Bike to the Sea Executive Director statement on the April Fool’s Ride, April 8th 2023
Thank you to the 60+ people who came out for our rescheduled April Fool’s Ride yesterday! We had more than double the number of participants we had last year, which is great news, but caught us a bit by surprise! We understand some motorists may have been frustrated by the size of the ride traveling on city streets in Melrose and Malden. Bike to the Sea is a community-based organization that serves all.
We apologize if the ride was inconvenient for anyone. In the future, including for the rest of our upcoming rides this year, we will be coordinating with police for traffic control on rides of this size. By collecting RSVPs ahead of the ride we should be able to gauge attendance and coordinate accordingly. We appreciate the courtesy of motorists, and of our participants, to coexist on the roadways during this event.
Part of the purpose of these urban rides is to show folks where new bicycle infrastructure has been installed, such as the new bicycle lanes on Main Street in Melrose, and the two-way cycle track on Willow Street in Malden. To get to these locations we must travel on other roads that lack separate bicycle infrastructure. Lebanon is one of these streets, and we understand that it was a particularly challenging section of the ride yesterday because of the traffic volume and number of riders we had participating.
The good news is that MassDOT has programmed a project for Lebanon Street in Melrose, and the city is coordinating with Malden for potential extension, that will provide separated bicycle facilities. This will improve access and safety for bicyclists as well as pedestrians and motorists, by creating separate space for each mode, and installing an additional traffic signals at Sylvan and Lebanon, as proposed in the preliminary design.
We encourage anyone who is interested in this project, Bike to the Sea, and Melrose Pedestrian and Bicyclist Committee, to reach out or attend one of our upcoming monthly meetings. More information is provided below.