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Cycle Track in North End set for Paving by November 2016

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 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.

August 2016 Cycle Track Progress (Pink=Constructed, Green=Ongoing, Yellow=To Be Constructed)

18 Replies to “Cycle Track in North End set for Paving by November 2016

  1. No worries Marty Walsh. When us with families need to go get groceries, or bring out kids to wherever they need to go, we’ll just order takeout or call uber. You don’t give one flying care whatsoever about keeping families in the city. Remember where you came from city boy.

    1. I’m confused, what’s your complaint? That they just made it easier for families with kids in the NE to ride their bikes to the park? Seriously, what are you complaining about?

      1. Is that all that’s involved in raising a family in the city? Going to the park? Don’t have kids, you’ll fail as a parent.

    2. The funding and plans for this project were announced on 6 September 2013. Marty Walsh was elected in November of that year.

      1. @jc
        So the Mayor is anti-family? I assume “jc’ stands for JOHN CONNOLLY. Sounds like sour grapes! I’m also sure you are one of the neighborhood’s newer residents who priced out an old family or over paid for a building that was once the home of a family owned grocery store or butcher shop. You see at one time before all you pretty people showed up this neighborhood was heaven on earth. Locally owned family businesses and peace and quiet after 10 p.m.. We didn’t have to leave the North End to shop. Now your inconvenienced by the changes that have been driven by the new residents (you)! I have funny joke to tell you….My mother used get a parking spot in front of my house every night. Now I pay 300 to park. Best of luck in the urban jungle!

        1. I have a resident sticker (don’t tell anyone, but all the ‘pretty people’ do). Enjoy that $300/mth.

          1. @jc
            Your what I would refer to as a North End “wanna be”. It’s ok not everyone gets to grow up down here. We’ll make you an honorary resident if you’d like. But next time your driving around the neighborhood with your resident sticker looking for a spot think of me! I’m parked and home by then diving into a nice dish of pasta. No way your Ramen noodles taste that good!

  2. The traffic congestion on Commercial Street since putting in the cycle lanes reminds me of the congestion during the Big Dig, only worse. The big difference now is the safety factor. Drivers can’t see pedestrians and pedestrians can’t see which cars are parked and which are moving. Between the ball games, those using the pool, runners, trucks, funeral home parking, and trolley tours it’s a mess. I’ve seen frustrated drivers trying to navigate all of the obstacles (not to mention folks making u-turns) and cringe at the number of potential accidents. I can only imagine what it’ll be like in the fall when the tour buses line Commercial Street. I’m all for bike lanes however, the planning in this case seems to have missed the mark.

  3. You don’t need a cycle track in the North End, The North End is a very small community. Its a shame and a disgrace what is going on with all the construction. You have put our HEALTH in so much jeopardy and also the loss of what the North End represents. Shame!!!!!!!

  4. Don’t forget in the fall when students go back to the Eliot building at 585 Charter. By the time drivers sit through traffic all the way around the north end they get by the school at pick up or dismissal and are aggressive. Swerving around school buses and kids, not to mention all the other traffic logistics you mentioned- oh yeah- and segways! The crossing guard for 585 had a very hard time at the end of the last school year and it looks like it will be worse as this construction finishes and even once it is done. Whoever decided we didn’t need the additional lane on Commercial should come to the neighborhood and defend this.

    1. You are absolutely correct about the Eliot School students. I have watched that crossing guard and he does his very best, but it’s impossible for him to see where the cars/trucks, children, runners, etc. are coming from. It’s a very dangerous situation, I fear.

  5. The entire project has been a nightmare. Very stressful for residents. Parking is non-existent on that end of the neighborhood. And of course it is running behind, making the entire situation worse.

    AND additional public works projects going on on Salem, Charter, Hull…. Don’t they think to limit the projects to mitigate the inconvenience of residents? There needs to be a limit in the number of work permits issued in a given area. This has been a trying time for all. JC is right- too difficult for families and residents in the city.

  6. Right JC… Because all the other streets in this neighborhood and surrounding area have no traffic at all… Im sure youll miss the days of two lanes on Commercial so you drive 45mph on a 1/4 mile stretch just to hit the traffic and reds @ N Washington or the Greenway.

  7. What are you gonna pave it with? It sure ain’t asphalt, because the plants stop making it when the nights drop below freezing (sometime in October, usually). It costs too much to keep the asphalt heated during the winter and it sets up horribly in the cold. They’re a buncha dumbasses. Contractors do use a type of asphalt in the winter, it’s called cold-patch. It means what it says, it’s a patch, not a method of paving. Who’s footing the bill for the extra it will cost to cold-patch it in November and replace it next summer? Somehow I think it’s the taxpayer will, due to “cost overruns”. These bike lanes will just become another place to put snow after a storm. Shameful and wasteful; wouldn’t be Boston politics without it.

  8. How are UPS, FedEx, oil delivery trucks, moving vans et al going to park on Commercial St. to conduct their business since one side of the road is now a single lane and double parking to make a delivery forces cars into oncoming traffic. Perhaps drones will be bringing Amazon orders instead of trucks. Was any thought given to winter conditions when these services are trying to make deliveries and the road is narrowed down even more due to snow plowing! Is the cycle track going to be plowed for all the families biking between December and March and who pays for that service? Is it included in the 23 million of federal money that created this “historic connector”? And….what a joke it is behind schedule.

    1. The city really needs to create more loading zones/drop-off zones, even if just for daytime hours. The people making deliveries should not have to rely on double parking in order to do their job. This isn’t just a problem in the North End, either.

  9. Does anyone know if part of this project involves repaving Commercial St. along the new bike path? Through various recent utility work the street has become a total mess, full of temporary fixes and potholes.

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