Bike Lane Changes on Commercial Street Causing Traffic Congestion

Traffic congestion along Commercial Street has significantly increased since a southbound traffic lane was removed for the new bike lanes, as shown from the afternoon rush hour taken this week. (Photo by Matt Conti)

This came in from the neighborhood bat line: “Matt, why is no one talking about the unbelievable traffic congestion on Commercial Street since they changed the lanes (removing a vehicle lane to make room for bike lanes)?

Ok, we’ll start. It’s true, driving on Commercial Street from Battery St. to Cross St./Atlantic Ave., less than a half-mile, can take 20 minutes or longer during the morning and evening rush hours. Especially bad pinch points are around Battery Wharf, Lincoln Wharf and the Fleet St. intersections. The street markings were recently realigned from last Fall after a faulty installation.

As part of the Mayor’s bike lane initiative, one southbound traffic lane was removed and bike lanes were installed in October 2011. At a series of community meetings, Boston Transportation Department presented a traffic analysis projecting “removal of travel lane SB does not impact traffic operations.” See the slides presented below.

So much for theoretical analysis. But hey, there is plenty of room in the bike lanes!

Source: City of Boston (Boston Bikes) April 2011 Presentation

3 Replies to “Bike Lane Changes on Commercial Street Causing Traffic Congestion

  1. It’s amazing that the major spent so much money on these…and bikers still ride all over the sidewalks. Not a week goes by that I don’t come close to getting hit by one on the greenway, or near hanover and cross.

  2. Thank you for starting the conversation about this Matt. I am extremely concerned about this issue, and its negative impact on the waterfront specifically.

    It can take a southbound traveler 15-20 minutes to get from Langone Park to Fleet St. We are all witnessing this dramatic change in congestion and delays and can now validate that the “Traffic Analysis” that was created for the bike lanes/segway lanes was clearly WRONG in its assumptions.

    I know it perhaps “feels good” to have a bike friendly city, but from what I have seen in the past few months it is just dangerous and adds yet another hazardous element of lack of safety to our city streets. In addition since there is no enforcement of any kind, the bike path is dangerous for bikers and motorists alike.

    I urge neighborhood members to call the Mayors Hotline to express your concerns.
    24-hour Hot Line 617-635-4500

    1. Who pays for the bike lanes? It’s not the bikers and there is no recourse if they break any laws since they are not required to register their bikes. Americans are in love w/ their cars and will continue to be the dominant mode of transportation for most Americans….people need to deal with that.

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