The City of Pittsfield’s recent addition of a bike lane on Elm Street helps to further the city’s goal of adding bike accommodations for cyclists throughout the city.
The dedicated bike lane, added earlier this month, is reflected with an arrow and bike symbol; where the lane is shared, due to lack of space for a standalone bike lane, there is a chevron with a bike symbol. The lane extends for the length of Elm Street, starting from East Street to Williams Street. Parking is still allowed on segments of the street where the dedicated bike lane exists.
Mayor Daniel Bianchi said the new bike lane symbolizes the city’s recognition of the various modes of travel for all city residents. “As in many other cities, we know bicyclists greatly benefit when there are dedicated spaces for their travel. We are committed to making Pittsfield a bike friendly environment,” the mayor said.
This is the second addition of bike lanes for the city; the first bike lane was added to North Street, as part of the Streetscape project. The symbols were added by Markings, Inc., a firm that implemented similar bike lanes in Cambridge, Mass.
The repaving of Elm Street allowed for a timely inclusion of the bike lanes to the pavement, said Matt Billeter, city engineer.
“Anytime we have the opportunity to reconstruct a street, we should be mindful of bike accommodations,” said Billetter, who also praised the advocacy efforts of
Ward 3 City Councilor Nick Caccamo toward the implementation of the lane on Elm Street.
Caccamo said bike lanes are important safety measures.
“This is something I’ve seen in other communities, and I thought it would be a great addition to our roadways,” said Caccamo, who is also a bicyclist. “Cars are not always looking for bikers, but there’s this whole other population who use the roadway as well.”
Jim McGrath, Park and Open Space Program Manager, said the addition of the bike lane also fits into a comprehensive plan for the city, which includes having the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail come through the city in the future.
Caccamo agrees. “For me, this is the first step in a larger addition of bike lanes in the city,” he said. “There’s still a lot of work we need to do to make this a priority.”
Massachusetts Bike Law