State Could Impose Stiff Fines For Parking On Some Bike Friendly New Bedford Streets
Today's chic crowd is into riding bikes to the office and elsewhere and is invading the streets of metropolitan areas. This has resulted in increased injuries and you guessed it...a movement to protect these new age cyclists from those of us who still opt to motor about.
The Massachusetts House has passed a bill that would impose a $100 dollar statewide fine for anyone parking their motor vehicle in a bike path in Massachusetts. Now, if you live in the burbs that is usually not a big problem because a lot of the bike paths are in wooded areas or away from traffic. But, if you live in an urban setting such as New Bedford where bike paths continue to emerge there is a conflict.
The most recent bike path is the full length of Church Street in the city's North End. Church Street now sports white lines designating lanes for bike traffic on both sides of the busy street. Parking on either side of Church Street is now prohibited and will carry a locally imposed fine. Not the $100 dollar fine, not yet anyway, but give lawmakers a little more time to finalize the legislation and big shot state government in Boston will begin fining you for parking in front of your own home in New Bedford. Gotta protect the legions of bikers that maneuver Church Street everyday after all. Similar bike paths have popped up in other neighborhoods including Hawthorn Street and in the South End.
So, where are the residents of Church Street, many of whom live in multi-family homes and don't even own bicycles going to park their cars? The Mitchell Administration says they will just have to find spots on the side streets. The same holds true for residents of the other neighborhoods through out the city who have had these ridiculous bike paths forced upon them.
For decades citizens have ridden bikes in New Bedford without the benefit of bike paths that force us to park neighborhoods away from our homes in order to satisfy the needs of a few. At 12 years old I learned how to maneuver the streets on my bike without having to stay within the lines. I didn't even wear a Helmut or silly looking spandex clothing either....and I survived!
Politicians forget that citizens vote. Fed up citizens vote against incumbents. I am getting fed up. And I certainly hope that our legislative delegation doesn't vote for this $100 fine for parking in a bike path.