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Dedicated bus/bike lane opens in Allston

Boston and the MBTA yesterday formally opened a lane meant just for buses and bicycles on Brighton Avenue between Union Square and Packards Corner.

The lane, active 24/7, could cut bus travel time in the stretch by 40%, the city says.

Next up: A similar lane on North Washington Street downtown.

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Comments

Cars have new place to double park on Brighton Ave.

/snark

I support bus lanes but without enforcement by BPD/BTD , it will be rendered useless.

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Voting closed 77

A new place? This stretch has always been full of double parked delivery drivers picking up someone's Korean food. This street has effectively been just one travel lane as long as I've lived here.

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Voting closed 11

They come in every year looking for "desperate communities", pitch the same dumb bus lanes, organize the same dumb trip to Mexico City, and end the year on the same footing. New bus lanes filled with cars. Millions wasted.

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Voting closed 15

oh, it's the same place to double park they've always used. it's just painted a fancy color now.

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Voting closed 21

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/15/nyregion/bike-lane-blocked-new-york.html

Bus and bike lanes are always blocked by shithead cars I see no reason why Boston would be diff

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Voting closed 10

Buses and bikes in the same lane, huh? I foresee no possible problems with this arrangement.

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Voting closed 22

Check out Washington St from Roslindale to Forest Hills for an easy example. Really, the only problem with this setup is that cars think its a place for them to double-park - these really need dedicated enforcement to be useful.

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Voting closed 68

In San Francisco the buses have cameras and that's enough evidence to issue a ticket. We need that here.

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Voting closed 16

I live on Washington St in Roslindale and often ride my bike to catch the T at Forest Hills. The bus/bike lanes are a downgrade from the previous dedicated bike lanes. Now there are buses bearing down behind you. Not to mention that after 9am the dedicated lane is completely gone. I get that people want cars and buses be prioritized before bikes, but this has just been my experience.

Also I think that the traffic on Washington St. was caused by the hellscape that was the construction at Forest Hills. Now that its been completed, traffic has vastly improved. The bus lanes on Washington may help traffic, but only slightly and at the expense of cyclists.

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Voting closed 16

Now there are buses bearing down behind you

So, pull to the side and let the bus pass, then continue on behind it? At least it's a vehicle with a trained operator who isn't likely to try and pass too close while laying on the horn.

Not to mention that after 9am the dedicated lane is completely gone.

This I agree is a problem, but that's an argument for having it there 24 hours, not for not having it at all.

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Voting closed 8

How do you pull to the side in a lane that's up against the curb?

How much time would you lose doing that for every bus that needs to pass you, on a stretch with more than 10 routes?

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Voting closed 12

Anything short of a busway adjacent to the Needham tracks between Forest Hills and Rozzie will not work.

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Voting closed 7

I'd rather deal with a bus, then the same bus plus cars. Not to mention, bus drivers are (theoretically) trained by the MBTA and are going to deal with me better, where Boston based motorists are... well you know.

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Voting closed 69

But cyclists are like 90% more likely to be hit or threatened by a bus driver for the 57 bus than any other vehicle in the city. Either the drivers for that line are completely untrained in how to share the road, or perhaps counter trained to be deliberately menacing.

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Voting closed 18

I think drivers also don't treat all bike riders the same. We are out there, going different speeds, not all signaling or making turning maneuvers the same way, many but not all obeying traffic controls, and of course, all looking however we do...

For some, it will never feel comfortable to ride a bike in the road under present conditions. I think there are two approaches, if we wish to induce cycling in the latent, desirous masses:

1) slow traffic - 18mph speed limit would hold cars and bikes to the same maximum speed and allow both to maneuver safely. I know 18 is reaching, but let me tell you, I felt it when the limit came down to 25. Cars slowed down and suddenly a fast cyclist could maneuver as predictably as a motorist in most traffic. Slow the cars.

2) connect shared paths and create more continuous right of way for foot-speed traffic. More protected infrastructure for WALKING that can be shared with low speed cyclists. Connect up the alleys and make pedestrian bridges and tunnels to get around the snarling intersections. Make it so there are more convenient long run car free routes.

Bus/bike lanes are great, they're part of the solution. We need transit arguably more than we need bike infra, but it's great when we can get both at once.

Also, people should chill in traffic.

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Voting closed 8

...always stink.

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Voting closed 8

Based on my 25 years' experience with MBTA drivers, I would say that any bicyclist who's concerned about being run down in the street by a driver who "didn't see them" would be well advised to steer clear of any T buses, regardless of the specific route.

And do you think the car drivers are going to be sympathetic when the bus stops dead in front of you (without pulling over to the curb) and you have to cut into a regular traffic lane to get around it? The attitude in MA is "you have a bike lane, so stay out of my car lane" even if the bike lane is blocked by double-parkers and/or a half-mile away from where you're going.

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Voting closed 9

I used the one on Maffa Way from Broadway to Sullivan Station. Immediate difference, 10/10 would do again and recommend to others.

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Voting closed 28

are great. I ride in two of them for parts of my commute and I find it to be considerably more comfortable and safe than riding in a narrow paint only bike lane. The biggest benefit is that I can safely avoid the door zone with parked cars without having to ride perilously close to the lane used by car drivers. The buses stop frequently enough, that any bus behind me doesn't catch up once I am more than a stop ahead of it.

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Voting closed 9

You know other cities... exist, right?

This is a tried and true combination.

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Voting closed 25

Seconding that this arrangement works pretty well on Washington street (inbound to forest hills) already. Except that cars still park there, because of course they do. (they also like to park right on top of the freshly painted bike lane markings across the street, on the outbound side.)

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Voting closed 19

The buses are never my problem in the lane. However, all the cars stuck in a few blocks of traffic who want to make a right turn at Harvard St or Allston St and drive down the lane with their blinker on for 3 blocks...that's my problem still with the lane. You have to be more vigilant with the traffic on your left, because they won't want to wait and pull into the right lane to "turn right" (eventually) at any point along the street and not limit themselves to the painted hashed sections.

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Voting closed 14

Is it an efficient use of road space to make right-turners wait in a jam that didn't use to be there, to reserve a lane for a bus that comes by only once every 10 minutes at rush hour?

If you make the traffic jam bad enough, buses will get stuck in it before they get to the bus lane. (Hello, Mass Ave at MIT.)

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Voting closed 8

Of course its more efficient use of road space to make single occupant vehicles less of a priority over buses that are carrying a far great volume of people.

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Voting closed 15

Unless the single bus every 10 minutes isn't actually carrying more people than a lane of cars would.

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Voting closed 8

I mean, if the point is to speed up the buses, which are allowed to go 25 MPH, then keeping them in a lane full of bicycles that usually max out at 15 MPH theoretically is a problem in that they will not be able to maximize their potential. That said, it somehow works out in other places, and I mean, come on, Brighton Ave should have a bike lane.

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Voting closed 10

Buses only average about 13 mph because they're spending half their time stopped. There are numerous right-turning cars between Cambridge St and Harvard St that get in the buses way even with this lane. I've never noticed either the 57 or 66 stuck behind a bicyclist. And past Harvard St, the road is almost never used so a bus could easily pass the bike on the left.

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Voting closed 20

So by your logic, you are basically providing evidence to support the original commenter.
If buses are stopped half the time, and average 13 mph overall, then while they are in motion their speed must certainly be up near the 25 mph range or higher. And like the original comment stated, most cyclists cannot and do not ride @ 25mph, so theoretically the bus's speed while in motion is going to need to decrease.

* Note: I don't think the original commenter's concern is valid, but just wanted to stop by and explain how averages work.

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Voting closed 5

A bus doesn't just go either 0 mph or 25 mph in a square wave and average to 12.5 mph. Meanwhile, the bike is going to likely hold a steady 10-15 mph which means, on average, there won't be much time where the bus is both above the speed of the bike AND directly behind a bike.

The bus has both acceleration and deceleration time where it's going every speed in between. And it's doing that before and after every stop and red light...which are side-by-side as well.

Don't worry about theoretically though...just go sit on Brighton Ave and watch the bus lane for a few hours one day...or ride in it on a bike. You'll have cars just driving in that lane still or "turning" (blocks later) and you'll be worried about cars from your left. You're probably never/rarely going to have a bus up your ass at all.

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Voting closed 7

Which means the running speed is over 15 MPH. And since the speed limit is 25 and, as seen in the 1994 film speed, city buses have the ability to easily go twice that, there is the potential for a conflict, so to speak.

You have to trust me from my Roslindale experience that the cyclists are "kind of" a problem. Typically things work themselves out, with cyclists sometimes popping onto the (empty) sidewalks for a bit to let the bus pass or the bus going into the travel lane to pass the bus. That said, if traffic was really as chock-a-block as people claim, the latter option would not be practical.

I am hoping for success, but as I say, it could be an issue.

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Voting closed 10

Have you been to NYC ?

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Dedicated bus lanes are routinely ignored on Washington Street in the Sound End.

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As already mentioned, in this city of entitled drivers who routinely have no issues running red lights, crossing the double yellow and driving the wrong way in oncoming traffic to make a turn or get in the left-turn lane, double-parking or parking in the bike lane, this isn't going to work unless there's enforcement. There are too many aholes thinking 'f this, I am better than everyone else, why should I obey the rules?'

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Voting closed 11

Great news. Yes, enforcement is the key.

I hate scooters but they should be allowed in this lane, it is that a given?

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Voting closed 8

Under 50cc (IIRC) can use bike infrastructure.

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And motorcycles. I hate motorcycles but they should be allowed in this lane too. It's very dangerous for motorcycles on the main roads because of the automobiles. This is a given?

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Voting closed 7

Just no.

Although I have a hilarious story of a douchebro on a motorcycle who decided to use the bike lane on Harvard Avenue in Brookline to pass all the cars, and ended up nearly hitting a pedestrian in a crosswalk (and dropping his bike). Dumbass.

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Voting closed 5

Scooters belong in the garbage.

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Voting closed 19

The 57 has gotta be up there in the ranks of "worst most frustrating bus routes", so this seems like a good move.

Really, though, the ideal would be to reopen the A Line with a dedicated right-of-way and ditch that bus altogether.

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Voting closed 34

There's no room for a dedicated right of way in the Brighton/Newton/Watertown sections of the 57. And as both a cyclist and occasionally as a motorist, I'd rather deal with buses than have to drive on streetcar tracks (like the ones that were there when I first moved to Brighton).

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Voting closed 11

There's on-street parking along most of the length of the 57 route. That's where room from a bus lane could come from.

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Voting closed 29

streetcar service was never restored years ago.

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Voting closed 15

This is not a costly or insurmountable problem, just priorities that need to be shifted.

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On the inbound it's frustrating, and always held up by some construction screwup. On the outbound, as long as the Red Sox aren't in town, it's heaven (if heaven could be a bus). Only there have been many times I've been sure we were going to hit somebody. Hasn't happened yet though.

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Voting closed 6

How does this work? Is it one lane shared for both directions? Do bicycles have to yield to buses?

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A few weeks ago, the Boston Transportation Department installed a Bus Only Lane that runs the length of Brighton Ave (Inbound) between Cambridge Street and Commonwealth Ave. This results in a 50% lane reduction for motorists on this stretch of Brighton Ave (Inbound).

I stand in opposition to this new Bus Only Lane for the following reasons:

- A 50% lane reduction in travel lanes for motorists on Brighton Ave (inbound) between Cambridge Street and Commonwealth Ave.

- Increased traffic congestion for motorists in the left lane.

- Increased emissions from increased congestion in the left lane, which results in a larger carbon footprint.

- This new Bus Only Lane has been in effect for several weeks. Very few motorists are observing the “Bus Only Lane” and travel in the bus lane.

- The Official Brighton Avenue Bus Lane Website on boston.gov lists a reason for this bus lane as “Prioritizing the movement of people over cars”. Well, City of Boston, what about those people in the cars? Should they just accept that their roadway access is being reduced by 50%?

- This website also promotes a goal of “ensuring predictable commute times”. There is nothing to predict here. This new Bus Only Lane will, without a doubt, increase the commute time of motorists who use Brighton Ave (inbound).

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Voting closed 9

you should try taking the bus

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Voting closed 22

That works out ok if your origin and destination are both along the 57 and Green Line. Anywhere else, not so much.

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Voting closed 7

Serious question, since I'm never in the area. My rare times in the area has got me to believe that only in the Allston Village area is there truly an issue, and that has more to do with left turns and people double parking, and if double parking is the issue, the bus lane will make no difference.

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Voting closed 11

The Allston St light seems to backup pretty heavily but I think it favors the wrong part of the cycle.

Once or twice I've noticed the left turn lane at Harvard St was backed up due to Harvard St being full and that chained into the travel lane backing up on Brighton Ave. But people just went around in the bus lane.

Otherwise all this car hand-wringing is unfounded.

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Voting closed 12

So the general lane would grind to a complete halt at Harvard Street if drivers didn't break the rules. This hardly seems like an efficient transportation system.

What happens when the cops start writing tickets, or they install cameras?

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Voting closed 7

Good news! You can still drive your car down the street, and unless your car has doubled in size, it will still fit in the one lane now dedicated to its use.

Cars are really useful, and while I think that they are overused, I do think it's important to give them some space. It's important to give transit, bicycling, and walking more space in our cities than we currently do.

I understand why you are frustrated when you have to sit in your car in traffic. I feel for you; I don't like that either. That's why I feel blessed that I can bike; that's why if I couldn't bike, but could choose between taking a bus or driving a car, I'd choose the bus.

You've still got one whole lane. Why are you so unhappy?

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Voting closed 11

Magoo’s adult sized tricycle? Magoo.

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Voting closed 12

If there is any poster in the history of Uhub where I would pay $100 to find out who they are, Magoo is that poster.

Is it a man? Child? Old man? Robot?

What is going on in the brain of this person? And I do admit, this post made me laugh. I have no clue why.

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Voting closed 20

That's my guess. If they start singing "Daisy Bell," we'll know for sure.

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Voting closed 9

Magoo. That’s who. Magoo.

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Voting closed 8

This one is at least mildly topical, so... there's that.

Mostly it's the equivalent of a tagger scrawling their name on every building.

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Voting closed 11

...that he thinks is cute. I'd love to lock him, Kapil, TrophyWifeLinda and theszak in a room together.

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Voting closed 7

Kapil and TrophyWifeLinda would crack the top 5 posters as well (That I would pay to see the identity of). Thezak is in a different category I think. He is actually known anyway.

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Voting closed 9