Bikes and Boston: The Emergence of the Bicycle in the City of Boston. Recommendations for Improving the Safety of Bicyclists at Boston University.
Lopez, Daniel A.
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In the last few, accidents involving bicycles in the City of Boston and the Boston University Campus have significantly increased. During the fall 2012 semester at Boston University, two students who were involved in accidents while riding their bicycles were killed in separate incidences. These tragedies, along with the fact that over 600 incidences have occurred in the City of Boston in the last year alone, suggest that significant safety measures to protect bicyclists are needed. Due to the interdependent nature of transportation as a whole, it is my opinion that significant measures which protect bicyclists will also have positive benefits in protecting pedestrians and motorists as well. This paper proposes five policies as a means to improving the safety of bicyclists, that is, caution signs, pavement markings, and reflectors; reduced speed limits; barriers; bicycle stoplights; and intelligent transportation systems. To ensure that these policies are effective, a strong implementation phase that addresses enforcement and education is needed. Boston University already does a great job in addressing these two areas; however, the University needs to adapt their plans for enforcement and education to highlight any adopted policies. Overall, the adoption and implementation of these policies can help to reduce an issue that has become more significant in the last three years – a high number of bicycle-related accidents and a lack of bicycle safety measures. Boston University has the opportunity to pioneer new innovative bicycle safety measures on its campus, which, in turn, can lead to more significant bicycle safety measures for the City of Boston as a whole.
This is a student paper written as part of a directed study project under the direction of Professor Christine Rossell in May 2013.