Open Letter to the Town of Bedford ~ Bicycle Safety along The Great Road

By Jan van Steenwijk

Cyclists riding safely within a marked bike lane – Image (c)  all rights reserved

As an avid biker, I have a serious issue with the way bikers are treated in Bedford. One place especially is the new intersection at The Great Road and Mudge Way. This  is, for bicyclists an accident waiting to happen. Safety for the most vulnerable road users has been ignored again.

Click this link to read the Bicycle Advisory Committee’s letter to the Town.

For many years the Town has invited the public and the Town’s Advisory Bike Committee to numerous meetings (the Masterplan) regarding traffic issues and has asked for their input. Many suggestions from citizens and the Bike Committee have been given, but most of them have been ignored. Once more, it is clear that motor vehicles are the winners.

An automobile crosses into the bike lane at the bump out on The Great Road – Image (c) Jan van Steenwijk, 2018 all rights reserved

Spring is around the corner and more bikers than ever will be passing through Bedford and that intersection.

Entering The Great Road from the Concord side or entering from Mudge Way, there is a marked bike lane and signage. But about 100 feet ahead, the bike lane curves sharply to the left – forcing the bikers to follow it because of a granite curb. Vehicles should also pay attention to this narrowing of the road caused by this “bump out.” However, most vehicles ignore the lines and drive into the bike lane.

After less than a year of use, the line markers are already wearing down, making it more difficult for bikers and drivers to see where to go. When a driver is distracted in the intersection, it is my fear that vulnerable bikers will be hit.

I think that one solution could be to extend the bike lane straight through the current “island” with a granite curb built on the left to prevent vehicles hitting bikers.

From a biker’s perspective, I believe that the current design has many flaws, and could end in disaster, and the Town of Bedford will bear that responsibility.

My wife hopes to see me come home after a bike ride instead of having to to visit me in a hospital, or worse!!!

As a biker I am happy to meet with people responsible for this design to present suggestions that would make it safer for cyclists.

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