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Walsh announces new bus, bike lanes, says city still working on sidewalk expansion and restaurant patios

COVID-19 Media Availability 5/28/20

Mayor Walsh today announced a new program called Healthy Streets to get more people biking and riding the bus - with plans to figure out how to let restaurants add new outdoor seating.

Walsh said the city is laying new bike lanes to connect downtown with the city's existing bike lanes in the South End and the Back Bay, by using traffic barrels and signs on:

  • Arlington Street between Beacon Street and Stuart Street
  • Beacon Street between Charles Street and Berkeley Street
  • Boylston Street between Arlington Street and Washington Street
  • Charles Street between Boylston Street and Beacon Street
  • Columbus Avenue between Clarendon Street and Stuart Street
  • Court Street between Congress Street and Tremont Street
  • State Street between Atlantic Avenue and Congress Street
  • Tremont Street between Court Street and Shawmut Avenue
  • Shawmut Avenue between Tremont Street and Marginal Road

The city is also working with the MBTA to create dedicated lanes for the Silver Line on Washington and Essex streets and to lengthen and mark off bus stops in several locations:

  • Maverick Blue Line Station on the median island in Maverick Square
  • Blue Hill Avenue at Morton Street and Woodhaven Street (inbound)
  • Massachusetts Avenue at Hynes Convention Center Station (outbound)
  • Broadway Station
  • Congress Street at Haymarket Station
  • Warren Street at Whiting Street and Moreland Street
  • Route 39 Bus Stop at Fenwood Street
  • Broadway at L Street (inbound)

Walsh said 264 restaurants in Boston have expressed interest in adding patio seating to make up for the lost of inside seats. He did not have specifics of where the space would come from, for example, by carving out temporary sidewalk space out of street asphalt, but said the city will have a plan ready by the time the state announces restaurants can re-open their dining spaces.

Walsh pleaded with neihborhood residents not to get all NIMBY on these proposals but to instead give them a chance and be patient. He noted nothing Boston is doing or might do is revolutionary; cities around the world have done it.

Neighborhoods: 

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Comments

Dear Lord, does one not know which city they live in?

Also, anything they can do with the Broadway T stop would be an improvement, even just looking at it.

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Voting closed 14

and this one needs to be contra-flow. A few orange barrels are all that they need to place in order to create this one.

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Voting closed 41

That road is three lanes wide, and the only purpose two of those lanes serve is to allow double parking on both sides of the street. I'll grant that some streets fill up at rush hour, but Charles is NOT one of them, and the alternative is literally biking up Beacon Hill (which isn't fun when the parked cars and parked school busses come back).

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This should be closed, like tomorrow, from the state building by Forest Hills to Bussey St.

I think if Bussey was closed that might just lock up the Corinth/Washington/Poplar intersection even more but OTOH, seems like that traffic could go through Forest Hills anyways and then down Hyde Park Ave to points south and east?

When is the Birch St. extension getting closed?

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Voting closed 21

...at least one carriageway in each direction on the already-much-much-too-wide-even-in-normal-times Arborway between Pond Street and Centre St in Jamaica Plain. I just biked through there while cycling a section of the Emerald Necklace. It's hazardous to all users by design. (This may be a DCR roadway, if that's the case, it's mostly out of the City's hands, but the City can at least pressure DCR).

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Voting closed 16

I do not generally ride pond-wards from Roslindale for that reason. Just terrifying or you have to ride the wrong way up a side street or on the sidewalk. All suboptimal choices.

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is a DCR road. They have been discussing changes for over 20 years. New planning started last November and their schedule is to present a new concept this summer with construction to start next year.

In the meantime, there will be maintenance repairs to sidewalks, accessible crossings etc. this year.

That's the latest. Their track record isn't good so we'll see if they follow through this time.

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Voting closed 8

"Mayor Walsh today announced a new program called Healthy Streets to get more people biking and riding the bus"

Do we actually WANT more people riding the bus just now? Will they be adding more buses to ease the crowding that will happen when more people ride the bus during a pandemic?

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Maverick needs to be marked off for buses?

Does not...seem that necessary.

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As a friend said recently on twitter, this represents decades of streets advocacy that was met with BS excuses for years that well, turned out to be BS excuses.

It was just a lack of political will and it sucks that it took a pandemic to push it forward finally.

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Voting closed 37

These should have been done years ago, true. But also why did they wait till almost month 4 of the pandemic?

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Voting closed 23

reasonably priced parking garages. oh, and liquor stores selling ice cold singles for that extra long drive home.

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Why do we want more people riding buses right now? Do we want a lot of people in a confined space? I don't plan to get on a bus again until I absolutely have to.

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So Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, Hyde Park and so forth... nothing.

I knew this whole thing was just going to be for the South End.

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Has had a bus lane for many, many years now. At some point in 2014, one general travel lane was closed due to construction, allowing the bus lane to be used for general travel. Of course, once constructed ended and the red paint had faded, that lane still was used as a general travel lane. Six years later and the bus lane remains unpainted and unenforced. Red paint & signs mean nothing without enforcement. The cynic in me sees new bus lanes as lip service from the city, but I would love to be proven wrong!

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Voting closed 21

The street is complicated, and that's probably why the bus lane is on the left. But, having taken a fair share of SL4s back when the red paint was semi-visible, bus drivers, for good reason, often avoided the lane when traffic wasn't horrible. As you get closer to South Station, the bus lane abruptly ends and buses need to move two lanes to the right within a short distance. Imagine doing that in heavy traffic - and with an articulated ("bendy") 60-foot bus.

In an ideal world, the city should re-evaluate the design before repainting. But sadly, this is Boston, and a re-design minimally includes a costly months-long study...

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Yeah I don't really trust the city to actually maintain and enforce things like bus lanes based on experience with the Silver Line lanes.
I hate driving down Essex St because I refuse to drive in the bus lane, but then always struggle to get over to turn left at Lincoln or the 93 north onramp in the one block after the bus lane ends at Kingston because everyone else was already in that lane.

Washington St is a bit better, but its bigger problem is that at certain times of day it's full of double parked cars.

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Voting closed 14

Besides the fact that we're entering month four of this and the city is just now getting around to announcing plans for Phase I, I'm disappointed that this plan doesn't include any considerations for quality of life or recreation and exercise.

A few popup bike lanes, many of which were promised as permanent cycle tracks years ago, through the business districts isn't nearly enough.

I was hoping for (expecting?) a plan that took into consideration the needs of the citizens that aren't directly related to commerce.

IMAGE(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EZIwt6NXYAQCbPn?format=jpg&name=4096x4096)
IMAGE(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EUMgyELXkAI7OYz?format=jpg&name=4096x4096)

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Voting closed 17

Fourth month? Months late?

This is the 11th week since widespread shutdowns started.

About two and a half months - that's it.

...with plenty of other important considerations in the mix at the same time.

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Yes. You just defined how many weeks it takes to be "entering month four".

Do you think the response has been timely? (before you answer, check out what other cities implemented weeks and months ago https://www.google.com/search?q=covid-19+safe+streets&tbm=isch)

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And yes- this should be more than about getting people to work. There is talk of turning over public streets to business owners, but little about expanding space for people in congested areas just to exist.

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