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Old 01-18-2018, 09:28 AM   #3201
Joel N. Weber II
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Northern Strand Trail to New Rutherford connection

If you use the ``Measure Distance'' tool in Google Maps to make a straight line from the south edge of Route 16 at the gravel pile underpass (which might seem like the natural extension of the Northern Strand Community Trail) to the Main St / Alford St intersection at Sullivan, you discover that the direct route from the Northern Strand Community Trail to the potential bike path on the east side of Rutherford comes a lot closer to the highway 99 bridge than the Newburyport / Rockport bridge, and it passes near the Broadway / Dexter intersection.

The bridge across the Mystic apparently does have a bit of buffer space between the cars and the bike lane, but the Google Street View doesn't show any flex posts, and perhaps if we wanted to try to make the bridge better for biking, we could see if we could narrow the car lanes and possibly even the center shoulder to provide a wider buffer and/or wider bike lane, along with slowing down cars to increase safety near bicyclists.

Between the bridge and the MWRA / power station light, the MWRA lot has a fence and grass next to its border, and it might be worthwhile to look at whether a bit of the MWRA's grass could be reallocated to a better separated bike path.

I'm wondering if it might be possible for bicyclists to use the MWRA's driveway to get to a future riverfront bike path that would connect under the Newburyport / Rockport bridge and then along the west side of the train tracks to the gravel pile.
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Old 01-28-2018, 09:40 AM   #3202
Harry Mattison
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Re: Biking in Boston

Meeting on Wednesday with MassDOT, DCR, BPDA, BTD about improvements to Birmingham Parkway between the Mass Pike and Western Ave in Brighton
6:30pm @ WGBH
https://www.facebook.com/events/1876963245928874/
http://www.bostonplans.org/news-cale...ingham-parkway
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Old 02-13-2018, 09:39 AM   #3203
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Re: Biking in Boston

Cambridge Street (Cambridge) separated bike lanes are staying put (Cambridge Day).

Quite frustrated by this final paragraph though:
Quote:
Some potential tweaks Mallon mentioned for the bike lane: installing signals allowing bicyclists to cross intersections ahead of cars; eliminating a sidewalk curve at Trowbridge Street that causes bicyclists to swoop outward as well, alarming drivers; improving pedestrian crossings with concrete “refuges”; adding a car passenger drop-off zone and short-term, business-hour-only parking spaces; and replacing the plastic bollards that marking off the bike lane, possibly with planters.

That last idea could face opposition from transportation planners. One benefit of the plastic bollards is that cars can run over them without damage if they need to get right to make room for emergency vehicles. With residents calling the design dangerous because drivers have nowhere to go and Mallon proposing planters that would be more likely to damage a car, it was clear the benefit is little known.
Transportation planners are totally down with concrete planters are barriers for the reasons stated: cars can't run them over like they can plastic bollards. That's why I hesitate to call any plastic bollard-separated bike lane "protected."

It's public works departments (and possibly emergency responders, although Cambridge Fire have been pretty welcoming of new bike infrastructure) that don't like them because they can't just run them over when plowing snow.
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Old 02-13-2018, 03:17 PM   #3204
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Re: Biking in Boston

The presentation given at the recent DCR public meeting about the Mystic River shared-use bridge is here. I have to say, that's one pretty bridge.
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Old 02-13-2018, 05:28 PM   #3205
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Re: Biking in Boston

Quote:
Originally Posted by ceo View Post
The presentation given at the recent DCR public meeting about the Mystic River shared-use bridge is here. I have to say, that's one pretty bridge.
Somebody's going to have to pay for better access from Assembly to the new athletic fields, which, today are only accessible via passing under the Orange Line bridge as it heads off to Wellington.

Ideally, there'd be an extension of the northern headhouse of Assembly to cross the tracks & Haverhill CR (the AECOM concept shows red arrows indicating access, but we know that no such access currently exists)
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Old 02-13-2018, 07:23 PM   #3206
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Re: Biking in Boston

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Originally Posted by Arlington View Post
Ideally, there'd be an extension of the northern headhouse of Assembly to cross the tracks & Haverhill CR (the AECOM concept shows red arrows indicating access, but we know that no such access currently exists)
That should be doable if they branch off the lobby from that lookout spot with the hood ornament sculpture in it. Who pays for it would be up for debate though.

Aside from the benefit of casino access by transit, this really addresses that bicycle network gap from the Northern Strand to Somerville. Looking forward to a route that doesn't include Sullivan Sq.
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Old 02-14-2018, 09:56 AM   #3207
jass
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Re: Biking in Boston

Quote:
Originally Posted by 34f34f View Post
Cambridge Street (Cambridge) separated bike lanes are staying put (Cambridge Day).

Quite frustrated by this final paragraph though:


Transportation planners are totally down with concrete planters are barriers for the reasons stated: cars can't run them over like they can plastic bollards. That's why I hesitate to call any plastic bollard-separated bike lane "protected."

It's public works departments (and possibly emergency responders, although Cambridge Fire have been pretty welcoming of new bike infrastructure) that don't like them because they can't just run them over when plowing snow.

Correct. Planners like physical barriers. Engineers dont.
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Old 02-14-2018, 12:40 PM   #3208
Joel N. Weber II
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Re: flex posts vs hard barriers

Is there any good statistical data on whether replacing flex posts with planters would actually improve safety for bicyclists?

(I'd expect the flex post reconfiguration of Cambridge St at least narrowed the travel lanes which will probably reduce automobile speeds which probably provides a safer environment for bicyclists, and it also increases spacing between automobiles and bicyclists and thus probably also reduces the probability of a collision.)
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Old 02-14-2018, 12:51 PM   #3209
sm89
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Re: Biking in Boston

Engineers like physical barriers too. It's operations folks who don't.

The "problem" with switching to planters from flex posts is the width here. Though the width of the buffer is 2-3ft, the posts are only 6 inches wide (incl base). So for that 6ft bike lane, there is additional width since the post is centered in the buffer. This allows for the 7ft min. for plows and sweepers to get through.

If you filled in the buffers with 2ft wide planters or jersey barriers, you would lose that tolerance. It can definitely work in some places, but the right of way might be a little too narrow on these streets to switch over corridor-wide.
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Old 02-14-2018, 12:56 PM   #3210
Joel N. Weber II
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Re: Assembly Sq Mystic River bridge

Quote:
Originally Posted by ceo View Post
The presentation given at the recent DCR public meeting about the Mystic River shared-use bridge is here. I have to say, that's one pretty bridge.
Am I understanding correctly that the proposed landing location for that on the north side of the river is the former commuter rail / freight bridge alignment, and so MassDOT and the MBTA (who are listed on slide 16 as stakeholders involved in this process) have apparently decided that they are committed to never building a replacement commuter rail and freight bridge on the traditional (apparently better) horizontal alignment with the new vertical alignment that removes the need for a movable span, but they didn't bother to explain that decision to the public in slides? I notice they didn't bother to include CSX and Pan Am as stakeholders in this decision. Can we get a statement from the freight railroads about how they feel about closing that option off and how happy they are with the current bridge's alignment?

It's also interesting that they choose not to include the East Coast Greenway Alliance as a stakeholder. I was under the impression that the East Coast Greenway includes the Northern Strand Community Trail, and I don't see any plausible way that the East Coast Greenway routing would not end up including this bridge if it gets built. Of course, their ``Most direct route'' claim wouldn't hold for East Coast Greenway usage (but that's not necessarily a deal breaker; the East Coast Greenway's routing guidelines, last time I could find them on the website, claimed that most direct route explicitly isn't their goal).

And why do they think a Silver Line bridge is more likely than a Green Line bridge to actually get funded and built? (My preference is to get a new commuter rail / freight bridge built on the old horizontal alignment, then reuse the existing commuter rail bridge for Green Line maybe shared with bus and maybe with a bike path on the side.)
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Old 02-14-2018, 01:56 PM   #3211
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Re: Biking in Boston

What's wrong with the current bridge's alignment that makes it desirable to preserve the former alignment?
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Old 02-14-2018, 02:17 PM   #3212
Joel N. Weber II
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Re: Mystic River bridges

From http://www.archboston.org/community/...48&postcount=2

Quote:
Look at Google Maps. The old Eastern Route drawbridge pilings and alignment are adjacent a couple hundred feet to the south, and there's a MOW spur on the Somerville side that's a remnant of the old ER mainline track. How this would work is you build a new fixed RR bridge on the old approaches, and put the UR on the existing bridge. The existing bridge has those steep grades and superelevated curve on it--mandatory slow zone because of the compromised sightlines, and murder on the locomotive engines (esp. the Everett Terminal freights) that wheeze over the top--because it had to be constructed that way to keep the old drawbridge in-service. The old alignment is WAY better for a non-curved and less speed-restricted bridge for RR service, even at much taller height than the old squat draw. A trolley or bus is much better at handling the grades of the current bridge (which is safely wide enough for buses if they install taller barriers). So...swap 'em. It matches up perfectly with the necessary track alignment for side-by-side RR and BRT/LRT, since the freight turnout to the terminal is on the south side of the ROW. No doubt it's expensive, but it's not totally the apocalypse with the recycled approaches shaving some not-inconsequential EIS pain and suffering off the top.
(I'm not sure if this is the best explanation that has ever appeared on archboston or other forums; if someone else happens to know where a better explanation is I'd be happy to see a follow up comment in this thread.)
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Old 02-19-2018, 02:32 PM   #3213
Joel N. Weber II
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Re: Mystic River bridges

Discussion of the Mystic bicycle / pedestrian bridge is being continued at http://www.archboston.org/community/...874#post313874
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Old 03-07-2018, 10:03 AM   #3214
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Re: Biking in Boston

The Mystic to Charles Connector is a proposal to build a shared-used path from Assembly station, down the old Yard 21 and Yard 10 leads to connect to the Somerville Community Path, thus connecting it with the Northern Strand Community Trail once the bridge is built. To me this looks eminently doable, the only tricky bit being squeezing it in next to the Yard 10 track by the dog park. I think at the Somerville end, it'll come down to Washington St and riders will cross under the bridge to get to the Community Path. They also propose a fork down Inner Belt Rd to Lechmere; that'll require a bridge over the Fitchburg Line and the GLX maintenance facility leads.
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Old 03-07-2018, 11:19 AM   #3215
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Re: Biking in Boston

Globe: Hubway is changing its name to Blue Bikes

If this brings additional resources (as they say it will) then great. But as a name "Blue Bikes" is pretty ugh. "Hubway" is so much better.
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Old 03-07-2018, 11:45 AM   #3216
Joel N. Weber II
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Re: Biking in Boston

Quote:
Originally Posted by ceo View Post
The Mystic to Charles Connector is a proposal to build a shared-used path from Assembly station, down the old Yard 21 and Yard 10 leads to connect to the Somerville Community Path, thus connecting it with the Northern Strand Community Trail once the bridge is built. To me this looks eminently doable, the only tricky bit being squeezing it in next to the Yard 10 track by the dog park. I think at the Somerville end, it'll come down to Washington St and riders will cross under the bridge to get to the Community Path. They also propose a fork down Inner Belt Rd to Lechmere; that'll require a bridge over the Fitchburg Line and the GLX maintenance facility leads.
I largely like the idea, but I'm not sure if there's enough space for that bike path plus adding a Green Line branch to the casino and the Chelsea busway plus adding a commuter rail platform at Sullivan.
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Old 03-07-2018, 11:56 AM   #3217
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Re: Biking in Boston

I love paths but this seems a bit cold-fusionish to me. It's a speculative path connecting two as-yet unbuilt and dubiously funded paths.

I have heard work will begin this summer on a new stretch of path from Draw 7 in Somerville to the Sullivan Sq bridge. Anything official out there?
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Old 03-07-2018, 12:33 PM   #3218
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Re: Biking in Boston

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Originally Posted by JumboBuc View Post
Globe: Hubway is changing its name to Blue Bikes

If this brings additional resources (as they say it will) then great. But as a name "Blue Bikes" is pretty ugh. "Hubway" is so much better.
Blue Cross Blue Shield Louisiana already sponsors Blue Bikes in New Orleans, so it feels like an expansion of that brand:
https://bluebikesnola.com/

That system uses a different operator, though, with Social Bicycles rather than Motivate.
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:27 PM   #3219
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Re: Biking in Boston

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Originally Posted by Joel N. Weber II View Post
I largely like the idea, but I'm not sure if there's enough space for that bike path plus adding a Green Line branch to the casino and the Chelsea busway plus adding a commuter rail platform at Sullivan.
Simple. None of those other things are going to ever be built (Chelsea bus lane can work on existing streets anyway).
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:11 PM   #3220
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Re: Biking in Boston

Hubway is a good name.

I'd rather "Hubway by Blue Shield" than stupid blue bikes
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