Build Back Bikeable: Cyclists Rally for Better Bike Network and People-First Streets
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Becca Wolfson, Executive Director, Boston Cyclists Union
Jon Terbush, Communications Director, Boston Cyclists Union
BOSTON, Mass. (May 20, 2021) — The Boston Cyclists Union (BCU) on Friday, May 21, will hold a rally and demonstration ride calling on the City of Boston to accelerate progress toward an equitable network of protected bike lanes and streets that prioritize people, not cars.
The event, Build Back Bikeable, will begin outside City Hall with remarks from a few speakers, including representatives from Bikes not Bombs, Ride for Black Lives Boston, and other residents who have a vision for a more bikeable Boston. Afterward, a mass bike ride with banners and signs will tour the good and bad of Boston’s bike network en route to a social event along Malcolm X Blvd.
“Boston showed what’s possible last year when it repurposed street space and added a record number of new bike lanes, including a long-promised network of protected bike lanes Downtown,” said BCU Executive Director Becca Wolfson. “Yet many parts of the city lack safe connections to that Downtown hub—let alone safe places for people to bike within their own neighborhoods—with striking disparities in access based on race and income.”
Part of the BCU’s #BostonBikeBudget campaign, the rally asks Mayor Janey and the City Council to fund and build 10 miles of protected bike lanes next year and 10 the year after, with a focus on filling gaps in the network and forming connections that increase equity and access. Those goals are entirely achievable. Boston added 6.5 miles of protected bike lanes last year despite the pandemic pausing many plans. Moreover, the 20 combined miles we’re asking for this year and next are what’s needed for the City to meet its own five-year goal from Go Boston 2030.
In addition to recommending specific streets projects, the campaign also calls on Boston to reduce the police budget to redirect funding to invest in communities; remove police involvement from Vision Zero; support a pilot for free bus fares; and make it easier for people to reach small businesses by foot and by bike.
“Prior to the pandemic, we learned that two-thirds of customers who visit our businesses travel by foot, bike, or public transit—not cars,” said JP Centre/South Main Streets Executive Director Ginger Brown. “And since the pandemic, we’ve heard from many businesses and residents who support converting parking spaces to outdoor dining or other functions. All of this points to the conclusion that Healthy Streets and shared uses of our parking spaces benefit residents and contribute greatly to a thriving business community.”
Following Friday’s event, the BCU will on Monday (5/24) testify and deliver its #BostonBikeBudget petition at the City Council hearing on the street’s budget.
About the Boston Cyclists Union
The Boston Cyclists Union’s mission is to transform the streets of Greater Boston into equitable, inviting, people-centered spaces affording access and connection for every body. The organization accomplishes this through organizing, advocacy, public actions, and holding city and state agencies accountable to build out a network of safe, protected bike infrastructure.
For more information about Build Back Bikeable, visit: bostoncyclistsunion.org/buildbackbikeable