RIP Tom Menino Just 2 miles of paint in 2014? Sadness …

We only wish Tom Menino had found riding a bike a bit sooner in his life. He may well still be with us given the health benefits of riding a bike. Sadly he got hit by a car on River Street on a ride and that basically ended it for him.

We only wish the fervent effort of Tim Timlin and Nicole Friedman during the Mayor’s last year carried into the current administration. While the Dorchester Bike Infrastructure Deficit is down to a half dozen sharrows on the top end of Adams Street, the fact is there has been no new bike infrastructre installed in Dorchester during the the current Mayor’s term.

While we were moaning about that, we learned we shouldn’t feel bad because there’s only been 2 miles of any infrastructure installed anywhere during 2014. I might accept that, but since Dorchester covers 20% of the City’s area and houses 20% of the residents my question has to be, “Where’s our 4 tenths of a mile?”

Let’s see? That could have been Washington Street from Park to 4 Corners… Or perhaps Mass Ave from Columbia to South Bay Station… Get it? Both those areas were paved in the past year and neither of them got any new bike infrastructure. In fact Mass Ave got a host of new turn lanes. Just what a rider wants.

Anyway, back to Mayor Menino. He let his people do their work and backed them up with some tough politics. I would say his best efforts for biking was on Mass Ave as the State planners were DUG IN DEEP on the road’s reconstruction plans saying they couldn’t go back and add bike lanes.

Well not only did they pull off bike lanes, but within a year or so of their installation the Mayor spearheaded the removal of PARKING SPACES on Mass Ave in front of the Christian Science Complex. (If only it wasn’t perhaps the bumpiest crappiest hardest stretch of road just about anywhere to ride.. Oops sorry)

He let Hubway go through without any public input outside of an RFP created by the Metropolitan Planning Council which given the lack of Hubway in Dorchester as well as lack of infrastructure was just why I was against Hubway. So he’s credited with Hubway which did bring a lot of positive attention to riding.

Anyway, we’ll miss Tom Menino. He was an icon of his time and will leave a legacy for all of us to remember. We’ll hope that his legacy on support of bicycles in Boston will be mirrored and even surpassed by his replacement. It did take Menino 14 years to wake up to bikes. Let’s hope it doesn’t take Marty as long…

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