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MayaMohan2 Posted by:
Maya Mohan, Department of Public Health

Maya is the Physical Activity Coordinator for DPH and wants to be a bicycle commuter! 

I need your help.  Today marks the first day of Bike to Work Week. And, I would love to participate.  In fact, I would love to be a full fledged bicycle commuter.  But, there’s a small problem:  I can’t ride my bike to work (downtown Boston) from where I live (East Boston).  It’s only one T stop from where I live to where I work (Maverick Square to Aquarium) so one would think that riding my bike to work would be a feasible, healthy alternative.  Now, the only ways into Boston are through the tunnel or the scary evacuation route that has potholes the size of small SUVs and is about as safe (and scenic) as the setting of a murder-mystery.  Needless to say, I find neither option suitable or appealing.  So, how am I (and all the other residents of East Boston, Chelsea and surrounding communities that are separated from Boston by the lovely harbor) supposed to use my bike as a means of active transportation?  It doesn't seem fair that the only times I can ride my bike in Boston proper are after work or on weekends. 

You know, interestingly enough, those same populations – East Boston, Chelsea, etc – bear a disproportionate burden of overweight, obesity and other related chronic conditions.  Is this a coincidence?  I’m not so sure.  

I applaud the MBTA for adding bike racks to some of their bus lines and for setting up polices so that you can bring your bike on the T, but, to my knowledge, those bus lines don’t go from East Boston to Boston proper and those MBTA policies are limited to bringing bikes on the T during non-rush hour times only. On the surface, that makes sense because as the trains currently exist, there is really no space for bikes when the subway cars are already crammed with people rushing to work.  But, I’m not willing to resign myself to that “reality.”  There has to be another solution! 

Please help me figure out how I can ride my bike to work!  If you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them.   

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