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Charlestown Bike Lanes Disappear

CHARLESTOWN (CBS) -- It was a sudden and unwelcome change for bikers when city crews removed bike lanes along Main Street in Charlestown.

Ron Newman says Main Street is his favorite bike route to downtown Boston from his home in Somerville. He was excited when the city installed a bike path on the street, and shocked when it was removed last week.

"I don't understand why anybody would want them removed because they don't take up any space that is used by either parking or driving. They are in between the parked cars and the cars that are driving, so why would you take it out once you put it in?" he asked.

WBZ-TV's Jim Smith reports.

Three years ago Boston Mayor Tom Menino promised to build 20 miles of bike paths throughout the city. The project is about three quarters complete, but local leaders said the path in Charlestown was news to them

"All of a sudden we woke up one day and found white lines down the middle of our main street," said Bill Galvin, a Charlestown neighborhood council member. "We feel very strongly that they should have come to us and tell us what their plans were, so we could discuss it, improved it, changed it, or endorsed it."

Now bicyclists are riding through the neighborhood without a bike path, and sometimes taking to the sidewalks.

Galvin says Charlestown is open to bike paths, but Main Street is the wrong location

So for now the citywide bike path has hit a dead end.

The mayor's office admits there could have been more community input. It would say how much it cost to paint the bike lane then remove it.

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