Pat shares this rundown of the traffic situation on the narrowed Commercial Street after the recent installation of the cycle track.

A tour bus parked on the residential side of Commercial Street (now single lane traffic vs. 2 lanes pre bike lanes) blocked traffic while unloading passengers.

At least when Commercial St. was 2 lanes both ways before the cycle track, double parking (while illegal) to quickly unload groceries, have appliance delivered, furniture etc. did not create a safety hazard by forcing cars into oncoming traffic.

The tour bus parking is of course a whole other issue. The driver had a 93 year old passenger so he wanted to accommodate he or she. The bus did depart as soon as passengers were off bus.

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31 COMMENTS

    • It was also just a matter of time before I bicyclist got hurt on this street just to accommodate cars which are mostly driven by people who do not even live here. Boston would be a much better city of there were fewer cars and more bikes. I am happy the city is actually started to think about the necessary infrastructure for it.

  1. So let it be on your conscience when a kid gets hit by a car or bike when going to the pool next summer. Because you nee to ride a bike on commercial st.

    • When is the last time your rode a bike anywhere in Boston? Furthermore, when was the last time you rode a bike? Are you one of those folks that feels the need to drive your car from Charter Street to Endicott Street? Maybe we should all go back to riding horses like our good old neighbor Paul Revere.

      • I’d have to have my head examined before I rode a bike through the streets of Boston. You can’t even walk around the Charles River anymore because of these menaces.

  2. Like much of what goes on in Boston ,there is no enforcement of some of these menaces who ride their bikes through red light lights or down one way streets. This isn’t Seattle.

  3. One of the differences with todays society & the North End of today vs the North End that I grew up in is that my generation was the WE generation unlike today’s ME generation.

    • Okay. The argument that the only newcomers to the North End display a sense of self entitlement needs to stop. I could set up a whole other blog to counter that argument. Just last weekend, I saw an older woman who lives on Charter Street walk down to Commercial Street where she stole two construction cones use as space savers in front of her apartment. This woman and her husband drive a minivan and save the space
      every single time they move their car.I am sure a few people know of whom I speak. Are you telling me what this couple does does not scream me me me? Seriously.

      • The couple on Charter Street are both in their 80s and have a wheelchair bound daughter. While none of the handicapped spots in the neighborhood belong to anyone, they are installed at the request of people that need them. As was this one. I ride a bike in the city…the answer is less cars and more bikes and alternate means of transport.It will be a difficult but necessary adjustment.

        • Do you think that bike riders should A : obey the rules of the road? B:pay some sort of fee? Other than the cost of their bike’s they don’t pay anything, don’t need to be licensed, don’t need insurance. Maybe if the Mass transit system wasn’t such a disaster more people would not have to drive their cars into the city.We are supposed to give up our right to drive so you can ride a bike?

          • I am pretty sure most bikers pay taxes that build and maintain roads across this state. I can assure that your excise tax and gas tax are not paying the full freight as you may say. Also, nobody except for you said anything about banning cars.

        • I have no issue with the spot being installed for their benefit but this couple does not have exclusive use of the space. They are taking advantage of the situation without any regard for every other handicap person that may want to use it. This goes for every other person that does the same thing in this neighborhood.

  4. I’m talking about people who dislike the Feast’s [for whatever reason] and want them eliminated. I’m talking about people who think because they CHOOSE to ride a bike think that motor vehicles should be banned. I pay a huge freight to own & operate a car in this state & if I CHOOSE to drive 10 miles or 10 feet it should be on concern to you.

  5. I agree with both Michael and John. I think the bike lanes on commercial st are dangerous. I lived here my whole life and drive my kids to and from activities. There is definitely going to be an accident on Commercial Street for something we had no control of!!! Ride a bike down Charles not in the city.

  6. In a major city with many tiny one way streets, we’ve taken a lane away from one of the few multi-laned and heavily traveled streets to accommodate bicycles that will not be out in the midst of the ice and snow of winter. Rest assured that there will be accidents and the bumper to bumper rush hour traffic is going to back up like never before. Already cars are driving into on coming traffic to get around vehicles stopped. Sadly we will have to live with this poorly thought-out decision for a number of years before the city realizes it’s error.

    • If one projects ahead to a winter like we had a couple of years ago Commercial St could become a one lane road. Snow has to be plowed and pushed to the side narrowing the street even more. If an oil delivery truck or someone getting a water heater delivered etc. (all of which are necessary and likely) the trucks have to double park while performing their service next to snow banks. We can only hope both lanes on the water side are completely plowed so traffic on the residential side can go around service trucks. It is a very dangerous scenario. (plus there is always the potential for a really big wake at Langones!) Obviously the flow of traffic is impeded forcing backups throughout the area.
      You are right that commercial Street functioned as a main thoroughfare channeling traffic relatively well. I even thought the designated bike lanes worked since vehicles on both sides could always pull into the 2nd lane to go around the bicyclist.

  7. The building & maintenance of roads is paid for from the Federal & State tax on gasoline.The list of taxes & fees associated with owning an operating a motor vehicle in the city of Boston is endless & too long to post here.If you need a license to own a dog you should need a license to operate a bike, plus a Helmut law..Plenty of people have proposed banning cars in Boston so I’m not the only one who mentioned banning motor vehicles.The only thing that drives me more crazy than watching people on bikes blow through red lights & drive down one way streets & watching thousands of “Zombies” walking the streets of the city staring at a smart phone is seeing an imbecile riding a skateboard on COMM AVE DURING RUSH HOUR.

    • The gas tax does not pay for the full cost of road construction and maintenance. You are factually wrong.

      “Gas taxes and other fees paid by drivers now cover less than half of road construction and maintenance costs nationally – down from more than 70 percent in the 1960s – with the balance coming chiefly from income, sales and property taxes and other levies on general taxpayers.”

      http://www.uspirg.org/reports/usp/who-pays-roads

  8. That’s a bogus report. the gimmick is that $$$$$$ from the State gas tax has been diverted to help pay down the massive debt of the MBTA & keep it up & running.[good luck with that prospect} The other gimmick is to keep raising the taxes on gasoline to rebuild the roads, of course the roads never get repaired.

    • I should have added that in addition to the fees & taxes associated to owning a motor vehicle in this state, I have to pay a portion of the gas tax to SUBSIDIZE a transit system that can’t get it’s commuters from point A to point B that I never use, but in Boston & Mass we have to take care of the unions.

      • And a lot of taxes I pay go toward public schools yet I have no kids. Other taxes go to fight drug additiction yet I am clean. The point is we all pay towards a lot of things we don’t use, but that is part of living in a functioning modern day civilization. Sorry. Looks like the sun is coming out. I may go for a long bike ride and check on the status of that awesome new bike lane.

  9. You are right that bus blocks a traffic lane forcing all traffic into the path of potentially oncoming traffic. It’s dangerous no matter how you look at it. Bicyclers can simply dismount and walk safely around the hazard. Motorists can’t do anything buy stop and wait or risk a head-on collision. Bicycles aren’t issue.

    The tour buses and many of the out of neighborhood cars occupying resident spaces are here not for the residents, but to patronize restaurants in the North End. Many times the paid lots are full to capacity. Let’s face it, on Saturday I try to avoid walking on Hanover St. Tour buses can dump people over in Fanuel Hall, but the only options in the North End are Commercial and Cross Streets. If we want their business, we should provide better options. But again you can’t avoid the fact that the North End is heavily commercialized and the largest draw are the eateries. More people visit Mike’s Pastry than visit the Old North Church.

    A possible solution is a restaurant tax with each service. The revenue could be used to A) Build spaces that are subsidized by the businesses that benefit from tourism or B) increased enforcement of parking and public space violators, such as we see here. Actually you should have got a picture of the buss’ tag. There might already be a fine for this.

    Off the topic: Boston is more doenut friendly than bicycle friendly. I visited the North Side of Chicago recently. Friends there keep “guest” bikes. Chicago is bicycle friendly, my friend says that most of this country’s bikes were produced there at one time, Schwinn, Huffy or if you were low end like me, Sears brands. The waterfront has lanes that keep bikes away from traffic and pedestrians. Rails-to-Trails convert old rail lines to take you through the urban center. Divvy bikes make for a much faster commute to work, free for the first hour. North Side is a lot like the North End now. Businesses and residents do a lot more to accommodate each other.

    Lastly, some of you need to join the new century. The new term is Urban Hipster, not YUPPIES. Makes you sound like you still live in the 1970’s.

    • I’m a commuter – as are most of you, I expect. I commute by bike. I am not going to “dismount” to walk around an untenable piece of infrastructure or road blockage unless is presents an immediate threat to my life. I need to get to work to earn money to pay my taxes for your social security and children’s public schooling, neither of which benefit me. But I still pay 🙂

      Can I ask the last time you got out of your car to “push,” or to maneuver around an obstruction? Right. I agree that Boston infrastructure is built for cars. To that end, I and many cyclists have no sympathy for old-schoolers voicing resistance to Boston streets becoming multi-use and safer for all, perhaps at the expense of motor vehicle convenience.

      On the subject of paying my fair share, in addition to my bike maintance costs I pay registration, license, parking, excise tax, gas tax and all other fees associated with the car I choose NOT to use in Boston. My choosing a bike over my car benefits people with disabilities, out-of-town visitors, future Medicare costs and the environmental health of your and my future grandchildren.

      You’re welcome.

      • Molly or is it it Muffy?. your purple heat is in the mail’ spoken like a true tree hugger.So you pay for peoples social security?I was under the impression that people who receive SS paid into the system by working all their lives.Of course you & other bike riders have no sympathy for “old schoolers” whatever that means/Is it the Italian organ grinder with the black handlebar mustachio & the monkey?

        • Molly; Thank you for doing your part. Michael, you are very much mistaken about social security. Also, Muffy? Really? When clearly the stated name, even if not their real one, is Molly.

          “Social Security is, and always has been, an inter-generational transfer of wealth. The taxes paid by today’s workers and their employers don’t go into dedicated individual accounts (although 32% of Americans think they do, according to the 2014 Pew Research survey). Nor do Social Security checks represent a return on invested capital, though you might be forgiven for thinking so since the “personalized Social Security statements” that used to be mailed out once a year and now are available online detail your payment history and projected monthly benefits. Rather, the benefits received by today’s retirees are funded by the taxes paid by today’s workers; when those workers retire, their benefits will be paid for by the next generation of workers’ taxes (caveat: see Point 3). Your benefit amount is based on your earnings history and age at retirement, not on how much you and your employer paid in Social Security taxes (although for most people, taxes paid are closely tied to their earnings).”

          http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/08/18/5-facts-about-social-security/

          • Every generation has paid into Social Security so no one person is making a great sacrifice to fund it. It isn’t voluntary although that was the promise made when SS was introduced .There is no cash in a SS fund & never has been .Just more empty & broken promises from our Govt.The Tolls in Ma were supposed to be abolished once the price of the Tunnels & Mystic River bridge projects were paid for ,they have been paid 20 times over & the tolls remain & increase every year.

  10. You make some valid points ,but it is the Mayor’s office & the chamber of commerce who are only interested in bringing more & more people into the NE to deposit their $$$$$$.They are not concerned with dealing or fixing the problems that turning the NE into Orlando bring.

  11. Mayor’s office and the Chamber Of Commerce are just politicians who manage reelection campaigns, mainly their own. They will make lots of promises, but keep none. I truly believe they will do as little as possible as long as the revenue streams just keep on flowing. Citizens need to take the lead toward solutions. The North End has been generally good at getting what it wants. Remember what they wanted to do with the current Green Way after the Big Dig finished and Bay State Lobster, cramming a full grocery store in there. We would have sky scrapers and traffic congestion ringing the North End if it weren’t for the citizen meetings. I attended those meetings and the Mayor wasn’t there. The BRA had to be dragged in kicking and screaming. They weren’t made to feel comfortable either. We were able to fight off the bad solutions, but really need to lead them to the good solutions. If left to their own devices, I don’t think they have the imagination.

    We have very strong neighborhood associations that we have dealt effectively with these situations in the past. Parking is a long term problem that has been a tough nut to crack. Funding has been elusive. Getting the funds and having them earmarked one way toward getting things finally done.

  12. The issue is not bikes or the bike lane. I bike on commercial daily and the bike lane is a welcome inclusion to a growing number of bikers in the city. The amount of double parked cars, buses, commercial trucks are the issue. They have no concern that they are blocking off an entire lane on an already heavily under construction street. Many cars double park in bike lanes even when there are plenty of spaces and parking lots available. Which means bikes have to shift into the available lane. I stop at lights, signal when i turn wear a helmet and do not speed through the city. These people are lazy, and selfish. Let’s not go after bikers, they exist weather you like it or not. A safe passage for them is THE only answer.

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