The T and the city coned off all the parking spaces from Roslindale Square to Forest Hills on Washington Street this morning to test out the logistics of having a dedicated bus and bike lane on the road that serves as a congested funnel for numerous bus routes serving Roslindale, West Roxbury and Dedham.
T workers in yellow vests stood at each intersection to keep cars out - aided by T police, who patrolled the route.
Bus riders were loving it, especially after months of delays at Ukraine Way due to the Arborway project that had gotten so bad many people had taken to getting off at Tollgate Way and walking to the Orange Line. Scotteric reports/a>:
Our 34e is at capacity so we didn’t stop to pick up anyone. Just arrived at the bus station. That was pretty amazing! Let’s do this all the time! 6 minutes, fastest ride from the square to forest hills I’ve ever had.
Tucc06, whose bus did make stops, reports the ride from the square to the station took all of 8 minutes.
Bicyclists also seemed to approve - they had a much wider lane in which to not worry about motorists. As I stood at South Street taking photos, one woman gliding by yelled out: "Best! Thing! Ever!"
Local activists Steve Gag and Alan Wright, who were walking the route handing out fliers explaining the test, said the one problem seemed to be at Archdale Road, because of the large number of motorists turning there. Moving the bus stop to the Forest Hills side of the route might fix that, they said.
There will be a similar test next Tuesday. . The T and BTD are planning a more formal three-week pilot this spring.