BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — With planning underway to install a lane over Harvard Bridge, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and the Boston Transportation Department announced new plans for the city to add several miles of bike lanes, bring about more Bluebike stations, and launch a rebate program for people with disabilities purchasing e-bikes.
Mayor Wu said during a press conference Tuesday that the city's bike expansion plans will take place over the next three years.
"Now more than ever, the health, well-being, and economic empowerment of our communities depend on people having safe, reliable ways to get where they need to go,” Wu said, “We’re working to transform our streets so all road users are protected and everyone can benefit from the opportunities across our city."
By next year, the city aims to have added 9.4 miles of bike lanes alongside Boston streets.
"We set a goal to ensure that 50 percent of all residents in Boston will be just a three-minute walk away from a safe, connected bike route within the next three years. In that same time frame, we will add more than 100 new Bluebike stations, growing our number of bikes in that system by 40 percent," Wu said.
The mayor went on to announce plans to launch a $1.5 million dollar rebate program for older adults and people living with disabilities to purchase e-bikes.
WBZ's James Rojas was on one of the busiest streets in Boston, Boylston Street, and spoke to a couple residents who were uneasy at the idea of biking downtown.
"I'm too afraid to ride my bike in the streets around here," said one resident.
Though many admitted they would consider giving the new bike lanes a try if the streets were made safer. Another part of the mayor's joint announcement included plans to build speed humps in 30 neighborhood zones, with new crosswalks to parks, libraries, and schools across the city.
"I think it's great— I think it makes transportation much easier in the city," said another resident on Boylston.
City officials say the streets slated for new bike lanes include:
- North Beacon Street, South Street, Western Avenue, and Winship Street in Allston-Brighton.
- Berkeley Street, Boylston Street and Milk Street in Back Bay and Downtown.
- Commonwealth Avenue and Hemenway Street in Fenway/Kenmore.
- Albany Street, Berkeley Street and Charles Street South/Tremont Street in South End and Bay Village.
- South Huntington Avenue in Mission Hill.
- Boylston Street, Green Street, Eliot Street, McBride Street, Seaverns Avenue, South Huntington Avenue in Jamaica Plain
- Poplar Street in Roslindale.
WBZ's James Rojas (@JamesRojasNews) reports.