City Will Improve Comm. Ave For Cyclists

Written by Boston Biker on Mar 18

In response to recent deaths, the city and BU have teamed up to improve Comm. Ave. From BU Today:


More warning signs, better bike lane markings, and highway reflectors will be added to the campus’ mile-and-a-half strip along Commonwealth Avenue to improve safety in the wake of the death of a student cyclist in December.

Those improvements, recommended by a joint BU-city working group, will be made by the city. Safety advocates, including Craig Hill, chairman of BU’s Bike Safety Committee, commended the measures, while cautioning that additional improvements may be necessary in the future.

“I’m hopeful that these changes will help protect bicyclists and pedestrians traveling along this very busy stretch of Commonwealth Avenue,” says BU President Robert A. Brown. “I am also extremely grateful for the city’s continued support of bike safety initiatives that safeguard all people who use the city streets that pass through our campus.”

The improvements will include:

  • Signs. New signage will designate a “High bicycle and pedestrian activity zone,” and instruct drivers to “Share the road” and “Yield to bicycles when turning right.” Other signs will post a 25-mile-per-hour speed limit. Part of the stretch had been posted for 30 mph.
  • Pavement markings:. The existing bike lanes, installed five years ago, will be painted at intersection crossings with skid-resistant, high-visibility green paint, and white bike-shared-lane markings will be added within the green paint at busy intersections and at long crossings. The width of the bike lanes’ edges will be increased to six inches, from the present four inches.
  • Reflectors. Highway reflectors, recessed into the pavement, will be installed along the outside of bike lanes between intersections, and more closely spaced before each intersection crossing.

Boston University BU, bike safety, new charles river campus street signage

Warning signs to improve safety will be installed on Commonwealth Avenue. Photo courtesy of Tetra Tech


Read the rest of this long, and in depth article here.

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Posted in advocacy, infrastructure | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “City Will Improve Comm. Ave For Cyclists”

  1. By Jeremy on Mar 19, 2013 | Reply

    Glad to see this. Experience suggests that painting the bike lane through the intersection really makes a difference.

    Hopefully they will address the pavement quality issues while this work is being done.

  2. By DKB on Mar 20, 2013 | Reply

    Apart from confusing people with even more signs, I suspect there will be no detectable difference in how drivers drive and cyclists ride.

  3. By brad4d on Mar 21, 2013 | Reply

    When riding downhill (in the door zone) a bicyclist should be riding less than 10mph and according to John Allen that speed should be 5mph.

    I’m all for having a human factors engineer figure that out before signs are put up advising a speed limit for novice cyclists IN BIKE LANE.
    (I prefer to ride LEGALLY AND SAFELY in adjacent traffic lane at 25mph)

    Boston Biker has a guide on bike lanes that suggests cyclists can safely ride on the left side of a door zone bike lane. If any cares to examine the 75 yard section of bike lane before St. Paul st. you will see that the worst distortions of the bike lane are 25 yards before the intersection.

    The distortions of the bike lane are more than likely the result of hard braking action of buses and trucks….similar to how on dirt roads one can often see “washboard road condition” on the down hill sections.

    This in my opinion is an expected condition that road engineers should be well aware of and for any bicycle advocate’s to promote downhill doorzone bike lanes without a plan for maintenance of the lane surface ESPECIALLY ON THE LEFT SIDE, upsets me, and will more than likely cause another crash or FATALITY.

    If you want to put up a sign, put one up to re-route trucks to an intersection that does not require an unsafe and illegal turn by a truck.

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