Weigh in on the Boston Streets Department budget priorities in FY23

Last year there were no new protected bike lanes installed in Boston. While we are seeing progress on some long-awaited projects this spring, like the road diet and bike lanes on Tremont St (South End) and protected bike lanes on Boylston St (Fenway), there are others that are still delayed and many not yet initiated, leaving dangerous holes in Boston’s bike network. 

There are many ways to speak up in the next few weeks. We encourage you to take at least one opportunity to let Mayor Wu and the City Council know that we want to see significant progress on the ground to the bike network in 2022!

  1. Sign up to testify at the budget hearing about the Boston Transportation and Public Works Department on Monday, May 9 at 10:00 a.m. You can submit video or written  testimony ahead of time, or testify via Zoom or in person. Sign up here to testify! 
  2. Send an email to the city council and Streets Department asking for faster progress on the bike network and more and better bike parking.
  3. Speak to Mayor Wu and her team at an upcoming neighborhood coffee hour
  4. Tweet @BosCityCouncil and @BostonBTD using the hashtags #bospoli and #BosBudget to share why building a connected, protected, bike network and robust bike parking is important to you. Tag @bostonbikeunion as well

Click here to email Mayor Wu and the City Council 

Photos by Lauryn Allen.

Image description:  The photo on the left shows 2 female BCU staff with a megaphone and a sign that reads, Mobility Justice, speaking in front of Boston City Hall at the BCU Build Back Bikable Rally in May 2021. Next to them are 2 women holding a “People First Streets NOW” banner. The photo on the right shows Mayor Michelle Wu clapping her hands in City Hall Plaza, surrounded by people with bikes at the rally.

Mayor Wu was at our Bike Budget rally last May, supporting our advocacy for a connected, safe, equitable bike network. Now we are asking you to join us in holding her accountable!

Background and details

The budget process is a critical opportunity to share our priorities around building a bikeable city, and ensure that funding allocations match the city’s own goals around bike network progress and mode shift out of cars. The Mayor released her budget on April 13 and the city council will now work on it until late June through a series of hearings and working sessions. Under GoBoston 2030, the city committed to building approximately 34 miles of protected bike lanes by the end of 2022. Currently we are only not even halfway there, and need 20 more miles of protected bike lanes by the end of this year to meet the city’s mobility goals. Though the plan was made under a previous administration and last year’s null progress was due to mayoral transitions and a focus on the COVID pandemic response, we are counting on the Wu administration to catch up and deliver on promises made to the people. 

We want Boston’s Streets budget for FY23 to include:

  • Commitments to building 12 miles of protected bike lanes this year. The Budget identifies creation of ~6 miles of protected bike lanes. This is a great start, but still not enough. We want to see another 6 miles created with quick build projects.
  • Increased staffing at the Boston Transportation Department and Public Works Department to lead robust community planning on more projects AND ensure for timely implementation of projects
  • Quadruple the budget for bike parking and the installation of at least 1 bike corral in every main street district
  • Bike educator positions at BTD need higher wages and should be year-round positions, ensuring that these green jobs are good-paying jobs!

We also want to thank the city for including the following in the Mayor’s proposed budget:

  • Funding and plans to redesign streets for people and add protected bike lanes on: Cummins Highway, Mass. Ave. (Dorchester and South End), Cambridge St (Allston and downtown), State St (downtown), Blue Hill Ave, Blossom St, repaving the Melnea Cass bike path and more
  • Construction of protected bike lanes that has started this year on Tremont St (South End) and Boylston St (Fenway)
  • Increasing the strategic bike network line item from $2 million to $4.65 million
  • Expanding the BlueBikes system in Boston 

In your advocacy for a more bikeable Boston, we encourage you to touch on these points and share how these improvements will impact you personally.