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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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The Longfellow Bridge Sucks For Cyclists, Let MassDOT Know We Are Pissed

Written by Boston Biker on Dec 20

The longfellow bridge has gone from pretty awesome (one lane of traffic and two lanes of bikes), to bad (wrong side bike path on the pedestrian walkway), to atrocious (one very narrow bike lane, and a bike/pedestrian traffic heading north).

Personally I see a lot more people going over the bridge on foot and on bicycle than I do in cars, shut the car traffic down and reserve the road for emergency and bike traffic, at least until the end of construction.

 

From The BCU:

The current conditions on the Longfellow Bridge are unsafe and unacceptable for people on bikes.  As you may know, the outbound bike lane was removed and cyclists are being asked to walk their bike on the sidewalk heading into Cambridge.  The inbound lane was narrowed so that large vehicles cannot safely pass cyclists in the bike lane.  Please see our letter to MassDOT, below, and send in your own!  Tell your story of traveling on the Longfellow and tell MassDOT and your elected representatives that this is an untenable situation, and cyclist accommodations must be addressed!

___________________________________

Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack

Department of Transportation
10 Park Plaza, Suite 4160
Boston, MA 02116

CC: Representative Jay Livingstone
CC: Chris Osgood, Chief of Street, City of Boston

RE: Longfellow Bridge Modified Phase 2 Construction

Dear Secretary,

On behalf of our members, the Boston Cyclists Union, the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition and LivableStreets Alliance would like to bring to your attention the increasingly hazardous conditions for people riding bicycles over the Longfellow Bridge, and we request that these hazards be addressed immediately.

Recently, due to the need to construct a temporary track for the Red Line, the inbound travel lane and bike lane have both been narrowed, and outbound cyclists no longer have a street­level contraflow bike lane and instead are being required to walk their bicycles on the sidewalk.

The current accommodations for the hundreds of people on bicycles* crossing the bridge daily are unacceptable to us and our members. The bike and travel lane widths heading inbound into Boston do not adequately provide a safe way for motorized vehicles to overtake people riding bicycles in the bike lane. Trolley buses, trucks and other large vehicles regularly travel in the bike lane, putting people riding bicycles at extreme risk of being side­swiped or struck from behind. Construction activities also routinely negatively impact the roadway condition with gravel and debris, and cones and markers are often moved into the path designated as the bike lane. (Please see the image attached below of current conditions heading inbound. Notice the bike lane is blocked by jersey barriers, forcing people riding bicycles into the travel lane.) Moreover, instructing outbound cyclists to walk their bikes on the sidewalk does not fulfill MassDOT’s promise to provide two ­way bike travel for the duration of the project.

From what we understand, this situation is temporary and two­way bicycle travel will switch to the upstream side of the bridge sometime early next year, but that does not make the current situation permissible to the hundreds of people biking over the Longfellow everyday. Moreover, we are concerned that the project will not follow the anticipated project schedule, and the current situation will persist throughout the winter. If that is the case, snow accumulation in the inbound bike lane will force people riding bikes into the travel lane with vehicular traffic, making an already dangerous situation even worse. We have provided a video, attached, demonstrating the approach of a trolley bus to a cyclist in the bike lane. Please note the bus’s right wheels overlapping with the bike lane, and the closeness during the pass.

We look forward to hearing how MassDOT plans to address these hazards.

Sincerely,

Rebecca Wolfson, Interim Executive Director, Boston Cyclists Union Richard Fries, Executive Director, MassBike
Charlie Denison, Advocacy Committee Chair, LivableStreets Alliance

* On Tuesday, Dec. 8 the Boston Cyclists Union conducted a count of users on the Longfellow Bridge and observed 333 people riding bicycles and 713 motorized vehicles going inbound between 7:35 AM and 9:15 AM. The fact that people riding bicycles represent approximately 32% of the rush­hour inbound vehicle traffic on the Longfellow Bridge demonstrate how important of a connection the bridge is for people riding bicycles between Cambridge and Boston.

__________________________________

Watch this VIDEO demonstrating unsafe riding conditions!

(See the full letter here: Longfellow Phase 2 Comments-2)

Please write to MassDOT at [email protected] and CC [email protected][email protected] and [email protected] so we can see that you’ve taken action and can help amplify your voice!

 


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Please Comment On Casey Overpass/Forest Hills Bike Access And Safety

Written by Boston Biker on Mar 10

got this in the email, I ride through here every single day, and every single day it sucks.

———————————————————-

Do you ride/walk/drive under or over the Casey overpass? Community meetings around the impending removal and replacement of that span are coming soon, so I’d like to use this blog post to solicit comments from JP Bikes members on how they feel about the current effectiveness and safety of that entire multi-road intersection. You are also welcome to comment on how it works as a pedestrian, driver, or transit user. Here are a few questions you can use to get started, but feel free to comment on whatever aspect of the project you want to. Use this link to the blog post to comment:

http://jpbikes.ning.com/profiles/blogs/please-comment-on-casey

(you’ll need to join to comment. Please do! If you would really rather not, you can send your comment to me and I’ll post it)

Do you ride through this intersection regularly? What time and how frequently? From where and to where are you typically going?

In what ways have you optimized your route or your schedule to avoid traffic or other inconvenience?

Do you ride on the sidewalk at any point?

Have you found it useful to ride over the overpass?

If you are going to/coming from the Southwest Corridor path, how do you get there?

Comment on where you see the most traffic backed up

Describe specific dangerous or confusing crossings

Describe any accidents you may have had

Please stay tuned for announcements about meetings. We expect there to be a lot of talk about car traffic and flow, so to advocate for bike accommodations and safety, we need input from as many actual users of that area as possible. Thanks!


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Public Meeting: Green Line Extension Project

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 26

Got the following today, perhaps someone could go tell these people that we would like to see some way to take bikes on the green line, especially if they are going to take an already woefully bad line and make it bigger…

——–

Monday, March 9th Brooks elementary school, 388 high street Medford
Wednesday, March 11th Somerville High School, 81 Highland Ave somerville

5:30 project open house
6:30-8:30 meeting presentation and questions

The Green Line Extension Project is an initiative of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Transportation in coordination with the MBTA. The project will extend existing MBTA Green Line service from Lechmere station through the communities of Cambridge, Somerville, and Medford with an extension of the main line to Route 16 and an adjunct line to Union Square.

EOT will present an overview of the project, an environmental analysis, recommendations for station sites, and the preferred project alignment.

You are invited to attend either of the meetings public input results in better projects.

To request access of language accomodations, please call Regan Checchio at 617-357-5772 at least ten days in advance.

Directions and more project information are available at www.greenlineextension.com


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Just Remember…

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 05

foodchain.jpg

you have been warned.


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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Do You Want Protected Bike Lanes On The Longfellow? April 13, 2018
      TweetFrom Cambridge Bike Safety: The Longfellow Bridge, a critical bike connector to Boston, is going to be restriped and reopened in May. You may be surprised to learn that in the final design, the inbound bike lane will be similar … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • #30DaysofBiking Day 7 April 7, 2018
      TweetThis is better! A sunny, somewhat cool spring day. Me on my bike, my daughter on a trail-a-bike, and my son on his bike. We rode down the Southwest Corridor, stopped at Ula Cafe for lunch, rode over by Jamaica … Continue reading →
      Liam
    • Riding Lexington Street, Waltham, July 4, 2015 April 7, 2018
      TweetIt should be noted that bike lanes have been installed on much of the stretch of Lexington Street shown in the videos. Videos showing the new conditions are in preparation. Two videos, for now: A demonstration of lane control in … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Riding Lexington Street, Waltham, July 4, 2015 April 7, 2018
      TweetIt shoudl be noted that bike lanes have been installed on much of the stretch of Lexington Street shown in the videos. Videos showing the new conditions are in preparation. Two videos, for now: A demonstration of lane control in … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • #30DaysofBiking Days 3,4,5, and 6 April 6, 2018
      TweetIt’s been cold, rainy, windy, and I’m not sleeping well. These days of biking are short rides on Hubway to get from here to there, head down, and shivering. This is not the joyous Days of Biking I signed up … Continue reading →
      Liam
    • #30DaysofBiking Day 2 April 3, 2018
      Tweet Easter Monday.  The first work day of April.  Today is the day I’m going to start riding my bike to work again! Or not.  Because it’s snowing.  And I’m tired and lazy. But every bit of biking counts no … Continue reading →
      Liam
    • #30DaysofBiking Day 1 April 2, 2018
      TweetI didn’t think I was going to go for a bike ride on Easter Sunday.  As tends to be my habit, I ride less and less in the winter time and then find it hard to get back into the … Continue reading →
      Liam
    • Police Seek Driver Who Struck Cyclist In Hit And Run March 23, 2018
      Tweet Cambridge police are asking for the public’s help in finding a driver who allegedly struck a 14-year-old boy on the morning of March 15 and fled the scene. A silver Toyota Prius struck the boy around 7:22 a.m. that … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Pewter Cast “Gem” Earrings March 9, 2018
      Carved, cast and made these pewter (lead free) “gem” earrings.  They have a lovely faceted surface that catches the light and has a lot of depth and interesting texture.  My first real effort at making my own beads.  If you lik... Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Silver “Rock” Earrings March 9, 2018
        I carved and cast these silver “rock” earrings for my partner. The hardest part was getting those little jump rings soldered to the top of the “rock” without melting them or the rock…but I did it and she loved them. Continue reading →
      Boston Biker