Dozens of business owners, cycling advocates and residents gathered on Thursday evening for the presentation of a cycle track design as part of the reconstruction of Causeway Street. Led by city officials, the meeting specifically pertained to the Bulfinch Triangle/West End neighborhood section of “Connect Historic Boston.” This is a $23 million program to link the city’s historic districts for access on foot and bike, partially funded by the Federal Highway Administration. The project aims to create a figure-8 loop that allows for a 4 mile continuous trail throughout Downtown Boston connecting mass transit hubs and increasing transportation choices in conjunction with Hubway bike rental stations. The beginning of construction is set to take place in the fall of 2014.
For Causeway Street, the design expands on the BRA’s Crossroads Initiative for the Bulfinch Triangle that will widen existing sidewalks by 7 feet.
For bikes, a new 2-way cycle track will be installed in the center median section of Causeway Street separated from traffic by a 2 foot buffer. Cycle Tracks are dedicated bike lanes separated from motor vehicles. They are the focus of the Connect Historic Boston initiative and intended to improve cycling safety and support all experience levels.
A main point of emphasis was placed on the Canal Street and Causeway street intersection. Officials believe this is and will be a pivotal outlet for the TD Garden. Left turns out of Canal Street will be eliminated.
On Staniford Street, bike signals will be added to intersections. The median will be removed to create more room, which will allow for more parking and the addition of a cycle track. Cycle tracks will be elevated except at intersections where they will be brought down to the same elevation as the road.
When the floor was opened for questions, there was a wide range of questions and concerns raised by cyclists and residents.
- How will snow be removed from the cycle tracks?
- Attendees expressed the need for physical and visual differentiation between cycle tracks and sidewalks.
- Why raise the cycle tracks and have them lowered in each intersection? Some cyclists said that would be a literal “pain in the ass.”
A similar meeting was held the night before in the North End regarding a proposed cycle track along Commercial Street and Atlantic Avenue. See “Proposed Cycle Track to Bring Bike Lanes up to Sidewalk Level in North End / Waterfront.”
Presentations and more information have been posted on the Connect Historic Boston Bike Trail website. Future meetings on the cycle tracks are expected to be held in mid-December.