Roundup: Most Dangerous Intersections for Boston Bikers
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.
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 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.
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 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/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 early—and watch how close you are to the T tracks—or 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.