Public Works updated neighborhood residents on the status of the North End Cycle Track, part of the federally-funded bikeway under the Connect Historic Boston project. The contractor is running behind schedule, according to DPW’s Kay Barned-Smith who presented at the August 11, 2016 meeting of the North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA).
By November 2016, the Commercial Street Cycle Track should be mostly complete and paved from Charter Street to just past Fleet Street by Lewis Wharf. Work will recommence in the Spring 2017 toward Christopher Columbus Park including the paving of the roadway and finishing sidewalk work. New decorative lamps are being installed on both sides of the street. There is also funding for reconstruction of the Freedom Trail from Hull Street along Commercial in front of the Brinks garage.
The Cycle Track is a sidewalk level, family-friendly, two-way protected path for bicyclists on the harbor side of Atlantic Avenue and Commercial Street. It will also connect to another cycle track along Causeway Street which is undergoing a complete reconstruction.
Some neighbors have contacted NorthEndWaterfront.com with concerns about the Charter Street intersection / curve. Commercial Street is being narrowed by roughly 10 feet as the existing bike lanes are removed. The street will have two Northbound lanes and one lane going South, the same configuration since the second Southbound traffic lane was removed when the old bike lanes were installed.
The bikeway work has involved moving the curbs further into the street while relocating all sewer openings. In addition, there are many underground utilities that have to be worked around or relocated. The number of parking spaces is expected to be roughly the same as before the cycle track, although some are currently being taken up by construction.