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Bike Share Program and More Racks and Lanes Coming to City

The bike share program could begin as soon as this fall.

The Somerville Bicycle Advisory Committee Tuesday night discussed a number of updates to city-sponsored cycling infrastructure projects and organized a few more cycling events for this summer and fall. 

Numerous bike racks coming to where you want them

The city has ordered three on-street bike parking corrals and 75 inverted-U racks. The corrals hold 14 bikes, and each U-rack holds two. Diesel Café in Davis Square and Bloc 11 in Union Square have already requested corrals, which the city should install in a few weeks, according to the city’s liaison to the committee, Kathleen Ziegenfuss.

Business owners may request a corral to replace a metered parking space in front of their business. In addition, residents may request a rack to be placed on any public space with a sidewalk at least six feet wide not adjacent to a bus stop, fire hydrant or bench. 

City halfway to 11 miles of new bike lanes and sharrows in 2011

The city has painted 5.5 of the 11 miles of bike lanes and sharrows that it planned to do this year as part of its “11 in 2011” campaign. In July, municipal workers will paint lanes on School Street and finish painting them on Medford Street to the Cambridge city line.

In addition, the city is considering painting more lanes than it originally committed to, said Ziegenfuss. She asked committee members and residents to think about where the city would put additional markings and to keep in mind that bike lanes cost nine times more for the city to put down than sharrows do. 

Somerville hopes to launch bike share program this fall

The Metro Boston bike share program, Hubway, could reach Somerville as soon as the fall, Ziegenfuss said. The city intends to launch the program with five stations that would hold 10 bikes each. She said that the city is thinking carefully about installing them equidistant from one another and other cities’ sites. Boston expects to roll out its bike share program in July, she said, and other cities such as Cambridge and Brookline plan to follow its lead.

Forthcoming events

  • The Bike Committee encourages parents to strap their children into a bike seat, trailer or other family biking set-up to join the Kidical Mass ride during the July 24 “Seize the Summer” SomerStreets event. From noon to 4 p.m., the city will close Highland Avenue, from City Hall to Cedar Street, to cars. 
  • The committee plans to hold the Tour de Somerville either Oct. 15 or Oct. 22. Members haven’t chosen a theme for the ride, so leave your ideas in the comments section. In previous years, participants have explored the city’s hills, flat surfaces and boundaries. 
  • The Bike Committee will hold its next meeting July 19 at 7 p.m. at City Hall. 
cp kostos June 26, 2011 at 06:51 PM
Please DO NOT INSTALL any bike racks in front of or around my building at PODER HOUSE SQ. I don't have the space to give up and certainly do not want any abandoned bikes there. It's bad enough I have to put up with the ugly newstands and now the several benches that were installed without my permission.
Ron Newman June 27, 2011 at 04:40 AM
If the city installs bike racks near your building, they will be on the sidewalk, and will not take any space away from you or your businesses.
Ron Newman June 27, 2011 at 06:48 PM
One correction to this story: we definitely picked October 15 as the date for the Tour de Somerville. (I'm a member of the Bicycle Committee.)

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