Today, at an event at Christian Herter Park, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton, Department of Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack, Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Deputy Commissioner for Operations Matthew Sisk, and David Montague from Montague Bikes unveiled the first in the nation multimodal commuting network, called Park&Pedal. The free program, which is designed to encourage bike commuting by providing a network of parking hubs conveniently located within cycling distance from centers of employment, will allow commuters to park their cars for free and then ride their bikes the remaining distance to work.
“The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has always been at the forefront of innovative ideas,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The Park&Pedal Commuter Network is the direct result of state government and private partners working together to achieve results that will benefit the public and the environment.”
“The Park&Pedal program will provide a unique, outdoor recreational opportunity for Massachusetts citizens to incorporate in their daily lives while commuting to work,” said EEA Secretary Matthew Beaton.“The results of such partnerships, like the one between DCR and Montague Bikes, will have lasting effects on thousands of people for years to come.”
By commuters utilizing parking hubs, such as the one at DCR’s Christian Herter Park, the Commonwealth will benefit in various ways, including:
- The reduction of traffic congestion during the rush hour commutes;
- The increase in available parking spots within the City of Boston and surrounding communities;
- The decrease of environmentally harmful vehicle emissions; and
- The contribution to a healthier citizenship.
“This initiative is an example of how we can work across executive agencies and bring new thinking to our existing transportation assets, and create new, multi-modal connections that promote healthy commuting through cycling, and has the potential to alleviate highway congestion, while decreasing greenhouse gases,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack.
“Boston and neighboring municipalities have a large number of people who drive into the city each and every day attributing to traffic congestion and vehicle pollution,” said DCR Commissioner Carol Sanchez. “By providing commuters with additional travel options, many will incorporate riding a bike, at least a portion of the way, into their daily routines, which will be healthier for them, less expensive, and could possibly be a faster way to get to work.”
Working in conjunction with the program’s creator, David Montague of Montague Bikes, state officials, local businesses, non-profit organizations, and others strategically located parking hubs near the City of Boston to start building the Park&Pedal network. In addition to DCR’s Christian Herter Park in Brighton, the parking hub locations, which include free parking for commuters, include the Arsenal Mall in Watertown, Daly Rink in Newton, Mystic River Reservation in Medford, Cronin Rink in Revere, Franklin Park in Boston, and Tenean Beach in Boston.
“Park&Pedal removes two key barriers that people face when considering riding to work by allowing them to choose how far to ride, and where they feel comfortable riding,” said David Montague, who conceived the program after personally parking and pedaling to work for years. “The Park&Pedal website shows a number of hubs at various distances from the city, and these hubs are often located near bike paths that lead into the city.”
According to the US Department of Transportation, the average round-trip commute in the United States is 24 miles and increasing. While this is an unmanageable distance for most to ride every day, Park&Pedal provides a manageable and convenient way to pedal around the issue.
Boston area Transportation Management Associations (TMAs) are integrating Park&Pedal into their alternative commute and incentive plans, delivering the program to the 400,000+ employees they service in the metro area. The TMAs join other employers interested in incorporating Park&Pedal into their incentive plans including Harvard University
“Park&Pedal is an excellent fit for Harvard’s sustainable transportation initiatives,” said Harvard University’s Mark Rabinsky. “The program shows great potential to reduce last-mile congestion in the dense urban environments surrounding the University’s campuses, while promoting safe and accessible bicycle commuting.”
“Employers such as Harvard University see the benefits of encouraging their employees to Park&Pedal, thereby creating healthy workers and lower health care costs,” said Mark Walker of Montague Bikes.“In addition, retailers such as the Arsenal Project, which is adjacent to the DCR bike path along the Charles River, see the benefits of providing parking spaces for Park&Pedal and are now hosting a hub of their own. Being involved in the program promises to deliver employed and healthy commuters to their establishment, while helping reduce Boston’s carbon footprint.”