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Residents Want a Pedestrian Only Northern Avenue Bridge

Residents voiced their concerns Wednesday night at a community meeting in the Seaport as plans move forward for a renovated Northern Avenue Bridge.

Built in 1908, today’s Northern Avenue Bridge was in service for over a century, before it was closed in 2014. The city is now hoping to rebuild the 110 year old bridge for a new era. According to developers, the bridge will be climate change resilient. The city is anticipating the completion of the bridge to be in 2022.

There are many different options for the bridge in terms of designs and a final design will be chosen next Fall.

One of the biggest decision developers still need to figure out is whether or not the bridge will allow for motor vehicles to travel on it or not.

Many of the neighbors at the crowded meeting Wednesday night voiced their support for a pedestrian and bicycle only bridge.

“There is a huge demand for people to cross the river in a low stress way,” said Wendy Landman. “The bridge used to be a magical place for walking and biking. It could be again.”

“People used to dance on that bridge. They would get their photograph taken,” said Anita Johnson.

Developers are also considering developing a High Occupancy Vehicle lane for buses and shuttles and ride shares carrying at least three people only. Some said since the Silver Line is the only way to get into the Seaport via public transportation, a transit lane on the bridge could be helpful.

Residents and community members who said they don’t want cars allowed to travel on the bridge did agree that emergency vehicles should be able to use the bridge in emergency situations.

Before the bridge closed in 2014, the bridge only allowed pedestrians and cyclists. Cars were banned from the bridge in 1997 due to weight concerns.

Developers said they were also considering designs that allowed for cars to travel in each direction or only westbound exiting the Seaport.

Officials said they want to get as much input as they from residents before they make a final decision on design plans.

More information and comment input at NorthernAveBridgeBos.com.

8 Replies to “Residents Want a Pedestrian Only Northern Avenue Bridge

  1. Great idea!!! Maybe we can make I-95 a pedestrian only highway! That way people can dance and take pictures!!!

    On a serious note that area is highly congested. The seaport is a city in itself. Delivery trucks are exiting and entering all day long. It would be foolish not to allow vehicles to use the bridge. It would greatly reduce congestion.

    1. Induced demand, google it. Adding more spaces for cars to drive won’t do anything, it’ll just mean more roads covered in congestion.

      It would be foolish to double down on garbage planning like that, time to seriously look at congestion pricing, car-free streets in select areas and increasing parking costs.

      1. I know a little bit about induced demand and it’s not very impressive. For every article there is praising it there are more criticizing the theory. Because it sounds nice as a theory but doesn’t materialize well. Especially in the US. You should try googling it.

        While your googling it you should google the history of the traffic in Phoenix. Quite interesting.

      2. Mikey, check out these articles showing how induced demand works:

        Kentucky spends $1.3 billion on a bridge only to discover that charging a toll makes traffic disappear:

        Texas spends $2.3 billion to make the widest freeway in the world (23 lanes!) only to discover that traffic is worse today than before:

        California spends $1.6 billion to widen Interstate 405 in Los Angeles only to discover that traffic is worse today than before:

        The great news is that induced demand works for walking, biking, and transit! The more money we spend on walking, biking, and transit infrastructure, the more people will walk, bike, or ride transit. Fortunately, all three take up oodles less space to transport considerably way more people–especially in a dense city like Boston.

          1. The fact that you think that people just walk and bike for fun just shows how little you know. Also, I’m originally from DC and very few people in the DC area read the Examiner because they know that its journalism is subpar. Try reading some real fact-based journalism for a change.

    2. Hi
      I have been using the bridge since the 1950s
      I now live at the corner of northern ave and sleeper street looking down on this end of the bridge . If you get a chance to take a look at northern avenue starting in front of the court house it’s brutally congested with traffic both ways up and down northern avenue as well as a green bike lane now and also in front of the courthouse they put out orange cones so cars have to vear around the cones and cannot stop in front of the courthouse . It’s so bad I have to almost jump into a moving lift or uber as they have nowhere to stop for the 325 apts at 25 northern avenue 😹it’s scarey sometimes! If and when the bridge is finally put back together ; bikes would be the only thing it could handle ; it is obsolete for cars or buses ; it would be nice for walking and secure bike lanes ; only secure bike lanes 🎄so the walkers would not get hit by the bikes 🎄

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