Hey, there! Log in / Register

Walsh proposes lowering Boston speed limit to 20 m.p.h., new dedicated bus lanes and rush-hour surcharges for Uber, Lyft cars

Mayor Walsh today announced a set of initiatives to make Boston roads safer and less clogged that include lowering the default citywide speed limit from 25 to 20 m.p.h., dedicated bus lanes on Brighton Avenue in Allston and North Washington Street along the North End, special pickup/drop-off lanes for Uber and Lyft cars - but also rush-hour surcharges for riding in them - and free T passes for all students in grades 7 through 12, regardless of whether they're BPS students.

Boston reduced its speed limit from 30 to 25 m.p.h. in January, 2017, after the governor signed legislation allowing such citywide reductions. Walsh says going down to 20 would make Boston roads even safer - but as before, the proposal, first made by city councilors, would require action by the state legislature and the governor.

Walsh said he hopes to build on the success of a morning dedicated bus/bike lane along Washington Street in Roslindale with a similar one for Brighton Avenue in Allston. He also wants to see a 24/7 dedicated bus lane on North Washington Street between Haymarket and the bridge to Charlestown.

He added he wants to work with residents to improve bus service along Blue Hill Avenue.

The mayor continued that the city this month will block off a section of the curb at Boylston and Kilmarnock streets in the Fenway as a designated pick-up/drop=off zone for Uber and Lyft cars - between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m.

The goal of this pilot is to ease congestion caused by cars double-parking and to increase safety for passengers entering and exiting the vehicles. The City is currently working with ride-sharing companies, and both Uber and Lyft have agreed to support the City's pilot.

The mayor did not say whether Uber and Lyft have agreed to his other proposal for them - to require them to collect a surcharge from riders during rush hours. This measure would require approval of the state legislature and the governor.

This fee would be invested in local roads and transit, including improvements to bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. It would also reduce charges for pooled rides and the use of electric vehicles.

Walsh added the city will begin doling out free T passes to all students in grades 7 through 12, regardless of whether they are enrolled in BPS schools. The city currently buys T passes for roughly 20,000 BPS students a year; Walsh's measure would add another 10,000 middle- and high-school students.

Topics: 
Ad:

Comments

What difference does it make if BPD won't enforce it?

up
Voting closed 43

The data from the last reduction are here:
https://www.iihs.org/iihs/news/desktopnews/city-drivers-slow-down-for-lo...

Let me summarize for you. When Boston lowered its speed limit to 25MPH there was a 29.3% reduction in vehicles exceeding 35MPH. And an 8.5% and 2.9% decrease in vehicles exceeding 30 and 25MPH respectively.

The conclusion from the study:

Lowering the speed limit in urban areas is an effective countermeasure to reduce speeds and improve safety for all road users.

I had this same discussion here a few months ago: https://northendwaterfront.com/2018/11/boston-council-wants-to-reduce-sp...

[edit: fixed link]

up
Voting closed 17

Here's a blog post that rebuts the IIHS article about that data. (The link you provided isn't working.)

https://www.motorists.org/blog/bostons-speed-limit-experiment-failed/

Summary: The speed limit reduction made no difference, as speeds overall didn't change. The IIHS cherry-picked certain statistics that made them look good, and ignored the others. And Providence had similar minor changes despite no speed limit change, which can be attributed to random variation.

up
Voting closed 8

studies that basically say that revamping posted speed limits alone, without additional enforcement, educational programs, or other engineering measures, has only a minor effect on driver behavior.

I am not convinced that lowering the speed limit once again is going to have any measurable effect on drivers in the Boston area. I see enough of them going faster than 25mph now on a regular basis.

up
Voting closed 8

We need big ideas, not band aids.

Martys really gotta go, we need an actual "thinker" in city hall and not a dimbulb Suffolk sycophant.

up
Voting closed 18

Big Dig Debt in 2019: 21 Billion.

up
Voting closed 2

Take out some of the free parking we dole out and set it aside as dedicated dropoffs for taxis/ubers and also for just any old citizen thats currently double parking or blocking fire hydrants or blocking bike lanes or blocking crosswalks. Win win for all and the technology is there to help.

Doesn't just stop there, these spaces can easily have bike corals and serve as required places to drop of any of the bike shares, escooters or cyclists shopping/living in the area.

Its such a reasonable and beneficial idea, so naturally someone will find a reason to hate it.

up
Voting closed 41

It's a fine idea but if an Uber driver can shrug and park (double park) 10' away in the bike or traffic lane without consequence, they'll just do that. They don't care about rules or other road users, they just want their 5-star review.

Like everything else regarding traffic & transportation in Boston, it's a lack of enforcement which renders even the best ideas moot.

up
Voting closed 61

I believe LEOs on this very forum have said they can't be everywhere. However we can and in many cases have already developed the tech that can be everywhere and deliver consequences. The devices that enable this are literally everywhere, unlike the police.

If drivers don't drop-off or pick-up in municipal designated locations, then it will cost them in their 5-star ratings and/or a fine.

up
Voting closed 18

They can't be everywhere, but I regularly see them ignore infractions that happen right in front of them while they're casually driving along with the rest of us.

up
Voting closed 17

and no need for police involvement either. You want to ease some congestion? I can name half a dozen spots in the city that are a cluster bang simply because of DOUBLE PARKING. Uber and Lyft and well intentioned helper-outers giving someone a ride and just stopping in the middle of a traffic lane.
The most egregious spot is Summer and Atlantic at SOUTH STATION. Just post up a god-damned BTD agent there. Just sit there and write tickets. Collect revenue for the city. Shuttles, buses, cabs, Ubers, regular drivers...ALL DOUBLE PARK there and typically there are a ton of open spots a little further up the street. It bottlenecks traffic and causes backups.
Seriously if any councilors/the mayor are reading this....ONE BTD OFFICER is all you need to devote here to seriously ease rush hour traffic and at the same time collect money for the city.
City point is another area. Just, like, maybe ASK your constituents who live through this shit every day, I bet you can come up with a nice list of 20-30 places where just writing tickets will make a huge impact.
Instead these guys are busy writing tickets for unlettered commercial vehicles parked in commercial spots on back streets in Allston or other such nonsense that is doing nothing to make traffic any worse.
Re-structure the resources you currently have to be more efficient and stop looking for more band-aids!
Also, and I know there isn't an easy solution since you dropped the ball on this way early, but Uber and Lyft need to be severely limited in city limits. NYC is doing this. A congestion charge is not enough, there needs to be hard limits on how many can operate at once in the city and these companies need to write the code into their software or else just be banned (hint: there is no way these companies haven't already seen this coming and gone ahead and written the software programming for it anyways. If not they are incredibly stupid as their business will be screwed with the stroke of a pen, leaving them unprepared). It is the same concept as the medallion system for various cities and how a Brookline Cab cannot pick up passengers in Boston and vice versa, but with less blatant corruption and patronage.

up
Voting closed 16

South Station desperately needs a pickup/dropoff zone. I have no idea how you're supposed to (legally) pick someone up who can't walk a block or two due to mobility issues, since all the adjacent curb space is reserved for other uses.

up
Voting closed 12

No need for a fine, the app can be programmed to only allow pickups at certain places. Youve most likely seen it at the airport, where the app asks you to pick a door number.

DC has extended this to popular areas as well. If you are in the wharf district - and area thats 3 blocks by 6 blocks, you can pick from 2 and only 2 pickup points.

up
Voting closed 30

it is better for the drivers, too, then they're not crawling down the street looking for somebody standing around staring in their phone, and can eliminate awkward loops around big blocks/one way snarls. I've been in many other cities where uber asked me to go to the corner or some other 2-5 min walk to make the whole thing more efficient and it was fine.

up
Voting closed 3

With more restrictions on driving in Boston,I wonder if the endgame is the end to driving in Boston. Ive lived here for over 50 years and have noticed the major increase of apartment bldgs,or condos everywhere in and around Boston,which presents the question of how are these thousands of new Bostonians going to. fit their cars into an already packed commute?The commute is a free for all now leaving Boston in early afternoon,where blocking intersections is common,right turn only becomes whatever the driver needs,and the ever present smart phone use variable. I think there are some pretty obvious problem areas that could be remedied with police presence like Leverett Circle intersection log jams to mention one. Enforcement is necessary for existing laws before more restrictions are enacted

up
Voting closed 5

When I ride Lyft, I downrate for unsafe/inappropriate pick up or drop off, and I include that text in the rating.

up
Voting closed 3

Allowing rideshares to just stop anywhere, impede traffic flow and think it's okay just because you put on your hazard lights has got to stop. For one, it makes having bike lanes a joke. I've seen pick-up and drop-off zones in other cities and it definitely helps.

up
Voting closed 5

So if you have mobility problems in the fenway, you have to walk to a pick up zone. Nice idea. Will he let you take a cab to the pickup spot?

up
Voting closed 12

From my understanding, the pick-up zones are only for the two blocks on the north side of Boylston. Walking distance is less than a block.

up
Voting closed 1

The Herald (!) had a great story today on the cluster that is Mass Ave during any rush hour. If only BPD would choose to stroll down the street, they'd see (a) multiple delivery trucks blocking bike and entire traffic lanes at 6pm, (b) traffic lights that are so poorly timed (especially near Symphony Hall) that they create high-intensity gridlock and make it far MORE dangerous for pedestrians, not less, because it's so horribly confusing for everyone, and (c) a billion Ubers double-parking in bike lanes all the time. Taken together, these issues make traffic impossible and make it terribly unsafe for bikers and pedestrians alike. It's a simple fix: Time the lights, and put a few officers out there on bikes to issue citations. Even better would be removing those lanes of parking that offer all-day spaces for 20 people at the expense of tens of thousands of bikers, pedestrians, and drivers. Geez, pulling a few dozen parking spots would allow you to have it all! Uber/delivery drop-off spaces, dedicated bike lanes, better traffic signals. If only we'd be willing to tell Starbucks and Dunkin that nope, they can't have people park right out front to grab a coffee..

up
Voting closed 23

And make the speed limit zero.

These politicians are getting out of control - 20 mph speed limits, age 16 for voting, Modern Monetary Theory of just print it and we can spend it, outlaw cow farts - the Republicans are their own version of asinine - but the Democratic Socialists are looking to bring it to a whole new level.

What ever happened to moderates?

up
Voting closed 45

Somebody move your cheese, grandpa?

IMAGE(https://static1.squarespace.com/static/53ddf6b0e4b0219ea2c8b53f/t/58e024ce1b10e31ed4543696/1491084508444/?format=1500w)

Here, let's calm you down with some debunking from a Swiss biodynamic farmer.

http://www.swissbiofarmer.com/blog/2017/4/2/the-fl...

up
Voting closed 39

/s on the cow farts in case you missed it. But some of these "candidates" and current seat holders are getting out of control - can't think of anything reasonable to propose so they propose crazy crap to get their name out there.

up
Voting closed 1

So.

Who, may I ask, is supposed to "control" them? Hmmm?

up
Voting closed 1

/s on the cow farts in case you missed it.

Everyone missed it because you were creating straw men to attack because you are already in the position to think that all Democrats are crazy and just want to take all of everyone's money. Funny how you pine for moderates when you sow this kind of blind partisanship around in the first place.

up
Voting closed 7

Who are these moderates of which you speak?

On either side?

Especially declared presidential candidates other than Bill Weld who, sadly, has no shot?

up
Voting closed 3

Re-read what I said. That being said, if you think the current batch of presidential hopefuls is rabidly leftist, you are mistaken.

up
Voting closed 4

...did I mention "Democrats" - I was talking about the Bernie Bro Democratic Socialists - but I am struggling to find traditional Democrats.

And I did mention moderates -so I am also struggling to figure out what your response has to do with my comment.

If you think the current batch of presidential hopefuls are moderate - you are already standing in left field - so it must be a matter of perspective. From their position near the Pesky Pole in right field, My Fox News loving acquaintances think they are "moderates" too and they think I am borderline Communist these days.

A reminder if you haven't seen this - here are my last 5 presidential votes:

Bush
Kerry
McCain
Obama
Johnson

Go figure out my politics from that if you are trying to put me in a right wing pigeonhole.

up
Voting closed 3

Go figure out my politics from that if you are trying to put me in a right wing pigeonhole.

When you posted that all democrats want to do is take everyone's money in another thread/story. Would you like to walk that statement back in light of sharing your voting history?

My point was that you shared an aggressively partisan opinion and didn't lend yourself any credibility to giving an actual definition to what "moderate" would be the way you had just branded all democrats. And, if folks want to have a discussion on what a moderate is, maybe opinions from people with less hyperbolic views have more value.

up
Voting closed 3

When he was called a socialist - he said he's a Democratic Socialist

so instead of "Democrats" I'll modify it to Democratic Socialists.

Granted - just as there are fewer and fewer true Republicans, there are fewer and fewer Democrats as the all move to be more "progressive" or "socialist" than the next one. And I'll throw the same criticism at the Republicans. Can't think of a more generic term - so I'll just say that Republicans all seem to want to out-Trump each other.

up
Voting closed 1

THE HORRIBLE SOCIALISTS ARE COMING FOR YOUR STUFF!!!!! RUN!!! RUN!!!

up
Voting closed 7

Because you obviously haven't been paying attention if you are asking a question like that - granted - if you don't make or have much, yes YAWN!

up
Voting closed 4

Who do these politicians think they are trying to save lives and the only planet we have!!1!

up
Voting closed 24

We're all going to move to Mars. Elon Musk said so, and he's all like, wicked smart and shit.

up
Voting closed 7

They take more poor people off the roads, to make the roads more pleasant for rich people, who don't mind the fees.

up
Voting closed 17

Surcharges are more likely to hit wealthier people, who are 1 more likely to be driving cars, 2 more likely to be commuting to 8-4 and 9-5 jobs, and 3 more likely to work in especially crowded areas like Longwood and the Financial District.

up
Voting closed 2

Why not drop the speed limit to 5 MPH? It does not matter without enforcement. Centre Street West Roxbury is a hot zone now since an unfortunate pedestrian earlier this year. I dare anyone to say that it is any safer now than it was then with so called increased police presence. BTW, I have seen one BPD vehicle on Centre Street in the last 5 weeks. I am on the street daily. Police presence is a nonexistent and ineffective at best now.
The Uber Lyft problem is the same deal. I have seen them double-parked or in a no stopping zone and watched the BPD vehicle drive right by. The Mayors words ring hollow without action

up
Voting closed 23

Centre Street is my frame of reference as well and we can’t lower the speed limit or enforce our way out of it. Give the street a safe design and let the cops worry about other things. Tagging a few people a week with tickets won’t change anything. The one in twenty driver that actually drives the speed limit won’t help anymore at 20 than 25. The wide, four -lane roadway puts drivers in a highway mindset. Narrow the road, make a protected bike lane, and get rid of half the traffic lights because we won’t need them anymore.

up
Voting closed 11

So what you are saying is that Boston drivers are so shitty that the laws don't matter because they never follow them? There is definitely some truth there.

up
Voting closed 16

We all get to pay to replace the brand new ineffective 25 MPH signs with equally useless 20 MPH signs.

up
Voting closed 35

Walsh,

I want to see your data that says lowering it will have an effect. Please provide sources.

I'd also like to know if lowering it from 30 to 25 had ANY effect the last time, and if so, is it enough to lower it again?

Not saying we don't have a problem, but once again I feel like its a knee jerk reaction to a far bigger problem. Will this help at all?

You can lower the speed limit to 5mph all you want, but it wont stop people from speeding or killing people. It really takes heavy enforcement to get people to change their habits

up
Voting closed 18

Last year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported that lowering the speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph decreased the likelihood of a driver going faster 35 mph by 30% and faster than 30 mph by 8.5%.

Of course just dropping the speed limit won't fix everything (for that we need road design changes and then some), but the data shows that people do indeed drive slower.

These small changes in speed are meaningful, because as ProPublica found, once cars exceed 20mph they rapidly become more deadly in crashes with pedestrians.

IIHS: https://www.iihs.org/iihs/news/desktopnews/city-drivers-slow-down-for-lo...

ProPublica: https://www.propublica.org/article/unsafe-at-many-speeds

up
Voting closed 28

lol facts and sources

up
Voting closed 12

This is great info. Thank you.

My post wasn't about snark but about making sure we're basing our laws on facts, not knee jerk reactions.

Lowering the speed limit wont stop people.. it really wont. While data suggests it will, I know boston drivers who ignore the speed limit.

Speed kills. We know that.

up
Voting closed 7

Lowering the speed limit wont stop people..

Of course not. It will simply slow them down.

up
Voting closed 2

Your community is not allowed to design streets and intersections to restrict the speed of vehicles if they do not first lower the speed limits to the desired target.

In other words, you can't put in humps and bumps and curb bump outs and time the lights to lower speeds if those design features are intended to slow traffic to below the limits.

up
Voting closed 8

This is absolutely not true at all.

up
Voting closed 7

Yet this person keeps posting this falsehood every time the topic comes up.

Boston has been installing speed humps for years, long before the speed limit dropped to 25.

up
Voting closed 3

Boston installed a handful of speed humps in JP in the late 90s/early 00s. No new ones until recently, and the new ones came with new speed limits (20 mph).

up
Voting closed 3

yeah this is not true at all

up
Voting closed 5

Not quite.

You can't do arbitrary stuff like "let's put a stop sign every 500 feet to slow traffic down". That misuses a right-of-way control for speed control.

I think there's something in MGL about the need for some sort of design basis or calculations shown between road design and speed limit (maybe involving state review?) - unless you get legislative act for "universal" speed limits. I don't remember what exactly, though, so I could be wrong on that.

up
Voting closed 3

Is there any evidence that dropping the speed limit to 25 had any effect on the rate of crashes or the number of pedestrians and cyclists that were hit by cars? I really don't think dropping the speed limit would have any impact, because people generally drive at a speed that feels comfortable, not necessarily at the speed limit (especially when it's not posted). I'd like to see some data though.

up
Voting closed 5

Last year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported that lowering the speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph decreased the likelihood of a driver going faster 35 mph by 30% and faster than 30 mph by 8.5%.

IIHS: https://www.iihs.org/iihs/news/desktopnews/city-drivers-slow-down-for-lo...

up
Voting closed 16

The other proposals might have merit but the entire plan loses credibility with the 20 mph speed limit. Absurd. What's next when this fails, 15 mph? 10 mph? Few, if any officers are going to write a speeding ticket for anything under 40 and case law says their superiors can't order them to. This sounds more like a request or a plea to "please drive 20 mph" since 20 mph won't be anywhere near the actual enforced limit.

Once again I ask, is there any effort to create a citywide BPD traffic squad? Setting up selective enforcement takes some time and strategy, as does writing tickets and running computer checks on those stopped. Invariably, someone will have a suspended license or revoked plate, requiring hours of court paperwork and waiting for a tow. The neighborhood sector cars aren't going to do this as they are busy shagging 911 emergency and service calls. A better plan would be to pick out 25 cops who actually want to write money tickets (so-called "Chapter 90 guys") and have them enforce existing laws. The legislature would do well to stand up to their friends the insurance lobbyists and eliminate the huge surcharges on motorists who receive a money ticket. Cops who don't feel like enriching the seven figure insurance executives will only give warnings.

up
Voting closed 14

And one of the strange things I've noticed that in terms of complaints, traffic enforcement is not up there at most community meetings, web complaints, etc. The Uhub comment section seems to have 90%+ of all the traffic complaints I hear.

As you probably know, traffic enforcement breaks down into two sections (numbers vs selective enforcement). Traffic officers are rated on their numbers, not Uhub comments thanking them for enforcing crosswalks on Centre St. in West Roxbury. So your E-5 traffic officer can get 40 citations in 4 hours up at the Centre/Spring light, but only probably 5 or so crosswalk violations at Centre/Hastings.

There are also now two sets of crash recon guys, the traffic division guys and Special Ops had a few who paid their own way to be trained. The traffic guys need to respond to crashes which also takes up time.

up
Voting closed 5

they had them out there for a week or so. Now there gone again. they could write multiple tickets at any intersection or light from Spring to manthorne road. They don't. they are there for show for a little while an gone again. I have not seen anyone ticketed for speeding on centre st in forever. . I drive it daily. There is no enforcement or deterrent. BTW the WR facebook pages are a mirror of UHub complaints.

up
Voting closed 4

after a pedestrian was hit two weeks ago at the intersection with Thompson Place/Fan Pier Blvd. (not Sleeper St. as reported).

They sat near the intersection for a few days (one day with emergency lights activated), but then they disappeared again. Meanwhile, the traffic lights at that busy pedestrian intersection remain inactive (installed a few months ago) as access to Thompson Place at Trillium and Shake Shack remains barricaded.

up
Voting closed 8

If you could guess how many moving violations were issued in West Roxbury in Jan, Feb and Mar, what would your guess be.?

up
Voting closed 2

numbers are one thing, but tonight when i go down Centre at 5 PM i know i wont see any police same as this morning. Not one, i have been keeping track since the fatal accident .
also if you drive Grove Spring or Washington there are the same issues. WIth a recent fatal on washington. Rush hour no visibility. Not good

up
Voting closed 4

I haven't seen the numbers, but E-5 usually puts up Brookline level numbers in terms of citations across the board.

up
Voting closed 3

Few, if any officers are going to write a speeding ticket for anything under 40 and case law says their superiors can't order them to

Cops who don't feel like enriching the seven figure insurance executives will only give warnings.

Seems like cops need better education and training on the dangers caused by speeding and reckless driving, and we need to start getting rid of officers who won't write these tickets (changing their contract or the laws if necessary) if they can't be trusted to enforce the laws we hire them to enforce.

up
Voting closed 9

A pedestrian is much more likely to survive a crash at 20MPH then at 30MPH. Is it absurd to try to save lives? Is it absurd for cops to do their job and enforce laws? Is it absurd that drivers should follow the laws? Is it absurd to prioritize people over cars?

up
Voting closed 14

Everyone knows that. But it's from a cherry-picked study. And it's not even the factor we should be focusing on. Instead, we should try to prevent the accident in the first place. https://www.motorists.org/blog/bostons-commissioner-propaganda-speaks/

Also, we don't have any Boston-specific data, because Boston REFUSES to follow the law and submit crash reports to the state.

up
Voting closed 4

more likely to survive if vehicle operators aren't texting and driving.
This issue isn't a petty reduction of the speed limit by 5 MPH.
Enforcing the laws we already have is what will make a difference. Especially regarding distracted driving.

up
Voting closed 9

City Council is hosting a hearing about this on March 12: https://www.boston.gov/public-notices/56286

up
Voting closed 2

"
The goal of this pilot is to ease congestion caused by cars double-parking and to increase safety for passengers entering and exiting the vehicles. The City is currently working with ride-sharing companies, and both Uber and Lyft have agreed to support the City's pilot."

they support this because you are CREATING CAB STANDS FOR THEM!!!

up
Voting closed 6

because of increased texting behind the wheel.

up
Voting closed 3

It may sound dubious but at least its something. In my town they don't even pay lip service to traffic safety. I feel kind of guilty for being too lazy to look it up but could some body who knows tell us if the city pays full cost for the passes they get or if the T subsidizes it at all ?

up
Voting closed 4

If the T was actually reliable, we'd have fewer cars which would maybe mean fewer casualties.

It boggles my mind that with the wealth and brainpower in this state, we haven't been able to move the needle on affordable, reliable public transportation. All elected officials should be required to use the T to get around when on official business.

up
Voting closed 16

Part of the use and need for ride shares is that they are able to pick up/drop off at your exact locations. As someone with mobility issues, this is crucial. I would rather pay a surcharge than have to try to get to a pre-selected point that may or may not be anywhere near where I am. They could, however, employ a tactic similar to part of the plan at the airport - designated WAITING areas. Once the driver accepts a ride, they can pick up where the rider needs the pickup point to be.

Another reason people use the ride shares if they have things to carry that cannot be done on public transportation/on foot.

The proposal sounds great in theory, but it severely limits the ability of people to use the services as they should be used.

up
Voting closed 8

and eliminate all (or most) street parking on major, key roads -- such as ones that are designated as Snow Emergency Routes.

Make the current parking lanes no parking zones and use them for Uber/Lyft/taxi pickup and drop-off zones, along with loading/unloading zones for delivery vehicles.

As most of these vehicles currently double park in the right travel lane, it should improve traffic flow.

Will there be less parking? Yes. Will that cause local businesses to suffer? That remains to be seen.

up
Voting closed 4

Pretty sure they'll speed.

We need consistent, aggressive, and ubiquitous enforcement. Human AND technological. Otherwise it will just continue to get worse.

up
Voting closed 10

You raise an excellent point. Walsh is focused 5 miles per hour but ignores the red lights that drives ignore. Another EXISTING law that drivers ignore.

up
Voting closed 4

All the comments so far have pretty much been about the speed limit proposal and nothing about the bus lanes.

I will be very entertained to see what happens when the double parking zone on Brighton between Linden and Harvard Ave becomes a bus lane. I don't drive much in the city, because I don't need to and it's wasteful. But every time I do go down Brighton Ave I don't even bother with the rightmost lane because I know it will be bumper to bumper double parked cars all down that block.

up
Voting closed 8

If the other bus lanes are any indication, it will continue to be a double parking zone.

up
Voting closed 4

The only way a bus lane would work for that part of Brighton Ave would be to get rid all the street parking. Yes, there is already a shortage of parking in that area, but I've never found a spot on that stretch anyway because of all the double parking.

I thought the Roslindale bus lane was a phenomenal success. It cut 5-10 minutes off my commute when I lived there. But Washington St. doesn't have the same double parking issue.

up
Voting closed 3

Due to all the double parking, the right lane is basically not even used anyways. Everyone has to crunch over to the left lane to get through the area.

Turn it into a bus lane and tow the fuck out of all those damn double parkers and it wouldn't change traffic flow at all.

up
Voting closed 3

I agree that South Station is a trouble spot with no enforcement of taxi queue and the no-stopping and no-dropoff zones. That may be MBTA or Amtrak police jurisdiction, though - not BPD.

Congestion due to too many uber/lyft and double-parking, etc by uber/lyft. Well, the city and/or state could actually regulate them like the rest of the industry (medallion & car services) instead of just shrugging. Current attitude is amazingly inconsistent with parallel issue from a few years ago - Chinatown buses were pushed to South Station in the name of level playing field, safety, etc....

up
Voting closed 4

The solution at South Station isn't more enforcement of no-stopping zones.

It's creation of a legal space to pick up and drop off. The entire street frontage of South Station is either a no-stopping zone, a taxi stand, a bus stop, or a commercial vehicle loading zone. There is NO legal place to pick up or drop someone off, regardless of whether you're a rideshare driver or just a random person. It's the same story at North Station. There is nowhere legal to stop.

Most other major train stations in this country have dedicated pick up/drop off space in front of them (except maybe NY Penn). 30th St in Philly does, Baltimore Penn does, Union Station in DC does, Union Station in Chicago does. So why can't we?

up
Voting closed 6

Yes, I agree - some sort of reapportionment of space or new space created somehow - but enforcement will still be needed.

up
Voting closed 3

Is Boston going to reimburse the T for increased bus operating costs due to longer run times?

And are they going to retime traffic lights to be synchronized at 20 mph, so you don't have to hammer it to avoid getting stuck at every light?

up
Voting closed 4

Could you explain?

As somebody who rides one of the roughly 672 different bus lines that run up Washington Street in Roslindale to Forest Hills, the dedicated bus lane makes the trip between Roslindale Square and the T stop a lot shorter. The buses never really run very fast, but they also no longer get stuck in gridlocked traffic, so it works out for the better even when there's a bicyclist right in front (and the buses still make stops roughly every two blocks).

If anything, the main problem is one of enforcement - people are beginning to park in the bus lane in the morning to run into the various stores along the way.

up
Voting closed 10

If lowering the speed limit slows traffic, it will take longer to get places. Including for buses.

up
Voting closed 5

On the crowded streets where this is an issue, I really doubt any bus is getting up to 20 m.p.h. even now. Even if the street were clear of traffic, they still have to make stops every couple of blocks.

The 20 m.ph. would be the default, but the city could raise that on particular streets - look at those 40-mph signs that are still up along Washington Street in West Roxbury before the parkway.

up
Voting closed 5

Yeah, I'm sure the city will drop everything to post higher speed limits on roads that deserve them.

Washington has those 40 mph signs because the state approved a special speed regulation years ago. It remains in effect until the city takes the effort to apply for another regulation change, which means doing a speed study, which has to show a lower limit would be safer.

Now you've motivated me to measure bus speeds by pulling up Waze the next time I'm on a bus moving along at a good clip. I'm sure buses get above 20 in Boston all the time.

(Too bad the structure of a blog with comments means nobody will ever see followups posted here.)

up
Voting closed 1

If you make an account, there's a "track" page where it will tell you if a post you've commented on has new comments

up
Voting closed 1

I'm able to keep track of replies to my comments.

My concern is, will *other people* see my comments? The person I'm replying to, as well as other readers who might be interested.

up
Voting closed 1

I can see it because I track things I've posted to to see if anyone has replied to me or posted interesting, pertinent information.

But - get an ID - you'll be better for it. Even better than that - pay Adam $5 a month and you can subscribe and get an ad free environment if you like (or be nice to Adam, pay the $5 and tell him to leave the ads on).

up
Voting closed 1

Ok, I measured it. The 66 easily gets up to 25 between stops. Other routes can only go up from there.

up
Voting closed 1

BPD and the MBTA should work together to make busses enforcement vehicles. install cameras on the front of the bus - which already has time and gps information going into the cloud. the bus is blocked by somebody parking in the bus lane, or worse, the bus stop? it snaps a picture of the plate, batches that and the relevant route, driver, time, place data, sends it to the BPD, and a HEFTY (no more of these pamby 30-50$ fines, let's start at 200$) ticket arrives to the driver within the week.

up
Voting closed 3

Why is Mahhhhty trying so hard to make life worse for us?

up
Voting closed 5

My car can't even go 20 mph without stalling.

up
Voting closed 3

No packed bus should ever have to wait in traffic, and bus lanes are a great solution. That said, bus lanes are routinely blocked by live parking (let me just run and get a coffee), rideshare (I can't leave or passenger will cancel), and sometimes utility trucks.

Since there's a complete lack of enforcement here (and guessing that will continue), I propose that all buses using bus lanes be equipped with front facing cameras that will snap a picture of vehicles blocking the lanes, and be linked into a system that automatically sends out tickets. People will get wise fast.

As for Uber/Lyft, agreed they double park and cause loads of traffic, but they're in a tough spot and have to pickup where the app says or potentially lose the passenger/ride. The City really needs to work with the apps to set designated pickup areas whenever traffic picks up (not limited to rush hours). THEN ticket if drivers are still blocking the flow of traffic in those areas.

Speed limit 20 MPH? NO NO NO NO. 25 MPH and no turn on red signs all over already, just stop.

up
Voting closed 8

Save the money on new signage and put ot toward cops who are soley dedicated to traffic enforcement. Skip the bus only lanes -- they back up traffic in Cambridge and increase the danger for cyclists.

up
Voting closed 2

The bike/bus lane works - except when people park in it to pick something up at one of the two convenience stores on the route. So maybe more ticketing is in order.

up
Voting closed 3