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Bluebikes Expands to Downtown Medford and Malden

A small crowd gathers under a Bluebikes-branded pop-up tent next to some Bluebikes resting on their kickstands. In the foreground, a man in a suit, ballcap, and bicycle-print tie and woman in a leapord-print jacket hold comically oversized shears as they cut a ribbon while the others look on.

Medford Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn (left, holding scissors), Blue Cross Blue Shield MA VP of Public Affairs and Corporate Citizenship Jeff Bellows (in black vest), Malden City Councilor Steve Winslow (holding scissors at right, and Lyft Bikeshare General Manager Dominick Tribone, and others cut the ribbon on a new Bluebikes dock on Main Street in Medford on Monday afternoon. Courtesy photo by Scott Eisen.

The cities of Medford and Malden have officially joined the municipally-owned Bluebikes network, with three new stations open this week in the cities' downtown areas, and three more to come in the near future.

A total of six new bikesharing docks are scheduled to open as part of the expansion.

In Medford, three new docks have been installed along Main Street between the Somerville city line and the city's downtown area, at Tufts Square (Medford St. and Main St.), Brooks Park (near the corner of George St. and Main St.), and Medford Square (Riverside Ave. and River Street).

In Malden, three new stations are being installed around the edges of the city's downtown area, with docks at the Malden Center Orange Line station, on the Northern Strand Trail at its intersection with Main Street, and at Malden High School (note that as of Tuesday morning, the Malden High School station had not yet been activated on the official Bluebikes station map).

The expansion adds 36 new bikes to the regional system, and is being funded with a joint grant from the Boston MPO’s Community Connections grant program.

In a press release, Medford Mayor Lungo-Koehn said that “introducing access to Bluebikes in Medford helps further connect our city and makes biking a feasible way to reach neighborhoods and destinations in Medford and across the region.”

One challenge for the Medford expansion will be the lack of safe bicycling infrastructure near the city's new stations.

Medford's Main Street currently lacks any dedicated space for bicycle travel, and forces people on bikes to share busy travel lanes with motor vehicles alongside two lanes of space set aside for parked cars.

According to MassDOT's crash database, there have been 382 recorded crashes along the 1.4 mile section of Main Street in Medford since the start of 2019, and 76 of those crashes injured at least one victim.

By contrast, the 1.5-mile Summer Street in Somerville, a similarly-sized two-lane street where the city replaced has one curbside on-street parking lane with a painted bike lane, has recorded only 51 crashes in the same period, 17 of which resulted in injury.

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