Sunday, August 2, 2009

Road Becomes Cycling Path

Every Sunday from April to October, a stretch of Memorial Drive in Cambridge, Mass. is closed to motorists to create "Riverbend Park" -- a car-free road for the use of cyclists, rollerbladers, skateboarders and pedestrians.

Today was the second time we went. The route is rather short (I think it is a 1-mile stretch?), but we wanted to support the initiative. The lanes are wide, so we were able to ride next to each other and talk. It was nice, though tamer than the kind of cycling we usually do. Once you get used to cycling in traffic and/or for long stretches, this sort of ride can feel restrictive.

I know that something similar to this event exists in Chicago and other cities. Do you make it a point to go to yours? Do you see these as beneficial?

11 comments:

  1. When I lived in Somerville, I'd always forget they closed Mem Drive on Sundays and try to take it places. It was annoying, Because it happened to me multiple times a year. But then again, I'm the kind of person who always tries to go to Brookline when the Head of the Charles Regatta is going on and I wonder why there's this horrible traffic....
    Anyway, I do like the idea, and it is lovely that they do it on a pretty stretch of road, but it's not a practical stretch of road, because it doesn't go anywhere. I'd love to see Mass Ave, or Rte. 2 or 2A close for part of Sunday, so that you could really go somewhere on your bike.

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  2. I agree with you completely. I vote for closing 1A for a group ride to the North Shore!

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  3. hello! I live in Manchester (UK) and have a Pashley too :) yesterday (Sunday) my partner and I took part in the first event the council plus a well known corporate name organised to create 11.5km of car-free roads in the city centre. We went as being a first, it was so important that people supported it. Manchester is just, only just, starting to realise the benefit of supporting cycling in favour of cars and every cyclist who took part yesterday count towards reinforcing the message that we want safe and enjoyable cycle paths to be improved and enlarged in our city :) 15,000 people took part, not bad!

    Shame though it felt a bit too corporate and did feel rather restrictive: a definite route one could not change, but as I said being the first it was important to show support :)

    Lovely blog :) L xxx

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  4. I grew up in NYC and I love love loved going around the loop in central park. Usually, I was walking or on rollarblades, but I loved that I could do 6 miles or a smaller loop. I also appreciated that I could take the bus or train there. ( as an adult I lived 30 blocks away when as a kid I lived across the street) so even when it wasn't "in my backyard" I was able to access it easily and feel at "home" again.

    I wish mem drive was reachable to me. And that it was longer than a mile. Or there were more 1 miles spots all over so everyone could have a backyard rolling space on the weekends... although I do have the carriage lane of comm ave though- so I should be happy.

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  5. We don't have a ride like that here in Fort Worth but.... I take the lane most of the time anyway and make my own bike path.

    And for those who may have missed it, Filigree's Motobecane Mirage is featured on The Mixte Gallery. (Okay, I'm shilling for my blog, but you gotta start somewhere!)

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  6. Lorenza, thanks for that info about Manchester; it is nice that they are doing things in the UK. I lived in England for 4 years, through in an area that was more bike friendly than the rest. I like your blog and it is good to "meet" a fellow Pashley owner!

    MamaVee, this might get closer to your back yard than you think! Have you heard about this proposal?

    Doohickie, thanks for including my mixte! The new bog looks great, as do your others.

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  7. I have heard of that proposal. I am anxiously awaiting it- but I am also a bit wary of it actually happening. It seems a long way from 10 students and their thesis project and actually getting Newton to let the work happen. I hope it does!

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  8. Where did you get your rear bag?

    terraskye from BF

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  9. The bag is a Carradice Barley. I've now posted a review of it here, including links to sellers.

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  10. Thank you:) I guess I wasn't paying attention:( which is funny because I've been trying to read all your posts to get more Pashley information

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  11. The ride in Chicago is on the lakefront expressway called Lakeshore Drive. The excitement there is that it is not cyclable any other day of the year since the speed limit is high with off-ramps and such. So the thrill is basically riding along the lake on a highway completely populated with bicycles. Its also a 15-mile route one-way. I wish I still lived in Chicago. I would love to do this!

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