement for bikers, as well as a ban on headphones while biking.
Currently biking is allowed on sidewalks in non-business areas, yet business areas are where safe street biking conditions suddenly disappear.
I am an avid cyclist, but there is a fundamental error of judgement in trying to organize society in a way where cyclists share space with cars and trucks that out weigh and out perform them by many orders of magnitude. The effort is flawed from the outset.
I am more concerned about pedestrians (mostly younger) who cross during green lights while talking on their cell with earbuds or walk behind a moving car while parking. Pedestrians no longer look both ways or at lights before crossing (older generation is the exception). We use to have cops who had beats who knew their neighborhood, now it's all about a military police. Slap a fine on these pedestrians for awhile and they will learn as we did when we jaywalked.
I am totally fed up with cyclists!!! Most don't obey any traffic rules and I pay too much money to be on the road while they pay nothing and create chaos!
I appreciate the efforts made in the area to increase motorist awareness of a cyclists's right to the road, especially lane markings showing that bikes have a right to space in driving lanes. On the other hand, I wish cyclists were more aware of the need for lights at night, and respect for all traffic signals. It's a delicate balance, but in the long run the priority should be on protecting cyclists, who are the most fragile things on the road.
I approve of improvements that protect bicyclists but as a pedestrian, I am more concerned that bicyclists are endangering pedestrians by ignoring rules of the road: riding on sidewalks and ignoring signals.
I attempted several times to cycle to work from Belmont (Precinct 7) to Harvard Square. I never found a route that was not nerve-wracking for me as a cyclist.
I bicycle to work 1-2 days a week in Boston proper. Roads with bike lanes are great, but some of these roads are so poorly maintained that I'd rather bike on a freshly paved road without the bike lane.

In general I feel like my safety and enjoyment while biking are tied to the nature of commuting. My biggest fear is not seeing a hazard or a distracted drivers. But that's the same for car drivers. Annoyances include my land lord and employer not providing enough bike parking. But neither provide enough car parking either, so it's the same there too.
I bike about 4,000 miles a year. Motorists would hit me every time I ride if I weren’t expecting them to be careless and sometimes obnoxious. My husband got hit commuting to work, and he is highly experienced cyclist, and he was wearing fluorescent gear and in the bike lane. We need police monitoring crosswalks and bike trails, at least some of the time, or perhaps cameras in heavily trafficked areas. Please push for change!
I commute with my bike to/from Alewife. The station's bike racks have reached their usage capacity and it is urgent for MBTA to add new racks. In my opinion, the way to deal with bicyclists' safety is enforcing lower car speeds. 25-30 mph seems to help safety all around.
I do favor regulations for cyclists, e.g. about nighttime visibility (lights &/or reflective gear) and respecting traffic laws. As a daily cyclist, my experience is that the better the bike infrastructure on a road, the easier it is to follow traffic laws.
I do not believe cyclist should be made prioritary at intersections and I believe the law of the road should be enforced much more strongly upon cyclists (I am a daily bicycle commuter, 4 season long). I am sure there is an immense lack of knowledge of these rules on both the cyclists and the motorists sides and the driving license should be a much more serious endeavor than it is. No amount of legislation will bring any improvements without knowing about it, enforcing it and respect between users. I think all the are lacking!
I don't bike commute to work (too far), but I do commute all over the area for everything else. More traffic law enforcement, especially for cars, will help improve road safety for cyclists. Thanks for this work.
I hate bike lanes on main roads. I do not let my kids ride in them. They are not safe. There should be more bike paths for bike use only. Cars should be the focus for main roads. It is dangerous when we try to have one road accommodate many types of transportation. There are so many cars that use the road and we are reducing lanes which is crazy. Most cyclists do not commute by bike year round. We are making permanent changes for cyclists to use the roads part of the year. Nonsense. With so many drivers distracted while driving I hate that bikes and cars are so close together. In an ideal world it would work but all it takes is one bad driver or one bad cyclist and there is a major accident. More legislation is great but it does not bring back a loved one. I have had family members killed because of distracted drivers, no way I will have my family riding bikes right next to cars.
I have been cycling to work for the past 12 years, and cars have become less attentive to cyclists as they focus more on their cell phones or other GPS devices. I see drivers texting or looking at phones constantly, never enforced.
I like the Dutch system that holds the driver of the car or truck always responsible for accidents with bikes. They also have to reconstruct the accident scene and come up with a solution how to make the intersection better to avoid future accidents. Bicyclists, pedestrians and public transportation need to get absolute priority over cars in traffic planning to overcome decades of car only focus.
I like to see the improvements in bike lanes/lights, Comm Ave through BU has taken
over a year to complete- currently it’s unsafe for everyone!! I think more/bigger signage for motorists is important so they understand when cyclists/peds actually have the right of way
I often commute by bike (Belmont to Boston or Cambridge) and would greatly appreciate any safety improvements for bikers. Cambridge has gotten much safer but still has a way to go, Boston is still pretty scary. Even though cyclists are not always perfect, if there is a collision with a car or truck, the consequences are far more serious for the cyclist. Sometimes people jump the light a little just to stay safe.
I ride my bike to the T.
I ride, drive and walk. Brighton and Allston need safer pedestrian, jogger and bicyclists access to the river paths.
I see more and more cyclists everyday that break the law and coast right through traffic lights, intersections, and stop signs. They need to be reigned in not given free reign.
I sometimes bike with kids on the back but only where there is enough space and protection from traffic. Thanks for seeking bike-friendly solutions!
I think education goes a long way...if drivers realized how dangerous it is to do seemingly benign things like making a turn without a signal, maybe they would change their behavior? But I’ve also seen lots of cyclists flout the rules (running red lights) and be discourteous (passing without saying “on your left”) and I think that contributes to a bad reputation for cyclists too. It would be great to foster a community of civility and mutual respect on the road.
I think more tracking and display of bike use like in Kendall would make the size of the biking population more visible and help people understand how bikes actually reduce congestion. I think showing how bikers are major economic contributors is important to counter the perennial yet false concept that car use indicates wealthy social contributors.
I think most drivers are careful. More laws won't change the behavior of the jerks.
I think this is a pretty complicated issue as you surely know. I bike as my commute every day and am unsure to the right answer. In Watertown I worry a bit about what will happen on Mt Auburn and haven't fully digested the new plans. It feels like every main road in that goes to Watertown Square is kind of a mess. So many traffic lights on every road.

As for bike safety legislation. It really feel like no one is following the same rules of the road. Bikes/Cars/Pedestrians, not to mention that everyone is on their phone (less so for bikes) There feels like overall there really isn't any penalties for anyone so folks do whatever they want. Run stop signs/light. When they do stop they stop on the crosswalk. It's kind of amazing more people are not hurt every single day.
I understand we need to share the road and that is fine. However cyclists need to follow the rules of the road. Wear reflective clothing when it is dark out and use common sense.
I wish there were more protected bike lanes. I would consider commuting by bike from Brighton to downtown but feel scared to do so.
I won't feel safe as a cyclist until there are protected & separated bike lanes.
I would like to see more safety measures in place that do not depend on the actions of cyclists, pedestrians, or drivers. For example, designated bike trails or lanes that minimize or eliminate shared road space and separate lights for cyclists.
I'm all for bike safety as long as the bicyclist obey the law and have a licence plate to report them.
I'm all for protected bike lanes balanced with good traffic flow. Buffered unprotected bike lanes are not a gain for the general population(IIMO). Need to look at the big picture which involves both bikes (safe) and cars/bus and rail.
I'm concerned about the new Lime bikes in Watertown. 'Just saw one today by the bus stop at the Watertown Mall, half-blocking the sidewalk. 'Looks like the rider just finished with it and abandoned it there. I'm thinking about folks from Perkins School possibly walking along there and injuring themselves by colliding smack into that bike . Even folks without vision problems shouldn't have to make their way around an abandoned bicycle - it's a safety hazard. Is it the town's policy that Lime riders can just leave the bikes cluttering up anyplace??
I'm in favor of increasing cycling, but Boston roads are horrible for them. I've seen motorists drive carelessly and aggressively, but I've also seen cyclists behave in arrogant and careless ways on the road. I've noticed a significant number of cyclists not wearing helmets, which is troubling. My biggest pet peeve is cyclists hogging the road, which happens more frequently than I wish. There aren't easy answers, but I'm glad the discussion is happening.
I’m not sure that anyone should be subject to more penalties but I do feel that commuting cyclists on major roadways (not recreational) should have plates or some other easily seen and registered identification because some have engaged in dangerous or offensive actions on the roads and should be held accountable.
I’ve been driving for 41 yrs and I’m a little upset that the people on the bikes do not care if a car is parked and you open your door they are going so fast you don’t see them. That are moving and your not, what are we to do?
If a bike goes through a red light give the rider a ticket. If the rider is over 16 report the ticket to the RMV as a moving violation that can impact auto insurance rates.
If cyclists are going to share the road they should be licensed and taxed in a similar manner. The “improvements” planned for Watertown roads are a terrible idea. As someone who commutes into Boston daily for work, the added congestion from in regulated development have already taken a terrible toll, these planned changes will make things even worse.
In Cambridge cyclists are a menace. They don't obey traffic rules and appear out of nowhere between cars crossing intersections against a red light and passing on the right.
In my experience, it is common for bike riders to act like cars when it suits them (e.g. take the lane) and pedestrians when that suits them (e.g. ride through red lights, stop signs). I'm in favor of making biking practical, but as a driver and pedestrian right now I'm sensitive to how they make driving and walking harder.
In the winter I use the bus, in good weather I bike 5 miles to work. Much faster and more efficient to bike. Increasingly distracted drivers and pedestrians, as well as inexperienced cyclists, make the commute slow and dangerous for all. Intersections are the worst and lights should be more carefully planned. Different modes of transport should be separated, ideally by greenery.
Intersections are obviously the most dangerous parts of commuting by bike. Many intersections in Boston do not have biker "stop and go" lights. There is one at the BU intersection for instance, but only in the one direction! We need them at all biking routes.
It always amazes me to watch cars, even driving down Concord Ave, but any street, drive along in a cycle lane as if it were part of the road. I don't think that there are any penalties for doing so, or maybe they just are not enforced, but drivers don't seem to understand that they are supposed to treat that part of the road as a protected area. Or they just can't be bothered...
It is a two way issue. Motorists need to be more aware and considerate and bike lanes need to be better. But cyclists also need to follow their traffic rules, both for their own safety and that of pedestrians.
It is about finding a balance. We should have bike lanes on some roads but not all.
It is critical to increase motorist awareness of cyclists. The road signs noting that "bicycles may use full lane" do absolutely nothing to increase bicyclists' safety, and neither to the stenciled images of bicyclists on the roads. Dedicated well-demarcated bike lanes and bike paths are the only solution.
It's sort of concurrent to bike safety, but many motorists don't, (or very reluctantly) yield at crosswalks, especially if it's on a straightaway. The crosswalk across from the playground & basketball courts on Watertown St and the next one across from Stop & Shop (also on Watertown St) come to mind. (Also, the one at the end of the greenway path at California St, but I think that's technically in Newton.) Dividers, speed tables, or lights could greatly improve safety for pedestrians. The area near the playground especially needs to be addressed, since it is near where a pedestrian was recently run over, and I have personally witnessed a little kid drop a ball into the street while their parents were trying to get them into the car. If his father hadn't grabbed him by the collar of his shirt, I swear he would have been flattened. In that area crosswalk improvements may not be sufficient, and some sort of traffic calming method may need to be used to improve safety. Thank you for listening, I know it doesn't directly relate to bike safety, but I definitely support all infrastructure improvements to traffic safety in our town. There is definitely some low hanging fruit, and even small changes can improve quality of life for everyone.
It’s a very tough issue. As a driver I try to be super conscious of cyclists and do my best to watch out for their safety. However, I have found many cyclists flagrantly disregard the rules of the road endangering themselves and others by being unpredictable. And hitting my car because they didn’t like where I was stopped in my lane doesn’t make me feel too sympathetic toward their issues.
Lower townwide speed limits, restriping roads to 11" lanes with room on the shoulders, if there isn't room for a full bike lane. Door zone buffer areas between parking and bike lane when possible. I am home a few months a year and whenever I get back it is better and better for biking
Make helmets mandatory for all bicycle riders. Produce an advertising campaign about driving safely alongside cyclists. I have lots of ideas about this.
Make it harder for cars to double park in bike lanes!
Maybe some signage where new bicycle developments are, to help people understand the law and maybe hold people (cars and cyclists alike) more accountable for safety? For example, where there are new bicycle traffic lights (comm ave in Boston) it would be helpful if there was a sign telling cyclists to wait for the green. Many just go even if the light is red. I bike to work (from watertown to Boston) on many occasions and love the new safety features for cyclists. But unfortunately I still see a lot of cyclists not pay attention to the lights. This is dangerous for everyone.

Thank you for your efforts and transparent communication! Much appreciated.
More bike lanes cars cannot enter.
More green paint for the bike lanes! Really helps with visibility and helps drivers take notice.
More protected bike Lanes! Actual enforcement of traffic laws! Tax cars until no one drives.
More protected bike lines are desperately needed (like beacon steeet changes in back bay). Also need connection points like from Fens to Esplanade to be completely linked.
More railways turned into bike paths and car protected bikeway. I bike and drive hate cars while biking and hate bikes when in a car. More separation is needed for everyone's safety.
More separated bike lanes
My son (6yrs old) really like to cycle but there are many places, even some bike lanes where it isn’t safe to let him ride on the road. That makes travel more difficult as he either has to ride on one of our bikes or on the sidewalk. Would love more places with protected bike lanes, proper signage, including stop lights for bicycles, that connect to town centers and major paths like the Charles River.
Not happy with the changes being considered for Mt. Auburn Street in lane on either side with bike lanes is ridiculous...this is a main route for heavy traffic heading east towards Cambridge etc...I travel this road weekdays during the school year and it takes at least 3 light changes to get off Spring Street onto Common headed towards Mt. Auburn...not to mention no parking on Mt. Auburn, this is going to hurt the businesses and dump cars into the already crowded neighborhoods....they ar3 loaded with cars that park all day while the drivers hop in the T to get to work....this is so wrong and not well thought out!
One thing that streets safer for everyone -- not just cyclists but everyone, by slowing cars down and making drivers more attentive to non-drivers -- is more people out biking. Any increase in rules and regulations on cyclists (and associated fees, equipment costs, and threats of legal repercussions and entanglements) works against this. We need to update our infrastructure and policies to encourage cycling, and where cycling behaviors need to be encouraged or discouraged this should be through smart design and public education. Thank you for your work on these issues.
Overall enhanced enforcement of moving violations and illegal parking, we have laws that can protect everyone’s safety yet there is continued lack of enforcement.
Part of the problem with bicyclists is they don't pay attention to rules of the road, and follow pedestrian rules or car rules, whichever is more convenient.

Also not helping things is there is so little enforcement of traffic violations besides speeding. Boston's bad driving is a joke and almost a badge of honor.
Please allocate more funding for dedicated cycling infrastructure that is protected. A sliding scale for projects might be a good incentive. Something that give bonus money for other improvements if the infrastructure is protected( via parked cars, bollards or posts, or dedicated pathways). I’d love to see DCR have dedicated directed funding to transform all its roads & parkways to have a multimodal path along side it or along the same corridor.
Please don’t make streets more narrow. It can be more dangerous for everyone. Please don’t take away spaces in front of small businesses! There are so few people riding bikes & we have to accommodate them? How about accommodating the tax payers who live here! Thank you for asking!
Please work on connecting Boston's disjointed bike network.
Bike infrastructure is only bike infrastructure if it is continuous and not different every block. I believe that's why London's cycle superhighways are such a success and why there are so few people booking in Boston.

I believe it would be better to get a full, separated bike lane along the full length of i.e. Mass Ave, without any gaps than to get 3 times more lanes in segments of a few blocks.
Promote awareness. Put bikes in public discourse more often.
Question 3 should have a neither option. Increasing penalties on people for trying to get around is a shitty way of making people safer
Re the last question, I don't give them equal weight--a self-entitled, oblivious motorist is much more of a problem than a self-entitled, oblivious cyclist. Both, however, are problems in need of addressing.
Roads need to be frequently repaired with bicyclists in mind. Potholes and other imperfections in road surfaces, while not a problem for cars, can lead to dangerous falls for bicyclists.
Roads need to be wider to accommodate cyclists. Try biking down Winter Street in Belmont. There is no room for error, as there are no shoulders. To reduce traffic, we need more room for bikes and pedestrians.
Sadly I don’t feel safe riding my bike in Watertown and Belmont. I support fully dedicated bike lanes. I love thw work on the greenway, if only there could be more of that!
Same road same rules !!! 99.9% of cyclists ignore the traffic laws. And while i'm at it, those new Limebikes parked all over public sidewalks are abhorrent, Limebike has parked displays tahat take up 3/4 of the sidewalk and folks are leaving them in the middle of the sidewalk when there done with their ride....Not cool here in Watertown home od Perkins School for the Blind, lots of visionless and visually impaired folks live, work and go to school here
Slightly more or less "capacity" won't matter much - cars will fill all available space, no matter what. (same goes for more lanes in major highways)

How about optimizing some roads as primary bike routes while others optimized primarily as car routes. ("sorry, bikes, this particular road not optimized for you") E.g, if you could find an separate, safe, supported route for bikes near Mt Aub Cem, you might be able to avoid redesigning Mt Aub St to accommodate bikes at all.
Stop messing with the roads for something that is not, nor will ever be, anything more that a seasonal/occasional mode of transportation in a New England city.
Tax them the way you do cars since we're making so many accommodations for them on the roads. honestly, if you're creating bike paths in towns that are dedicated just for bike transit, you don't need to be taking up space on the roads - especially when the state is also encouraging these so-called road diets to discourage car traffic. The transit sisn't isn't good enough to make me go back to it, so I'll keep on driving my car, thanks!
Test and tax like motorists
Thank you
Thank you for working to make bike safety more important. I would ride my bike to work more if it was safer especially on Mt auburn
Thank you for your recent work on this --- but I'm disappointed crosswalk protection for cyclists is out of the current bill!
Thanks for the efforts! Love the path from Alewife into Belmont. I ride to work about once a week, Watertown to Burlington. My wish is that the intersection on Mass Ave and Pleasant could be safer for cyclists.
The 4-5 lane quasi-highway that encircles Boston’s Public Garden is the most dangerous place in the city to be a cyclist.
The bike lane on Comm Ave is an improvement! We need more like it!
The chaos of pedestrians and cyclists is very difficult for drivers to manage. The driver's right side blind spot is very dangerous for cyclists and I have no idea what to do about it. Cyclists should be penalized for endangering themselves.
The last question is ridiculous. Cars can and do kill drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. In 20 years of regular biking, I have never even heard of a bicyclist hurting anyone but themselves.
The main difficulty that I have found with the bike lanes is that, when turning right, cars have to cross over them and even if I check for bikes carefully, there have been times when they suddenly pop up next to me and I narrowly avoid a collision. I am not sure if it is a blind spot issue or if they keep coming from behind (where they were previously not visible) as I am turning but I find that very dangerous.
The more protected bikes lanes the better!
The path along the Cambridge side of the river is in poor condition.
The problem is the DCR. I live in Watertown. I work at WGBH. I could bike, but the DCR roads I'd need to be on are too unsafe. That intersection at North Beacon and the river is a total mess, and barely safe for cars.
There is a lack of enforcement and punishment for violations involving people injured or killed while biking or walking at the hands of people driving.
This survey is hugely biased. And makes no mention of families. I ride often because it is practical given traffic and parking constraints but I do not feel safe with my kids on the road. So I drive. A choice I do not like being forced to make.
We don’t need more laws, laws, laws. But the entire community needs to be targeting for cycling awareness/sated. Eg, the ‘Dutch method’ of opening doors w right hand and ALWAYS looking before opening doors...that goes for kids too. Train em early.

* I am a driver, too, and distressed at losing driveanle space but bikes need space.

Also, no city should do anything wo improving road quality. Bike lanes always “feature” sunken drains/manhole covers, pits/cracks, and other miseries.
We need fines for cyclists who do not obey road rules. I am constantly moving out of the way of cyclists who ride through crowed cross walks, or when driving I am dumbfounded at how many red lights they run. It’s a safety issue for walkers, cyclists, and drivers.
We need more bike lanes! And cyclists should be ticketed for not wearing a helmet!
We need more education for both drivers and cyclists. We also need mandated lights visible from all directions on cyclists riding at night!
We need to lower speeds throughout the urban core. Make it safe for people to bike and they will bike.
We need to stop slapping bike lanes wherever is easiest. What's safest is if we expect where the lanes will be, not crossing in the middle of roadways or suddenly on the left side of car traffic, or suddenly coming to a raised island, as does the Longfellow Bridge bike lane. When I'm not forced to suddenly jump into car traffic, or a pedestrian is suddenly moved into a bike lane, that's when I'm safest.
We should develop more protected bike lanes to increase safety and reduce conflicts between motor vehicles and bicycles.
We’re getting a good network of bike lanes connected throughout Boston and Cambridge, but the bridges over the Charles River are still somewhat ambiguous. I don’t know whose jurisdiction the bridges are in, but it’d be nice to connect the two cities more thoroughly.
Well, it's an uphill battle of course (no pun intended). And it's a multi-pronged approach, educating motorists (through the RMV too?), cyclists, transportation planners and designers, bike manufacturers, bike retailers, kids (in school programs).
While I mostly drive, I often bike. The more bike lanes the better. It's better for cyclists, for pedestrians, for drivers.
While I mostly fall in the cyclist camp, I see a lot of cyclists completely disregarding traffic laws (especially in regards to pedestrians) and that bothers me.
While safety for cyclist is imprortant, cyclist must also obey the rules of the road. There need to be more fines etc for cyclist who break traffic laws.
Why do cyclists not obey traffic rules? Many do not stop for stop signs or red lights?
With the rapidly increasing population in the area, it is essential we find additional means of transportation besides cars, otherwise the increased number of cars will turn roads into parking lots. Safe biking and pedestrian infrastructure and better, more reliable mass transit are the way to go.

Published by Will Brownsberger

Will Brownsberger is State Senator from the Second Suffolk and Middlesex District.

23 replies on “Results of Poll on Bike Safety”

  1. Fascinating to read all the comments, highlighting that these are all real people responding to the poll with useful feedback.

    However, as you acknowledge, this poll likely skews heavily younger and pro-bicycle. I commute from Watertown to Cambridge daily for work, but I see that generally that the public at large has neutral if not negative views of cyclists.

    My biggest takeaway from the poll is that bikers will be more respected if they follow the rules of the road, and legislation to enforce that would be widely beneficial for public perception of cyclists (and safety!)

    1. There’s a growing feeling that cyclists’ “rights” are yet another elitist cultural issue being foisted on working people who don’t get a voice in the matter. There are countless cycling advocates in the area and essentially none for motorists.

      This rarely ends well for the cultural elites, in case somebody hasn’t read a news story in the past two years.

    2. I tried following the rules of the road for decades, it didn’t make much of a difference. I still follow them out of habit, but at this point, I feel that I am owed boatloads of respect. I tried riding after a couple of people who ran stoplights once, caught them (it’s hard work, I ride a heavy bike and I’m not young and somewhat overweight despite all the biking), and their response to “you’re making us all look bad” was a grunt, both times. So I’m not doing that again, it was useless, and didn’t change things for me one bit.

      In my experience, the claims about “most cyclists breaking the law” are not true. Maybe people only remember things that anger them. I bike every day, Waverley Square to Kendall Square, and what I overwhelmingly see is bikes stopping at stop lights, and waiting. I see practically no wrong-way cycling (it happens, but it is very rare), and I see not much illegal sidewalk cycling (slow sidewalk cycling is legal in most parts of Cambridge, except for Harvard, Porter, Central, and Inman Squares).

      And I have video. This is not selective memory, I have gone back and looked.

      And, when I do see cyclists breaking the law, it is usually careful. Some people ride through pedestrian scrambles, but they all do it slowly, always. I’ve seen a little sidewalk cycling in the squares — but it’s always slow.

      I’ve checked this on video, too — I do have some examples of bad cyclist behavior, but they are legitimately rare.

      For crosswalks, things are more mixed, but things are more mixed for cars, too. It’s quite scary, riding a bicycle, to stop for a pedestrian and hear the car approaching from the rear not stop.

      One thing that baffles me is the focus on perceived rule breaking instead of on actual crashes, and the severity of those crashes. Cars are far more likely to kill or cause serious harm — nationwide, last year car crashes killed almost 6000 pedestrians, versus I think maybe 1 killed in bicycle crashes (if bikes killed at the same rate, we’d expect to see 36, not 1).

      I also don’t understand how I as one law-abiding cyclist am somehow responsible for what law-breaking there may be by other cyclists. We don’t have weekly meeting where we talk about how to break traffic laws. I really have no way of influencing those people, other than by setting an example, and that seems to have a very minor effect. I’m NOT going to ride after any of them to tell them off again, that was really hard work and I got nothing for it.

      At the same time, nobody says “well, drivers really have to do something about their bad apples, we can’t widen 128 as long as they’re killing so many pedestrians in crashes”. Or even “too much speeding on the Mass Pike, we won’t take out the tolls until drivers show more respect for the laws”. Nobody says stuff like that about drivers. So why do we say it about cyclists?

  2. The rental bikes should be subject to a requirement that all riders wear helmets. Helmets are the most important safety measure but most rental bikers do not wear any protection.

  3. Funny interpretation, Will. The results also say that 68% of people are worried about motorists breaking the rules!

    Studies into actual behaviour show that motorists break the rules even more often than cyclists.

    I think the takeaway is that people are people, and roads should be designed with the knowledge that human beings are imperfect, rather than demanding perfection. That is the root of principles such as Sustainable (or Systematic) Safety in the Netherlands, and I highly recommend contacting Prof. Furth at Northeastern University if you want more details!

    I should also note for the sake of Ryan Sullivan that the quote ‘that bikers will be more respected if they follow the rules of the road’ is a widely known red herring!

    As demonstrated above, motorists frequently break the rules of the road, but that does not seem to affect the perception of motorists by the wider public.

    We should not be withholding safety improvements because of some perceived need to ‘punish’ people. That is a childish and counterproductive impulse. For example, the vast majority of motorists speed (most everyone admits it too), yet that does not stop us from building safer and better highways.

    What does change perception is infrastructure. The reason why the Netherlands is the safest country in the world for cycling, and the reason why it is the place where cycling is most popular amongst all segments of the population (all ages, all abilities), is because they build sensible and safe infrastructure that works for everyone. Whether you are driving, walking, cycling or taking transit, their well-designed infrastructure gives you the opportunity to conduct yourself safely and conveniently. Thankfully more and more planners and engineers are learning about this and hopefully they will apply those safety principles in the USA too!

    1. I hear from a lot of people who are concerned by cyclist behavior. That is just a political fact that this poll speaks to. It is the challenge we face when we seek to pass cycling safety legislation. Consider that other legislators are hearing from constituents who are generally less sympathetic to cyclists than my constituents.

      I agree with your emphasis on infrastructure.

  4. Every day, I commute to Davis Square in Somerville, where there are loads of cyclists. I’m always aware and on the alert, and make sure I check before switching lanes or opening my door.

    However, I’ve noticed that the majority of cyclists I see are practing very dangerous behavior, such as swerving into lanes and around cars, cutting cars off who are making a turn in an intersection, not wearing helmets, and not looking before they pull out in front of someone. Or, taking up the entire road and going 10 miles an hour.

    While I agree that cyclists and motorists need to be safe on the road, there needs to be consequences for both. I don’t think that cyclists are held accountable in the same way as motorists, and they should be, because in the instances described above someone could really get hurt or be killed.

  5. I have no issue for fines and penalty s for cyclists at fault, but to require insurance/registration for cyclists will make me give up the bicycle and go back to the car (no cost savings)after all we live in Taxachusetts. another privatized “tax” deal for the insurance industry and fees for registry of who knows what.

  6. I am all for cyclist safety but cyclist creating very dangerous situation by not respecting the traffic laws and I see this every day. They should be subject to the same fines as a car drivers if not more.

    1. Be fair and say that you also see motorists flouting traffic laws as well. . .because it is true.

  7. I would like to see stricter regulations for both cyclists (me) & drivers. I frequently cycle at night with the brightest lights l can get reflective clothing & a helmet. Despite this, drivers drive in bike lanes pretending not to see me as l return home from the lab where l work. I am a 58 year old woman. I cycle like the old woman l am! I do not endanger pedestrians. Why do automobile drivers continue to endanger me?
    When on sebatical in Austria l had better cycle lanes & fewer incidents of drivers in bike lanes. Surely we can do as well.

  8. Drivers ed should be universal, I say that before I let my children ride their bikes to school. I drive into Boston daily because there is no safe way to run/cycle/otherwise. I watched as my kids friend’s father got a job in the city without a parking space and thought he would cycle past BU. I knew what would eventually happen and pleaded with him not to do that to his 3 kids. He thought I was just an old fuddie duddie. Three cars hit him in under three years, and then he was not even wanting to work, he was in so much pain. I marvel at the insanity I see each day on my commute. Today it was a unicycle going warp speed at rush hour going against traffic rules through South Station area towards downtown. Plus a woman on a child’s razor scooter whipping around lane to lane to cut off cars. Yesterday there was that guy from Watertown on the cycle where he lies down and is barely 3 feet off the ground, riding fast in the middle of a one way going the wrong way as I was entering that street going the posted direction. I grew up at the Harvard GSDesign, and I believe firmly that good design will make this all work but I have looked at mentioned options and trials for decades and I think we need to throw the whole of known models out and start George Jetson fresh. We have structural understanding now and materials at access like never before. Elevated, space frame style. Only in Mass would the DOT tell you that would take fifteen years and 30 billion dollars. That aside, I want you to know that with each poorly executed improvement, there is economic fallout. I now order supplies from California because I cannot find time to wade through the calm traffic of Mass Ave in Arlington. At least a dozen businesses I no longer bother spending at because traffic makes it take too long. Lastly, Will, I pass you on my commute occasionally but I never see you take the safer faster back way around Mt Aub Bridge. A lot of bikes do and it’s got the space they need. Glad to know you’re all in to suffer “with the people” in the jam at Mt Auburn Bridge. ? keep up the good fight.

  9. I’m so sick of hearing from motorists who are upset about being passed on the road by bicyclists. oh are they crossing with the pedestrian signal? we do that because it’s often safe for us to do so and better than crossing the intersection at the same time as your two ton inefficient choice of commuting.

    You’re butt-hurt that you’re stuck behind the rest of your lazy kind, trapped in your air conditioning at the red light. You’re even used to shouting at other cars as though people weren’t at the wheel at all! Move lady! Consider that when it’s raining or really hot bikes are outside. should cyclists be made to stand at a red light in the rain while it was perfectly safe for them to continue on their way? you’d like to see that because you’re sadistic and lack empathy. in reality cyclists are making highly attentive decisions about intersections based on the entire cycle of the light while you’re just waiting to be told when to move your toe.

  10. I’m a former competitive cyclist. I wore the stars and stripes representing our country in international races, and I was a bike messenger in NYC. I spoke in front of the Connecticut state legislator when I was younger on the subject of bike safety.

    So I have a little bit of credibility in this matter.

    Both groups — cyclists and motorists — need to learn to respect each other’s rights to the road and to fulfill their responsibilities. I can’t tell you how many times growing up I had a motorist tell me, “You need to be riding on the sidewalk! Get off the road.”

    But with that, there are a LOT of cyclists that amplify the resentment and make the issue worse.

    You have the same rights to the road as a cyclist, and anyone who disagrees with me on that has no clue. But with that, comes the same responsibilities. You don’t have a right to be an a##hole. Idaho stops aren’t legal, and more importantly, they cause resentment.

    “Why doesn’t he have to stop yet I’m sitting here at a light? I hate those cyclists.”

    While it may seem it doesn’t cause any harm. It does. Because we lose credibility and we cause resentment and anger.

    Just yesterday, I was coming out of the driveway to my son’s school into a long line of slow to a crawl traffic. The person behind me let me in, but with them letting me in I had to make a sharp turn to not block the other direction (long story, hard to describe). As a result, I ended up slightly in the shoulder. Not a bike lane, but a shoulder, on a back suburban road.

    We’re all sitting at the light waiting. Five minutes later an old dude on a bike (a weekend warrior…he had a jersey and some SPDs, but he wasn’t thin) starts railing that I’m slightly in the shoulder and I’m blocking his way. He then continues to just scream. I just kept silent, and closed my window.

    It’s traffic dude. We’re all stuck in this mess. I didn’t cut you off. I didn’t push you over. I was in a position where there were too many cars to fit in a small space. And this isn’t the city where you need to be extra careful to not block bike lanes. It was a rural shoulder on a back road.

    My point on all of this is he has the same rights to the road, but he doesn’t have “extra” rights. He doesn’t have a right to lose respect for fellow drivers.

    And his attitude endangers me when I’m on my bike (which I can guarantee you I’ve done 1000x more miles in my lifetime than he’s done in a year).

    I’ve seen this time and time again. Ask yourself, if a driver gets wrongly cut off, is it appropriate for him to start railing on another driver? No.

    We all have to respect each other. Motorists have to respect the cyclist’s right to the road, and their extra vulnerability. Cyclists have to respect laws so we all have credibility and aren’t causing havoc. All of this is a culture change, and all of it needs a calm conversation.

    Right now, we don’t have that. We have bitterness, resentment, animosity and a lack of accountability. All are a recipe for disaster.

  11. Your survey said that 20% of the respondents commute by bike. This seems high and begins to suggest that the results are skewed by an unusual amount of pro bike responders. Is their any way you could shed more light or verify the accuracy of this statistic. If this number is even close to accurate for all commuters it would be a very important statistic.

    Thank you for making this effort.

  12. I’m always frustrated to read comments by people fixated on scofflaw cyclists. I am baffled when we have so many examples of death and injury to cyclists being caused by inattentive drivers and yet so many people are quick to find a way to blame the problems on cyclists not following rules. We should not waste our time writing laws to solve the problem of people being offended by someone else’s arrogant and reckless behavior. We should be designing programs that reduce the chance of accidents that result in death to a cyclist and a life-altering experience for a driver who had no intention to cause harm. We should focus on physical infrastructure improvements: separated bike paths, roadway design that reduces speed, finding and correcting roadway conditions that endanger cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers.

    1. Some of those deaths are caused by cyclists. There was one a few years ago in Boston where a cyclist wasn’t paying attention (or he was an he didn’t respect the road) and tried to sneak on the right past a tractor trailer who was turning right. That truck ran him over. He died. Very sad. The truck driver did nothing wrong, yet he’ll have to live with that his whole life.

      I wholeheartedly agree with “We should be designing programs that reduce the chance of accidents that result in death to a cyclist and a life-altering experience for a driver who had no intention to cause harm.”

      Point is not all laws are meant to punish. Many are meant to protect.

      That said, laws and enforcement likely aren’t the answer. First is to get everyone on the same page about rights to the road and responsibilities. Second, is infrastructure.

  13. “99.9% of cyclists ignore the traffic laws” Cars break rules all the time but it’s “normal” Bikes are new and visible, so its “99%” this comment above is ridiculous.

    BTW, yes we don’t need more laws.And this shouldn’t be a war on cars. When a car has to parallel park, it causes backups and rear end accidents. There is no “go around” option.
    AND “Stop messing with the roads for something that is not, nor will ever be, anything more that a seasonal/occasional mode of transportation in a New England city.” For 5 months of the year, the number of bikes is low, yet we’re going crazy to accommodate the squeakiest wheel. THis is not how to set policy and spend $ I’ve biked in the city for many many years. I use my brain, eyes, and caution all the time. Never had a problem. Yes some improvements for bikers are good; painted lanes for example, but enough is enough!

  14. Being an avid bicyclist for the last 20 yrs and a retired professional driver for 50 yrs, I have experienced all the joys, aggravations and yes near catastrophic accidents of the shared road experience from both sides of the equation. It did not take much time for me to learn that riding bikes in town/city traffic is too dangerous, even on bike paths. Commuting to work on the MBTA was the only possible answer for me and bike riding off road and in rural back roads in the early morning hours of the weekends was the only way to enjoy a scenic ride. The point being that we as a commuting society are in a long term transition period from roadways that are dominated by single passenger autos trying to share poorly designed roads with unprotected and often dangerous bike riders…Good luck to all and be safe…there is no fool proof immediate solution until auto traffic is fossilized into history and pedal powered transportation evolves.

  15. As a cyclist I will RIDE ON THE SIDEWALK in places where it’s too dangerous to be out on the road.
    My safety trumps objections of
    pedestrians; but I fully accept
    my obligation to give their safety
    top priority.
    This means that yelling “ON YOUR LEFT” and then barreling past is
    not acceptable. Cyclists must first confirm that the pedestrian acknowledges
    the signal. I was (as pedestrian) recently confronted by an angry cyclist for inadvertently blocking his path (he was going way too fast on the sidewalk)

    In urban areas of Japan
    (esp. Tokyo ) cyclists are
    required to stay OFF the road. And
    the penalties for motorists killing
    cyclists or pedestrians is severe
    (and applied regardless of the circumstances, or excuses).

  16. I have seen in Evanston Illinois that they have forbidden bikes on at least 1 road.
    This seems to be a good technique which I have not seen in Boston. By eliminating bikes on some roads it will encourage use on the other roads which have bike lanes.
    In Watertown if they were excluded from Arsenal they would use the other safer routes, particularly the dedicated bike lanes. Bike people need to compromise some times on only going the shortest route.

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