One of the issues I hear most about around Watertown is problems with too much traffic. This problem will most likely get worse with the new projects on Arsenal St. and Pleasant St. While we will most likely never completely solve traffic problems considering our proximity to Boston and the population density in the Boston Metro Region, there are possible ways we could alleviate the traffic issue.
One possibility is to bring The Hubway BikeShare program to Watertown. Hubway has been proven to be a success in Boston and Cambridge. In addition, Watertown already has a solid biking infrastructure with the Charles River Bike Path going through town and the Watertown Community Path which hopefully will be eventually expanded. I currently commute by bike into Boston along the Charles, but understand that most won’t be interested in that. However, bringing Hubway BikeShare to Watertown could encourage more casual cyclists to commute by bike, to complete small errands by bike, and bike for leisure and exercise.
All of this will mean less cars on the road which could slightly mitigate traffic or provide an alternative form of transportation for those who want to beat traffic. (during high traffic times commuting into Boston by biking along the river can often be faster than driving or taking a bus in). HubWay Bikes are all equipped with lights which is important because it makes them a legitimate form of transportation at night when bus service in, out, and around town is even more sparse.
There are already many logical places in town where Hubway Bikeshare racks could be located such as near the dock along the river in Watertown Square, near condos on the Pleasent St, corridor, The Watertown Library, and developments along Arsenal St. This past week, Town Council Subcommittee discussed the need to cut down the use of cars; Bringing Hubway Bike share could be part of making that happen.