Letter: Better bike infrastructure needed on Centre Street

Moving here from Virginia last August, I looked forward to leaving behind my car to embrace the more ubiquitous and interconnected bike infrastructure of Boston. After all, we were rated No. 5 most bike-able US city of 2015 (walkscore.com). Throughout the fall and most of the spring, my commute to Roxbury has been a cinch with the Southwest Corridor and bike lanes on Centre Street safely and smoothly getting me from near the Pond to Roxbury Crossing and back. It’s been a dream come true coming from a region where such luxury has been traditionally nonexistent (though improving).

The bike lanes on Centre, namely through Hyde Square, weren’t the smoothest in the city, but always got me from A to B with all my teeth in tact. However, the ongoing water main maintenance in the neighborhood has left this stretch a mutilated mess. Every morning and afternoon I see bikes riding down the center of the lanes and often along the double yellow line to avoid the practically unrideable space designated for cyclists. Very unsafe, especially when we’re all commuting only half awake at 6:30 in the morning. The cycling lanes, faded as of a year ago, now are nonexistent. I waited until the construction winded down before writing this letter in hopes Hyde Square’s stretch of Centre Street would be made over after past and current work left it cratered and without marking lines. Unfortunately, one shoddy patch job after another has left the road unsuitable for cars, let alone bikes.

I encourage all JP residents to reach out to the City about using maintenance as an opportunity to improve not just what’s underground but also that above. At a recent Boston Cyclists Union meeting, I was told there is just one (dedicated but overwhelmed) gentleman responsible for maintaining Boston’s bike infrastructure. Maybe with our collective voices the City will listen and give him the resources needed to remain one of the most bike-able cities in the country!

Carey Peaseley

Jamaica Plain resident

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