City to Add More Bike Lanes to Neighborhoods
Boston Bikes announced this week that parts of East Boston, South Boston, West Roxbury, and Mattapan will be retrofitted with new painted bike lanes to help separate cyclists from motor vehicle traffic.
The lanes are the first new lanes in a series of painted lines that are slated to hit the city streets in the next few months.
An exact date for the installations was not specified, and Nicole Freedman, director of City Hall’s Boston Bikes program, was not immediately available to discuss details of the installations. But a spokesperson from the Boston Transportation Department confirmed that the majority of the proposed lanes have already been given the green light by the appropriate officials and are now pending final approval by senior managers.
According to the Boston Transportation Department, once final approval is handed down, lanes will be painted in East Boston along Maverick Street, from Border Street to Jeffries Street, and Marginal Street, from Orleans Street back to Marginal Street.
In Mattapan, the city will lay down bike lanes on Ballou Avenue, from Willowwood Street to Woodrow Avenue; on Willowwood Street, from Ballou Avenue to Norfolk Street; and on Walk Hill Street, from Hyde Park Avenue to Blue Hill Avenue.
West Roxbury will also get a new bike lane, which will extend from the Newton town line to the VFW Parkway along Baker Street.
In South Boston, new lanes will extend from I-93 Frontage Road to Dorchester Avenue to complete a gap along West Fourth Street.
“There are several other streets that are in design and will hopefully be coming soon,” according to a statement from Boston Bikes.
Streets included in the city’s bicycle network are selected to be outfitted with new lanes based on a number of factors, according to city officials, such as if bike accommodations can be added to an existing project where a street is scheduled to be resurfaced or redesigned, if the segments establish connections between neighborhoods, or if adding lanes to segments of streets will close any gaps in the existing network.
Adding lanes to the city is a multi-step process that includes reviews by several city departments. Boston Bikes works with consultants who conduct surveys and reviews along streets they feel would be suitable for lanes, officials told Boston, before they draw up 25 percent design plans. From there, the proposed lanes are presented to the engineering division, where they are either approved or tweaked accordingly. If approved, the plans then go through multiple reviews before moving back to the Boston Bikes administration.
Freedman’s office then moves forward bringing in other departments that need to get involved to have the lanes implemented as part of the bike network system.
Since 2007, Boston has added 82 miles of bike lanes to city streets. These new lanes will add to that total, and additional lanes are scheduled to be installed in several other specific neighborhoods as part of the Bike Network Plan.