That didn't take long at all: The Boston Transportation Department today announced it will create a permanent morning lane just for buses and bicyclists on Washington Street between Roslindale Square and Forest Hills - a week after it ended a month-long pilot to see if the idea could work.
The new lane, created by banning all parking northbound on the road between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m., goes into effect on June 18, BTD announced today:
The bus lane received strong support from Roslindale residents, bus riders and cyclists. Following the completion of the pilot, MBTA data confirmed that riders benefited from the bus lane, reducing travel time while in the lane by 20 to 25 percent during the worst hour of congestion (7:30am to 8:30am). For the 1,100 bus riders traveling through the corridor during that hour, that works out to 26 hours of passenger time saved on a typical day, or 38 hours saved on a day when road congestion was significantly higher than normal. In a survey of bus riders and bicyclists on the corridor, 94 percent supported a permanent bus and bicycle lane. Of the bus passengers, 92 percent perceived that the bus lane decreased their travel time. Of the bicyclists, 89 percent reported feeling safer in the shared lane.
In a statement, Boston Transportation Commissioner Gina Fiandaca said:
It is sound transportation policy to implement along Washington Street a designated bus lane that also allows for people riding bikes. Improving public transit and bus service in particular, is an identified goal of Go Boston 2030, the City of Boston’s long-term, comprehensive transportation plan. The Roslindale bus lane was singled out as an early action project in the Go Boston 2030 Action Plan and we are pleased to be implementing this important component of our transportation plan.
BTD and the T have yet to test a similar lane on the other side of the street from Forest Hills to Roslindale Square during the afternoon rush hour.