Different Roads

Sometimes when I hear about great bike infrastructure in other cities I’m tempted to move hundreds or thousands of miles away. Truthfully, in Boston, sometimes it doesn’t mean moving hundreds of miles. Sometimes it’s matter of going 2 blocks.

That’s because metro Boston is really a bunch of towns/cities very close together. Each one has different levels of bike-ability. Because of this, when biking in the metro Boston area you can experience many different approaches to bike infrastructure… sometimes one after another on the same road.

Different Roads

Making this even more confusing, even within a city the bike-ability varies. There are different neighborhoods with different personalities, some neighborhoods that get a lot of attention, and some neighborhoods that seem totally forgotten. And not all roads within a city are owned by a city. There are different agencies which also have different approaches to infrastructure on their roads. As a bicycling citizen it’s really hard to figure why there is so much variation. Who who owns what? Who do I email if I have a safety or bike concern? Who is responsible for making improvements? It’s really hard to figure out, there’s a lot of guess work.

Different Roads

And I wonder if it’s this complicated in every city. 

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19 Comments on "Different Roads"

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Jon Webb

Ha, well, Allegheny County, where Pittsburgh is, has 183 different municipalities. On my 1 hour commute I pass through half a dozen or so, depending on the route. But they all have about the same approach to bicycle infrastructure, outside the city of Pittsburgh, which is to totally neglect it. So at least that’s consistent.


On behalf of London – yes!


I’m so glad HONK! made your map!


I’m super late to the party, but Boston has a Bike Czar! That’s why any neighborhoods have bike lanes at all. The first Bike Czar got the Hubway bikes installed and started putting in lanes. Things have gotten much better for bikers in the past 5 years…