On Thursday, 6 pm, November 3rd, at the VNA, 259 Lowell St., the Board of Aldermen’s Public Safety Committee will discuss the Administration’s disinclination to implement a promised Bicycle Safety Campaign for the city’s cyclists and pedestrians.
With a major increase in the number of cyclists here, enforcement of public safety laws pertaining to cyclist behavior has been nil, putting Somerville pedestrians at greater risk, especially seniors and people with disabilities.
Sidewalk cycling in the city squares, while prohibited by local ordinance, has also been on the rise, especially in Union Square. The city has not enforced this ordinance, despite citizens’ concerns.
Accordingly, last winter, the Board of Aldermen, in response to constituent complaints, requested the Administration to undertake a public safety campaign aimed at cyclists and pedestrians, and enforcement of the local ordinance. City Hall promised a “far-reaching campaign” to inform citizens, cyclists and pedestrians of cycling rights and responsibilities, to begin in the spring of 2011.
After initial meetings, a group chaired by Jaclyn Rossetti, and including the Bike Committee, Groundwork Somerville, CYCLE Kids, Tufts and the Somerville Public Schools, worked to design a poster campaign. But no further efforts ensued during the summer, or this fall.
There was never an attempt to enforce the local ordinance. Other cities around the country do enforce a ban on business-district sidewalk cycling.
Please call City Hall and demand that the Administration undertake the promised Bicycle Safety Campaign, and begin enforcement of the local ordinance banning sidewalk cycling in the business districts (city squares).
Please consider attending this Public Safety Committee meeting on Nov. 3rd.
Somerville’s disinclination to enforce pedestrian public safety laws will be an upcoming segment of the nationwide cable TV show “Perils For Pedestrians,” cablecast in over fifty major American cities.