Envisioning a seamless system of bike routes
The Globe is correct that Boston’s emerging bike network should “include the gradual addition of lanes that barricade riders from cars” (“Bike deaths raise an alarm: City must do more for safety,” Editorial, Sept. 30). Protected bike lanes lower the rate of accidents involving bikes and cars while encouraging more people to use bikes. Greater use can reduce accidents as drivers get used to the presence of bicyclists.
We also need to upgrade off-road paths along river banks, through parks, and on rail-to-trail projects. These segments need to be connected with bike lanes that are separated from traffic. We need to return our parkways into the multimodal greenways they were intended to be. And we need to close the remaining gaps with low-traffic “neighborways” that are designed to allow cars at low speeds while making a priority of walking and bicycling.
Creating such a regional green routes network, a seamless system of bicycling routes for people of all ages, abilities, and traffic tolerances, would not only improve the safety of our roads for all users, but would expand opportunities for family recreation, help relieve car congestion, upgrade our public health environment, and increase nearby property values. At the same time, it would make the area more livable.