Back Bay pedestrians get their revenge on bicyclists, or something

Penny Cherubino reports an epidemic of walkers and joggers using bicycle lanes instead of sidewalks, for no good reason she can fathom:

Is it payback for the bikes on the sidewalks?

Is it an adventuresome streak that hopes to play chicken with a two-wheeler?

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Comments

It's not "payback," it's out

By on

It's not "payback," it's out of necessity!! At least for the savvy pedestrian. All over this place are these idiots on the rent-a-bikes blinking their fat arses on the sidewalks, then the couriers and bike fiends who zoom between the sidewalk and vehicle lanes. Where else is there to go but the "bicycle" lane?

Cripes

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bullshit

By on

I have yet to see a single Hubway rider on a sidewalk, and it's increasingly rare to see anyone on the sidewalk thanks to all the public education that's been going on.

If people are so terrified of bicycles, why is it that every time I bike down the southwest corridor path on the dedicated bike path, there's no end of people walking their dogs (on those fucking retractable leashes, and of course, the leash stretches across the path), little kids, entire packs of people blocking the entire path, etc....when there's a perfectly serviceable pedestrian path not three feet away, where if I put one wheel on it, people will scream blue-bloody murder?

You could say that it's because the pedestrian path is closer to the noisy street and the bikeway pavement is nicer, but that's not true over on the Olmstead park on the Brookline side - the paths are marked pedestrian only and bike only, both paths are equally nice, and the pedestrian path is closer to the pond. Yet...everyone walks on the bike path and largely ignores the pedestrian-only path

This is despite signage which clearly directs people, just like on the SWC.

Some asshole even took a bumper sticker and covered over the "ONLY" on the "BIKE ONLY >>>>" sign...basically, pedestrians want to walk wherever the fuck they please, even if it means endangering others. Just like when they get in their cars...

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I walk there

By on

The SWC is terribly designed. The bike path is in the tree-shaded park area, while most of the walking path is the regular sidewalk, right next to the road. It's not really any different from just walking along any arterial. Why should I have to be on a bike to enjoy a walk through parkland? I'm usually one to obey signs, but these signs pretty much amount to "people on bikes may feel free to enjoy the trees and other parklike features, while people without one should get out of this park and just go walk along any old trafficy street."

That being said, I scan my surroundings and move out of the way of bikes, and I'm not using the park for exercise during heavy commuting hours.

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wow, what an entitlement complex

By on

Why should I have to be on a bike to enjoy a walk through parkland? I'm usually one to obey signs, but these signs pretty much amount to "people on bikes may feel free to enjoy the trees and other parklike features, while people without one should get out of this park and just go walk along any old trafficy street."

Way to ignore everything I said about the Olmstead park paths, and the fact that nearly half the SWC is well away from the road and both pedestrian and bike paths are under trees. Back to Olmstead park paths: they're equally nice, and pedestrians camp out on the bike path like it's going out of style.

Why should you get off the bike path? Because when you're on the path, you represent a danger to the cyclists who are traveling at three to five times your speed. They may not even hit you and crash just trying to avoid you, and end up getting a broken collarbone because they hit the pavement at 15mph from 6 feet above the ground.

I've had to go off the path to avoid people that, startled at the concept that there might be BIKES on a BIKE PATH have darted directly in FRONT of me; in one case, I nearly went head-first into one of the metal light poles.

Pedestrians will block the entire path, dart everywhichway when you ring your bell or call out "on your left". Joggers are the worst- they're zoned out on their iPhones and can't hear a fucking thing. Then there's the daycare center that walks their toddlers on the path, again, blocking the entire path, and the women who are supervising will scream all sorts of profanity at you if you ask them to not block the ENTIRE path, or walk the kids somewhere else other than what is A ROAD.

Seriously: you want to walk under trees, so it's okay to increase the risk of me going to the hospital? You want to enjoy the bike path, GET ON A BIKE.

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oh yeah, and I almost forgot:

By on

some of the SWC "pedestrians" are actually gangs of kids who attack cyclists and mug them. Any time at night, you never know if the group of three kids you're about to pass are going to jam something in your spokes or just turn and shove you. Happens every couple of weeks - they take the cell phone and wallet while the cyclist is dazed, keeping them from even calling for an ambulance until someone comes across them and calls for help.

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Bike Lanes are for all

By on

And I know people are with me, right?

I'm starting a group. Once a month, an e-mail will go out and we will all gather as pedestrians on a bike path and TAKE IT BACK. Ideally, we'll have a few walkers block the paths to allow all members of our group to enjoy this public space.

Think about it. When's the last time a pedestrian killed a motorist or bicyclist by walking into them. That's right, you should all worship the ground we literally walk upon.

Anyway, the name of my group is Critical Massholes. And if you can't stand bicyclists, feel free to join.

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I want to make out with you

By on

I want to make out with you so hard right now.

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Only where there's no pedestrian path

By on

On the parts where there are actual paths for both, I walk on the pedestrian-designated part. On the parts where there's not actually a pedestrian path and the signs tell non-bikers to get out of the park and walk somewhere else, I walk on the bike path. Carefully.

You shouldn't be going too fast to stop for an obstacle though on a trail that has bikes going in both directions and frequent crossings. If you were somewhere like Minuteman where there's much limited access and the only people you're likely to encounter are fellow exercisers who are aware of rules about passing on the left, then I would say it's the pedestrians' own damn fault if they get run over. But the SWC is right in the middle of the city and has frequent crossings (both the grade crossings with streets and the locations where people walk across it to get to something on the other side), so you should slow down and be aware of people and ready to avoid them.

No one should be taking up the whole width of any path or sidewalk though, and it sucks that that's happening. If you want to do something quick and easy to help out your community in many ways, find out what child care these kids are from, and call the Department of Early Education and Care. They'll get cited if they're using obscenities in front of kids and/or are not obeying signs while walking with kids. Totally not cool.

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OK, now it's perfectly justifed

By on

Good Lord. Just admit it, you're breaking the law for your own convenience.
Almost everyone does it.
Convoluted rationalizations AND a suggestion to bring in a state agency?

Just stay off the bike paths where prohibited and be part of the solution.
Take some personal responsibility, the state can't solve all our problems.

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Reading comprehension what?

By on

Yes, you should be calling a state agency when you're witnessing people licensed to care for children making verbally abusive statements while doing so.

And yes, of course I'm disobeying the sign for my own convenience. What other reason IS there to disobey a sign? Not sure that it's a law though, or that it's terribly enforceable. This is a park rather than a high-speed commuter path, and people use the path with kids who are just learning to ride. Should a parent be forbidden from walking on a recreational path to supervise a child on a bike? I really don't think it's an enforceable law to ban people without a bike from a path that's in a park and has a lot of stopping and starting going on. This isn't like a commuter path that's more like a roadway where it is reasonable that one may not slow down the flow of traffic. Do you support banning slow cyclists? Or children cyclists? Because they could be going slowly or be stopped, and you might go hauling into them and break your collarbone. Or, you could recognize that this is a path in an urban park, and some people are going to be going slowly, and you should slow down and anticipate obstacles.

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I'm a cyclist, and I spent a

By on

I'm a cyclist, and I spent a couple of years commuting along the Southwest Corridor park. At first, I felt the same as you; I was frustrated by all of the pedestrians walking along the bike path.

But after a while, I realized that raging at those pedestrians is really no different than drivers raging at cyclists. "They're zoned out on their iPods! They pose a danger to motorists travelling three to five times their speed! The motorist may even crash just trying to avoid hitting the cyclists. They scream profanity at you when you yell at them to get on the sidewalk!"

And when you think about it, the solution is the same. Given how many cross streets there are, slowing down occasionally for a pedestrian really isn't going to slow you down much. You're just racing to the next red light. One of the behaviors that frustrates me in drivers is how they aggressively rev up and pass me too close, only to stop in a hundred yards at the next red light that they could clearly see when the were passing me.

What's the solution, either on your bike on the SWC park or in your car passing a bicyclist? Don't be in such a hurry. It's OK to slow down and wait for a safe opportunity to pass; given the reality of lights and traffic, it's unlikely to actually effect how long it takes to get where you're going.

On the SWC park, if you really want to ride fast, just get off the bike path and join traffic on the parallel roads; if you're hitting speeds that will be unsafe for places with pedestrians, you'll probably be safer in traffic than on the path. If you're riding on the path, accept that you might need to slow down occasionally. Take a more leisurely pace. Enjoy life a bit, and don't rage at other people who are trying to do the same.

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your analogy is completely inappropriate

By on

A driver is highly unlikely to be injured when striking a pedestrian. If you manage to hit something else avoiding a pedestrian, you can't drive. Even if you do, you're going to walk away from that crash.

If you're on a bike and you swerve to avoid a little kid who was hidden in front of his parents, you could go head-first into tree, light pole, trash can, another cyclist, another pedestrian, etc. Even if you just wipe out, you could still end up needing to be hospitalized with broken bones or dislocations.

Your analogy breaks down because cyclists ARE injured at much higher rates on multi-use paths. On dedicated cycleways, injuries are almost nonexistent.

I love all the armchair experts that think that the solution to not hitting pedestrians is just to slow down. Below a certain speed, you have LESS stability and control, and there's still many cases where you'd have no way to stop before hitting a pedestrian who does something unexpected.

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What.

By on

So, if slow cycling is unsafe, then by that logic cyclists should only cycle on roadways or limited-access bike paths, and not places like the SWC path where there are tons of intersections, lots of young children on bikes who aren't going to be going fast and are likely to fall, etc.

It doesn't really work to make the argument that you can't possibly avoid a person walking or jogging, unless you're saying you also can't slow down at the many intersections or when you encounter a child or inexperienced cyclist.

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Funny how you say" You want

By on

Funny how you say" You want to enjoy the bike path, GET ON A BIKE." I want to ride your bike in street GET A CAR . If you can ride your bike in a street , yes we can and will walk on the tax payer bike path too. Also pedestrians have the right- away , something you bike asshole do not know or care to do!

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No need to go Masshole about this.

Your response here is pretty useless. Pedestrians on a bike path can be dangerous for cyclists. There should be no controversy about this. And cyclists on a road shared by cars are endagered by aggressive drivers. Again, this is a no brainer. The answer shouldn't be framed as "I've got mine, stay out!" We have limited resources, cars, bikes, and feet need to share. That means we are all, equally responsible for one another.

When I drive, I have to modify my behavior for the safety of cyclists, pedestrians, and yes, even other car occupants. The same holds when I pedal or walk. I have the power to make myself and others more safe through my behavior. This is the choice we should all make. I have no issue with a pedestrian in the Southwest corridor if they exhibit awareness that it is heavily used by bikes. Somebody who, like eeka, walks in a way that is safe for her and the bike rider, should absolutely walk in the bike path. Somebody who sees a bike but doesn't yield, who won't leash their dog, etc. -- they are creating a dangerous situation. It isn't pedestrians that are the problem, only clueless pedestrians.

Shared roads and paths are not inherently dangerous. They become this way as a reflection of our collective behavior.

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You sure you have the answer?

By on

The answer shouldn't be framed as "I've got mine, stay out!"

Funny...that's exactly the opposite of what you were just saying about young people wanting the city to adapt to their existence being told to stay out by those who love it here just the way it is.

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Reading comprehension, not your strong suit?

I already addressed this in the other thread, go read my response to your rant, or better yet, read my first post, and choose to understand it. My posts in both threads are very consistent with each other, both saying we need to appreciate all city dwellers, not just one favored group. Try again scooter boy.

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You must have blinders on

You must have blinders on because I see people biking on the sidewalk every day, the majority of them being on Hubway bikes.

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I agree

I work down on Boylston by Arlington St. Lots of Hubway bikers on the sideealks or salmoning up Boylston for the drop off spot by Berkeley St.

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Yes

By on

Thank you, you beat me to it.

In Brookline, I witness bikers go right through red lights, ride on sidewalks, even cut right in front of you when you're on a crosswalk but all other traffic has stopped to let you cross. And we *have* bike lanes!

These a-holes in their Speedos completely blank out pedestrians. And I, being disabled, are surer than shit really tired of the bicyclists sorely put-upon attitudes, all the while they themselves treat us pedestrians as "inconvenient obstacles."

I think I'll just let the next one hit me. Then he/she can learn all about mandatory jail sentences for a Felonious Assault on a Disabled Person, and charges of reckless disregard.

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re: bullshit

By anon on

Ha! If you haven't seen a single Hubway cyclist on a sidewalk than you need to get out more! I see it each and every day. You seem unusually intimidated by your own neighborhood. Perhaps you should get off your bike and take a walk... meet your neighbors, say hi to their kids, pet their dogs, become a little bit more familiar with your surroundings so you'll feel less threatened.

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Hubway users and messengers common on sidewalks

By on

I work in the Back Bay as well. Hubway riders are definitely on the sidewalks. Especially troublesome b/c many seem to be poor and/or rusty riders.

I see messengers on the sidewalks as well. Not consistetly but they'll get on as the maneuver thru intersections to take convoluted turns that avoid car traffic.
Lee troublesome b/c they're skilled riders.

I frequently walk Commonwealth Mall as well and there are always bikes there, which is prohibited.

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The worst offenders are the

The worst offenders are the pedicabs. Boylston at Dalton is impassable sometimes because they gather and ride up and down the handicap ramps.

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The "Tone" of your comment is

By on

The "Tone" of your comment is exactly the anger that we deal with when dealing with the majority of bicyclists. It's always this same RAGE. Exactly the reason so many people have an aversion to bicyclists. Try being nice for a change.

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One reasonable reason....but not for their pic

By on

One reason you'll sometimes find savvy joggers in the bike lane is because the asphalt is a much better running surface (more yielding on the joints) than a concrete sidewalk.

That's not what's going on in the picture on the blog. Those asshats probably didn't make it all the way across Comm Ave and stopped at the red light in the grassy median. Instead of waiting for the light to change, they decided to turn the bike lane into a sidewalk (the Mall's path is down the center which would require a half-block of backtracking for them). I'm sure they either got to the next block and crossed over the other half of Comm Ave because they finally had the light or jaywalked across the lanes once traffic cleared enough for them to wander between two parked cars.

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The only reason this runner

By on

The only reason this runner runs in the bike lane is occasionally in the winter, when the sidewalk is completely iced/snowed over for days at a time (that didn't happen this year but the year before I was in the bike lane a lot.) Under those conditions I'm much less likely to slip and fall in the bike lane.

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Now *that* is an entitlement attitude

By on

The pedestrian path is blocked or treacherous. So what are pedestrians to do then? Just give up and go home, so as not to trample all over the precious feelings of a cyclist?

(warning, huge unwarranted generalization incoming)

I guess cyclists are so used to making up their own rules of the road and ignoring the law when it suits them that they forgot that pedestrians always have the right-of-way.

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It's not a matter of precious feelings

By on

It's a matter of injuries sustained in crashes trying to avoid pedestrians (or getting mugged by them, as the case may be with the SWC.)

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Maybe they are from NYC

People just don't *get* that it only works if you stay where you belong, ride/walk/drive only where you are supposed to and WHEN you are supposed to, etc.

Loved seeing the NYPD herd the suburban "spread across the entire effing sidewalk and bike path" families back onto the sidewalks in midtown so bikes could get through. Then again, they get tough with their taxis there, too.

BTW, I don't mind joggers in the lanes so long as they are going in the marked direction - and I absolutely won't swing into traffic for some wrong way loser who can't read.

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Other way around

By on

If the jogger values his sanity and his life, he will jog in the opposite direction of the markings. This way he can see what's coming. If you ever need to walk/run in the road, you always go in the opposite direction of traffic because you can see them and take precaution (like moving off the road) easier than they will likely see/expect you.

So, the ones going in your marked direction are asking to get mowed down from behind. In fact, teach them a lesson on your bike before someone teaches them that lesson with a car.

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Reader's Digest

Is not an authority on road safety for pedestrians.

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Forget bike paths

By on

WTF is the deal with the Dorchester passive-aggressive road-walking where people walk in the road, sometimes traveling in it, sometimes crossing nowhere near a crosswalk and taking their sweet time, with their heads down and purposely not looking toward the oncoming cars so that you're forced to stop for them?

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maybe its because we can't

By on

maybe its because we can't get driver to stop at crosswalks or red lights?

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I'm stopping every 20 yards on Dot Ave

By on

For jaywalkers. Some with kids and strollers. I'd never get down the road if I stopped at lights and crosswalks. I've never seen anyone use them So why bother ?

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Why bother?

I've had the (largely facetious) thought over the past few months of wondering why do we even bother having marked crosswalks and pedestrian signals in Massachusetts? Since pedestrians always have the right of way, and in most (all?) communities, there is no penalty for jaywalking, let alone it actually being illegal, we could save all the time and money with the lights and street markings and let everyone cross wherever and whenever they like -- which they do anyway.

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No they do not

By on

This misconception is the reason there are idiots in the road. Pedestrians may not enter the road within 300 feet of a crosswalk, except in a marked crosswalk. If it's a signaled crosswalk, pedestrians may not enter the road unless the walk sign is on.

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Reality

Pedestrians may not...

Nevertheless, they can and do because no one makes them knock it off. Honking only amuses/angers them. Is it a misconception that there is no enforcement of such rules for pedestrians?

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Well, no

By on

But it's a misconception that one always has the right-of-way while walking. I can't TELL you how many times I'm out with people who think that they don't have to wait for the walk signal and will cross against the light, then get really mad that cars aren't stopping, then not believe my explanation that the walk signal exists for a reason.

Cops even seem to think this, or else have just given up. Every morning I see parents walking with their young children across busy streets either not in a crosswalk or in one at an intersection but against the light. Police officers who are out during school commute hours don't even bat an eye when they see a family cross illegally/unsafely instead of walking all the way to the officer (they seem to ignore them even when they're out of their cruisers). I'm not saying that the immediate response on the part of the cop should be to arrest them for child endangerment, but a request that they cross safely and legally in the future might be a starting point.

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Culture of Honor

By on

Basically if all you have is your reputation you go around acting like a badass and do stupid shit.

http://abcnews.go.com/m/story?id=14292632

This link is about a different geographic area but very similar mentality.

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These clowns are an anomaly

By on

I'm less concerned about a few foolish people who walk in the street than I am about parked trucks double-parked cars, etc that block the bike lane. But I don't think rules work as much of a motivator here. The common denominator (with the exception of this troupe of fools in the photo) is that Bostonians walk, bike, cycle, and run mostly in a manner they perceive to be 1) most efficient to them and 2) safe enough. I've waited at a crosswalk for the walk light while others crossed, then been nearly mowed down by a red light runner. We all have plenty more examples. My point: rules would give false sense of security since you cannot assume others follow. And getting angry makes you act distracted and stupid. So I say the best way to be safe is try to follow the rules, but accept the fact that many will not. And yes, as a runner, you should definitely NOT be running with you back to bikes and cars. You've got to be able to see the danger coming.

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This gets to the heart of the matter

There's no percentage in following the rules if (a) most other people don't and (b) following the rules puts you in more danger (e.g. waiting for a red light in a left turn lane when there's no traffic).

A college friend of mine owns a bike shop in Chicago. I read an interesting blog post from her a year or two ago, about how she was trying to teach her kids to follow traffic rules, and they planned a bike trip from some point A to point B in NW Chicago.

Turned out it was slow and dangerous, as there were not a lot of bike paths (if any) and several large intersections where no allowance had been made for bicycle traffic at all. She was biking with a couple of pre-teens, and on the way back, found that it was much safer and faster to do what any sane person would, and ride on the sidewalks and pedestrian walkways, etc.

It would be nice if we lived in a culture that valued biking, and ensured that people on a bicycle or on foot had just as easy and safe access to our public ways as those in cars, and where everyone could follow the rules to get where they were going safely. It would also be nice to have a pet unicorn.

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Square dance chic

By on

They look like they think they are so hip. I guess square dance chic is the new thing.

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Maybe I'm just being a crabby

By on

Maybe I'm just being a crabby walker but this strikes me as more of the arrogant attitude which bicyclists often get tarred with. They want the world to conform to accommodate them but they don't like the rest of the world intruding on their space. They're fine with bikes going in the car lanes or on the sidewalks but if a car or a walker gets in the bike lane they get in a tizzy.

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Seriously?

By on

When do cyclists here or elsewhere defend riding on the sidewalks? And uh, yeah--when cars go into the bike lane cyclists often end up injured or dead. Sorry if that sendsus into a "tizzy."

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City life... alot of anger,

By on

City life... alot of anger, hostility and retribution... leading to more anger, etc. One of the solutions is to have more liquor licenses and extend closing times. Then more people can be mellow more of the time.

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And 24 hour gyms!

If we could all work out at 2AM, there would be fewer cyclists and joggers to interfere with the favored cars and pedestrians!

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It could just be that the

By on

It could just be that the sidewalks in this town (consistant with the ganeral design and don't-give-a-shit attitude prevelent here) are too small for joggers to use without running into people who are prone to suddenly stopping to dig out their cell phone. Boston "fixes" sidewalks to be even further out of ADA complience and, in addition to having a huge amount of street trash, has nartow sidewalks designed like the old video games where the track narrows every 30 seconds. Since it is even more of a pain to do a mixed commute (bike and public transit), there are going to be cyclists not feeling safe and jumping on sidewalks too - and given the drivers here (almost been hit several times when people were turning left at an intersection with four "yeald to pedestrian" signs and crosswalks) I understand a new cyclist wanting some extra space. Of course, since police don't even pull people over for running red lights, and the city still has a collection of rusted iron death traps litering the parks, none of this is surprising.

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"Sharing" the road

By on

On any given weekday there are around 20 bike messengers operating in the city of Boston. Considering the sheer volume of cyclist in the city nowadays, the odds of one them being a bike messenger are about 1/1000. Messenger bags and streamlined city bikes have become so commonplace in cycling culture that its easy to be confused into thinking that one person who was riding on the sidewalk or cutting you off was a bike messenger.

But if someone pissed you off or did something blatantly reckless it probably wasn't one of us.

The courier industry is half of what it used to be. It can be very difficult to find a job and make a decent living working as a messenger in Boston. And those of us who managed to carve out a living are professionals who understand that there is an etiquette to riding in the city. That person in the crosswalk or that driver at the red light may very well be the person who is responsible for requesting your service later on that day.

Would you order from a pizza restaurant after you saw their driver almost run someone over? I wouldn't.

Most of us working now have been for several years. And some of us even remember when Boston wasn't so cyclist friendly. Back when the Green Way was the Brown Way (big-dig) and the only bike lane in Boston was the SW Corridor. Navigating the city without the help of bike lanes really separated the people who shouldn't be mingling with traffic and the people who were capable.

If it wasn't safe to ride somewhere it was an experience issue, not a bike lane issue.

I think bike lanes are a great thing, but they are no substitute for experience and safe cycling etiquette. And now when i'm not in a bike lane (despite being well within my legal right as a cyclist to be there and acting completely cordial to the motorists i share the road with) there is always someone around to tell me that i'm doing something wrong cause its their tax dollars that paid for that little white line.

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It's not against the law to

It's not against the law to walk in the street, so all you entitled bike crybabies can just get over it. Have a nice day!

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Yes it is.

By on

No pedestrian shall cross a roadway within three hundred (300’) feet of a police officer directing traffic at a marked crosswalk, except as directed by such police officer. Whenever there is a traffic control signal or a marked crosswalk within three hundred (300’) feet, no pedestrian shall enter upon or cross a roadway, except within the limits of a marked crosswalk and in conformity with these Rules, unless otherwise directed by a police officer. For the purposes of these Rules, "roadway" shall be construed to mean that part of a street, highway, road, or parkway under the control of the City of Boston devoted to vehicular traffic.

No pedestrian shall walk along the roadway of any way having a sidewalk open to pedestrian use; and no pedestrian shall walk along any other roadway, except on the unfinished shoulder nearest to vehicles proceeding in the direction opposite to the pedestrian's direction.

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On any given weekday there

By on

On any given weekday there are around 20 bike messengers operating in the city of Boston. Considering the sheer volume of cyclist in the city nowadays, the odds of one them being a bike messenger are about 1/1000. Messenger bags and streamlined city bikes have become so commonplace in cycling culture that its easy to be confused into thinking that one person who was riding on the sidewalk or cutting you off was a bike messenger.

But if someone pissed you off or did something blatantly reckless it probably wasn't one of us.

The courier industry is half of what it used to be. It can be very difficult to find a job and make a decent living working as a messenger in Boston. And those of us who managed to carve out a living are professionals who understand that there is an etiquette to riding in the city. That person in the crosswalk or that driver at the red light may very well be the person who is responsible for requesting your service later on that day.

Would you order from a pizza restaurant after you saw their driver almost run someone over? I wouldn't.

Most of us working now have been for several years. And some of us even remember when Boston wasn't so cyclist friendly. Back when the Green Way was the Brown Way (big-dig) and the only bike lane in Boston was the SW Corridor. Navigating the city without the help of bike lanes really separated the people who shouldn't be mingling with traffic and the people who were capable.

If it wasn't safe to ride somewhere it was an experience issue, not a bike lane issue.

I think bike lanes are a great thing, but they are no substitute for experience and safe cycling etiquette. And now when i'm not in a bike lane (despite being well within my legal right as a cyclist to be there and acting completely cordial to the motorists i share the road with) there is always someone around to tell me that i'm doing something wrong cause its their tax dollars that paid for that little white line.

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sidewalk hogs

By on

Alright:

Boston [including immediate surrounding cities and towns] is DENSELY POPULATED and has above average congestion. I believe we have the third most densely populated big city in the country after NYC and S.F. We also have the largest [proportionately] influx of commuters and others into the city on a daily basis that can easily double the size of the city's population, and hence double it's already high density. Add to this the fact we're seeing a tourist boom, especially in the well known tourist traps like Back Bay, Beacon Hill, F. Hall, downtown, etc.

Problem:

MANY of the people I mentioned above [especially tourist and another group I won't name] either don't know how to walk, dive, bike in a big congested city or they don't give a F about inconveniencing the 'locals' and others around them. The simple act of walking around the B.B, B.H., Public Garden etc. can be a painful and infuriating experience, especially if you're going about your daily BUSINESS, like coming to or from work, errands, etc. There are many locations where you'll basically be forced to walk out in the street if you want to walk 6-8 blocks without taking a 1/2 hr and zig zagging around the sidewalk hogs.

Add to this the fact the City of Boston doesn't enforce many laws and rules, let alone engage in even rudimentary crowd control, unlike NYC [especially Manhattan] where they do with gusto. Charles Street stands out in particular to me. You have businesses setting up shop on the public sidewalks [restaurants, stores, ice cream shops (you all know who I mean), etc] basically forcing people just using the sidewalks to walk from point A to point B out onto the streets.

Finally, as a 'local' let me inform non-locals bout a long held Boston tradition of WALKING ON THE STREET in heavily congested neighborhoods. This is how we roll here. I know it's not kosher down south or in Arizona or something but we're in Boston, and this is the culture of the place.

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Walking in streets

> Finally, as a 'local' let me inform non-locals bout a long held Boston
> tradition of WALKING ON THE STREET in heavily congested neighborhoods.

I've read that this is also common in Rome -- sometimes even where there are (perhaps old beaten-up) sidewalks.

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Walking in streets

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...used to be common everywhere. After all, cities are for people.

Until automakers decided to put on a concerted public campaign to get laws and culture changed, so that their customers could more easily drive their cars in the city. They even invented the concept of "jaywalking."

http://www.amazon.com/Fighting-Traffic-American-In...

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This is simply not true.

This is simply not true. Unless by bike lane she meant crosswalk. I know cyclists often confuse the two. Just ask the poor man who was run down and seriously injured on the corner of Comm & Dartmouth Friday evening around 6:15, by yet another cyclist blowing a red light. Apparently selfishness and arrogance are a a prerequiste to bike riding, at least in the Back Bay. Ever try to walk on the Storrow Drive lagoon at bicycle commuter rush hour? Please- a little pedestrian traffic in the shared lane has never stopped a cyclist there from plowing his way through.

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