Healey vetoes bike bill; Summervillain infuriated

6 January 2007, 12:11 pm

I was initially tempted to consider Kerry Healey’s veto of “An Act Relative to Bicycle Safety” a parting shot of willful malice, but reading her note, it seems clear to me that it’s the result of cluelessness and incompetence: Healey thinks of bikes as a means of recreation, not transportation.

Given the price and environmental impact of gasoline-based transit, any competent mayoral office of a major metropolitan U.S. city really ought to be considering bicycles as a significant component of its commuting infrastructure. But this blindness is especially galling in Boston, with its aging, clogged traffic arteries, and where the financial and engineering disasters of The Big Dig loom large.

Actually, I don’t think House Bill 5372 went nearly far enough. Almost every day, I see commuting cyclists commit acts that would qualify as reckless endangerment for motor vehicle traffic. I think operating a bicycle on non-residential streets should require a license, and I think penalties for bicycle traffic violations should be of the same magnitude as for motor traffic.

But if Bill 5372 was arguably inadequate, it would have been a start, and it’s a damn shame that it didn’t get passed.


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