Orange Line shutdown presents problems for bicyclists

BOSTON — Days before the unprecedented 30 day shut down of the MBTA’s Orange Line, thousands of people are looking for new ways to get in and out of Boston.

Many are expected to take up bicycling.

Bikers navigating Boston’s crowded streets have never had it easy, and the coming Orange Line shut down is likely to make the daily challenge even tougher.

Cyclists will soon be sharing the road with rented shuttle busses with out of town drivers.

The Boston Cyclist Union is urging bikers to be careful.

“They have blind spots and they are new to the city and they are new to these routes. So, just really give busses as much space as possible,” said Eliza Parad, Director of Organizing for the Boston Cyclists Union.

Bicyclists are not limited to using city streets.

Many west of the city will be using the South West Corridor Park, which gives bikers access along the Orange Line from Forest Hills in Jamaica Plain, to Massachusetts Avenue.

Walkers can continue the South West Corridor to Back Bay Station in Copley Square.

Eliza Parad of the Boston Cyclists Union believes the Corridor will be a great alternative, but she’s concerned about what bikers will do when they reach the end of corridor, and no longer have a protected path.

“There are some challenging intersections that we have been advocating to the city to make safer for cyclists for years already, and we are really pushing that it happen immediately,” Parad said. “We’re all going to need to have some adjustment period, understand we’re all in challenging times.”

Blue bike rentals will be free for a month during the Orange Line shut down.

On Sunday, the Boston Cyclists Union is offering free bike repair at Forest Hills in Jamaica Plain from 10:00 a.m. to noon.

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