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Why Boston was right to remove those Charlestown bike lanes

Pete Stidman of the Boston Cyclists' Union explains the city should have talked to local residents first, because the lanes just showed up while they were looking at angled parking on Main Street as a way to increase parking for stores there:

Normally, when two competing interests arise like this, the neighborhood has a chance to talk them through and see options on designs that attempt to address both concerns. This happened recently in the St. Mark's neighborhood of Dorchester when the plan for a bike lane on Talbot Avenue also came up against some interest in angled parking. In that case, the Union brought the neighborhood and city planners together and it was found that angled parking would not create a significant number of new parking spaces due to the configuration of the street, and the neighborhood agreed that a bike lane might also be a way to get more customers into their shops. Talbot is now painted and appreciated and the St. Mark's neighborhood is on its way to becoming a very bike-friendly place.

But in this case in Charlestown, that competing interest was not identified or discussed with the Charlestown Neighborhood Council beforehand.

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Comments

With or without a bike lane, angle parking would make Main Street much more hazardous for cyclists.

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So now we can't do stuff because there's a chance that other stuff might be done there in the future?

Does the city ask for permission to re stripe the double yellow lines? Because there might be a competing interest to make the street one way.

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We can talk about them having the final and only say about how the roads are striped.

These roads do not "belong" to the neighborhoods. They belong to the city and traverse neighborhoods. They carry both local and regional traffic through the area. Letting people who never leave their 2 square block "world" determine traffic and transit policy for a large but waning city is the height of folly.

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"Letting people who never leave their 2 square block "world" determine traffic and transit policy for a large but waning city is the height of folly."

Way to characterize an entire neighborhood as a bunch of shut-ins. That does not sound like what went down here at all. It actually seems like, for once, a pretty deliberative process was already under way and now they're going to make sure everyone is on the same page. Hardly what you described.

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So the business association was against the bike lanes because they thought cyclists would make peak traffic worse, yet at the same time they want more traffic inducing parking? Bunch of hypocrites.

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huh? no. what did you read?

The bike lanes took up the physical space needed for angled parking, which they've been trying to organize an effort around. That's the debate. Who said anything about cyclists making peak traffic worse?

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The business association made this claim at their meeting and in news reports while conveniently leaving out their desire for more angled parking.

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Neighborhoods don't own the street but they deserve input. It was one thing to criticize the neighborhood when we thought they were simply making a kneejerk reaction. It's quite another to say that an effort they were already making is invalid because it is counter to our interests as cyclists.

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