Event Notices

Shared Bike Lane to be Installed on Salem Street

The following announcement comes from the Boston Bikes program out of City Hall. The shared bike lane markings will be put down once Salem Street is paved in mid-October.

Mayor Menino’s Boston Bikes
Bike Lane Installation on Salem Street
Fall, 2013


The City of Boston will be installing the following types of bike facilities on Salem Street:

Shared lane markings – Shared lane markings are pavement markings that designate the road for shared use between cyclists and drivers.

Why install bike facilities? The Cross Street Hubway station is one of the most popular stations in the entire system.  The markings are aimed to provide a safe alternative to Hanover Street.  The plan is consistent with recommendations in the Boston Bike Network Plan.

What about safety?  Bike facilities are proven to make the roads safer for all users.  They do so in the following ways:

  • Designate a safe riding zone for cyclists;
  • Encourage cars to drive at slower, safer speeds;
  • Encourage cyclists to bicycle and drivers to drive more respectfully and predictably; and,
  • Make pedestrians and drivers more aware of cyclists.

What are the project limits and scope? Cross Street to Charter Street

What is involved with installation?  Work typically takes place over 1-3 nights

Will parking be impacted?  No parking will be removed.

Will traffic be impacted?  No travel lanes will be removed and traffic will not be impacted by this project.

Contact Nicole Freedman, Bike Programs Director, 617-918-4456, nicole.freedman@cityofboston.gov

Boston Bikes is part of Mayor Menino’s vision for a vibrant and healthy city that benefits all its citizens. It seeks to make Boston a world-class bicycling city by creating safe and inviting conditions for all.

35 Replies to “Shared Bike Lane to be Installed on Salem Street

  1. Dumbest idea yet. A shared bike lane on a narrow one way street with barely enough room for cars. Also a street where residents are forced to walk in the street because of lines of people @ Bovas and the restaurants, illegal sandwich boards and benches making it impossible to walk on the sidewalk.

    1. One can hardly walk up Salem with all the pedestrian traffic, trucks etc. -now a bike lane ?it’s somewhat dangerous on some of the broader main streets around here- never mind a narrow street. Half of us wind up walking in the street due to overcrowded sidewalks! One really needs to rethink this.I am not opposed to bike lanes( my husband bikes to work everyday) but not on busy Salem St !

  2. Please confused, stop your whining. It’s just a marker to make people aware of bicycles, that’s it. It’s not partitioning a special section of the road for cyclists only. And, those so-called illegal sandwich boards and benches, and the crowds at Bova’s are part of what adds charm to the neighborhood. Would you prefer the neighborhood to be managed more orderly and restrictive.. like prison? Not me.

    1. I’m not sure why this is getting so much flak, the poster is correct – it’s a marker, not a full restricted lane. If people bike up Salem frequently, then it’s decent that the city adds markings to remind vehicles that there may be bikes on the street. This is a safety feature.

  3. What are they thinking not enough room for a car now you have to look out for people walking on the street bikes on the street and anything else in the way is the big Guy in city hall feeling ok or did he just lose it all at once

  4. Ridiculous idea. Salem Street is too congested for a bike lane. You can hardly make the turn onto Cooper Street on a weekend night as it is.

  5. Who thinks up these ideas. Salem street is a former cow path that can not even handle pedestrian traffic. Who is this idea serving other than the global warming yahoo’s? How about restricting bikes on Salem AND Hanover street. Seems to me that this is only accommodating the transient student population that is “trashing” the same streets now. Salem st finally sees improvements but now will put pedestrians in danger. Dumb, dumb, dumb!

    1. Well actually there are many long time North End residents who are adults, working in the city that ride bikes on those streets as well. For a tight street like Salem it may not make sense but Hanover it does. How about people not double parking on Hanover or just parking in the middle of any street wherever people feel like it?

  6. I can understand the frustrations but some of these comments seem misguided. The Notification clearly says that the City is not installing a dedicated bike lane per se (like the ones on Commercial Street) – all they are doing are painting some bike symbols on the street for awareness and to help make thing safer for everyone. Nothing changes. No parking spots are lost. The driving lane remains as-is. This doesn’t mean that Salem St will be all of a sudden flooded with bikes. It would be no different if the City just put up signs on posts that showed a bike symbol and said “Share the Road”. The shared bike line signage will not “attract” more bikes – it’s simply a way to make drivers more alert to what’s already happening.

      1. John, same way all other road marking projects are paid for, through tax revenue. Do you whine when they re-paint the lane markings on roads too?

  7. Absolutely ridiculous! If there are bike lanes throughout the city, when will they start ticketing all the bikes that go through the red lights, dart in front of me while walking or driving and generally do not adhere to traffic rules.
    If it is difficult on Commonwealth Ave at rush hours, Salem and Hanover really?

    1. ThankYou. Why are cyclists not remined to Be Aware of Pedestrians. The entire city is a hazard at crosswalks.

      1. What a waste of money. If there’s no designated lane, you don’t need to “remind” drivers (who are probably going less than 15mph on that street) that they have to share the road with bikes.

    2. Good point, I guess not since they also don’t ticket cars that run yellow lights, cross solid or double yellow lines, make illegal u-turns, drive the wrong way down one way streets, fail to signal properly with a blinker, don’t stop for a full three seconds at stop signs… i could go on, but auto drivers are actually worse offenders when it comes to traffic violations, and bikers do not have the luxury of being protected by metal plating and seat belts.

  8. Sounds great. We need more people on bikes, not in cars. You want to make Salem st better for everyone? That’s how you do it.

    1. Making a bike lane on an already congested street will not make one person change from a car to a bike…not one. Not sure how that issue and the bike lane on Salem are related. So can bikers use the bike lane to go the wrong way down Salem St.? Because is see that dozens of times a day.

      1. Calling you on your exaggeration John…

        The only wrong way cyclist I continuously see on Salem St. is the delivery guy from Pauli’s… I’ve also never seen him peddle that thing… must have an electrical motor on it to transport those giant Lobster rolls

      2. They aren’t building a bike lane. They are putting some paint down to make it clearer to drivers that they should watch for bikes.

  9. I don’t think most people here have a problem with people riding bikes I think it has more to do with an ill conceived plan.Spend the $$$ on trash receptacles and/or surveillance cameras.

    1. All they are doing is painting a few markers on the road. If done efficiently, it should take a crew of a couple guys one night and a couple cans of paint. Very, very small cost, and also very minimal effect on the traffic situation.

  10. I think the concern that people have is that if bike lane markers are installed on Salem St. it will encourage more people to bike down an already crowded street. Between the cars and people, it is already very difficult to navigate down the street. Personally, I rarely ever see someone riding their bike down Salem street, so I see no need to install bike lane markers. I think there are other, more relevant streets in Boston the need bike lane markers – Salem Street is not one of those streets.

  11. People really need to read the press release! It is not a Bike Lane! They just plan to mark the road – no reduction in width, no reduction in parking, etc.

    Stop being so quick to think something bad is happening all the time please

  12. How about we fix the street first?! Salem Street is a mess! You would be safer traveling on a dirt road than on that Street!

  13. will bike markers on the street enforce the bikers to drive in one the direction the street supposedly goes or does it even matter that bikers drive into on coming traffic like they own the rd??????

  14. Maybe they’ll have to get rid of parking as a consequence to the new bike lane — let’s see how many “thumbs down” this comment generates!

  15. I think it’s outrageous that there are so many groups excluded that are common on Salem St. that drivers will not be reminded of! We must demand the addition of a pedestrian graphic, a dog graphic, 3 tourists walking slow blocking the street graphic, a drunk person squatting relieving themselves graphic, a pile of vomit graphic and a broken bag of trash graphic I find the insensitivity toward these other groups grossly unfair and insensitive 😉

  16. Why not kick the cars off of Salem Street? I think a restriction to delivery and emergency vehicles only would probably work well (and it would probably help emergencies be attended to and deliveries be made more quickly).

    Making Salem a pedestrian & bicycle only zone would make the street much safer (see all the comments above re: pedestrians spilling over into the street) help relieve the pedestrian & bicycle congestion on Hanover by providing an attractive alternate route.

    1. Your suggesting closing down parking on Salem St Why don’t we eliminate parking in the entire neighborhood to make it more “friendly” for bike riders and people who like to jog thru the neighborhood.You have to be kidding me?

    2. I’ve mad this suggestion before and people go wild with the thumbs down votes, but I agree with you in principle. I think the middle ground is to remove the street parking on Salem. You widen the sidewalks and add a bike lane. You want to park a car, you find somewhere else to park or pony up the money for a private spot. Don’t like it? move elsewhere.

      1. Absolutely agreed, Salem Street Guy. This neighborhood doesn’t need to have parking on every street. I find it baffling that so many people insist on having cars here. After all, the business district a short walk away, we have easy access to the Orange & Green lines as well as the Commuter Rail, and Zip Cars are readily available (and can quickly expand if demand increased). Many of the cars that I see parked on my street move only to accommodate the street cleaning schedule, which shows that they aren’t being used regularly.

        If we could place heavy restrictions on vehicles in the area (with reasonable accommodations/exceptions to those who genuinely need a private vehicle constantly available to them), we could do a lot to make the neighborhood safer and quieter.

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