PITTSFIELD — The Berkshire Bike Path Council will lead a ride up North Street on Sept. 16 as part of a monthlong campaign for bike safety.
“We are absolutely thrilled about these new bike lanes in downtown Pittsfield," said Marjorie Cohan, president of the Berkshire Bike Path Council, in a press release Monday. "They are a major safety improvement and will help to provide a measure of security for those of us who bike.”
The inaugural "Berkshire Streets for All" will kick off with a bike safety conversation on PCTV at 7:30 a.m. Sept. 16. Public service announcements about how to bikers, pedestrians and drivers can share the road will continue throughout the month as part of the Bay State Bike Month.
Riders will meet at later that afternoon at Park Square at 4:30 p.m. The group will ride up North Street to the Wahconah Street intersection in a show of support for the bike lanes.
The lanes were added in October as part of the state's Shared Streets and Spaces program. The bike paths under went a reconfiguration in May following negative feedback on the original layout from residents and business owners.
The group will also be distributing informational flyers throughout the month at local bike shops, group rides and community events. The flyers lay out common road markings and tips for keeping riders safe on the road.
“This campaign is directed toward new and experienced bicyclists, as well as those who use public byways in an effort to achieve mutual respect and a peaceful coexistence,” Cohan said. “When we say ‘peaceful coexistence,’ we’re referring to the respectful shared use of roads and paths, understanding that everyone has shared responsibility for safety."
The campaign was planned in partnership with representatives from MassBike, MassDOT, Berkshire Regional Planning Commission and the City of Pittsfield.