non permanent bike lanes Downtown are right here to remain – The Day by day Free Press
Bike lanes that popped up in Downtown Boston this yr are going to be sticking round because the Metropolis edges nearer to make Downtown jobs extra accessible to residents in different neighborhoods.
Mayor Marty Walsh introduced the plan in a press convention Tuesday whereas giving updates on the Metropolis’s COVID-19 response. He detailed the Metropolis’s fall transportation plans, together with the addition of an outbound night bus lane from Forest Hills to Roslindale Sq., a bus lane within the North Finish and numerous adjustments to extend pedestrian security.
Amongst these initiatives are plans to transform the non permanent bike lanes marked by orange site visitors cones and barrels into everlasting fixtures. The pop-up lanes appeared earlier this yr as a part of the town’s “Wholesome Streets” initiative, with a number of routes rising across the Boston Widespread and Public Backyard. Different routes included Tremont, Boylston, Charles, Beacon and Arlington Avenue.
The initiative contributes to the Metropolis’s “Join Downtown” undertaking, the mayor mentioned, with the objective of connecting residents in numerous Boston neighborhoods to jobs within the Downtown space.
“We’re decided to come back out of this pandemic a more healthy and extra equitable metropolis than we entered it,” Walsh mentioned at Tuesday’s press convention. “Transportation has been a essential focus of our planning effort in recent times. The pandemic introduced a brand new urgency for secure and dependable transportation, particularly for our frontline staff and important staff which have been utilizing it probably the most incessantly during the last 5 months.”
The mayor mentioned the Metropolis will work with neighborhoods to enhance security in addition to pedestrian and bike entry on American Legion Freeway. Walsh mentioned the Metropolis has heard issues from residents, together with studies of drag racing on the roadway, which stretches via Roslindale and Dorchester.
Bettering bikeways on American Legion Freeway is a significant objective of Wholesome Streets’ second part, based on this system’s web site. Different enchancment places embody Cummins Freeway, which intersects American Legion.
Some native transportation advocates mentioned the announcement was a optimistic subsequent step within the Metropolis’s pursuit of fairness, however added that a lot of the present work seems to be centered in Downtown reasonably than different neighborhoods.
Stacy Thompson, government director of LivableStreets Alliance, mentioned she helps short-term interventions just like the pop-up lane undertaking, however wish to see extra direct intervention in relation to connecting the Downtown space with communities on the japanese facet of the town, like Mattapan and Hyde Park.
“Cummins is an efficient first step, in fact. We’re very excited concerning the progress on American Legion,” Thompson mentioned in an interview. “What about Warren Avenue? What about Columbia Highway? These are corridors that serve an amazing variety of folks strolling, biking … these are corridors that deserve consideration, too.”
Thompson mentioned she wish to see extra intervention to assist communities of shade most affected by COVID-19 meet their transportation wants.
The Boston Bicycle owner Union’s government director, Becca Wolfson, mentioned her group is happy for the everlasting lanes, however requires extra work to be carried out in communities outdoors of Downtown.
Wolfson mentioned one criticism she has is that the present lane work has been centered round Downtown, whereas some neighborhoods aren’t seeing the identical diploma of latest improvement of their corridors.
Wolfson mentioned Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan are some neighborhoods the place her group needs to see extra progress. She added that when committing to fairness, it will be important that these most impacted by COVID-19, particularly communities of shade, obtain enough assist.
“It’s vital, normally, that we proper the wrongs of disinvestment in relation to transportation in these communities and likewise with the lens on fairness and [COVID-19] influence,” Wolfson mentioned. “It’s critically vital that if the Metropolis’s making a Downtown community within the identify of job entry, that you simply create routes from neighborhoods to that Downtown community.”
Wolfson mentioned these initiatives are taking place as Boston sees an uptick within the variety of new riders utilizing the Bluebikes public bike share program.
Throughout Tuesday’s press convention, Walsh mentioned the Metropolis’s 90-day free move program for important staff continues to be provided for BlueBikes and that the service noticed a brand new single-day report of 14,403 riders on Sunday.
BlueBikes Ridership has been returning to 2019 ranges because it hit its lowest level in April and Could, based on Boston BlueBikes advertising supervisor Patrick Kelsey.
In an e mail, Kelsey wrote BlueBikes has seen a whole lot of biking exercise close to trails, with lengthy journeys by riders who start and finish on the similar bike station. He mentioned this means to his group that individuals are driving for recreation, one of many largest use circumstances within the Boston metro space, along with others.
“There’s the commuting use case for positive,” Kelsey mentioned in an interview. “We’ve a pretty big company program, together with a whole lot of universities.”
He mentioned many Bluebikes stations are additionally positioned in giant employment facilities and Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority stations.
Kelsey mentioned BlueBikes is within the strategy of increasing the service to 5 new communities this yr, with plans to launch bike share stations in Arlington, Chelsea, Newton, Revere and Watertown. Some stations are already energetic in Arlington and Watertown, based on the BlueBikes web site.