Boston city councilors join call for protected bike lanes on the Longfellow Bridge

City Councilors Michelle Wu (at large) and Josh Zakim (Beacon Hill, Back Bay, Fenway, Mission Hill) will ask other councilors to join them tomorrow in urging the state to use barriers to protect bicyclists when the revamped Longfellow Bridge finally opens later this month.

At the regular council meeting, the two will formally ask other councilors to agree to a resolution calling on MassDOT to take one of the vehicle lanes on the inbound side and convert it to bicycle use, with something separating the cars and trucks from the bicyclists.

In their formal request, the two say the traffic disaster predicted when the state began shutting parts of the bridge five years ago never materialized, and that more people now commute by bicycle than when construction began. Also:

The incline on the first half of the inbound side of the bridge makes it particularly challenging to accommodate cyclists of varying abilities without a lane wide enough to facilitate passing.

Neighborhoods: 

Topics: 

Free tagging: 

AttachmentSize
PDF icon Complete Longfellow resolution122.04 KB
Ad:

Comments

Two conditions

By on

A) it would be illegal for the bikes to use a travel lane or the sidewalk and
B) make sure the divider is high enough for a driver to see. A low curb will do lots of damage and tie up traffic.

up
Voting is closed. 41

3)

By on

Make cyclists pay for the cost of all the additional infrastructure.

up
Voting is closed. 46

We already pay for car infrastructure with general taxes

By on

If you want cyclists to pay for bicycle infrastructure, do you also want drivers to pay for car infra? Driver specific taxes like excise tax and gas taxes only cover half the cost of roads. And that's assuming you don't include costs related to enforcement, pollution, dealing with fatalities, etc. The rest of the cost comes from general taxes like income and sales taxes.

One of the reasons driving is so cheap here in the states compared to other countries is that we subsidize drivers so much.

up
Voting is closed. 72

The gas tax actually covers

By on

The gas tax actually covers about two-thirds of the cost of the roads. It varies from state to state; that's the national average. Taxes only cover one third. I'm not sure about MA specifically but in many states, NH for example, "enforcement" (State Police) is paid out of the highway funds. Pollution and other externalities are covered by a patchwork of myriad taxes, regulations, and fees; it's probably impossible to figure out who exactly pays how much per unit of pollution.

Compare that to the MBTA's "fare recovery rate" which is closer to just half (meaning taxes cover the other half), and cyclists, which cover zero (meaning taxes cover 100%).

up
Voting is closed. 21

But, what, exactly,

By on

Is the "cost" of cyclists, outside of infrastructure? That's just built into roadway design, anyway. Certainly the maintenance demands of roads incurred from cyclists is, well, hardly any, unless I'm really suffering from a lack of imagination.

up
Voting is closed. 35

When you consider externalities

By on

Things like the cost of health care and the cost of pollutant emissions, we should be paying cyclists, not just creating infrastructure to promote cycling.

up
Voting is closed. 29

suburbanites are subsidized the most regardless of transport

By on

Can you provide a valid citation showing that gas taxes pay for 2/3 of the cost of roads?
As for the MBTA, you are being pretty deceptive as far as subsidy rate. Commuter rail skews things because we all subsidize those riders so much (though even then they are not getting a great service). Subway riders are only subsidized 61 cents per ride.
"the T spends $5.75 to subsidize every ride on the commuter rail, compared to just $0.61 per subway ride — which accounts for the bulk of the T's ridership."
http://www.wbur.org/news/2015/10/22/mbta-fare-subsidies

Really, the takaway is that suburbanites, especially those farthest away from Boston, are subsidized the most regardless of transportation. Square foot wise living closer to boston is more expensive, but taxpayers are subsidizing the lifestyle of people who live in the burbs even though they work in the city. Large families have lived in cities for a long time, but the choice to move away from cities to have more space, ample parking and yards is a choice that requires taxpayers to chip in, socialized living, alkin to public housing or "affordable" housing.

up
Voting is closed. 21

Cyclists = Drivers

Most adult cyclists own cars and drive too. Stop acting like they are different people.

up
Voting is closed. 74

If you wanna play that game

By on

If you wanna play that game it would be fine with me because drivers would owe non drivers billions of dollars. So pay up already.

up
Voting is closed. 60

1. Nope

By on

It will never and can never be illegal for bikes to use the travel lane. There will never be a time when a cyclist is holding up the line based on the number of cars I pass stopped waiting to clear Charles Circle, so I don't even know what your reasoning is. But if I feel safer in the travel lane I'm going to use the travel lane. That's MGL and its not going to change because Stevil thinks we ought to give something up for his convenience when its our, the cyclists', safety on the line.

up
Voting is closed. 52

A lot more cyclists use the Longfellow at rush hour

By on

Cyclist do and will easily outnumber massive metal box wheelchairs when the bridge is done.

There actually isn't any reason to have massive metal box lanes on this bridge at all - it would make the entire area safer to get rid of these obesity vectors altogether.

It should be open only to bikes, peds, and emergency vehicles because those are the most common users. No cars. No trucks. Plenty of other bridges that actually link to possible destinations.

up
Voting is closed. 37

No

Try 1,226 on the Longfellow.

We are talking about the Longfellow.

Vs. 300 cars per hour. Sounds about equal.

up
Voting is closed. 21

You didn't read the whole page

That is 1226 cyclists average in a 24 hour period, not an hour. You should know better.

And the 20% of total vehicles is further done the page.

Misinterpreting the numbers to fit your agenda is not cool.

up
Voting is closed. 30

Nice skew

By on

If you look at the hours where it matters - the rush hours - bikes make up half the traffic.

Keep trying to spin it as if 24 hour stats matter. They don't when speaking of surge capacity and trying to get the most PEOPLE across in peak hours.

up
Voting is closed. 15

Please explain

The percentages represent the bikes as a percentage of the total number of vehicles counted from 8 - 10 am and 5 - 7 pm. Sites are listed alphabetically.

Longfellow Bridge Eastbound west of Charles Street - 20.2%

I don't see how this matches you explanation

the rush hours - bikes make up half the traffic.

Is 20% the new 50%?

up
Voting is closed. 23

Skew

Keep trying to spin it as if 24 hour stats matter. They don't when speaking of surge capacity and trying to get the most PEOPLE across in peak hours.

I am not the one who suggested there were 1200 cyclist per hour compared to 300. (not positive as there isn't enough information in the previous post, maybe she wasn't saying 1200 cyclists per hour vs 300 cars) I was just suggesting it was a misreading to the report.

up
Voting is closed. 18

A) it would be illegal for

By on

A) it would be illegal for the bikes to use a travel lane or the sidewalk and

Yeah, that's not how the law works since cyclists can explicitly ride on the road. I'm sure you're a guy that thinks cyclists routinely flout laws. But here you want state law overruled somehow? Convenient.

up
Voting is closed. 30

I think he meant..

By on

I think he was saying, "If one car lane is removed and given up as a bike lane, THEN no bikes should be allowed in the other auto lane and no bikes should be allowed on the sidewalk." If that's what he meant then I agree. Give me a whole lane to use and I won't feel the need to ride somewhere else.

up
Voting is closed. 19

Which is ...

By on

NOT legal under MA law.

up
Voting is closed. 21

I don't THINK cyclists flout the laws

By on

I know they do. I almost get hit by one at least once a week.

And before you say so do cars, nowhete near what bikes do.

And despite the general rules on use of sidewalks and travel lanes, you can make exceptions to everything.

We need stricter laws and enforcement for these menaces. I can easily see and avoid almost all cars. Bikes may not kill me as easily as a car, but on a day to day basis bikes are a far greater risk to my health than cars especially in proportion to their number.

up
Voting is closed. 18

Seeing only what you want to see

And before you say so do cars, nowhete near what bikes do

Nope. Motorists and cyclists break the law at similar rates.

This is how they differ:

The study gathered similar rates of infraction — 8 percent to 9 percent for drivers, and 7 to 8 percent for cyclists. And when Marshall researched the reasons a cyclist might break a traffic law, it turns out they are doing it for nearly the same reasons that a driver would, but with one difference.

Drivers and pedestrians will drive through or walk against a red light to save time.

“They’re not trying to be reckless or rude,” Marshall said. “Cyclists, they’re doing it for their own personal safety or perceived safety. They felt like they’re more visible.”

This study confirms my own observations in daily commuting.

up
Voting is closed. 34

Ha!

By on

7-8% for bicyclists - are you kidding?

I walked home from work one night and counted bikes and then counted how many I saw breaking some traffic or bicycle rule - it was LITERALLY 90% of the roughly 30 bikes I saw in my walk and I couldn't see any of them for more than about 30 seconds. Wrong way on a one way, running red lights, riding through the Public Garden, riding on a sidewalk in a commercial district, no lights at dusk and more.

Yes I see cars going a bit over the speed limit (and there's always one going a lot over the speed limit). And there's always someone that has to push the yellow light. But I can plan for these relatively minor and predictable situations. I can't see the bike behind the truck as I step into the street as he flies through a red light, I don't have eyes in the back of my head on Boylston and Tremont as a bike brushes by me from behind, I can't predict a cyclist tearing between two lanes of bumper to bumper traffic as I check my mirror and change lanes only to catch him/her at the last minute.

I repeat - I walk the streets every day for roughly 25 years in the city and I'll take the cars EVERY time over the 80-90% of cyclists that have no regard for laws or the health of those around them.

Registration, insurance, helmets and stricter enforcement against the cyclistas (that's not a typo) should be implemented, especially in the areas east of Mass Ave - and maybe even further west than that.

up
Voting is closed. 20

Don't walk means don't walk

By on

Having the crosswalk doesn't mean having the right of way if the intersection has lights. Cross against the light and you will be buzzed by cyclists who might cut it close to make a point.

You are turning into that arlington idiot who doesn't believe in facts about road safety because MY CAR MY CAR MY CAR MY CAR.

up
Voting is closed. 35

Nobody is talking about that

By on

You get buzzed whether the light is with you or not.

And this isn't just me. I can assure you just about every downtown resident is getting tired of playing frogger with the cyclists. At some point the residents will start putting political pressure on the city. My guess is we are a couple years away from that, but don't kid yourself, there will come a time when your right to ride downtown will have the same responsibilities as drivers with enforcement to match.

up
Voting is closed. 19

Stevil,

By on

Stevil,

You are describing several behaviors that aren't against the law. People can ride bicycles on the sidewalks everywhere in Boston. The prohibition of riding in commercial districts is based on a state law that is superseded by Boston's own rules, which allow it everywhere:
https://www.boston.gov/departments/boston-bikes/bike-laws-boston

I think sidewalk riding should be avoided as a general rule (except for children), but sometimes roads feel unsafe when you are riding on a bike.

Also, people riding bicycles are allowed to pass vehicles while traveling in the same travel lane. It's perfectly acceptable for a bicyclist to pass you on the right while you are moving slowly in traffic.

People who are riding bicycles should respect your safety when you are traveling on foot, on a bike, and in a car. I'm sorry this doesn't always happen. But, in my opinion it seems that because you don't know that much about bicycling in the city (legally and practically), you are seeing a very large class of actions as disreputable, when we should be condemning only a small fraction of that behavior.

up
Voting is closed. 0

Anecdata

By on

In my experience 100 percent of pedestrians jaywalk, step in front of cyclists and whine about red lights, and they smell bad, too.

PBTHHHT

up
Voting is closed. 30

no subject

By on

IMAGE(http://i1.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/001/044/247/297.png)

up
Voting is closed. 37

Can Uber drivers

By on

Can Uber drivers still use the bike lane? I've had two cars come into the bike lane within inches of me in the past two days. Both had Uber/Lyft stickers.

For what it's worth I'm one of those nerds that actually stops at red lights and stop signs. I even pay the "car infrastructure" tax like people here seem to like to harp on because, y'know, I drive a car, too. It's isn't too much to ask that Uber drivers not endanger cyclists in bike lanes.

up
Voting is closed. 26

As a daily cyclist

Protected bike lanes mostly suck. This would be no exception. Boston has shown zero interest or ability to maintain paths and sidewalks during the winter -- A big storm knocks these passages out of service for weeks. The only advantage to the Longfellow is the big barrier between the sidewalk and road would make it less likely for someone walk into the roadway as they do on Beacon St and Harvard Sq.

Speed cameras would help more than anything. Make the speed limit 25 mph and enforce it. $100 fine every time.

up
Voting is closed. 40

So it’s not that protected

By on

So it’s not that protected bike lanes that suck, just improperly maintained ones?

up
Voting is closed. 33

So it’s not that protected

By on

So it’s not that protected bike lanes that suck, just improperly maintained ones?

up
Voting is closed. 57

Which is most

For a protected lane to not suck it must:

  • Be separated from the sidewalk/parking such that pedestrians don't think it's an extension of the sidewalk.

  • Be usable in the winter after snow and treated for ice.

  • Be wide enough that one cyclist can safely pass another.

I have not seen anything which meets these requirements in the Northeast. The local protected lanes make things worse, not better, for year-round bike commuters.

up
Voting is closed. 42

Additional reason protected lanes suck

Doesn't apply to the Longfellow, but protected reduce rider visibility at intersections thereby increasing crash risk. A few years back the Boston Cyclist Union made the dangerously delusional claim that a protected bike lane on North Beacon Street would make it safe for children to ride on the street. If you can't see them, it makes it harder to avoid collisions. I think they back away from the claim that it would be save for children.

up
Voting is closed. 25

Data

By on

I feel like your view is from the driver's stance and is typical for someone who may not have actually ridden a bike through a protected lane. "The bikes just came flying out of nowhere!". The data show that these types of facilities are safer (lower crash rates, less severe crashes, fewer deaths, etc). Unless new data suggests this isn't the case (which I don't see happening), I think the cyclists union, and most cities and towns these days, are headed in the right direction with more protected infrastructure.

up
Voting is closed. 39

Hard to use a protected lane

By on

When it is full of cabs, Ubers, fedexes.

That's why we don't use that lane - too many beached hoverrounds and illegally parked delivery vehicles.

up
Voting is closed. 22

North End Cycletrack

By on

Meets most of those - although I could do without the family with fighting children spanning the whole thing and then yelling at me to slow down (with an actually wider sidewalk next).

up
Voting is closed. 20

Plus where is the risk on the Longfellow?

When you look at actual serious injuries and deaths to bicyclist it isn't on long stretches of road with no turns, it is at intersections, not on the bridge.

If they put a separate traffic signal for bicyclist entering Charles Circle at the end of the bridge that is something I could see making a difference. Not a protected bike lane.

up
Voting is closed. 28

Then fix the speeding motorist issue

Putting in a protected bicycle lane will probably increase car speeds.

EDIT: Although with one lane going into Charles Circle the bridge will continue to be backed up.

up
Voting is closed. 27

2 each his own

By on

These bikers are crazy. Maybe we should put a bike lane on the Pike, 93 & 95 ? Then let's see how that goes.

up
Voting is closed. 24

Do you know what a bridge is?

By on

The Longfellow Bridge goes over a river, and it's not exactly a high-speed interstate highway route. How are people supposed to get from one side to the other if not by using the bridge?

up
Voting is closed. 54

Where did you learn to drive?

By on

You might want to start over - or refresh your knowledge of the road rules by actually reading your driving manual.

If not, expect to be sued into oblivion when your ignorance results in you causing an at-fault collision.

You sound like you got your license in an era when parallel parking got you that special prize in a crackerjack box.

up
Voting is closed. 30

Drivers

By on

Yeah, drivers are not crazy.
Nope. Even though the potential human injury and property damage is orders of magnitude greater. They are not the threat, small light vehicles and operators are. Uh-huh.

The roads you mention are limited access highways which restrict bicycles. And they already have shoulders, so spending on bike lanes isn't necessary.

Only a few places allow bicycles on the Interstate system in the shoulder, usually in mountains because there is no other roadway access. So you got your wish in some locations.

Just pay attention and don't drive like a dickhead. That's all I really want.

up
Voting is closed. 31

California has some bike

By on

California has some bike lanes the run along side highways and I've 100% used them before. I know you're being sarcastic, but I'd love more bike lanes.

up
Voting is closed. 36

I-93

By on

Has these paths through Medford/Somerville.

up
Voting is closed. 23

ERROR

By on

CYCLISTS WILL CONTINUE TO USE THE FULL LANE.

We turn left too. Believe it or not we also turn right. We sometimes need to turn OPPOSITE the bike lane. We are currently allowed to use the full lane in all cases. Possibly, in areas where new construction and lights/ right of ways for cyclists can be created, it would maybe be possible to give us lanes that we can use to turn on a light, LEFT OR RIGHT, from our current bike lane*.

Creating scenarios where cyclists must have their travel impeded to defer to other roadway traffic is not going to become law, so go on dreaming. Same roads, same rights.

*UNLESS THAT SPECIFIC CONDITION IS FULFILLED then we will continue to use the FULL LANE.

up
Voting is closed. 34

Bike lanes can get obstructed.

By on

While it’s unlikely a cyclist would ever need or choose to use the other lane if a protected bike lane was in place, it wouldn’t make sense to not allow them use of all travel lanes.

up
Voting is closed. 25

At the end of the bridge

By on

At the end of the bridge, cyclists may need to be in the left lane or the right lane, depending on where you're going.

You really haven't thought this through, have you?

up
Voting is closed. 27

OK.

By on

Then CYCLISTS WILL CONTINUE TO PUT THEMSELVES IN GRAVE DANGER.

I've been cycling for over 40 years, and I would never do the idiotic, suicidal things you full-lane nutters keep advocating.

up
Voting is closed. 31

NO HONEY

By on

ENTITLED DRIVERS PUT EVERYONE IN GRAVE DANGER WITH THEIR ASSUMPTION THAT EVERYONE HAS TO GET OUT OF THEIR WAY OR GET KILLED.

TURN IN YOUR LICENSE - OR NOTIFY YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY THAT YOU ARE AT HIGH RISK FOR ROAD MURDER.

up
Voting is closed. 22

I'm really bad at suicide,

By on

I'm really bad at suicide, then
30 years of city commuting, all incidents I have had have been from inattentive drivers or road surface problems.

Illegal lefts (disregarding RoW) while staring at a phone, right hooks immediately after seeing me and passing me, that kind of thing.

Most really bad drivers telegraph their incompetence, so I usually back off and let them go hit something else in the future.

Glad you keep cycling, despite being intimidated.

up
Voting is closed. 36

As am I

Two injury accidents in 35 years - both involved poor road maintenance and parental or dissertational lack of sleep.

I take the whole damn lane if I have to. Drivers have to wait their turn. The delays are minimal. I do the same when driving - I wait my turn. Little delays for safety aren't what takes the most time in driving anyway.

up
Voting is closed. 19

How about another tack...

By on

So you feel perfectly ok with slowing down the traffic behind you, inconveniencing other travelers, so you can take the full lane?

Ah, you might want to re-read the law, my friend.

Yes, you can take the full lane when it is more safe to do so and then you should pull over to the right to let the other faster and larger vehicles pass.

Here you go:

http://www.massbike.org/laws

"You may ride two abreast, but must facilitate passing traffic. This means riding single file when faster traffic wants to pass, or staying in the right-most lane on a multi-lane road."

up
Voting is closed. 29

You are the one inconveniencing other travelers, dear

By on

Your car sits on the road obstructing other roadway users.

Because so many of you large roadblocking things come out all at once, the roadways are blocked and that does inconvenience people traveling without vehicles, or people travelling in appropriately sized vehicles.

Get rid of your gigantic hoverround and we'll all be good. You will no longer be inconveniencing other travelers with your excessive artificial girth. Improves air quality and obesity rates, too.

up
Voting is closed. 34

Strawmen ride bikes?

By on

"Riding two abreast"

Who knew???

Meanwhile, your car is constantly riding 4 abreast.

up
Voting is closed. 43

Let Larger Vehicles Pass

By on

Seriously?

That's your criterion?

Classic narcissistic entitled driver.

How about this: get off the road and let more efficient vehicles pass.

up
Voting is closed. 40

When conditions so not allow

By on

When conditions so not allow for safe passing, the overtaker has to suck it up.

This means a cyclist taking a travel path in the right tire track or center of a travel lane is utterly legal.

Given that so many Boston area streets are narrow and provide subsidized storage for automobiles on edges of roads otherwise suited to MOVING traffic, avoiding these lane-blocking vehicles while allowing clearance for opening car doors means you ride about 3-4 feet away from the parked cars.

Too bad for you, first come, first served.
If you get the eff out of MY way when I want to pass you, fine.
I'll return the favor. But to ALWAYS be "the fuck out of your way" means you have to communicate your intention to overtake. And overtake with care.

MGL CHAP. 89 SEC.2

"If it is not possible to overtake a bicycle or other vehicle at a safe distance in the same lane, the overtaking vehicle shall use all or part of an adjacent lane if it is safe to do so or wait for a safe opportunity to overtake. Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, the driver of an overtaken vehicle shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle on visible signal and shall not increase the speed of his vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle. "

up
Voting is closed. 38

no brainer

By on

to have protected bike lanes.

Hope they can make this happen...and then start looking at setting them up in South Boston!

up
Voting is closed. 31

Yup.

By on

Cycling across the South Boston bridges is harrowing.

up
Voting is closed. 28

It's not harrowing

As someone who crosses the bridges daily, they really aren't that bad. The intersections on either side of the bridges suck. The bridges themselves (Mass Ave, Longfellow, BU) are fine.

The only bridge which sucks is the Charlestown Bridge.

up
Voting is closed. 26

As someone who crosses the

By on

As someone who crosses the bridges daily, they really are bad.

we also need protected bike lanes on east and west broadway. eliminate the parking on both sides and make dedicated bike lanes and dedicated bus lanes.

up
Voting is closed. 22

They ain't fine

By on

Neither BU nor Mass Ave bridges are "fine". Or rather, they're just fine, except for

* Vehicles that are wide, like trucks with side view mirrors
* storm grates, which aren't level with the road
* potholes on the seams [BU bridge]
* failure to maintain the white stripe, particularly on the first 1/3 of the bridge where cars turning right take the turn short and their tires wear out the white stripe
* snow never cleared completely
* dirt, debris, hubcaps

So yeah, just fine for 25' at a time, 3/4 of the year, as long as it's not a section with a wide vehicle or broken glass on the road, and only in the middle portion where the white stripe is still there. Totally fine.

up
Voting is closed. 26

Maintenance isn't sexy

By on

The DCR or Mass Highway or whomever was responsible for the Longfellow couldn't even manage to keep the storm drains clear and becoming grass planters. It was an annual task, and a drainage failure for about 6 months of the year. LAME.

I used to enjoy staring through the holes in the bridge deck on the BU Bridge while I rode to Cambridge. At least those got repaired.

Obviously this sort of neglect means more wear and tear (and black ice). Better road surfaces help all users.

up
Voting is closed. 26

I assume by South Boston bridges

By on

They were referring to the ones in South Boston going over the canal/Bass River - W 4th Street, Traveler, Summer, Congress, Seaport Blvd. I wouldn't quite call them harrowing, but there's definitely room for improvement in terms of bicycle facilities (which luckily they are going to be installing in the future).

up
Voting is closed. 20

Without Question, Only One Lane For Motor Vehicles Is Required

By on

The multi-year traffic experiment of closing the Longfellow Bridge, and then allowing just one lane of inbound traffic, has clearly proven two lanes of motor vehicle traffic in each direction are not needed.

Reestablishing two lanes for motor vehicles would not serve any useful purpose, yet to do so would be detrimental, dangerous, and really quite insulting to people who bicycle and walk across the bridge.

          ( who's that Secretary of Transportation, again? — oh, no! )

up
Voting is closed. 58

It's proven no such thing

By on

Traffic on the river crossings is absolutely atrocious...much worse than ten years ago...and while it's not possible to pin it on the bridge being out, it's not possible to say the bridge doesn't have anything to do with it either.

up
Voting is closed. 31

Signals At Charles Circle Limit The Traffic Volume On The Bridge

By on

The one lane of inbound traffic currently in effect, feeds more cars into Charles Circle than can be cleared in a single light-cycle. Therefore, two lanes of inbound traffic wouldn't allow any more cars across the bridge than one. If you think otherwise, please explain how.

The same is true for outbound traffic. The traffic signals at Charles Circle throttle the number of cars approaching the bridge, When cars coming from each direction get their green cycles, they head to different places, with only one lane towards Cambridge.

up
Voting is closed. 48

Elmer is correct

It's the light which is the limiting factor, not the width of the bridge.

up
Voting is closed. 37

Need intersection width and storage space

By on

With only one bridge lane in or out of an intersection designed for two lanes crossing at a time, vehicles able to cross in a light cycle is halved. Two lanes getting a green light half the time does indeed mean one lane is sufficient flow, except at the endpoints where two lanes queuing and then crossing compensates for intersection turn taking.

Cambridge used this (hourglass shape) phenom on Broadway in front of the Volpe center and Marriot. The road drops a lane width between intersections for the sake of pedestrian safety. If you can figure another use for the space on the bridge, don't need the space to store twice as many cars, and the lane merging doesn't create more accidents, then sure, use that lane space for something else.

up
Voting is closed. 17

It won't help

The rate limiting factor at Charles Circle is that each roadway feeding the circle has to have its own turn. That means a cycle for the exit from Storrow Eastbound (all others stopped) and then from the Longfellow (all others stopped) and then from Cambridge Street (all others stopped) and from Storrow Westbound (all others stopped). And a pedestrian scramble cycle or two in there. That's a lot of time to make it through the whole circle, with additional time for drivers to clear the circle.

The number of lanes does not matter because of the number of possible destinations. It won't get more traffic through if most of it wants to head for Charles St. or Cambridge St. Feeding a 6' pipe into a shower head does not change the flow rate of the shower head.

up
Voting is closed. 22

Nope

By on

The limiting factor is that cars coming off Storrow get priority, and that the cycle has to be multi-phase due to the circle configuration.

up
Voting is closed. 27

No impact

By on

The improvements in signal timing have not been made yet at Charles Circle and as another poster said, they will help pull cars off the bridge. As there will still be two lanes at the circle no matter what, eliminating a lane on the bridge itself will have no impact whatsoever to traffic flow. The same number of cars will still flow into the intersection at the same rate.

up
Voting is closed. 21

I don't get the "no impact"

It can take up to 15 minutes to cross the Longfellow from Cambridge in a car (when traffic stops moving around Portland St). The lanes entering Charles circle are frequently empty (for short periods) as the traffic feeding the two lanes has a slow time filtering into the two lanes. It is like opening up the end of a hose. Cars getting to the intersection can only get to the light so fast when there is one lane.

You most definitely will get more cars through there if there are two lanes feeding it.

Don't know if the MassDOT will collect before and after numbrers.

up
Voting is closed. 22

At least you are honest

By on

You include the congestion in Cambridge in your assessment - and don't just say "it takes 15 minutes!!!"

It takes me about 5-10 minutes to get from Portland Street to Charles Circle. That's because I take up a 1/10 the space that you do, and weigh about 1/25th when I do.

up
Voting is closed. 27

You think only one lane of

By on

You think only one lane of traffic from Boston to Cambridge is needed from 3-7pm? Are you insane??? Try driving inbound on Storrow Drive during that time and watch how it backs up as half of the traffic coming from the hospitals cuts across all lanes of traffic (slowing everyone down) to get to the left lane to go up the MFS road into Cambridge. Having the Longfellow back should (FINALLY) help reduce the awful gridlocked traffic at the end of Storrow.

up
Voting is closed. 24

Reduce Supply to Reduce Demand

By on

Or not having cars should help reduce the traffic on the bridge. Stop driving to work. 90% of you could just telecommute anyhow and then you can work while not wearing any pants which should be everyone's goal.

up
Voting is closed. 39

That just isn't true

By on

and you know it. Not everyone sits at a computer from 9 to 5 (especially not the people who work at the hospitals) and not everyone who does sit at a computer from 9 to 5 can do so from home. Some people have real jobs, you see.

up
Voting is closed. 28

Real jobs?

By on

Note the heavy utilization of bike facilities at hospitals. Almost like people who see heart disease every day get the message?

As for "real jobs" and all your other distinctions that you make to make yourself feel special, you might look into therapy for your inadequacy problems. You seem like a sad and defensive person who relies on bizarre dichotomies - many unearned - to feel competent and capable and ... special.

up
Voting is closed. 23

Yes. Actually, no lanes would be fine.

By on

There are other bridges and a dam. Use them.

In fact, most people don't use the Longfellow in their metal box prostheses. They use the other bridges.

Note that the request references times of complete no cars shut downs? Yes. Also, traffic counts count dear. Lots more bikes than cars - go look it up.

You need to get your facts straight about a place you never drive before you spew forth with the heat of a thousand global warming emissions based on your entitlement.

up
Voting is closed. 35

Exactly

By on

That's why more efficient means should have precedence over road clogging smog machines that manufacture health problems for all.

Simple. You can always walk darling. You know ... put one foot in front of the other and move. if you can't walk, well, more room for your car if more people bike.

up
Voting is closed. 32

And if we all lived in walking distance

By on

that might even make sense. But we don't all live in walking or biking distance of where we need to get to. You can walk out to Acton and back all you like. I prefer something a little less 18th century.

up
Voting is closed. 20

Travel, yes

By on

Private motor vehicle use?

NO

Even a very conservative supreme court ruled specifically DRIVING IS NOT A RIGHT.

You can walk or bike if you don't like it. If your mommy lets you.

up
Voting is closed. 36

OK sure

By on

You're allowed to speak, but only using the words I say you can use.

Bull. Shit.

up
Voting is closed. 20

Sovereign citizen?

By on

I thought lefties believed in a nonbinary reality. But here you are telling me my only two options are to either be a sovereign citizen or a bike nazi.

up
Voting is closed. 15

That's all on you

By on

Pretty clear that these "dichotomies" that you decry are entirely in your own head.

Seems to be the only way that you can understand the world. Now you are just projecting it on others because you saw some words somewhere and used them.

up
Voting is closed. 24

"Right to Travel"

By on

Is Sovereign Citizen nonsense 101.

Don't use catchy phrases if you don't understand what is attached to them or where they come from.

up
Voting is closed. 19

More bullshit

By on

I bet you sovereign citizens also use the word "left" every once in a while, so you're going to need to immediately cease and desist your use of that word. It would be rather gauche...nay...downright sinister, for something like that to come out of your mouth at a cocktail party with like-minded people.

Freedom of movement is a fundamental right no matter what label you stick on it. Orwell is smiling down from atheist heaven at your little attempt at thought control by language control, but sorry, no.

Also, the Nazis breathed oxygen too.

up
Voting is closed. 16

Pffffffffttt

By on

Orwell would want nothing to do with you in life or in the afterlife. Especially when you end your comment with "nazis also breathed oxygen." Orwell fought in wars against fascists like you.

up
Voting is closed. 19

Nope

By on
up
Voting is closed. 21

On the rare occasions when I

By on

On the rare occasions when I drive, I find the Longfellow very convenient. It's nice to hop off Storrow eastbound and get a quick ride into Cambridge, without having to deal with the traffic by the Museum of Science or MIT/Central Square.

up
Voting is closed. 17

So taking a motor vehicle

By on

So taking a motor vehicle into and out of the city during rush hour is inconvenient.

Boo hoo hoo.
Try taking the T on a shitty day or biking in 33-degree rain.

Yeah, that's a pain too.

Deal with it.

You aren't going to improve the throughput when the congestion is at the intersections at the ends. Lots ao on and off, lots of turning movements, lots of destinations being arrived at requiring slowing and stopping.

up
Voting is closed. 31

Budget for City Council itself not reviewed.

By on

Budget for Boston City Council itself, for its own Offices and Budget for Boston City Clerks Offices aren't reviewed in a public hearing/meeting. For example Budget for Stenographic Services, a Bid not Advertised widely enough for competing contracts and routinely grandfathering in out of date technology/software. Up to date software would make Boston City Council a more open/transparent government organization for greater civic engagement
https://budget.boston.gov/img/pdfs/13-Non-Mayoral-Departments-Cabinet.pdf

City Council Positions .... # Staff

Administrative Assistants .... 22
Administrative and Technical Assistant .... 1
Business Manager .... 1
Central Staff Director .... 1

City Councilors .... 13
City Messenger and Senior Legislative Assistant .... 1
Compliance Director and Staff Counsel .... 1
Director of Legislative Budget Analysis .... 1

Legislative Assistant .... 1
Office Manager .... 1
Research and Policy Director .... 1
Secretaries .... 68

State Legislative Assistant and Budget Analyst .... 2
Television Operations and Technical Manager .... 1

Total .... 115
__________ _________________
City Clerks Offices Positions .... # Staff

Administrative Assistant .... 24
Administrative Secretary .... 1
Administrative Analyst Assistant City Archivist/Clerk .... 4
Archivist .... 9

Assistant City Clerk .... 1
City Clerk .... 1
Head Clerk and Secretary .... 1
Principal Administrative Assistant .... 1

Senior Administrative Assistant .... 1
Senior Administrative Assistant .... 5

Total .... 15

up
Voting is closed. 21

Hystorically correct???

By on

But..What about the historically correct rivets placed in the historically correct bicycle lane protectors???
Seems to me that after spending so much taxpayer gelt upon this fabled historical bridge,we should not pass up the oppourtunity to spend even more borrowed money to make sure that this historic bridge is maintained historically....
Oh and um... bike lanes make sense in Peking,not the 21st Century America...
Can I get me a large dose of virtue signaling while I'm at it...

up
Voting is closed. 21

Historical Histronics

By on

Okay fine, let's restrict the Longfellow Bridge traffic to it's original, historical components: subways and streetcars; bicycles and horse and buggies.

IMAGE(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ee/Cambridge_Bridge_postcard.jpg)

up
Voting is closed. 53

Don't see bicycles there

By on

Cyclists don't like historically correct cobblestones. Cobblestones would slow vehicle speeds, so might be a great idea!

up
Voting is closed. 20

Back in the 1880s ...

By on

What car did you drive?

Cars are not historical. Meanwhile, some of our original roadways through the back bay/fenway were designed with cycling lanes. Fact!

up
Voting is closed. 41

Historically correct would

By on

Historically correct would allow for the trains,horses and carts/carriages, pedestrians, and bicycles in numbers far greater than automobiles.

There weren't many automobiles in 1906.

And they were small.
Just like some male members I deal with.

up
Voting is closed. 21

How would horsecarts be

By on

How would horsecarts be better than cars? They'd still cause traffic jams and obstruct bikes.

In any case, the Longfellow is going to continue to carry cars in both directions. Anyone who thinks otherwise isn't in touch with reality.

up
Voting is closed. 23

Speed

By on

You wouldn't have the speed problem caused by cars.

up
Voting is closed. 25

Lanes

By on

I don't like the lanes. I kept an open mind and tried them. There were a few Greg Lemond wannabes who were upset that my son wasn't going 30 mph in the protected lane. There's no need to swear at my son.

up
Voting is closed. 39

So it's not the lanes that

By on

So it's not the lanes that were the problem, it was the spandex douches who can't pass you without swearing? Got it.

up
Voting is closed. 29

Really. Gregory Lemon is kind

By on

Really. Gregory Lemon is kind of an old reference.
But for period correct cyclists, try Major Taylor!

up
Voting is closed. 22

I believe that BCU's proposal

By on

I believe that BCU's proposal is for a single lane across most of the bridge, fanning out to two lanes (rather than the planned three) approaching Charles Circle. The protected bike lane would be wide enough for one bicyclist to pass another on the uphill section, but narrower approaching Charles Circle. I think that's reasonable.

up
Voting is closed. 33

That worked out terribly on

By on

That worked out terribly on the BU Bridge. Traffic getting onto the bridge in both directions is much worse than it used to be when it was 2 lanes each way all the way across. Riders of the 47 bus certainly don't appreciate it.

(Plus the bike lane is not safely usable in the southbound direction, since cars cut across it to take the curve, so much that the white line got worn away: https://goo.gl/maps/KJLHWxWXm792 . But that wouldn't be an issue for a barrier-protected lane on the Longfellow.)

up
Voting is closed. 22

You know why traffic is getting worse?

By on

Your driving.

My driving.

Too many people driving.

To find the cause of persistent traffic jams, check your vanity mirror.

up
Voting is closed. 18

Longfellow

By on

The perception of safety by novice or timid cyclists is far more important for many cycling advocates than actual safety. A little loss here is a big gain there, as far as generating ridership.
If it costs a bunch, even better. It is proof that they are worthy of spending and gittin'r done.
While more cyclists and exposure to drivers of more cyclists can lead to some safety gains, whether it overcomes the losses is not often the outcome.

Don't accept substandard infrastructure, other nations have already learned that half-hearted designs require replacement.

Send it back to the kitchen!

I'd much rather the monies spent on the "improvements" be spent on skills training and education of drive drivers and cyclists, including videos and publications, partly because I think it may so-perpetuate good behavior and reduce maintenance costs.

Of course, there is little political gain and few federal dollars available, fewer jobs created, and contracts to dangle, so it isn't surprising that transportation engineering and design companies, urban planners, and construction contractors aren't interested.

Some striping helps as guidelines, but even that, given that lane positioning is often fluid, and that most drivers and cyclists falsely expect cyclists to ALWAYS keep to the right makes it harder to practice proper operation and technique without confusion or butt-hurt drivers and cyclists. If people LEARN the confusion is reduced.

up
Voting is closed. 23

Nice list of assumptions

By on

I would be interested in reading the sources from which your data and conclusions derive.

You are aware that one of the impacts of Hubway was that collisions with cyclists went down, yes?

These interventions are based on hard data - could you further enlighten us with yours?

Stop worshipping at the Vehicular Cycling Cult HQ.

up
Voting is closed. 27

What is the problem this is

By on

What is the problem this is trying to solve?

It's very rare for a car to hit a cyclist from behind by drifting into a striped bike lane not near an intersection. Meanwhile, protected bike lanes introduce a lot of problems for cyclists -- keeping it clean and snow-free, getting around obstructions, etc.

up
Voting is closed. 26

It sounds like the problem is

By on

It sounds like the problem is fast bikes don't want to get stuck behind slow bikes.

up
Voting is closed. 20

And ...

By on

There are a lot more bikes using the Longfellow than there are cars

up
Voting is closed. 26

How does building a wall next

By on

How does building a wall next to the bike lane solve that problem? It makes it worse.

Even if a protected lane were two bike lanes wide, there could still be situations where a fast cyclist would want to move further over. For example, a slow-moving pair of cyclists blocking both lanes, or a beginner wobbling back and forth.

up
Voting is closed. 21

Taxpayers should pay for

By on

Taxpayers should pay for protected bike lanes for cyclists on the Longfellow and then ban them from riding their bikes on the Longfellow sidewalk. If you want to WALK your bike on sidewalks, then please feel free to along with us pedestrians, parents pushing strollers, people in wheelchairs. Beacon St. in the Back Bay, which I walk frequently is now a nightmare to cross. The cars are parked way into the street so it's now very difficult/impossible as a pedestrian to see over the SUV's and pickup trucks to safely cross at crosswalks because you have to walk way into the street to see if cars and bikes are going to run the red while pedestrians have the walk signal. Pedsetrians have lost their lives due to a**hole car drivers on Beacon St. and now it has been redesigned to be even MORE DANGEROUS for pedestrians. Josh Zakim, are you listening/ reading? I doubt it. Typically pedestrians and cyclists are local, while many auto drivers can be local and from elsewhere in Mass. and out of state. What blows my mind is the lack of common decency from cyclists, who are likely fellow city residents, to pedestrians! The light is RED. Pedestrains have the walk signal. Motor vehicles are stopped. Yet cyclists ILLEGALLY zip through their red light and nearly take out 5 of us pedestrians at a time we are trying to cross LEGALLY. Think about it and STOP doing it. I want to give a shout-out to the city cyclists who call out other cyclists for dangerous and idiotic behavior. I witness cyclists taking other cyclists to task more and more these days: THANK YOU. Lastly, to distracted a**hole drivers: pls f*ck off and stay off of Boston streets.

up
Voting is closed. 26

Motor vehicles stopping at

By on

Motor vehicles stopping at red lights? Where in Boston are you. I see drivers blowing red lights multiple times a day, every single day, without anything done by cops.

up
Voting is closed. 16

 Please no two-way bike lanes

By on

 Please no two-way bike lanes!

"Another excuse oft heard is, 'Well... it's better than nothing' - often spoken in a defensive tone. It is a flawed argument, lacking vision, commitment and experience."
Mikael Colville-Andersen

up
Voting is closed. 21

citations needed

By on

please explain what your problem is - use research and statistics

up
Voting is closed. 19

Approved unanimously

By on

Before the vote, Wu explained that although the state has agreed to put in those bendy, flexi things to separate cars and bikes, there's another issue on the inbound side: It's fairly steep for bicyclists.

What that means is that faster cyclists would have to go out in traffic to get around people who have to take the incline more slowly.

With two bike lanes, at least on the first half of the bridge from Cambridge into Boston, this would not be an issue. The bridge has effectively been down to one car lane for the past five years without gridlock, so it would work well, she said.

up
Voting is closed. 24

Apt jargon for road rage bicyclists.

By on

Road rage refers to some vehicle drivers. When it's a bicyclist with road rage moving toward others what other apt jargon might be used?

up
Voting is closed. 15

Plus ca change.

By on

Remember August / September 1988, when the MIT / Smoot bridge was closed off, save for one lane? That's when I moved to Boston. Sold my car after I moved into the dorm. Never renewed my driver's license either; just chose to walk or take the T.

Nearly 30 years later, the ugliness continues. It's a tossup between who's worse: the cars (can kill me, but don't glide through stops) or the cyclists (flouting all rules of the road, with an entitlement mindset).

***

Anyway, the MIT / Harvard / Smoot Bridge has separate bike lanes, which the cyclists frequently ignore, in preference for the pedestrian walkways. I see this anywhere in Cambridge / Somerville, too, for that matter, with the cyclists riding the sidewalks instead of their bike lanes. Why would it be any different for the Longfellow?

up
Voting is closed. 24

Three reasons

the MIT / Harvard / Smoot Bridge has separate bike lanes, which the cyclists frequently ignore, in preference for the pedestrian walkways. . . . Why would it be any different for the Longfellow?

  1. I bike across that bridge all the time and only rarely see people biking on the sidewalk, so cool your jets
  2. The Paul Dudley White Bike Path connects to the Harvard Bridge sidewalk, with a barrier to the bike lane, and fast-moving traffic that makes starting from 0mph, on an incline, terrifying
  3. The Harvard Bridge bike lanes are very skinny, the pavement condition is poor, and the car traffic is often very fast

If we create the protected lane on the Longfellow, none of these arguments will apply, so the ration of bikers in the bike lane vs. bikers on the sidewalk will improve.

But if you insist, we'll stop making infrastructure for users who violate laws, especially against pedestrians. Pity we have to immediately stop work work on the Longfellow right now, so close to it being done, and the closing of the Pike through Alston in a few years is going to be a shitshow.

up
Voting is closed. 27