Biking along the Green Line Extension

Green Line Extension Community Path - 3-D Model Presentation

To go with the simulation of riding a trolley on the new end of the Green Line, MassDOT has created this simulation of riding a bike (or walking really quickly) along the 2-mile community path it's planning.

Via Somerville Voices.



Free tagging: 


simulation is missing all the pedestrians

By on

....blocking the entire path walking 3 and 4 wide, strollers, small children suddenly darting around, dogs off leashes (or on those stupid retractable ones that the owner allows to stretch across the entire path.)

Pedestrians already can walk, jog, or run almost anywhere in the city safely and without fear of harassment. Cyclists cannot. The whole point of a bicycle - for transportation - is to travel at several times walking speed. Which is impossible if you're constantly having to slow for pedestrians, pass small children who you can't trust to not dart in front of you, etc.

Every "bike" path - the Minuteman, Paul Dudley White, Olmstead, and Southwest Corridor - have been taken over by pedestrians and are unusable for the people the paths were originally intended for - bicycle riders. Even when the paths have dedicated, pedestrian-only paths, even when they're marked as such every couple hundred feet, the pedestrians stick to the bicycle path.

And then they have the audacity to complain about "reckless" cyclists "nearly hitting me." If we're such a menace and so reckless, why do you all gravitate to our paths?

It's probably realistic

.for that particular stretch as it's bleak and industrial.

But as it moves out toward Mystic I could see it becoming another tangle.

The Somerville Community path wasn't too stressed when I checked it last year.

And the ad hoc bikeway that follows the old Mystic Valley Parkway and Mystic Lakes wasn't too pummeled.

The Alewife/Fitchburg cutoff route is moderate flow as is the Watertown Branch.

It will be interesting to see what happens when a bunch of pending routes begin to come alive.

I wonder if it is just a combination of capacity and availability of coherent information covering the entire system.

The Minuteman is famous and well mapped on Google maps. The other three cited are in the urban core.

But the lesser known ones haven't been pummeled yet.

Ban bicyclist from the Paul Dudley White bike path

A few years back I heard of people asking to have bicyclist banned from the Paul Dudley White bike path. Move too fast for the pedestrians. Oddly, for Boston anyway, this wasn't given too much consideration. And while they weren't banned, there was a time when there were 5mph speed limit signs next to Ebersol Filed.


By on

Grow up, Pierre. The day that cyclists (ALL of them( stop at every cross walk, red light, and signal at all turns, they can have two lanes, otherwise, put on some grown up pants and shut up

Fixed that for you

Grow up, Pierre. The day that motorists (ALL of them) stop at every cross walk, red light, and signal at all turns, they can have two lanes, otherwise, put on some grown up pants and shut up

It's an interesting dispute

...between two parties in a rush to get somewhere.

As a rider of shanks mare, I'm at the bottom of the conveyance food chain.

And as a semi retired layabout, I'm rarely in a rush for anything. I genuinely enjoy seeing the world go by at 3 to 6 mph more than 15 or 70 and if I'm too lazy to walk, there's always the T.

But I once pedaled around here and well know how much it sux to deal with idiots in quarter ton metal things resting fat asses on a glorified couch as they go hurtling dimly along.

Protected as they are by the comfy cage, it isn't easy for them to imagine how much hazard they inject into situations.

If you think about it, a bicyclist can't very well text while pedaling.

Drunk bicyclists are mainly a hazard to themselves.

A bicyclist can't door job you or nearly flatten you as they make a right on red while yapping on a cell in some SUV half track monstrosity.

That happened to me at the corner of Harvard St and Prospect st a few weeks ago and it was exhilarating to yell.. "You Fucking Stupid Bitch!!!" ...directly into said maven's face from 2 feet away, albeit through her window.

But really, I would have been fine without the exhilaration.

Bicyclist infractions tend to be attempts to dodge hazards while motorist infractions ARE hazards, to other motorists, to bicyclists and to short pudgy geezers trying to cross a street.

So I tend to root for those on the frail metal frames, exposed to elements and hazards rather than sheltered slobs on lethal moving couches.

I chuckle when I think of how much McLuhan hated cars.

It's also missing the Hubway

It's also missing the Hubway folks riding the full path without helmets that stop at regular intervals.

Seriously, what a mistake Hubway was. Between no safety gear and riding on the sidewalk, they are more dangerous and disruptive to those who bike safely.

John Forester, is that you?

By on

You sound like a vehicular cycling fanatic.

Hubway has been one of the best things for Boston in the last few years. Yes, that's right: inexperienced riders are trying out bikes. That's a GOOD THING! That is, if you believe in making biking more accessible and widespread. Yeah, they're not perfect riders. Guess what: to err is human. It's about time we recognize that our streets should be places for people, and people make mistakes. Mistakes should not be fatal.

The more people walking and biking, the safer everyone is. And I mean everyone. That includes motorists, pedestrians and other bicycle riders as well.

Hubway has also been good for experienced bicycle riders like myself, who didn't want to be bothered with owning a bicycle (until recently) but still wanted to ride one every so often.

Hubway would be great if

Hubway would be great if registration required a safety test and if someone's permit could be revoked for riding on the sidewalk or without a helmet. I would report the hell out of all these idiots that don't have a clue how to be a courteous and safe rider.

Years of data

One serious accident - caused by a driver violating the law.

Since its launch, Hubway has had just one reported accident with serious injuries, when a rider sustained broken ribs and a concussion after being struck by a shuttle bus that ran a red light near the CambridgeSide Galleria in October.

No head injuries reported beyond that.

We're sorry: your rant cannot be completed with factual data or validated by reality. Please check your talking points against publicly available data sets and try again.

Okay, here's your factual

Okay, here's your factual data: Go out in the Back Bay on a weekend and count how many idiot Hubwayers are riding on the sidewalk (bonus points for the Harvard Bridge which has a flatter newly paved bike lane RIGHT THERE), without helmets or biking along the Charles in large groups who have no idea what "ON YOUR LEFT!!!!" means.

The amount of ignorance and disrespect hubway users have towards other cyclists and pedestrians is OUTSTANDING.


We all know its massholes all the way down around here.

On foot, in cars, on bikes.

Yes, it can be annoying. But statistics are kept - please show actual evidence of harm.

The amount of ignorance and disrespect automobile users have towards other motorists, cyclists and pedestrians is OUTSTANDINGly dangerous.


Why does there need to be

Why does there need to be evidence, why can't I report what I see and what other cyclists have to deal with on the road, is that not evidence enough? I'm not an academic and need to carry encyclopedias to source every opinion or observation I have, nor will I photograph every instance of Hubway users being disrespectful to other citizens through ignorance. Just open your eyes. They're out there. The harm is not obeying the rules of the road and not taking proper safety measures, unless you believe helmets should be optional and there's nothing wrong with not being safe.

I don't give a shit about cars either since I don't drive anymore. "Casual" cyclists and renters need to adhere to the same rules of courtesy and discipline that regular cyclists use otherwise they give a bad name to all cyclists.

You don't give a shit about

By on

You don't give a shit about the one type of vehicle that truly poses a danger to your life, instead of merely your pride?

I see.

You ignore the State Laws?

The harm is not obeying the rules of the road and not taking proper safety measures, unless you believe helmets should be optional and there's nothing wrong with not being safe.

I personally wear a helmet and travel with one! My husband and I share a hubway membership and keep the key clipped to a helmet.

HOWEVER, MA state law only requires children under 16 to wear them - and children under 16 are NOT allowed on Hubway. That means that adults may choose to use a helmet or choose not too.

Furthermore, what part of NO head injuries in three years do you not get (aside from a bus running a red light - no guarantee a helmet would help there)? You take safety precautions against actual hazards. Hubway is up over a million trips with one single incident. Ergo, helmet non-use could hardly be deemed a hazard.

Safety and courtesy are two

Safety and courtesy are two separate things. If someone wants to ride, they should know how to be a courteous rider. That means NO riding on the sidewalks, obeying the laws of the road (don't even get me started on how some of them slow to a stop without signaling) and showing that you care about your safety. Don't be a hazard to other riders.

Helmets and Hubway

By on

Wait a sec - doesn't Hubway require its users to use helmets as a condition of the use of their bikes? Wasn't that a major of objection of potential users at the beginning of the service (I seem to remember citations to the Netherlands, and that biking is safer there in part because people don't wear helmets and that makes drivers and cyclists more cautious)?

Also, notwithstanding my long-standing hostility to constant demands for data (I am on record as a subscriber to the "this is a community posting board, not an academic study" view of UHub), did you say that the data that you are relying on is provided by Hubway? If so, I think that all of us can see why: 1) Hubway cannot necessarily be relied upon to provide accurate data; and 2) why Hubway users themselves might not want to provide accurate (or any) data about incidents.

If you have EMS records to the contrary

Please present them here.

Like I said - I am absolutely a helmet wearer and even take my helmet with me when I travel. But there is no evidence, in over a million rides, that lack of helmet use is any sort of problem with hubway.

I'm betting that it has to do with low speeds, and adult operators, and the very mass and center of mass of the bikes.

Come on, Swirly.

By on

Of course the EMS records don't exist, and that is precisely the point. You've got one interested party providing data, and that party may have an interest in not reporting accurate data.

I have no doubt that the number of injuries sustained by Hubway users while using Hubway bikes is remarkably low. My point was that you and the rest of us are all smart/experienced/cynical enough to know not to trust Hubway to report injury information accurately. The only way I would trust what Hubway said in this regard was if they had a legal obligation (either public (i.e., by statue or regulation) or private (i.e., by the terms of their contracts with the various municipalities or MassDOT)) to do so. I am unaware of any such obligation.

I don't mean to single out Hubway. I would say the same for pretty much any private business. Absent an obligation, why the hell would anyone advertise bad experiences of their users?

If there was an incident

By on

Bike groups would most certainly know about it. These are not secrets, they're public record.

Also, the news media would probably blare it all over town. C'mon, it's a juicy story. "Hubway involved in major trauma" etc.

No conspiracy necessary.

No conspiracy is right. My point is that the data is bad.

By on

I would just like to know why you and Swirly think that anyone would specifically mention that a Hubway bike was involved? You think that Boston EMS or a private ambulance company is going to go through the trouble to make a note of that in their reports? Why would it be anything more than "the victim was riding a bicycle?" Further, even if some writers did put "hubway" in the report, who is to say that every writer would do so? As for the media, while it might be juicy for them (on a slow news day) it's not like the media is sending a news truck to every accident involving a bike.

Again, my only point was, and remains, that the data is crap because reporting is mostly voluntary and there is no standard. I saw nothing in the report the Swirly linked that contradicts that, and several things that reinforce it (e.g., on P. 8: "Boston Bikes 2009 Accident Survey In 2009, Boston Bikes conducted a survey of more than 2,500 cyclists who provided self-reported information on 2,577 crashes taking place between 2005 through 2009." Emphasis added.)

Community, not "bike" path

By on

But, like the rest of the path in Somerville, it's not a "bike" path - it's the "Community Path," intended for multiple uses including pedestrians.

They're even included (strolling two abreast, hand in hand) in the artists' renditions - see, for example, here (PDF document). Page 11 (slide #12) shows a spot near Washington Street, though with what looks like lower (less grim) concrete walls, more like what the Friends of the Community Path suggest as an improvement on the design.

You'll particularly enjoy slide #30 (page 29) which shows mom, dad, baby in carriage, and the family dog taking up an entire side of the path.

Taking an entire side isn't a problem

Taking up the entire path is. Only one side is fine - allows space to pass.

The Dog Walkers on the Community Path are the worst at this - people everywhere, dogs everywhere, leashes everywhere ... sometimes out of hand. They take up the full width, both sides, and leave no space to walk around them.

Pretty in chain link

By on

That's some grim scenery there. Throw in some soldiers asking for papers and it could be an East German travelogue.

Call Boxes

It would be good to have an emergency call box every few hundred feet least someone feel threatened and not have a phone. I'm looking forward to riding this path but I make a point of avoiding long paths that leave no escape at night. I've never had a problem but I've heard some unsettling things happening to people taking the Somerville path at night.

Which Somerville Path would that be?

And what have you heard?

My biggest issues with the Community Path from Lowell Road to Davis are the dogwalkers who hold meetups right in the middle of the path at rush hour, and the idiots who seem to think it is some cool artistic statement to walk right down the yellow line in the middle.

Smitty and Nick's

..junk sculptures they call "Skraelings" are probably the scariest things on the path.

But yes, it's another case where self absorbed mutt walkers make a hash of a porous and well designed right of way in order to be 'spontaneous' .

There are regularly sited spots to step aside and sit on a nice bench or something for these outdoor jabber fests... but noooo.

The night safety theme is in a few posts lately, as if people are forgetting that isolated and forlorn dark places in cities have been hazardous forever.

When a humanzee can stroll anywhere in a city at 3am without fear of some lurking mugger hazard or opportunistic rapist, we will have arrived at a utopia beyond any thus far imagined.

What an ease

By on

If riding a bicycle in the City is this easy, I will give up my car. But unfortunately it isn't.

You would need an electric bike

... to run at that sort of speed, too!

Well, the lycra-clad training cyclists can easily do 18-20 mph ... but most of us mortals are considerably slower.

enough with the lycra crap

By on

Knock off the bodyshaming crap and reverse-elitism. You're not better than the "training cyclists", especially since many of the people riding on the path in the morning with you are the very same people heading out in that EVIL LYCRA early in the mornings, in the evenings, or on weekends.

Ride your bike and stop worrying about how and why others ride theirs, or what they're wearing when they do so.

When I see a professional cyclist training in denim

I will let you know.

I was referring to a VERY SPECIFIC group of people who train in the area who do ride hundreds of miles a week at high paces consistent with those shown in the demo video.

Please point to the part in my post where I said that they were bad people? You can't. That's because it isn't there. You read LYCRA and freaked out.

Sorry if your mind can't process things fast enough to prevent your frontal lobe from reacting every time a stimulus presents itself.


Love, a person who was probably riding 1,000s of miles per year on Boston area streets, often in spandex cycling clothes, before your daddy stained the sheets (i.e. someone who needs no instruction in how to ride my bike, thank you).

Remember when bicycling was

By on

Remember when bicycling was cheap and efficient?

What on earth is that massive viaduct for? As far as I can tell, the only thing that needs to be crossed between Lechmere and Washington Street is the Fitchburg commuter rail, which is only 3 tracks wide at that point.

Various factors

By on

The Fitchburg commuter rail is hosting the Union Square branch of the GLX so it will be more than 3 tracks wide. In general the space below is combination rail yard/industrial parcel. I know it's frustrating that it is expensive and that is because there is so much elevated viaduct in use.

But can I make one additional comment that people unfamiliar with the project seem to be missing here: the Community Path also doubles as emergency egress for the Green Line as well as access path to equipment for maintenance purposes. Reasonable accommodations for emergency egress are required by Federal law for all new transit viaducts and tunnels.

Perhaps that will help explain why some decisions were made the way they were made. And also the cost does not seem so high when you realize that it is also part of solving a dilemma for the GLX.

Well, why does the GLX need a

By on

Well, why does the GLX need a mile-long viaduct over who knows what? If that viaduct didn't exist because the tracks ran on the surface, then the emergency egress viaduct parallel to it wouldn't need to exist either.

And if there's a problem on the GLX and you evacuate to the bike path, then what? Do you have to walk half a mile in one direction or the other to get to the nearest road? Or will the bike path have emergency exit staircases?

Why don't you go take a walk down there

I think that may answer your own question.

It would also clarify, in reality, that much of this work does need to be done anyway, path or no path. The path is a value added feature for the 300,000 people who live within a mile of this thing.

Because that "who-knows-what"

By on

Because that "who-knows-what" includes heavy freight and passenger commuter rail trains moving around and the FRA generally frowns upon having at-grade crossing of FRA-regulated railroad tracks by light rail transit vehicles.

And even if safety and regulatory issues were not in play, there is the matter of scheduling incompatibility of having frequent rapid transit service try to share space with infrequent but slow-moving and long trains.

Remember when roads were

By on

Remember when roads were cheap? Its costing over 200 million to straighten a short segment of the pike and cost 20 billion for 1 mile of highway between north and south station. Its different when construction is happening in dense urban environments where available land is limited and many uses compete.


By on


Allston could use a new station where one used to be: the building at Cambridge Street and Harvard Ave that's now Pizzeria Regina. The last thing we needed was another multi-million-dollar glass box in the middle of nowhere in the rail yard.

Allston Village exists because of that former station, and it's the natural place to put one, if you want people to use it.

For less than $1 million, they could build platforms and a ramp up to the existing pedestrian overpass across the Pike.

I agree with you that

By on

I agree with you that wasteful road projects are a bad thing.

Was there some other point you were trying to make? Something like wasteful bike projects somehow prevent even more wasteful road projects or something?

Graffiti magnet

Hope the budget allows for copious amounts of power washing. That area that goes under McGrath will get instantly covered in tags.