Yesterday, Traffic Council approved changes to the parking regulations along Beacon Street east of Hammond Street, which changes will provide sufficient room to install bicycle lanes in both directions. Obviously, this represents an important moment for biking proponents. Soon we will have the first striped bike lanes in the city. And, parking is going to be re-arranged to make it so.
But, what struck me was the nature of the debate. The objections to the proposal were, surprisingly, not about preserving parking proposed to be eliminated, but about whether new parking proposed as an offset made sense. Alderman Lisle Baker argued against adding parking spots west of the bus shelter. (I said that I thought that there might be enough room for parking, bike lane, and travel, but on reflection his point about the buses coming out around parked cars and then pulling back to turn right at College Road is compelling and justifies the decision not to add those spaces.) Traffic Council member Sergeant Jim Norcross argued that preserving some spaces along the south side and extending the hours created an unnecessary hazard.
Not what I would have expected.
Again, kudos to Jim Danila and Clint Schuckel for their thorough analysis of the situation and creative solution to the parking problem, to the Ward 7 aldermen Schnipper, Baker, and Fuller for their effort to work with DPW staff to come up with a solution that ensured bike lanes, and to BC, which as an abutter and a consumer of parking could have been a real obstacle, but was instead an enthusiastic supporter.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Posted by Sean Roche at 6:04 PM