Boston police prep for Hubway bike-sharing program

In preparation for the rollout of its new "Hubway" bike-sharing program, Boston is boosting police surveillance at key intersections in the city to monitor for collisions.

In preparation for the rollout of a new bike-sharing program, Boston is boosting police surveillance at key intersections in the city to monitor for collisions.

As in most American cities, motorists aren't historically used to sharing the road with cyclists. Boston mayor Thomas Menino seeks to ease the transition as his administration moves to put many more bikes on the road.

The sharing program is called the "New Balance Hubway," modeled after similar schemes in Paris and Washington, D.C. It will make about 600 bikes available at 61 kiosks across several neighborhoods, including downtown, Allston, Brighton and the South End.

The program is scheduled to roll out at the end of this month.

Martine Powers reports in the Boston Globe:

They will educate cyclists and motorists about bicycle safety - with much of that education coming in the form of traffic citations.

Most of those will occur at 10 crash-prone intersections, as determined by data from the city's Boston Bikes agency and the city's Emergency Medical Services.

Things law enforcement officials are looking out for:

  • Drivers making turns without checking for oncoming bikes.
  • Drivers opening car doors without checking for oncoming bikes.
  • Cyclists running red lights.
  • Cyclists riding against traffic.

The mission: get everyone to understand the actual rules of the road, not just what they think is right or wrong. Not a bad idea for a city full of skinny cobblestone streets with nary a grid in sight.

To complement these efforts, officials will pass out fliers to cyclists on proper bicycle etiquette and the Boston Public Health Commission will distribute several hundred helmets to bikers for free.

Residents can purchase a 24-hour or three-day casual membership to Hubway bikes, as well as become an annual registered member for reduced hourly rental rates. An 80-minute ride costs $6 for casual riders and $4.50 for registered members.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com