Somerville’s proposed cycle track design for Beacon Street (Plan for cycling corridor at issue, Globe North, Feb. 24) will present a myriad of issues not only for businesses and residents with the drastic reductions to on-street parking, but also to the safety of pedestrians and cyclists as well. Those who support the track do so believing it will give a segregated cycling experience similar to cities in Europe, while ignoring research studies that point to an increase in pedestrian conflicts and deadly turning collisions with cars. Unfortunately, Somerville’s proposed design falls painfully short of preventing these.
To build a safe cycle track on Beacon you would have to eliminate almost all street parking for sight lines at a large number of cross streets and driveways. The cycle track will only run for two short sections on the northern portion of the street: Oxford Street to Museum Street and Park Street to Washington Street. Both of these segments are far away from the notorious crash cluster in Inman Square, where there will be painted “door zone” bike lanes that exist today. Why burden residents and small business owners for a “micro cycle track” that does more to improve the perception of safety rather than the actual safety of cyclists?