Hubway up and running

Ever since Mayor Menino of Boston took up cycling some time in the middle of the last decade, Boston’s transportation policy has moved steadily in a bike-friendly direction.  Though Boston is playing catch-up in comparison to neighboring Cambridge, there has been an impressive, stead increase in the quantity and quality of bike infrastructure in the city.  (I realize that people not familiar with Boston might not believe that urban planning decisions of this magnitude change with the hobbies of one man, but as far as I can tell this is in fact the entire explanation.)  The most recent step in this transformation was the opening, two weeks ago (right on schedule), of the Hubway bike share system.

I’ve seen a number of the bikes in use (including in Cambridge, currently outside the network, though there are plans for an expansion), and it seems that response has been positive.  (Though of course reporters seem to feel obligated in otherwise excellent articles to find someone to complain about bikes endangering drivers (!?) and running stop signs.)  The Boston Bikes website has a lot of information about the program and about bicycling in the city more generally.

I should take this opportunity to note that Cambridge is massively far ahead of Boston with respect to how it treats non-drivers; in this excellent Globe article we find the transportation planner for the city remarking that if pedestrians need to push a button to cross the street, “the system is broken.”

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