5 Projects that will change biking in the Boston Area in 2017: #2 The Route 9 Crossing

This is Part 4 in a 5 part series about infrastructure projects in the Boston area that will have a dramatic effect on biking in 2017. The projects were selected based on various criteria including improvements to safety and convenience and innovation in implementation and design. Read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3

If you’ve ever ridden a bike on the Emerald Necklace Bike Path, then you’ll have arrived at Route 9 in Brookline, and if was your first time taking this route, you’d be surprised to find that the Emerald Necklace Path seems to dead end here, with no crosswalk or otherwise safe way to cross Route 9.

Google Street view of Route 9 where the Emerald Necklace Path is divided by a 6-lane, high speed road.

Those of you who have ridden here for years might remember that ten years ago or so, the median at the crossing did not even have a cut-out to allow cyclists to pass, and you would have to hop over the curb instead. Some of you may even be aware of the “legend” of a local advocate who took action in those early days and installed their own asphalt ramps on either side of the median – one of the region’s best know guerrilla interventions from days past. After years of this individual re-installing the ramps every spring (after they were inevitably removed), the town of Brookline finally cut a path through the median.

Well, after years of advocacy from the cycling community, a concerted effort by the Bike Union beginning in 2010 and continuing until 2012, and the support of many Brookline residents, the Route 9 crossing now boasts a new crosswalk, curb cuts and pedestrian activated traffic signals to stop cars, making it finally safe to cross!

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What the crossing looks like today! All that is left to do is activate the traffic lights! Photo Credit by former Bike Union intern and current transportation planning professional extraordinaire, Charlie Creagh.

This project closes a major gap in the bike network that has existed for decades and has prevented people from using the Emerald Network paths to their full potential.

This is the kind of progress that you help us make when you become a member or donate to the Bike Union! PLUS, when you join or donate between now and the end of 2016, you have a chance to win one of two bikes from our friends at Broadway Bicycle School in Cambridge or Wheelworks of Belmont and Somerville! Become a member today and help make 2017 the best year ever for biking in the Boston area!

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