Honor comes only two years after city named a Bronze level community, demonstrating City of Somerville’s continued progress

somervillelogoIf you’re on a bicycle in Somerville, you can get there from here. The League of American Bicyclists has recognized the city’s continued commitment to creating a bikeable community with a Silver Bicycle Friendly Community designation, only two years after the city earned a Bronze level designation. Somerville now joins a number of cities including New York City, Philadelphia and Boston receiving this level of recognition for its efforts to promote bicycling.

The City of Somerville has installed more than 25 miles of bike lanes and sharrows in the last three years and in May held a groundbreaking ceremony for the extension of the Somerville Community Path from its current end at Cedar Street to Lowell Street, with the city strongly advocating for the Path’s future extension to Boston. In 2012, Somerville joined the Hubway bikeshare system with 12 stations garnering thousands of rides monthly, and since 2011 has added over 200 new bike parking spots to city streets as part of a regional bike parking program. Investment in infrastructure has been complimented by safety programming including an informational poster and PSA campaign, increased police enforcement, and cycling education in schools.

“We have seen the impact of our investments in bicycle infrastructure, with biking up 56 percent over the past two years in Somerville according to our counts,” said Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone said. “It’s not just social infrastructure, however, that makes it easier to get around, live a healthier lifestyle and be kinder to the planet. It is economic infrastructure. Bicycle infrastructure connects people to mass transit and jobs. It brings more customers to local businesses. In turn, it also attracts developers, who see a vibrant, active city with bustling streets filled not with faces seen through car windows, but out walking or biking. We have already earned recognition as the 10th most walkable city and 8th most bikeable city in the nation, but we won’t be satisfied until we’re number one.

Since 2002, the League of American Bicyclists has received nearly 600 applications for designation as a Bicycle Friendly Community, and Somerville is among 291 Bicycle Friendly Communities in 48 states across the nation awarded the honor. The program assists communities evaluate their quality of life, sustainability and transportation networks, while giving them a way to measure their progress toward improving their bicycle-friendliness.

“Somerville is playing a critical part in creating a truly Bicycle Friendly America,” said Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists. “We know Somerville’s investment in bicycling will be returned many times over in the health, environmental, and quality of life benefits of a thriving community.”

To apply or learn more about the free BFC program, visit bikeleague.org/community.  For more information about bicycling in Somerville, visit the city’s page at http://www.somervillema.gov/departments/ospcd/transportation-and-infrastructure/planning-for-bicycles.


10 Responses to “Somerville named a Silver Bicycle Friendly Community by League of American Bicyclists”

  1. Somerbreeze says:

    City Hall still slavishly kowtows to cyclists, while blowing off pedestrian safety and motorist concerns. All the blabber about inclusiveness is just that–blabber!

    Joey Cakes marginalizes seniors, motorists, pedestrians, people with disabilities, long-term residents. If you aren’t part of his Yuppy Brigade–Take A Hike!

    No wonder the City is divided!

  2. Nouveaux Politics? says:

    If the number of bicyclists continues to grow, and they continue to drive recklessly around the city, we almost surely will soon be named the site of the most bicycle-related accidents. It’s a foregone conclusion.

  3. ritepride says:

    The tv news reported that a man who was involved with his cycle and drove into the rear half of the tractor trailer truck [that was already halfway thru the turn onto the adjacent street] passed away and the family is now suing. The police found no fault on the truck driver which means the cyclist was not paying attention to the road. there were a few more similar accidents where clearly the cycle operator was not paying attention to the road and married the rear part of a truck or bus. In this rush..rush world people need to slow down and take time to observe what is going on instead of looking at their watch to time how they are doing, or texting etc.

  4. A.Moore says:

    You have to assume the vehicles are going to turn even though they do not have a directional on. Otherwise you are done. Since I drive all day around the city I see plenty of close calls. Not always the fault of the biker, some just aggresive drivers. Even if they find no fault to the driver the insurance company usually pays off and ups your rate. I know, been there, done that. But the story is more about the city trying to be bike friendly. Bad part is the streets are just not made to make it bike friendly.

  5. Pixie Pocahontas says:


    Until there are better laws created for bicyclists, such tragedies will continue.
    The major problem is their relentless disregard and arrogance for everyone else who shares the roadway. I asked a close friend with many years of LE experience in MSP, who said 99.9% of the time it is the fault of the bicyclist who is not cautious when entering dangerous intersections. There have been other fatal accidents and same conclusion, taking it to court. This also impacts car insurance premiums and business losses for lawsuits. A win- win for lawyers and insurance companies, don’t forget they will also sue the towns which then falls on the taxpayers once again. Many of the cyclists are out of state and country transients.

  6. rite,

    You should see how bad they are on the community paths in Davis Square, near the T stop. I’ve been nearly struck several times. The next time they get too close, I will be shouting in their face. Militant cyclists is what their fellow law abiding cyclists refer them as…and rightly so. Anxiety provoking, intimidating and without a clue. Tour de france didn’t work out, so now we are stuck with them.

  7. JPM says:

    One Monday I was waiting at a red light in Davis Square, right outside the Somerville cinema on Holland Street in the right lane. A Somerville police car was to my left also stopped. A lady on a bicycle blew right through the red light……police officers lights went on and he pulled her over outside Starbucks and wrote her a ticket. I hope to see a lot more of this. When I cross the crosswalks on Holland Street as I make my way home every day I am far more likely to get hit by a bicyclist than a car.

  8. joanne l. says:

    JPM, I so wish I had witnessed that seemingly once-in-a-lifetime event! Good for that cop. I have often been taking a right-hand turn, with my blinker on. As I am turning, a bicyclist appears out of nowhere, and is annoyed that he must now slow down, or go around me. Why can’t he simply stop the way the other cars have done as I turn? They tell drivers to watch out for bikes, but how can you? I have often looked in my rearview mirror to see a bike approaching behind me as I stop at a red light. When the light turns green they may have decided to move to my right, or even to my left, despite what my blinker tells them is my intent. I have nearly been hit numerous times while trying to take a pleasant walk on the Minuteman Trail (we have mistakenly called it the ‘bike path’ for too long, it is a pedestrian/bike trail), as bikers come up from behind with no warning and go around you, heaven help you if you step right or left, you will be hit. When the Trail was first built bikers were polite and if coming up from behind would call out ‘on your left’, but none do that now. Once I had my young kids on the path on their bikes. As kids do, they often stopped. A biker was travelling quite fast, and rather than slow down or stop for a 5-year-old, he drove through the grass on the side, and got a flat tire. Karma.

  9. joanne 1.

    There are bicyclists who use the “community path”, (as it’s called by the administration found in other forms of news media) as their own private bike-highway. I have experienced the same as you on the path which intersects with Davis Square on Elm Street. But I am prepared to confront them if I am approached too closely as I have been more than several times. They are impatient with those walking on either side, so instead of slowing down, as you pointed out, they would rather show you their dare-devil high precision skills by swerving to a near miss–you get excited right? And then pay attention to them–it’s their high, along with their endorphin addiction they keep close to their stone cold hearts. Next time it happens, I will startled them back with a shout, hopefully embarrass them. This also happens frequently in crosswalks and sidewalks, unfortunately.

    I am happy that the police are now issuing tickets to bicyclists. Cambridge has been pulling over cyclists for similar reckless behavior.
    One reason, for the “right hook”, as it’s referred to –when a motorist is taking a right hand turn, and the cyclist refuses to stop. There are a few areas on Hampshire Street which this occurs frequently where cyclists are trying to cut through to Prospect Street, which is another death trap since the lanes are not wide enough to accommodate both motorist and cyclist. I have had 3 very scary events as a motorist with the “right hook” turn while a cyclist failed to slow down. A signal light on your vehicle is not enough. You are expected to look in all mirrors simultaneously, while turning your head completely around so as to avoid other potentially dangerous accidents. Maybe they can figure out how to mount a “cyclist approaching alert” on the top of our vehicles, so we will know when they are coming. They should also be equipped with a 360 degree web camera so we can take live footage of all events and turn it into our insurance companies and public officials so they can fight for laws which will create more responsibility on the cyclist- All should maintain insurance, license, registration and plates. If they want to be on our roads, they must be held to a much higher standard and pay for it like the rest of us, from a bank account, not by injury or loss of life. They are just as much a danger to pedestrians and motorists, as they are to themselves.

  10. Somerbreeze says:

    Hey folks, next time you’re on the Community Path, bring a camcorder and get some video footage of those rogue cyclists…

    Ditto for sidewalk cyclists–video footage is worth a thousand words!

    Then screen it on your laptop at your next ResiStat meeting.

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