Berkeley parks

The five best bike paths in Boston, one of the most bike-friendly cities in the United States, according to a new study

If you’re in Boston or en route to Boston and love to ride a bike, you’re in luck: New research has found the Hub to be the fourth-best city in the nation for cyclists.

Using factors such as air quality, average annual precipitation, and rates of bike-to-work and cyclist fatalities, Berkeley, Calif.-based manufacturing technology company Arris conducted a weighted analysis to determine the most bicycle-friendly cities in the United States.

San Francisco did well in all categories but average sunshine, scoring an overall score of 90 out of 100, while Boston scored 68, with nearly double the average annual precipitation and even less sunshine, for a score of 68. Houston did the worst, with poor air quality and cyclist safety, earning it a modest 10.

The company also surveyed more than 1,000 people to learn more about their cycling habits and found that nationally, almost one in five cycle outdoors several times a week and one in 10 uses the bicycle as a means of getting around or getting to places. In Boston, the percentage of people who cycle to work is even higher: 13.5.

“The City of Boston is committed to building streets that work not just for cars, but for all modes of travel, including cyclists,” a city spokesperson said in a statement. “All of our residents benefit when our communities have safe and scenic bike paths as an option. The city will continue to explore the design of cycle paths to improve safety and will build on our partnership with Bluebikes to expand access.

Bluebikes, Metro Boston’s bike-sharing program, does not provide helmets, however. So unless you have your own or are under 16, which means you have to wear one, ride at your own risk.

And now, on to these scenic bike trails… The Boston Cyclists Union recommends five in particular:

The Arborway

From Fenway to Franklin Park, there are bike paths all the way through Emerald Necklace, a 1,100-acre chain of parks connected by boardwalks and waterways in Boston and Brookline. All paths are separated from traffic except for a gap between Jamaica Pond and Forest Hills which is one of the only missing links in a low-stress road connecting people to jobs and lush green spaces.

“It’s a beautiful road,” said Eliza Parad, organizing director for the Cyclists’ Union. “There are places where you can stop and have a picnic, and that goes through Jamaica Pond. It really gives you a good idea of ​​the best parks in Boston.

The Charles River Esplanade

A scenic drive that stretches three miles one-way along the Charles River on the Boston side, between the Museum of Science and the Boston University Bridge. For a longer ride, you can cross the Longfellow Bridge or Massachusetts Avenue and explore Cambridge.

The South Bay Harbor Trail

Mostly off-road and somewhat hidden, this trail runs from Ruggles Station to the Fort Point Canal, not far from the Seaport, a once desolate area now teeming with hotels and restaurants.

“If you’re looking to go to the Children’s Museum or the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art),” Parad said, “this is also a great way to go.”

The southwest hallway

This area was turned into a park about 4 1/2 miles long in the 1970s after protests prevented the extension of Interstate 95 here. The park stretches from Forest Hills to the South End and includes playgrounds and tennis and basketball courts.

Neponset River Trail

This rail trail stretches eight kilometers from Mattapan Square to Joseph Finnegan Park in Dorchester, which includes a playground.

  • (081122 Boston, MA): Mayor Michelle Wu joins a group of commuters and bikes to work from Adams Park Thursday, August 11, 2022 in Roslindale, MA. (Staff Photo by Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • ROSLINDALE, MA.- James

    ROSLINDALE, MA.- James “Jimmy” Levi Melvin Pascar, 3 of Roslindale, cycles down Birch Street during the annual Egg Hunt hosted by Roslindale Village Main Street on April 10, 2022 in Roslindale, MA. (Photo by Amanda Sabga/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • BOSTON, MA.- Archie Abeita-Murphy, 4, of Roslindale, rides a bicycle...

    BOSTON, MA.- Archie Abeita-Murphy, 4, of Roslindale, rides a bike during the inaugural Open Streets Boston event along Center Street at Jamaica Plain on July 10, 2022 in Boston, MA. (Photo by Amanda Sabga/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)