The New Longfellow Bridge “Bike Path” Is Horrible

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 29


(Please forgive me for the first 30 seconds as I wasn’t paying attention).

So whats wrong with the situation depicted in this video?

There are giant “NO PEDESTRIAN” signs at both ends of the bike path, and yet the path is full of human pedestrians (and some dogs).

The path is far too narrow for bi-directional cycling, let alone strollers, dog walkers, joggers, etc.

The green stuff on the side billows out in the wind, catching on your handle bars (I almost crashed avoiding a walker).  I am guessing that stuff is put up to stop debris from the building site from flying into the water, but the zip ties have come loose and it now poses a serious hazard to cycling traffic.

The surface is very uneven, to the point of discomfort.  You can actually hear my bike rattle as I hit each bump, and see the camera shake.

The approaches have received all sorts of marking and road paint, but they are still horrible.  Filled with curbs to fall off, ramps to miss, and in general hard turns that put you into conflict with lots of traffic (car, bike, and pedestrian).

I still think that the bridge should be closed to car traffic, and opened up to cycling/public transit/emergency traffic.  The bridge is one way as it is, and gets modest car traffic even at rush hour.

The traffic patterns approaching and leaving the bridge have already more or less adjusted to not having the bridge.  This elaborate and poorly constructed bike path is a solution that was only necessary because we are so car-focused in our thinking.

I can say with some certainty that far more people cross the Longfellow bridge in ways that don’t involve cars, and in fact always have.  Even when it was two travel lanes in both directions the amount of walkers/public transit/cyclists users of that bridge far outnumbered the amount of folks moving over it in cars.  The fact is that the bridge would be far more productive if they just took the cars off it during the time of the construction, freeing it up for emergency/public transit/walkers/cyclist traffic.

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Posted in advocacy, infrastructure, video | 5 Comments »

5 Responses to “The New Longfellow Bridge “Bike Path” Is Horrible”

  1. By Charlie on Feb 29, 2016 | Reply

    Holy crap why are all those people walking there? Do they not see the giant “no pedestrians” signs?! I’m guessing it’s because they don’t want to have to cross over to the other sidewalk and back again, because it’s difficult to do. Also, the view from that side of the bridge is much better.

  2. By Paul Schimek on Mar 1, 2016 | Reply

    I’ve been taking the Charles River Dam Bridge (aka Craigie, Rt 28) to avoid the whole mess.

  3. By Phil on Mar 1, 2016 | Reply

    How ironic! For months, over on the other side of the bridge, there has been a sign saying you should walk your bike across the bridge on the sidewalk, to Cambridge. I’ve yet to see a bike being walked, so far 100 riding on the sidewalk. Now you are really going to complain when the roles are reversed? REALLY?

  4. By David on Mar 1, 2016 | Reply

    The irony of this post is amazing! Also stopped reading after you had a problem with people walking on the bike lane.

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