Boston Bikes’ Nicole Freedman

“We started last and late, so one thing we’ve done is study everyone’s best practices; talk to everyone,” says Boston Bikes Director Nicole Freedman.

What challenges did she face? “Every city has its advantages,” she counters; for example, Frederick Law Olmstead, who lived in Boston after his New York career, designed the Emerald Necklace, a series of parks around the city that today provides scenic routes for cyclists.

Hitch rackBoston’s bike rack strategy? “First, obviously, go for demand; if you see a lot of bikes tied to trees, put them there. Two, people want to park very close to the entrance of where they are, so instead of clumping 10 racks in one location… better to spread them out. Three, for a city you want fairly robust racks. And the last thing we learned is, the rack choice matters, we wanted something that wasn’t especially noticeable to passers-by and was fairly small. We chose something called called the hitch rack that looks a little bit like a lollipop. You want two points of contact between the bike and the rack.”

But the inverted U that LA and Huntington Beach use, how does it compare with the hitch rack?

And why are sharrows the path of last resort?

Safe routes to schools, why has she prioritized this ‘motherhood’ program so low? And what has she focused on instead?

Sharrows, bike racks, bike lanes, and of course the weather are covered in this wide ranging discussion of bike safety in Boston.

The Box on Comm Ave



1 Comment

  • Frank November 1, 2010 (7:23 am)

    the bike lane on the left is interesting. I have more conversations with non riders about car door dangers(why we ride out in traffic). One issue that exacerbates the problem is dark window tinting, there is no way to see if there is someone in the car ready to “fling” open a door. Car doors really hurt – picking glass out of my forehead is not what I want to be doing.
    MacArthur to Poppy is tough. I cut down over the bridge and avoid that part in my warm up(too much drama early on).