At an April 28, 2011 public meeting at the Nazzaro Center, city officials presented various options for a bike lane in the North End on Commercial St. and Atlantic Ave., from Hull St. to the Greenway. Bolstered by strong support from Mayor Menino, the City is introducing bike lanes in many neighborhoods throughout Boston. The bike lanes would provide North Enders and visitors a link to four areas: 1) Charlestown, 2) the Charles River path 3) future Greenway bike lanes and 4) Harborwalk.
The City’s consultants have been working with residents and bike advocate groups on concepts that would minimize the loss of parking spaces while increasing the safety of bicyclists.
All of the designs presented remove one southbound lane from Commercial St. and Atlantic Ave. This would result in two northbound lanes and one southbound lane. According to the City’s analysis, the loss of one southbound lane will not have a material impact on traffic congestion.
The proposed hybrid route has a buffered “cycle track” lane on the harbor side of the street (northbound) and a standard painted lane next to traffic on the interior side (southbound) of the street. The northbound cycle track lane creates a dedicated lane away from vehicle traffic next to the curb. This moves the parked cars away from the curb further into the street. The buffered cycle track could also have flexible bollards to define the area between the bike lane and parked cars. On the southbound side of the street, the bike lane is more standard where parked cars would stay next to the curb and the proposed bike lane would be in the road next to vehicle traffic.
Several concerns were discussed by residents and bike advocates at the meeting, including funeral parking, double-parking in front of the ball fields on Commercial St., removal of parking spaces, MBTA/Trolley buses, Segways, valet activity, snow removal, enforcement and coordination with the ongoing HazMat Truck Route study.
The hybrid proposed concept would remove 5-10 parking spaces (6% of total). It was also mentioned that proposed city ordinances would allow Segways to use the bike lanes.
Click to view a pdf file with the slides from the bike lane presentation. (Courtesy: City of Boston, Bikes Program)
Nicole Freedman, from the City’s Boston Bikes program, said the City would hold a follow-up meeting in hopes of attracting more neighborhood participation. Comments can also be sent via email to Nicole.Freedman.BRA@cityofboston.gov.
The video below contains the presentation by city officials and their consultants from Toole Design Group. (Click the play button on the video.)
The video shown below includes the question and answer period between bike lane officials and residents. (Click on the play button to start.)
The image shown below is the layout of the proposed hybrid concept for a bike lane on Commercial St. and Atlantic Ave. in the North End.
Comments on the North End Bike Lane can be emailed to Nicole.Freedman.BRA@cityofboston.gov.