City of Boston Passes Bike Lane Ordinance

This past Wednesday the Boston City Council passed this Bike Lane Ordinance prohibiting motor vehicle parking in Boston bike lanes, punishable by fines:

AN ORDINANCE PROHIBITING PARKING IN A MARKED BIKE LANE

OR MARKED SHARED LANE

WHEREAS
: The City of Boston is lacking an effective method to ensure public safety as members of the public not only travel in motor vehicles in marked bike lanes and shared lanes but also park in said lanes; and

WHEREAS: This Ordinance shall establish the following guidelines for parking motor vehicles in marked bike lanes and shared bike lanes; and

Ordained by the City Council as follows:

  1. Purpose. The purpose of this ordinance is to establish guidelines for parking motor vehicles in marked bike lanes and shared bike lanes.
  2. Prohibition from Marked Bike Lanes and Shared Lanes. No driver shall stand or park any motor vehicle in a marked bike or shared bike lane in the City of Boston.
  3. Penalties. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be subject to a fine of one hundred dollars and no cents ($100.00) for each offense. This fine shall increase by thirty-three dollars ($33.00) if it remains unpaid at least twenty-one (21) days after issuance of a notice of the violation.
  4. Exceptions. Nothing in these sections shall prevent standing or parking a motor vehicle in a marked bike lane or shared bike lane: (i) when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or pedestrians; (ii) in compliance with the lawful direction of a police officer or official traffic sign; or (iii) unless authorized to do so under existing regulations (including but not limited to designated residential parking lanes or parking meters).
  5. Enforcement. The Boston Transportation Department and the Boston Police Department shall have the authority to enforce this section. The provisions of Massachusetts General Laws c. 90, s. 20A1/2 may be used to enforce these sections, and the adjudication provisions of this chapter and of Chapter 190 of the Acts of 1982 shall apply to this section. The Boston Police Department and Boston Transportation Department shall have the authority to impound any motor vehicle in violation of these sections.
  6. Regulatory Authority. The Commissioner of the Boston Transportation Department and the Commissioner of the Boston Police Department shall have the authority to promulgate rules and regulations necessary to implement and enforce these sections.
  7. Severability. If any provision of these sections is held as invalid, then such provision shall be considered separately and apart from the remaining provisions, which shall remain in full force and effect.
  8. Implementation. The provisions of this section shall be effective immediately after passage.

[official PDF here]

It’s good to see that Mayor Menino was on board with the ordinance from the start, but we’d also like thank Jackie Douglas of Livable Streets who wrote a letter expressing the support for the ordinance on behalf of a number of local cycling advocacy groups, including A-B Bikes and BU Bikes:

It’s great to see another huge step for Boston toward a bike-friendlier city.

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3 Responses to City of Boston Passes Bike Lane Ordinance

  1. Pingback: Boston Biker » Blog Archive » Boston Outlaws Parking In Bike Lanes

  2. Paul Schimek says:

    What does this mean:
    “Nothing in these sections shall prevent standing or parking a motor vehicle in a marked bike lane or shared bike lane: . . . unless authorized to do so under existing regulations (including but not limited to designated residential parking lanes or parking meters).”?

    Boston Police officers have told me that they will not prevent people from double parking. So will they now ticket when double parking means blocking the bike lane?

  3. ollie chisler says:

    Hi- I’m a visitor from another state. Can you anwer a simple question? Mass. laws seem to state helmets must be worn by those under 16. Does the city of Boston have another law?ordinance? I cannot find it. I got a 100 fine for not wearing a helmet. Ollie

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