Guinasso Opposed to Bicycle Lane Location on Revere Street

Ward 3 Councillor Arthur Guinasso points to a dedicated bicycle lane on Revere Street that he says is unsafe. He has opposed the bike lane since it was proposed earlier this year, saying Revere Street is no place for a bike.

If Councillor Arthur Guinasso has his way, the new bicycle lane on Revere Street would pedal off into the sunset.

The Ward 3 councillor remains a strong opponent of the siting of the dedicated lane running westbound on Revere Street – saying he’s not against bicycle lanes or bicyclists, but doesn’t believe the location is safe.

“If we’re doing this to simply tell people and give the appearance that we have a bike lane, then so be it, but I’m not going to be a part of it,” he said last week in an interview. “It’s just not safe there. I would not want my family or friends to believe they are safe riding a bicycle on Revere Street. What purpose have you achieved? What you’ve done is sent a message to good-hearted people who ride their bikes and they think it’s safe to ride there and it’s certainly not. Bikes are great. I’m all for them, but not on Revere Street.”

Guinasso said it is particularly dangerous coming around the curve at St. Anthony’s and then also coming around the curve at the Soccorso Club that empties out into Fiore’s Market.

He said a bicyclist using the lane was hit earlier this summer at the intersection of American Legion Highway and Revere Street.

The bike lane on Revere Street is the first of its kind in Revere, having been approved earlier this year by the Revere Traffic Commission and marked out early in the summer. It runs from Broadway to Revere Beach.

City Planner Frank Stringi said the lanes were the brainchild of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) that has studied the region and suggested areas for bike lanes in Revere, Lynn, Malden, Everett and Saugus.

In Revere, most of the roadways are too narrow for a dedicated path such as on the westbound side of Revere Street. On the eastbound side of the street, simple bicycle markings have been implied to indicate a “shared path” to motorists.

He said shared paths are likely to pop up on Broadway, Shirley Avenue and Beach Street in the future.

“It all brings attention to the fact that the roads need to be shared,” said Stringi. “We see it as a public safety measure to let motorists know that bicyclists are using the roadway and that the road can be shared and motorists shouldn’t get frustrated.”

Bicycle lanes are very popular in Boston and other parts of the region, though there has been pushback all over from motorists who find the lanes difficult to maneuver in some areas. For bicyclists, the lanes are not exactly a safe haven, but they are reportedly a much better bargain than trying to

Guinasso said he opposed the idea for Revere Street at the Traffic Commission, but his warnings weren’t heeded.

“It was pretty well decided no matter what I said,” he said. “I think it was a waste of money and I don’t think they had public safety in mind. I think they thought it would be good PR; that it would be good to say, ‘Oh look, Revere has a bike lane too.’ I like the concept, but it doesn’t take much research to figure out that’s not a great place for bicycles.”

Seth Daniel:

View Comments

  • If Guinasso says Revere Street is unsafe for bicyclists, then it is also unsafe for motorists. Code of Federal Regulations mandate that all streets (except designated limited access highways) must be arranged to accommodate bicyclists, motorists, pedestrians, and wheelchair users. Of the 6,000 pedestrian fatalities each year in this nation, 95% occur at places where pedestrian accommodations (crosswalks, sidewalks) weren't provided. Seems to me that local councilmen and legislators directly culpable in those deaths. Guinasso is personally the problem not the solution. Remember this come election day.

  • I encourage some fellow cyclist to take Mr. Guinasso for a ride. Maybe they can work with the councilor to improve Revere, rather than just move cyclist.

  • I cycle this road 5 days a week to work throughout the spring, summer and fall. I did so before the bike lanes and now after the bike lane and shared road marking were painted. It is significantly safer now because drivers keep away from the edge of the street where I am cycling. It also reminds cyclists to ride with traffic. There is an elementary school on this road which also leads to a middle school and the high school. We should be doing EVEN MORE to make this road safer for cyclists and pedestrians, not denegrasing a legitimate way of making the roads of Revere a bit more inclusive.

  • I've got six tail lights and six headlights on my bicycle. I wear a helmet , and a reflective vest. I've got a rear-view mirror, and a tripod-mount with a video camera, on the bike. If I need to ride a street which has No Bike Lane, I'll ride anyway.

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