There is no way I am the only one around here who falls deep into these dark depressing ruts because I can’t imagine how the nightmare of congestion in this region ends. Or at least stops getting worse. Sometimes the excruciating frustration crashes down when I just can’t stand to wait one more minute for a train, and an announcement comes over the speaker that the line is down altogether. Other times, I stumble into the abysmal transportation black hole while behind the wheel, sitting in homicidal traffic on the rare occasion that I’m dumb enough to drive in Greater Boston.
Meanwhile, the answer to our standstill—or at least one of them—is in front of me. And behind me. Always has been. Always will be. Indeed, it is the bicycle, that glorious invention of a simpler time that I am basically too chickenshit to take total advantage of. But while I’m not a dedicated bike rider myself, I’ve always felt some kind of serious responsibility to support those who do pedal—as a writer and editor, sure, but mostly as a sometimes motorist and faithful pedestrian. It strikes me as insane that anyone who rides the T or walks or drives would have an arbitrary or even a circumstantial beef with cyclists. Besides being tricyclically childish, it doesn’t even make much anecdotal sense, since drivers should want as few other motorists out there as possible.
I have written about this stuff endlessly, including a joint op-ed years ago with the then-head of the Boston Cyclists Union encouraging walkers and bicycle riders to jibe. As a newspaper, in coordination with the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism, we have done some of the deepest multimedia and long-form journalism on the topic in the region, particularly last year’s Vicious Cycle series. Most of that stuff holds true today; still, we had our ace reporter Olivia Deng speak with cycle advocates, as well as local municipal government planners, in order to provide an update on the unbelievable congestion and impediments to progress on the spoke and tire front that keep us up at night.
That’s right, we are back in the bike lane. Despite limited resources, our brain trust has decided that coverage of cycle safety and infrastructure should be more regular in DigBoston. So instead of doing just a single bike issue, we’ll be returning to this critical transit issue often. We are even starting a whole email newsletter for it, DigCycle, which we will use to keep readers informed on multiple things bike related, here and elsewhere.
Because while multimillionaires and their obnoxious startups try selling us gondolas and monorails and pods on elevated wires, we know that their private solutions to our public woes will make little more than major profits for shit people who will hoard every last tax break and subsidy they can scare up.
Fuck them. Much like all the other sensible commuters out there, we know that we need bikes.
Ride them or not.
CHRIS FARAONE, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
A Queens, NY native who came to New England in 2004 to earn his MA in journalism at Boston University, Chris Faraone is the editor and co-publisher of DigBoston and a co-founder of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. He has published several books including 99 Nights with the 99 Percent, and has written liner notes for hip-hop gods including Cypress Hill, Pete Rock, Nas, and various members of the Wu-Tang Clan.