Submitted by Jan van Steenwijk
It is great to know that the Town of Bedford finally acknowledges that there are bicyclists on our busy streets amidst heavy vehicular traffic.
Thanks to the hard work done by the town’s Bicycle Advisory Committee to promote bike safety, we now have the first “SHARROWS” painted on a few of Bedford’s streets. A sharrow (see picture) indicates to drivers that they need to share the road with cyclists who are also using it. The Bicycle Committee, chaired by Terry Gleason, initiated the “Sharrow Project” in Bedford and it was championed by the Committee’s Selectmen liaison, Margot Fleischman. The Committee worked with the DPW to identify the right road for the first sharrow project in Bedford. They agreed on Springs Road, Hancock Street and Hillside Avenue, since they were going to be repaved, are narrow with low speed limits, and are important bicycle routes through the town.
As a cyclist myself, I hope that this first important step will be followed by making many more of our streets biker-friendly. Many Bedford streets are narrow and were never built for the amount of traffic we have today, especially coupled with vulnerable bikers also using them. Cyclists and drivers should respect each other and be aware of the hazards that face us all in our traffic-laden town. Too many cyclists and drivers don’t always obey the rules of the road. As a member of the Bicycle Committee and an avid, life-long biker, I and other Bicycle Committee members will try to communicate the need to “share the roads” in order to make riding on the road safer — and less stressful for everyone.