Think big to envision a bike-friendly Boston area

A cyclist pedals through the corner of State and Congress streets in downtown Boston.
A cyclist pedals through the corner of State and Congress streets in downtown Boston.Lane Turner/Globe Staff

Re “Taking to the streets, COVID style” (Editorial, May 23) encouraged restaurant tables on streets, more space for pedestrians, and accommodating bicyclists, but we need to be more inclusive and think bigger for after the vaccine. We need to be piloting and testing sympathetically detailed cycle track networks, wide enough for bicyclists to pass other bicyclists, throughout the Boston area.

With COVID-19, among the hardest-hit populations are seniors, individuals with a health condition, and lower-income ethnic and minority residents. Seniors can purchase stable three-wheeled bikes with a backrest and a battery. Individuals able to bike could lessen their risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Underserved individuals could bike, especially as electric bikes, which are easier for commuting, become more affordable.


Along this cycle track network, service station owners could follow bike-friendly standards and provide mini-bike repairs, as in Bosnia. Small shops could provide outdoor plugs for recharging the e-bike battery, as in China. Public buildings could feature the restroom symbol, a bike symbol, and a bike rack. Soft LED lighting could be provided on the cycle track. Trees could keep the cycle track cool during the day.

With so many prices to pay for COVID, our solutions should be thoughtful.

Anne Lusk


The writer is a research scientist at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.