Getting some bridge work done

Commonwealth Avenue bridge work under way

Photographynatalia took a look at the construction work on Comm. Ave. where it crosses the turnpike yesterday as workers begin to replace half the bridge (with the other half to get replaced next year).

If you normally drive/ride over the bridge, how was your commute this morning?

Redsox223 journeyed down there as well, and capturedthe shuttle buses that have replaced the Green Line for the duration:

Peter Pan buses on Commonwealth Avenue

Top two photographs copyright Photographynatalia and Redsox223 respectively. Posted in the Universal Hub pool on Flickr.



Free tagging: 


Crystal clear sailing errrr cycling

Comm. Ave. was the safest it has ever been for cyclists and pedestrians. I took a ride yesterday with a friend to get a feel for how things would be this morning and BPD/BTD/Transit Police/whoever has made sure everything is streamlined, giving clear directions and safe for everyone.

Of course still a few clueless motorists that can't seem to read the "BUS LANE" signs were meandering into the wrong lanes but hey its hard to look up and pay attention sometimes.

Yep, pretty easy ride

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8:30 AM Monday
Agreed. Easy, but a little confusing. There are no signs for bikes.
Comm Ave eastbound has 2 lanes separated by cones, one for cars and one for busses. Then they switch you to go east on the Westbound lane in front of Landry's. Cops direct traffic.
I asked a cop which lane to use, and he said to bike in the bus lane. It was pretty easy to share with the busses, they didn't seem to be moving (sorry Green-liners).

BU bridge was empty, fun ride.

Uhub advertising survey

Readers are confident, self-assured, ready to ride bikes around all day, then when they get to work, spend their time blabbing about it on our web site.

"Of course still a few

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"Of course still a few clueless motorists that can't seem to read the "BUS LANE" signs were meandering into the wrong lanes but hey its hard to look up and pay attention sometimes."

There are some awful drivers in Boston, no question, however MANY people think bikers are the worst. As a pedestrian, I would be hit almost weekly by bikers illegally blowing through red lights & stop signs if I didn't get out of their way. When I drive, there is nothing more frustrating (or dangerous) than a biker coming at you who decides it's up to you to stop (while on a green light) as they decide to make a left-hand turn across the intersection without signaling.

I wish a few Boston cops were dedicated to ticketing bad Boston drivers, but they also need to start ticketing dangerous bikers--and there are a LOT of them!

Haven't we been over this?

How many people hit/killed by bikes in the past 10 years? How many people hit/killed by cars in the past 10 years.

I hate shitty cyclists too but I'm not so blind to ignore how much more frequently I need to jump out of the way of a driver who decided to turn on red, blow a stop sign or crosswalk, etc. It's so common most people don't even make note.

Distracted driving is a thing

Curiously absent from your observations. Many drivers seem to thinks its harmless.

And I'd argue that distracted driving is a much larger safety concern than bikes. Plenty of statistics to back that up too.

This weekend in Mattapan

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My dad drove up to help me work on my porch and an older woman, likely looking at her phone, crossed over into the oncoming traffic lane and hit my dad's parked truck head on, and pushed it a good 15 feet backwards across my driveway and into my van. No brakes, no tire marks in the street, just plowed into a parked car head on at speed.
Cop didn't even evaluate if she was drunk, blind, high....nothing, when he got on scene.
This to me is a problem. Not sure what police protocol is in a situation like that but IMO her licence should be cut in half right then and there. It was broad daylight. Lots of kids in my neighborhood too, she's lucky she didn't kill someone.
No sobriety test, no citation for reckless driving. Had to tow her car out of there it was so bad. Luckily the truck is a truck and only the bumper and plastic grill were mangled so its still drive-able. Van just suffered a bent bumper.


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Distracted by a "medical emergency".

But in the case of distracted by things in our immediate control - cell phones, GPS, etc, yes, it's a thing. And one I, as a proponent of driving, abhor. There is more than enough to focus on while just driving.

It's Not Dangerous

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If you have a couple of people walking towards each other in a plaza from different directions do one of them need to stop or dive out of the way of the other? Or do both walkers make minute course and speed adjustments [almost unconsciously] to avoid running into each other? Can't you see that cyclists are doing the same thing when they ride near you while you're crossing the street? In a car [other than a few selected race drivers] the driver can't be agile and aware enough to make those kind of adjustments and it makes sense to keep the car segregated from people on foot. Conversely only a select few people are so clumsy on a bicycle that you wouldn't want them riding around or near pedestrians.

It feels dangerous

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I mean, I look up from my screen gadget and WHOH BIKE! Very unnerving. Bikes need to be nicer so I don't have to look up.

Oh please . . .

Let me start by fixing your quote for you:

There are thousands of awful drivers in [and around] Boston, no question, however many people think bikers are the worst.

If there's one thing car culture in this country is good at it's convincing pedestrians that, somehow, despite a staggering difference in amount of injury and death caused by motor vehicles vs. by bicycles, bicycles are their #1 enemy.

Let's talk about cyclists vs. pedestrians (vs. cars):

*Cyclists are pedestrians . . . who decided to ride a bike today! It's not like we're born riding a bicycle and never walked anywhere first so the whole "you don't know what's it's like to be a pedestrian!" adage is just ludicrous. We might spend more time on our bikes than the average pedestrian, for sure, but there are plenty of times when we're off the bikes and on foot . . . just like you! This is a huge contrast to many drivers who wouldn't give up their cars for a day if it killed them (and, let's be honest, it is, slowly).

*When cyclists hit--or get hit by--movable objects it's never good for cyclists. It's a no-win situation where, at the very least the cyclist is knocked off his/her bike and mildly bruised, but, all too often, sustains more serious injury. These objects include cars, trucks, buses and, yes, pedestrians. So the whole "the cyclist tried to kill me!" adage is nonsense. If a cyclist hit you with a enough force to kill you, you'd be sure it would be enough force to also seriously injury, if not worse, to the cyclist. What incentive/perceived advantage does a cyclist have to want to collided with a pedestrian? Bikes aren't cars where you can just run people over and keep going like nothing happened or drag them for miles.

*If bikes are supposed to act "like cars" and follow the "same roads, same rules," then isn't it fair that pedestrians should at least, kind of, treat them like a car? I consider myself a very courteous rider who tries to stop at un-signalized crosswalks for pedestrians to cross. But, yes, there are times I'm rolling full-speed (17-20 mph) and, no, I'm not coming to a dead stop from 20 yards away just so someone can amble across the street, especially if they're more engrossed in their cell phone and only look up at the last minute to curse me out for not stopping. Never mind the dozen drivers that drove right through the crosswalk without a second's hesitation, I as the cyclist am just *the worst* for not stopping!


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Comm. Ave. was the safest it has ever been for cyclists and pedestrians

I don't know what it was like in the days of yore.

I agree the lack of private autos is a safety boon. Just be careful out there -- construction vehicles and laborers, general confusion, and all kinds of scars and plates and other jagged surfaces on the road just begging to grab your tires.

I commute through this every day, and the real joy is the rotary on the Cambridge side of the BU Bridge.

Like being in Western Europe

Lots of public transit, pedestrians, and cyclists. Few private cars. As non-car commuter things have never been better.

Looking at the highways from the bridges it seemed traffic was about the same as it always is. Mem drive wasn't any different then normal around 8:30am.

Amazing how far they've come on the bridge in just a few days, too. Makes you wonder why so many projects take years on-site when they clearly have the ability to do these sorts of things quickly with the right planning.


Cough, cough, Longfellow. We're going to have President Dwayne Johnson before you can drive across it to Cambridge again.

Isn't that because the

Isn't that because the Longfellow is a historic structure though? A big part of the work is restoration. The Comm Ave bridge is just a bridge, no need to preserve it, just tear it down and put a new one in.

Much better options for driving

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They are known as Prison Point (Charles River Dam by the MoS) and that unfettered freeway of a dragstrip known as the Technology Bridge by MIT.

You're welcome.

I drove rideshare

The play coming from Somerville was often cut through the high rises, bang the right back onto O'Brien, and then bang the right towards Charlestown, and cross via North Washington. That's how you Charles.

To address 'why so many

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To address 'why so many projects take years on-site when they clearly have the ability to do these sorts of things quickly with the right planning.', there's an old union expression - 'don't kill the job'. Need I say more?

Interesting theory. Except for one thing

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The same contractors that bid on MBTA projects that seem to take forever also bid on the MassDOT jobs that are completed quickly. And, sorry to burst your "unions serve no good to anyone" meme, but a contractor doesn't decide "I'll use union labor on a MBTA job and non-union labor on a MassDOT one."

Meanwhile, underneath on the commuter rail...

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the train ridership was lighter than usual, but train p510 still arrived at South Station 15 minutes late (no discernable reason).

As others have noted elsewhere, this is the commuter rail's time to shine and to hook new riders. If this continues, it will harden perceptions (mostly justified given the amount of CR construction on the Fram/Wor line the last 2 years) that it is not reliable or efficient and will permanently put some people off.

Equity on "Accelerated Methods"

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When are we going to see some "accelerated methods" used to, say, replace the signal system on the Red Line?

14 overpasses in one summer over I-93 (in an urban environment) and now this major Comm. Ave. bridge work in +/- 5 weeks over two years (and let's be honest, this is about the roads, and not the Green Line). Meanwhile, construction of new stairs at Framingham station is something like a 6-8 week project, and the construction of a new CP6 on the Fram/Wor line is a months-year long project (resulting in speed restrictions). I had occasion to returnto my old commute last Friday (a summer Friday!) and took the Green Line - I have no idea how I survived 21 years of that. Incredibly slow, dangerously crowded, dangerously hot, and just incredibly inefficient.

The gaping disparity between the way road projects and transit projects are handled in our Commonwealth is a disgrace. A more inflammatory (intentionally so) way to think about it is that it is also a testament to the political impotence (via apathy) of several age cohorts of "voters". Despite the alleged influx of younger people into the city (and the also alleged affinity for a car-free lifestyle) the old "you will pry the steering wheel from my cold dead hands" crowd is still very much in charge on Beacon Hill.

MassDOT project management

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MassDOT project management and procurement vs. MBTA project-mis-management and purloining of procurement.

I just looked at my commute

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I just looked at my commute on Google. Tomorrow morning at the time I normally leave it's estimated I'll take between 26-55 minutes (I usually expect 55) to cover the 10.1 miles.

By transit I need to transfer twice from subway to subway to bus and it will take me 1:16 assuming everything is on time.

So I can drive and gamble that it'll take less time and save at least 20 minutes both ways, plus gives me many options to stop for errands on the way home each day to increase that efficiency even more.

Can you multimodal?

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I have a nine mile commute. I can ride 4 miles to get to a train station much faster than I can walk to a bus that gets stuck in traffic getting to that station.

Consider splitting the difference by car or bike and transit.

Biking some of the way might

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Biking some of the way might make sense although it really is just for the bus part at the end. Ie biked the entire route for a while. That stopped after I got clipped by a car.

And now with a need for a car seat, no way I'm getting on a bike for that route. I'll risk my own life but not two. But those type of nuances are often lost on the cars are evil comments here on UHub.

going in - not so bad; coming out - a different story

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I drive from Roslindale to Andover each day; it's not as bad as it sounds. Going home, I used to get off 93 at the Storrow Drive. But now that the Sox are playing and there are shows on the Esplanade, I get off at Sullvan Sq, get on Memorial Drive, and get off at the BU bridge to get to the Riverway.

Not today! Foolishly, I did not read the fine print about the BU bridge being closed, too. So I looped back to the Mass Ave bridge. Going about 1 inch every minute. People cutting to the front of the line. You know the drill.

Took me about 1 1/2 hours tonight, instead of my usual 50 minutes. For the duration of the project, I'll probably continue on Memorial Drive to Brighton, and take the exit right before Oak Sq.

It could have been worse - I could have been delayed going in to work. My boss is the type that we all HAVE to be in by 8:30. He's a jackass, but that's another story.

We'll get through this, like we did the winter of 2015.

Try this

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Head north and/or west to connect with I-95/128 to I-93 (or to US 3 to I-495).

I used to go from Back Bay to Andover, so I feel for ya.

Or conversely

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Stay on I-93 to Columbia Road, and take that to and through Franklin Park to Forest Hills.

Or, take Storrow to Back Bay, then whichever way you find best to get to Roslindale (I like taking Columbus Ave, but there's a series of rights and lefts that might be a bit much for this post.)

Thanks for the tips. Going

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Thanks for the tips. Going in, I do drive down HP ave to Forest Hills, take a right after the bus yard, and follow Franklin Park into Dudley and pick up 93 at Melnea Cass and BMC. It's actually a sweet ride. I see all those poor souls coming into town. Glad it's not me.

Would love to take this same route going home, but 93 as you get into town gets really congested. Crawling just to get to the Storrow Drive exit. Hence, the Sullivan Sq. exit.

I still don't envy the commute

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I don't drive during rush hours much, but once I got caught on I-93 on a bad day. The trip from the Zakim to Dorchester (though I did end up getting off at Kneeland or whatever the exit is) was more painful knowing full well I could have walked quicker. And it was before 3PM when I got caught up in the traffic.