Voices of the Downtown/Whittier Connection: David

The Downtown Bikeways work group has been talking to people that live, work, go to school, eat, or recreate along the corridor that connects downtown with Loring Heights, Stevens Square, Whittier, and neighborhoods to the south. One person that we spoke with is David Tompkins, who bikes along the corridor.

Photo of David Tompkins

How does your family travel on the LaSalle-Blaisdell and 1st corridor?

When we bike to school, we ride on the [Midtown] greenway, then come across to 1st, and bike up 1st to get to school.

How do you feel on LaSalle-Blaisdell and 1st when you bike with your children?

On Blaisdell and 1st there are no bollards, so less safe. I would love to see more protection on those streets. I feel like cars are, especially at rush hour, whizzing by, going above the speed limit.

Do you think your family would be more likely to bike along this corridor if it were better protected?

Definitely. My wife teaches at MCAD now, she would definitely bike more if there were protected bike lanes. Yes, resounding yes!

Are there parts of the city where the streets feel really safe to you?

We try to use the greenways as much as possible. That just feels so safe and is great, especially with our kids. [I'm worried about] distracted drivers using their phones. 

How would you want protected bike lanes on this corridor to look?

[Grade-separated bike lanes] seem very attractive to me. [When we lived] in Berlin, the best bike lanes were basically a very wide sidewalk, where the sidewalk was wide enough that the bike lane was a part of the sidewalk, but it would be painted. The sidewalks were big enough that bikes were up on the sidewalk away from the cars. The bicyclists and pedestrians had to interact, but there was enough space, and the bike lanes were painted this very noticeable red color. 

If you would like to share your support for a safe, protected bikeway that will connect downtown with Loring Heights, Stevens Square, Whittier, and neighborhoods to the south, please fill out this digital postcard.

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