Roundup: Most Dangerous Intersections for Boston Bikers

Keep your helmet on and your eyes peeled; these intersections are notorious for knocking bikers down.

Boston is becoming a biking city. It was named a “top biking city” this past summer and Mayor Tom Menino recently announced the Boston Bike Network Plan that will add 350 miles of new bike paths (and much of it protected paths) over the course of 30 years, including 75 miles of new paths in the next five years. Biking gets your heartbeat up, tones your muscles, saves on gas, and helps our city stay green. But despite its popularity and health benefits, biking can be dangerous. We’ve put together a list of a few of the most dangerous intersections for Boston bikers to help you get home safely.

Somerville Ave Image via Shutterstock

Somerville Ave Image via Shutterstock

Massachusetts Avenue and Somerville Avenue

With multiple bus stops, the Porter Square Shopping Center, Somerville Avenue and Mass Ave. all converging into one intersection, bikers need to stay alert while pedaling through this area. It’s a large area to cover in the span of a one green light, and cars are coming at you from all sides. Pedal cautiously and make yourself known to drivers.

Charles Street Image via Google Maps

Charles Street Image via Google Maps

Charles Street and Beacon Street

Don’t let the one-way street fool you. When Charles splits into two before narrowing down, many drivers seem to have no idea what they’re doing, and they won’t see you. Keep to one side, depending on where you’re headed, and use hand signals so everyone knows where you intend to go. You could even try riding up the side of the Common to the right of Charles Street to keep out of traffic.

Kenmore Square image via Google Maps

Kenmore Square image via Google Maps

Kenmore Square

This is another large area to cross in a small amount of time. Kenmore Square is the crossover point of Commonwealth Ave, Beacon Street, Red Sox fans, and Boston University undergrads. Make sure you know which street you’re following (don’t change your mind in between Beacon St. and Comm Ave.) and always go with the flow of traffic. Don’t try to be clever and beat the lights; there are so many people going so many different ways, the lights and the cars will inevitably win that battle.

Congress Street Image via Shutterstock

Congress Street Image via Shutterstock

Congress Street near Government Center

The area surrounding Government Center is always densely packed with pedestrians, but don’t let them distract you. Tourists can get out of your way faster than you can get out of the way of an angry taxi driver. Taxis are plentiful in this area, and the streetlights change quickly. Stay vigilant and just get through.

Packard's Corner Image via Shutterstock

Packard’s Corner Image via Shutterstock

Packard’s Corner/Brighton Avenue

There’s just really no good way to navigate this “corner” where Comm Ave. and Brighton Ave. split. If you’re turning left to stay on Comm Ave., either get in the left lane earlyand watch how close you are to the T tracksor stay to the right and take Brighton Ave. up to the next street on your left: St. Luke’s Road. Once you’re away from the craziness, you’ll be able to find a break in traffic to cross safely and take St. Luke’s straight down until it collides with Comm Ave. again.

Do you bike around Boston? What intersections and roads did we miss? Tell us in the comments.

  • Charlie

    These intersections can be a little scary, but they are by far not the worst. My list would include:
    – Cambridge St at Mass Pike on and off-ramps, Allston
    – Charles Circle, Boston
    – Hungtington Ave at Stuart St, Boston
    – McGrath Highway at Land Boulevard, Cambridge
    – Sullivan Square rotary, Charlestown

  • Dani

    The worst intersection I’ve been through is right by Central Sq – Where Magazine Street meets Western Ave meets River Street. So scary and zero bike lanes! I had to get off and walk which I almost never do.