THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
< Back to front page Text size +

Somerville to count two-wheelers

Posted by Marcia Dick  May 5, 2010 09:04 AM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

sombike.JPG


The city added a bike lane on Beacon Street in November 2008.

Do you look good holding a clipboard? The Somerville Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development needs sharp-eyed volunteers to help staff a bicycle and pedestrian count May 11-13.

"The goal is to understand how bicycles and pedestrians are using our streets," said senior planner Kathleen Ziegenfuss.

People will be stationed at 34 locations during both morning and evening rush hour.

Currently, the department decides where to place bike lanes and "sharrows" - those stencils where there is no bike lane - with the city Bicycle Committee and Traffic and Parking department based on "a combination of requests from people [and] observed demand," Ziegenfuss said. The city also prioritizes creating bike lanes that radiate out from the existing network.

The count will help the department figure out whether bike safety measures make a difference. They plan to repeat the count in the fall.

One anecdotal report of current bike conditions comes from mayoral spokesman Michael Meehan, Somerville's new Tom Champion, who's been commuting from Brookline since April 26. First, he said, cycling over is twice as fast as taking the #86 bus. Second, the pavement on Prospect Street actually gets smoother when he crosses into Somerville. (Union Square itself is "busy," he said diplomatically.)

The newcomer has no fear of Somerville's fabled seven hills: He rides straight up Walnut Street to City Hall. "Hills are good for you,'' he said. "They remind your legs that they've got limits."

If you want to test your own limits, the ninth annual Somerville History Bike Tour takes place May 23. Participants will ride about 8 miles to see where movie theaters used to be. Learn more at somervillebikes.org.

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article