Health & Environment Transportation

Healthy Streets Phase Two: Bus Priority Corridors; Permanent Bike Lanes

The second phase of the Healthy Streets Program, an initiative to support a safe reopening and equitable recovery from COVID-19, includes new, permanent bus priority lanes and connected bike lanes to provide safe access to jobs and open spaces.

Before and after photos of the protected bike lane on Tremont Street.

Bike Routes

In late July, the City created “pop-up” bike lanes on many streets in the downtown core. The lanes, which were in planning as part of the Connect Downtown project, created safe, separated bike facilities. Many of these bike lanes will become permanent additions to the street network this fall, including on Tremont Street, Boylston Street, Charles Street, Beacon Street, and Arlington Street.

Traffic signals will be adjusted to improve safety and predictability. Additional planning and design work will continue through the winter to improve intersections for people walking and to grow this network of bike lanes.

Bus Lanes

The City, in partnership with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), will be adding bus priority to three corridors. The MBTA and City of Boston seek to improve bus reliability as a way to enable more social distancing on transit. By improving bus travel times and reliability, the MBTA can run more service to Boston neighborhoods. One of the three corridors runs along Boston’s North End:

North Washington Street in the North End/West End: The North Washington Street corridor provides a critical connection for the MBTA Routes 92, 93, and 111 with service to Charlestown and Chelsea. On a typical weekday, 11-12,000 bus passengers use this corridor and these routes have seen high enduring ridership since the beginning of the health crisis.  

The other two bus corridors are Columbus Avenue in Egleston/Jackson Square and Washington Street in Roslindale.

“It is critical that we continue to adapt our City streets to ensure safe, reliable transportation for all residents and workers who travel throughout Boston,” said Mayor Walsh. “These innovative programs focus on investing in bus priority, and protected bike lanes. As we continue to respond to and recover from this public health crisis, creating streets that are safe, accessible, and equitable for all will continue to be one of our top priorities.”

The City of Boston continues to provide free 90-day Bluebikes passes to employees of local grocery stores, pharmacies, retail shops, and restaurants. Employees can request a free pass at boston.gov/bike-share.

The City is hosting drop-in hours at the intersection of Charles Street and Boylston Street to learn more about Connect Downtown at the following times:

  • Saturday, September 19, 1 – 4 p.m.
  • Sunday, September 20, 1 – 4 p.m.

Attendees must wear face coverings and keep a physical distance of 6 feet.

Individuals can also attend virtual office hours:

  • Wednesday, September 16, 3 – 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, September 23, 3 – 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, September 30, 3 – 7 p.m.

Book an appointment at  boston.gov/connect-downtown.

Learn more about the Healthy Streets Program at boston.gov/departments/transportation/healthy-streets.

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