Longfellow Bridge…What The Hell?

Written by Boston Biker on Apr 06

I have been noticing all sorts of strange markings and changes, on the Longfellow outbound towards Cambridge side.  And today like a chrysalis, the Longfellow bike infrastructure has emerged into a giant ugly moth.

Honestly its the worst.  I have no idea what anyone was thinking.

This design is rotten. Impossible angles, ramps, intense pedestrian conflict, poor marking, a reversal of the usual order of traffic (Both pedestrian and cyclists traffic on the left? Is this the UK?) it has everything you don’t want in a bike path.  And those railings are totally invisible in the dark, its only a matter of time before someone plows into them, or into the many raised concrete partitions, or into a pedestrian not wearing bright clothing, this design becomes ten times more ludicrous in the dark.

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Moments before I took these pictures 5 cyclists almost ran over like 10 pedestrians. The smartest cyclist of the bunch simply crossed over and rode down the wrong side of the bridge for a 100 yards, and then popped back over…a dangerous option, but one that puts the cyclists in less conflict with the many (many) pedestrians.

I sorta get what they were going for, and I would love to believe that this set up was thought up to protect cyclists from cars? But at the expense of putting pedestrians in danger? To be clear it would be one thing to set up a system by which cyclists were to dismount and walk for 100 feet and then get back on, but this system is set up to encourage them to remain riding, and in the process get in all sorts of conflicts with all sorts of pedestrians.

In my opinion there is ample room to move the concrete divers over a couple feet to the right and put those plastic bollards on the left hand side of the striped area to keep cars away from the cyclists, thus leaving plenty of room for everyone, without putting pedestrians and cyclists into dangerous conflict.


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Posted in Commuting, infrastructure | 3 Comments »


3 Responses to “Longfellow Bridge…What The Hell?”

  1. By Charlie on Apr 7, 2015 | Reply

    http://blog.mass.gov/transportation/massdot-highway/longfellow-bridge-salt-and-pepper-towers-work-2/

    “There are a number of steps to prepare for the dismantling. The first is to shift pedestrians from the sidewalk to make room for a work zone and install scaffolding before dismantling the towers. A shared space will be created by enlarging the bike lane used for travel from Boston to Cambridge near each tower to accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians. A concrete barrier will separate the shared space from automobile traffic. Flexible stanchions and lane markings will distinguish bicyclist and pedestrian dedicated areas of the shared space. In areas of the bridge that are distant from the tower work zones, pedestrians will continue to use the sidewalk. Bicyclists and pedestrians should use caution when traveling in the shared space to ensure the safety of all bridge users. MassDOT contractors will implement the changes necessary to shift pedestrians to a shared space with bicyclists in several phases during the week of March 30. The changes will be fully implemented by Saturday, April 4.”

    “The shift will be in place through 2015.”

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  3. Dec 20, 2015: Boston Biker » Blog Archive » The Longfellow Bridge Sucks For Cyclists, Let MassDOT Know We Are Pissed

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