Saturday, February 16, 2008

New Bike Lanes On Comm Ave Near BU

Part of Commonwealth Avenue due east of Allston will soon be getting bike lanes, according to an announcement Thursday by the City of Boston.  The proposed bike lanes were part of Mayor Thomas Menino's State of the City speech on January 15, 2008.

The new lanes should be painted by summertime.

Mayor Menino has shown renewed interest in expanding the city's bicycle infrastructure since he took up bicycling himself last summer.  (No word on how often he has been keeping on the bike over the snowy winter.  I hope he has, because it's a great way to learn first-hand about mediocre snow removal and how quickly potholes can form during wintertime.)

The Boston Herald reports:
The city’s Boston Bikes department announced Thursday that the strip of Commonwealth Avenue between Kenmore Square and the BU Bridge will have 5-foot-wide bike lanes available in each direction by this summer.

The bike lanes will reallocate space on the street and sidewalks as part of a planned reconstruction of Commonwealth through the Boston University campus.

“That project ends at the bridge, so that’s why the bike lanes won’t be extended further, at least not (as) part of this project,” said David Watson, executive director of bicycling advocacy group MassBike...

That could mean eventually extending the bike lanes past the BU Bridge and into Allston, a college neighborhood full of cyclists and the scene of a bike fatality last spring when 23-year-old Kelly Wallace was struck by a motorist.

“The bulk of students (who commute) live in Allston,” said BU grad Diane Akerman, 24, of Somerville. “Whether they go to BU, Emerson or Berklee, they need to get down Comm. Ave.”...

But he expressed concern that the planned bike lane will sandwich riders between traffic and parked cars.

“It often winds up even more dangerous due to the chance of getting (struck by a car door), and motorists swerving across cyclists to snag a just-noticed parking spot,” Braiotta said.

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