Cyclists--and pedestrians--in Wellesley may soon have a say in how bike safety stands around the town.
During Tuesday night's Board of Selectmen meeting, Town Executive Director Hans Larsen floated the idea of a town bike committee to the Selectmen. This committee which would be made up of, among other groups, members of the police, department of public work, school committees, and selectmen, as well as advocates from the cycling and pedestrian communities in Wellesley.
Larsen did suggest speaking with some of the residents who were at the Board's hearing on biking in town back in March.
The committee would have the task of improving safety in the short term, as well as answering more long-term questions such as how to balance the needs of young, inexperienced cyclists with those of more seasoned bikers.
Said Selectman Ellen Gibbs, "[having a committee] suggests that we intend to be proactive and responsive, and to take whatever steps we can to ensure the safety of those who travel our streets, by whatever means they do."
In March, a number of Wellesley residents came before the Board of Selectmen to talk about bike safety. Several spoke of "sharrows," shared lane markings which could be placed in the road to remind drivers that cyclists are allowed.
While sharrows may be in the future for Wellesley, Deputy Chief Jack Pilecki said that he would be cautious about putting in sharrows without the committee's input.
"Instead of just charging forward, putting down markings and signs saying "we’re a bike-friendly community," we should figure out how to do it--we should figure out not just safety for bikes, but for pedestrians as well."
Selectman Don McCauley said that while he liked the plan, he wanted to see more immediate solutions for Weston Road, where Wellesley at the intersection with Linden Street.
Patch readers named Weston Road one of the most dangerous in town last year.
"We need to see what actions we can do to start alleviating some of the problems in Weston Road," McCauley said.
One possible solution, among others Larsen presented, is to direct cyclists away from Weston Road and set up an alternate route, perhaps along the nearby aqueduct. No decision has been made on this yet.
The Board has yet to appoint a committee, and will discuss appointments at a later meeting.