North End Weighs in on New Bike Lane

By James Miller
BU News Service

Thanks to the work of Mayor Thomas Menino and Boston Bikes Director Nicole Freedman, Bicycling Magazine now rates Boston as one of the best biking cities. Yet, there are no bike lanes that penetrate the heart of one of the city’s top tourist destinations, the North End.

The city plans to address this in mid-October when new, shared lane markings will be installed over one to three nights and span Salem Street from Cross Street to Charter Street, according to Boston Bikes, a division of the City of Boston founded in 2007 that oversees bicycle-advancement projects.

Already the North End is bustling with bike traffic. The Cross Street and Hanover Street Hubway stop on Boston’s bike sharing program is one of the most frequented in the city with over 21,000 trips leaving from the station within its first two years, according to Boston Bikes. And a bike line runs around the North End from North Washington Street and Commercial Street to Cross Street and Atlantic Avenue.

The new shared street markings on Salem Street are expected to have little impact on traffic, according to Boston Bikes. But not everyone is convinced. North End residents and workers recently shared varying opinions on how the bike lanes will fit into an already cramped neighborhood.

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