City paints bike lanes in Charlestown, then promptly removes them when neighborhood group complains
By adamg on Tue, 12/07/2010 - 12:09am
Boston Biker reports on the sudden disappearance of new bike lanes on Main Street just four weeks after the road was striped for them. Seems the Charlestown Neighborhood Council told the city Main Street doesn't need bike lanes:
The Neighborhood Council had a meeting on November 30 about the 4-week-old bike lanes. I was unable to attend.
The next morning, the bike lanes were gone. I'm going to write this again: The next morning, the bike lanes were gone.
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Wait a minute...
Putting aside, for a moment, the idoicy of painting, then removing, anything on the street...When, in the history of all bureaucracies, has a decision been made and CARRIED OUT THE VERY NEXT DAY?
There has got to be more to this story...
How is this even legal
How is this even legal without greater public notice and a 30 day comment period? Not everyone is a member of local civic and business associations. To not give the public any kind of notice or voice outside of these meetings seems quite wrong. The speed at which the work was done leads me to believe something else is afoot there.
Were public meetings held
Were public meetings held about adding the bike lanes?
Should be your log in. See Brett's link, below.
Brett's link says they had a
Brett's link says they had a meeting Nov 5th after starting prep work in October. Did they have any meetings before the work started in October to let people know what was going on?
As Swrrrrly girl hinted: who cares what you think? Are you a traffic engineer? Or a cyclist? What probably happened was Nicole told them what was going on, they didn't raise any legitimate objections, so she went ahead. The lines went down. And then someone called someone else who called the Mayor, and BAM, overnight, the lines are gone. When has Menino's administration ever acted so quickly?
This city is infected with people that think that no matter how unqualified they are, they have a right to object to something.
The only difference in when the city listens, really, is how politically connected the people bitching are, or how important their neighborhood is. Charlestown is a Good Ol Boy neighborhood.
Someone asked why there was
Someone asked why there was no public meeting to discuss removing them. If there was no need to have a public meeting to discuss installing them before the work began, then there is no need to have a public meeting before removing them, thats the point.
Community meetings for road markings?
Good lord! No wonder it takes forever to do anything around here and it always gets done wrong.
Maybe they should hold a referendum on light timing at intersections next?
In any case, Main Street ain't the place these should go. Medford St. is the main bike highway through Charlestown - plenty of room to ride on that, and less random weaving oldsters, too.
Cripes! This is exactly why
Cripes! This is exactly why you do have community meetings. As you yourself point out, Main isn't the street for this.
Community members (for good, or bad), often have strong ideas about what should happen in their 'hood. And sometimes, it brings up points Outsiders haven't thought of.
Cripes! This is why you show up at community meetings!
Was there a community meeting
Was there a community meeting about bike lanes to show up to before the work began in October? So far, only mention of a meeting Nov 5 after work had started.
Medford St instead of Main St?
Medford Street is a fine place to bike, but it doesn't go through a business district and doesn't lead to any bridge to downtown Boston. Using it would take cyclists substantially out of the way from where they want to go, detouring them through the Navy Yard.
There is plenty of room for bike lanes on Main Street.
Business district? Charlestown has always been more of a residential area. Plus on Medford you have Jenny's Pizza and Newtown Market- what more can you need?
P.S. There is a little place called Chelsea Street before the Navy Yard so look at a map before you start crying about where things HAVE to go.
If you don't like it go through Cambridge/Somerville.
Business district - Thompson Square
Yes, Charlestown has a business district. It's not as large as Allston's or Roslindale's or JP's, but it's there and has a number of places people might want to bike to: a supermarket, a library, a post office, a couple of banks, a Store 24, a local independent coffee shop, a 99 restaurant, a Friendly's, etc.
Medford Street is pretty lacking in commercial attractions compared to Main Street.
2+ Years in the Navy Yard
Daily commute - Medford street. Same for my cycling coworkers, and they had been riding 4+ and 7 years on that route. We all used Medford and not Main because Main is narrow and harrowing to ride end to end.
Main meant constant in/out traffic on the street spaces. Main street also has psychotic bus drivers trying to make up time on impossible schedules and not giving a shit about who they kill. It is also too narrow for bike lanes that keep cyclists safely away from the constant flow of door hazards - I know, I used to ride it regularly to get groceries and to test whether or not it was a better route. Putting in a bike lane would force cyclists into the door zone, because the drivers would expect bikes to stay in it.
I would use Main only so far as to get to Foodmaster to stock up on lunch food. I'm not into that three dimensional video game called Door Hazard Jamboree when I only got one life.
Maybe it depends on time of day?
I've always found my rides down Main Street to be quiet and pleasant. Perhaps I was just hitting it later in the day than you were when commuting, or maybe I'm thinking more of my weekend experiences there. I usually found it far preferable to bumpy Beacon Street in Somerville, or the pre-reconstruction Somerville Avenue.
For the few weeks that the Main Street bike lanes existed, they didn't seem to me any more hazardous than those on Beacon St. or Somerville Ave., which also are between a narrow travel lane and curb parking.
I guess they prefer I take
I guess they prefer I take the entire lane when I bike there? Point taken, see you soon.
Be careful, in Charlestown they still think the offense of "trespas in a roadway" is on the books, imunizing them from liability for hitting someone while j-walking or being in the street sans car.
Nah - would rather you went
Nah - would rather you went somewhere else to have a temper tantrum.
Riding my bike down the
Riding my bike down the street is a temper tantrum?
Did you know that words mean things?
Did you know that words mean things?
Yes, Words: "I guess they
Words: "I guess they prefer I take the entire lane when I bike there?"
"I am a child that isn't getting my way so will act out."
Words:"Point taken, see you soon"
Translation: "A real scary threat to act out"
Don't get your lycra in a bunch --- O'Brien Highway is still open for you. - Have fun with the drawbridge.
Grimm the Clueless
Temper tantrum != "So, I guess I will continue to legally operate my vehicle in accordance with MA state law"
Temper tantrum = "I'm going to call you names! I'm going to say you are not being FAIIIRRRRR! I'm gonna whine and threaten you with heavy equipment because I can't be arsed to learn the rules of the road"
Yes, it is that simple. Can we see you turn in your license now until you grow up and learn to share and follow the rules?
If every bicyclist took up
If every bicyclist took up the whole lane as well as stopping a lights and stop signs, signaled turns, kept to the right side of the rode (with traffic) didn't ride on the sidewalk and stopped for pedestrians to cross.
But that is just as impossible as waiting for motor vehicle drivers to drive the speed limit and not be a-holes.
That's why I walk everywhere - all you people can't be trusted.
Just put a few cops on Main Street to hand out violations to cars and bikes for a couple of weeks - I'm sure that will generate enough money re-paint then sand the streets every few weeks.
November 5th meeting
A simple google search, folks.
But but but but but ...
NOBODY ASKED ME!
Where's my pony. They changed things and didn't give me my Pony. I was supposed to get a pony, too!
What a bunch of babies. So they screw riders because the city didn't bend over backwards for a neighborhood association?
if Nicole did her job
...had a ridership count, she could have said "well, you have ___ people a day using this road each morning between 7AM and 10AM and we've had ___ injuries in the last year here. We're hoping to increase ridership which can only help your businesses, and reduce injuries."
Then again, maybe she did, and the idiots just won't listen.
It's still pathetic to see Menino's not meeting his goal of 20 miles of bike lanes in 3 years. NYC and Chicago do that in a few weeks.
Contractor wasted no time removing lane markings
Did it at 4 a.m. one day last week:
Menino's not doing too good lately
And things seem to be getting a little out of hand. Anyone else think he might be appointing a successor soon, by stepping down?
no sense of professionalism
Excuse me, your Lordship.
First time city's ever removed bike lanes
Charlestown Patch reports, adds city officials couldn't say how much money was wasted striping, then unstriping the road.
So instead of asking the
So instead of asking the community if they liked the new lanes, they decided to spend $20,000+ (based on amounts reported in NY) to remove the lane before setting up a public meeting? And if a public meeting is now held and everyone says they like it, theyre going to go back and spend another $50,000 to paint them again...?
Where is all this money coming from?
No parking was removed, no lanes were removed. What was the problem?
WBZ-TV interviewed me tonight about this
A reporter phoned me after seeing my comment either here or at BostonBiker.org, so I biked over to Sullivan Square, talked to him, and rode up and down Main Street a couple times for the camera. They told me the story might run on tomorrow's 11 pm newscast.
During the 15 minutes while the reporter and I tried to find each other, I saw at least 10 other cyclists, despite the cold and darkness (this was after 5:30 pm).
WBZ-TV report on Charlestown bike lanes is now online
Here, as both text and video:
Charlestown bike lanes disappear
They had me ride up and down the removed bike lanes a few times to film this report. The only thing I didn't like is that they keep saying "bike path" when they mean "bike lane".