See our original post about this article, and an unedited version of our letter here.
You can see additional comments from riders here.
Here is some of the press coverage of the ride:
We got this question from Scott about riding in crosswalks.
In crossing a zebra crosswalk, where cars must stop for pedestrians, does the law prohibit you from riding your bike across. Must you walk it?
Good question Scott, and unfortunately one with a bit of a confusing answer. Massachusetts law does not expressly address the issue of vehicles (remember, bicycles are legally vehicles) using crosswalks to cross the street. The law does require "drivers" to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks (Mass. General Laws, chapter 89, section 11), which gives us a clue that whoever wrote the law was thinking about cars. And cars, as a practical matter, cannot physically use a crosswalk (unless they are somehow driving on the sidewalk), so lawmakers probably did not think it was essential to write a law prohibiting something that cannot happen. But, taking everything in context, we think the intention is pretty clear that vehicles should not use crosswalks. What does this mean for bicyclists? Here is a common sense approach, where you choose whether to act as a vehicle or as a pedestrian and then stick with that choice:
If you are riding your bicycle in the road, then you are operating as a vehicle, and should not use crosswalks to cross intersections. You should remain in proper position to cross the intersection with other vehicular traffic. Sure, you could dismount, walk over to the crosswalk, walk your bike across, then walk back over into the road and remount, but we do not advise that because it puts you at risk from turning vehicles while in the crosswalk, you may have to merge back into moving traffic on the other side of the street (and cars are not expecting you to do that from a crosswalk), and it makes you unpredictable - no one will know for sure what you intend to do. The little "jog" to the right (into or near the crosswalk) that we see many bicyclists do before running a red light does not somehow make it OK - it is still running a red light (as well as being dangerous for all of the above reasons and potentially conflicting with pedestrians). A mounted bicyclist in the roadway is a vehicle and must obey the rules and signals.
If you are riding your bicycle on the sidewalk where it is legal to do so, then you are effectively a pedestrian, and it may be legal to ride in a crosswalk (although we do not guarantee it). Even so, we think it is safer to walk your bike across the street to avoid conflicts with pedestrians and turning cars that might not be looking for bicyclists in crosswalks. Sidewalk bicycling is illegal in all designated business districts statewide, and each city or town can further restrict it. Some towns prohibit all sidewalk bicycling. You need to check the local rules to know for sure.
If you are riding your bicycle illegally on a sidewalk, you are breaking the law, and riding in the crosswalk is probably also illegal.
We are still accepting entries, so be sure to read below to find out how to send in your story.
Our next story comes from Paola.
Where I Ride: From my home in Brighton to my office in the Fort Point Channel, and around my neighborhood to run errands
How Often I Ride: I’m mostly a fair weather rider
I had not been on a bicycle since I was a teen, but something inspired me to start cycling. I remembered enjoying it so much as a kid and commuting by T was becoming a drag, so in August 2009 –at the age of 37- I decided to take a plunge and buy a bike. I wanted something that fit my lifestyle (emphasis on “style”), so I bought a Schwinn cruiser that reminded me of the bicycles of my childhood. At first, I was afraid to ride with traffic, so I only took short trips around the neighborhood. My local bike shop suggested I enroll in the intro to bicycling skills offered by MassBike to help me get over my fears; there, I learned of the Boston Bikes Friday caravans to the city and –encouraged by the safety of traveling with a group- decided to join them. Soon enough, I was riding to and from work on a regular basis on my own. I am amazed by how much I’ve enjoyed this experience!
There are many challenges to urban riding but, overall, the hours I spend on my bike are the best hours of my day. I’m a slow rider and my commute gives me an opportunity to think, decompress and focus. There are no phones, Blackberries, or computers… it’s just me and the road. Boston never looked this beautiful.
We want to hear your story. Tell us about yourself and how bicycling is a part of your life. Just copy and paste the form below into an email, fill it in, and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Where You Ride:
- How Often You Ride:
- Your Profession/Relation/Title (lawyer, nurse, Grandma, son, etc):
- A picture of you on your bicycle, or you in your daily life (be sure we can see your face):
- A paragraph or two about your life and your bicycle:
To park your bike: The valet bike parking is west of the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade. Keep the river and the lagoon on your right and you'll find us. Look for the bright yellow MassBike tent.
To find our booth: Our exhibit booth is located in a large white tent between Storrow Drive and the concession area.
Click here for a an interactive map of the event
Hearing from bicycling experts from around the country about how to make great bicycling cities. And MassBike is providing free valet bike parking!