Sign the petition for a protected bike lane on Charles St.

A two-way, parking-protected bike lane on Charles Street in Beacon Hill would benefit everyone by making the street safer for all road users (pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers), driving more patrons to local businesses, and reducing carbon emissions. It would also complete a vital link in Boston's bike network, without which the entire Connect Downtown network "does not work," according to Boston's transportation leadership.

Sign this letter of support (below) to help win a better Charles Street for everyone!

Enter the #IBikeIBuyCharlesSt Raffle!

Bike to a business on Charles Street for a chance to win a gift card to one of the fantastic local businesses in Beacon Hill. Every entry supports local businesses, and helps make streets safer and greener for everyone!

To enter:

1) Bike to a local business on Charles St between Beacon St and the Longfellow Bridge

2) Make a social media post of your bike with whatever you bought from the local business and/or in front of the business.

3) Include in your post:

— The hashtag #IBikeIBuyCharlesSt
— Tag the BCU (Twitter, IG, FB)
— The name of the business on Charles St.
— A sentence describing what you purchased and/or why you visit this business by bike.

Don't have social media? You can still enter here.

Improving Safety and Accessibility on Charles Street

Charles St. in Beacon Hill is a heavily used walking and biking route, yet the vast majority of its space is used for moving and storing cars. The BCU is working with residents and business owners to address their concerns about this imbalance.

Current Conditions

— There have been at least 23 crashes resulting in injuries along Charles Street since 2015.
50% of all drivers speed on Charles St.

charles st speeding chart
charles st legend

Bikes make up more than 23% of all traffic during the AM peak

— About 75% of all residents in the Connect Downtown study area commute by foot, bike or transit

charles st current conditions bcu

Charles Street, with 5 lanes for cars

Campaign Goals

mass inc poll bike lanes

Bostonians want more street space for walking, biking and dining — and less of it for driving and parking.

According to a recent MassINC survey of Boston-area residents, 75% want more bike lanes separated from cars.

Among our goals with this campaign: Improve safety and access for people walking and biking; support local businesses; and calm traffic while maintaining parking and loading zones.

Safety + Speeding Data

— Separated bike lanes reduce injury risk by 90% to people biking.

— Separated bike lanes make streets safer for everyone. A 2019 study linked protected bike lanes to a 44% reduction in all traffic crashes

— When Cambridge added bike lanes to Cambridge Street to calm traffic, speeding rates dropped from 50% to 15% (see chart below)

walker vehicle speed chart
speeding data

Speeding on Cambridge St. before/after traffic calming and bike lanes

Economic Benefits of People-First Streets

bike spending

Source: People for Bikes and Alliance for Biking & Walking

Study in 6 U.S. cities found new bike lanes had "positive business outcomes to the food service and retail industries."

People who bike spend more per month at local businesses than people who drive

—Two-thirds of customers to JP stores arrive by foot, bike or transit—not cars (Data: JP Centre/South Main Streets)

Case Study: Vanderbilt St. (New York City)

In the three years after New York City added bike lanes and traffic calming measures to Vanderbilt Avenue, sales at local businesses doubled, greatly outperforming comparable roads in the area.

sales growth

Get Involved

Want to help us achieve our campaign goals? Enter your name/contact info at the link below, and we'll be in touch soon.