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In a busy city like Boston, transportation by car can be both difficult and time consuming. Parking is limited and expensive and there is heavy traffic in and around the city.
This is especially true for students, with many colleges having strict parking rules or expenses, and many students not owning cars.
A more convenient, environmentally friendly, cheaper, and healthier mode of transportation is by bike. Although there is a large cyclist population, there are still many people who are reluctant to bike because of concerns about safety.
David Read, Vice President for Ambulatory Care Operations and Medical Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, has taken initiative to increase the safety of cyclists through his leadership and advocacy for more bike lanes on Longwood Avenue.
— EmmanuelCollegeHR (@ECHRPayroll) July 28, 2016
Read himself cycles four miles to work every day and has seen improvements in his health and mood since doing so. The issue of bike lane safety is something that is personal for Read. In August 2015, Anita Kurmann, a 38-year-old surgeon at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, was killed when cycling to work.
“She was a doctor who was biking to work and was run over by a truck. That really bothered me and affected me. So then I said, ‘Okay I’m one of the leaders here at Dana Farber, I can make a difference.’ So I am going to make sure for all of the people that are cycling, whether they are my employees, or employees of other institutions, or some of the many students who come here, that we make this area safer,” said Read.
— EmmanuelCollegeHR (@ECHRPayroll) June 23, 2016
“The issue of doing this now and not waiting is because when all of that construction gets done by Fenway Park and also on Jamaica Plain and Mission Hill, in less than two years it’s going to be crazier so we need to work on this now,” continued Read.
“Everyone benefits [from bike lanes]. People driving cars benefit because we get more cars off the road. All the schools around here have a lot of students who bike,” said Read.
Biking is also a healthy alternative to driving.
“The obesity crisis is huge in this country so we need to do everything we can do for active transportation,” said Read.
Sam Peckham ’20 was a cyclist back home in Cape Cod where there are safe bike paths and quieter roads than in the city.
“I am afraid to bike in the city because I worry that if I were to make one wrong move, I could get hit by a car. I would definitely bike in the city if there were safer bike lanes,” stated Peckham.
Spreading awareness is the first step toward increasing the number of bike lanes in this area. The more people who advocate for this, the faster these bike lanes will be implemented, and the safer this area will become for students and the community.
Hannah White ’20 is a Staff Writer for The Hub. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.