Boston's Newest Biking and Hiking Trails

MWRA bike trails“I am so overwhelmed by Boston’s new aqueduct biking trails that I had to lay down.” (Photo via Thinkstock)

Today, the Globe brings us the great news that the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority is opening up 40 miles of previously closed trails along the aqueduct system. While the trails could be closed in the event of an emergency — the aqueducts are a backup water system — hikers and bikers will be able to use the land, which extends from Boston and Newton and all the way out to Clinton. As the Globe reports:

“This policy is a great example of promoting multiple environmental goals: clean water supply, open-space access, and connecting people to the outdoors,’’ state Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan said at a press conference in Boston. “We welcome partnerships with local communities to help enhance safety while providing public access to this pristine open space.’’

That’s phenomenal news. And in general, biking in Boston is on a roll. Walkscore recently ranked us as the 4th best city for biking in America. Then, Bicycling, which has long ripped on us, ranked us 16th:

After three appearances on our worst-cities list, Boston has become a beacon of bike friendliness, with a bike-share program and the installation of bike lanes along Massachusetts Avenue, on which bikes make up to 14 percent of traffic during peak hours.

Read that again: 14 percent of peak-hour traffic on Mass Ave. is from bicyclists. That’s not just impressive, but also proves that despite complaints from car zealots, the demand for bicycling is here — we just need the infrastructure to support it. The MWRA trails will be a great addition to our growing bike network. Let’s keep building.