Biking with Mayor Wu and Exploring Biking as Alternative to Orange and Green Line During Upcoming Closures

bicyclists riding past the Boston public library
Folks biking down Dartmouth Street through Copley Square during the bike ride with Boston Mayor Michelle Wu early Thursday morning. This stretch of road was closed off for 10 days to car traffic during Copley Connect, a pilot conducted by the City of Boston earlier this summer.

Early this Thursday morning over 50 community members gathered in the neighborhood of Roslindale to bike alongside Mayor Michelle Wu from Adams Park to City Hall in downtown Boston. The group rode together through various neighborhoods including Jamaica Plain and Back Bay with some folks dropping off or joining at various during the nearly 7 mile ride to City Hall. The video below shows a quick snapshot beginning with the arrival of Mayor Wu at Adams Park in Roslindale and shows glimpses of bicyclists riding down Dartmouth and Boylston Street near the Boston Public Library. A member of her staff, Yusufi Vali, can be seen riding along on a Bluebike.

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Among the participants was Andrew Murray, a fellow Roslindale neighbor who told StreetsblogMASS, “I’ve always wanted to bike to work, but I’ve been kind of a little bit anxious and scared about it so this was the push that I needed to finally do that.” He says the bike ride has given him the confidence to try it again another time. 

Roslindale resident Andrew Murray poses with his bike in downtown Boston with City Hall in the background – the final destination of Thursday morning’s bike ride with Mayor Michelle Wu. Over 50 community members rode their bikes together for nearly 7 miles from Roslindale.
Roslindale resident Andrew Murray poses with his bike in downtown Boston with City Hall in the background – the final destination of Thursday morning’s bike ride with Mayor Michelle Wu. Over 50 community members rode their bikes together for nearly 7 miles from Roslindale.

With the overlapping closures of the entire Orange Line, August 19 – September 19, and the Green Line from Union Square in Somerville to Government Center in downtown Boston from August 22 – September 18, many folks are beginning to plan their routes and how they will travel to for trips like grocery shopping, meeting up with friends or getting to work without two subway lines at their disposal. In addition to the Rider’s Guide to Planning Ahead the MBTA created with details on Commuter Rail, shuttle buses and vans, biking could be another option to keep in your back pocket.    

Check out some of the options below and see how biking might fit your schedule and needs over the next few weeks:   

Bike Convoys

The Boston Cyclists Union is currently recruiting volunteers to organize and lead bike convoys through the city in an effort to help each other try something new together.  

Volunteer positions include ride leaders, route planners, app developers, cone setters, and people to hang flyers across neighborhoods. Sign up to help out or stay tuned for more details on how to join as a participant!

Free learn-to-ride workshops

Not feeling super comfortable biking yet? Or perhaps need a quick refresher? Attend one of the timely workshops hosted by the City of Boston as part of their English and Spanish Women’s Learn to Ride series. Maybe you could even meet fellow commuting buddies while you practice and gain confidence in the skills you’ll need to feel comfortable riding on the streets.  

No bike? no problem!

Today, the City of Boston announced anyone can get a free Bluebikes 30-day pass to move between eleven of the region’s cities including Brookline, Cambridge, Everett, Chelsea, Somerville and Watertown. According to the City of Boston statement, “Passes will be available at bluebikes.com/join or in the Bluebikes mobile app.” The passes give folks a chance to bike for 45-minutes straight before having to dock the bicycle at one of the 400 available stations.

Take full advantage of your free pass and explore other parts of the region throughout the month like the Everett Riverwalk or the Neponset River Greenway. 

Get your things ready!

  • Grab some front and rear bike lights if you’re going to ride at night or dusk for any portion of your trip and make sure they’re charged or that the batteries still work.
  • Bring one or two water bottles to stay hydrated on your ride 
  • If you’re trying biking in the city for the first time, take it easy! Plan your route the night before, scope out bike racks near your destination and bring a bike lock. 
  • See what route may work best for you:
    • The Boston Bicycle Network Map lists different bike lane types and their locations throughout the city.
    • Google Maps offers a layer that marks bike routes in green (click Layers → click Biking)
    • The City of Boston is also putting up “pop-up” bike lanes, “separated from vehicle traffic by barrels,” according to the statement released today. These include:
      • Columbus Avenue and Stuart Street between Clarendon Street and Church Street
      • Boylston Street in the Back Bay from Dartmouth Street to Arlington Street.
  • See other bike riding tips like how to carry your stuff by bike
  • Boston Cyclists Union has a comprehensive guide for anyone new to biking including details on traffic laws for Boston, Cambridge and Somerville.

Anyone can try biking! If you ride your bike around the city for errands, to meet up with friends or simply for the joy of it, please share the routes you feel comfortable riding on so others who may just be starting out can learn about these bike routes too.

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