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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Whatever Arlington Can Do, Somerville Can Do Better...and Does!

In an effort to savor these unseasonably warm Sundays, I have decided to rack up the miles on my bike before putting it away for good until next spring. What I have come to realize during my treks out to Bedford is that Somerville is head and shoulders above Arlington when it comes to making the transition from one section of a bike path to the other as easy as possible for cyclists.

At the beginning and end of each section of the Community Path (Cedar, Willow, Holland) there is a curb cut and a crosswalk. Navigating through Davis Square is a breeze given the attention to detail for cyclists. Roomy, painted bike lanes allow a rider to go around the center of the square and onto the crosswalk leading to the rest of the path.

Post Spy Pond in Arlington, however, is a completely different story. Newly painted warnings telling cyclists not to ride on the sidewalks is fine, but no curb cuts or painted bike lanes make is quite difficult to find your way to the rest of the Minuteman. Not to mention that the sidewalks, much like the ones behind the Rite Aid in Davis, are big enough to accommodate both pedestrians and cyclists together.

The cyclist-friendly setup will not end at Cedar Street, thankfully. The 25% design plan of the extension to Lowell Street will feature a separate rubberized running path, thus, giving runners and cyclists their own lane on both sides of the path. This makes me wish Weston & Sampson did some design work in Arlington!

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