This Is What It’s Like to Bicycle to Work from Jamaica Plain

Print More

Jamaica Plain resident Kyle Vining regularly bicycles to work from the Woodbourne neighborhood and shared his helmet cam of his riding in the Boston Bike to Work Day.

Vining has been a vocal proponent for the city to improve road safety for bicyclists, pedestrians, and drivers. He's documented numerous occasions of unsafe driving, including MBTA drivers riding through red lights, pedestrians almost getting hit and more.

A screenshot of Kyle Vining's ride as part of Boston Bicycle to Work Day on May 17. 2019.

"I regularly commute year-round by bike to work in Longwood Medical Area. I enjoy commuting by bike because I enjoy the outdoors and it saves me time. I ride along the Emerald Necklace trail from my neighborhood past the Arboretum, Jamaica Pond, and Leverett Pond," said Vining to Jamaica Plain News.

The Boston Bike to Work Day was part of the national bike to work day, and held on May 17. Bicyclists joined each other from every Boston neighborhood, and ended on City Hall Plaza for free breakfast, coffee and a bicycle expo. 
Vining said the most dangerous part of his bicycle commute is in Forest Hills and along Hyde Park Avenue.

"There are no bike lanes in Hyde Park Ave, so I try to stay on the sidewalk. However, I am not much safer, because cars, trucks, and buses fail to stop for pedestrians or bikes in crosswalks," said Vining. "Further, the city recently changed its signal policy so that cars and pedestrians have concurrent signals. This is a problem, because a distracted or reckless driver of a thousand-pounds vehicle could instantly end an innocent victim's life."

Vining said the safety issues are worsened by the lack of enforcement of traffic laws, and the lack of a traffic division leaves the streets to rather unprotected.

"I have been advocating for safer streets in Forest Hills since I moved to the neighborhood in 2016, but the city has not made any improvements. This past December, I was hit by a car while biking through a crosswalk at the intersection of Walk Hill Street and Wenham Street," said Vining.

Vining said he feels the city's current plans to address bicycle safety issues are "inadequate and are falling behind the goals set forth in Boston 2030." He points to plans being underway to add protected bike lanes between Forest Hills and Hyde Square, but Centre Street between Hyde Square and Jackson Square has been dropped from those plans.

"This ethnically and socio-economically diverse neighborhood links two schools, a community center, a subway station, and the SW Corridor," said Vining.

Like many Bostonians, Vining believes the city urgently needs major street safety reform to protect the public and make our city more equitable, sustainable, livable, and enjoyable for all.

He is part of a new new community group called S.A.F.E. Boston, which stands for Streets Are For Everyone in Boston. If you're interested in joining or learning more, please contact SAFE at safeboston@gmail.com.

1,118 Views