After more than a year and a half of advocacy for bike lanes on Longwood Ave by area cyclists and the Bike Union, plans for a redesigned Longwood Ave were presented at MASCO’s 2nd Annual LMA Bike Summit on February 15th.
More than 180 people who are concerned about biking in the Longwood Medical Area gathered in the Jimmy Fund Auditorium to see presentations on bike infrastructure changes in the LMA — both planned changes and changes we want to see.
Most exciting was a presentation given by Bike Union Board Member and Northeastern University Civil Engineering Professor Peter Furth. Professor Furth’s presentation demonstrated what we have been advocating for, and what the video below demonstrates is possible – bike lanes along the entire length of Longwood Ave. On a corridor with real constraints, no immediate reconstruction planned, and a mode share of almost 40% bikes (Longwood Ave, eastbound, morning peak hour), there needs to be a solution that provides dedicated space for people to bike safely into and out of the LMA. This plan developed by Peter and his students calls for continuous bike lanes, and the elimination of the left turn lanes at the intersection of Longwood and Brookline Ave. Traffic counts conducted by the Bike Union have found that the left turn lanes are underutilized and unnecessary, and the road space could be reallocated to bike lanes with little to no effect on motor vehicle traffic.
The video below simulates the design the Bike Union is proposing.
We’re very excited about the possibilities unlocked by this plan and the modeling that demonstrates that it will be successful. If you are, too, we encourage you to email Sarah Hamilton at MASCO to tell her how much dedicated bike lanes on Longwood Ave would mean to you, and CC Charlotte Fleetwood from the Boston Transportation Department, and the Bike Union. If you work in the LMA, you are also encouraged to send this to your employer or speak with them directly about what bike lanes on Longwood Ave would mean to you — the more leadership on board, the better! You could send a short email like this one:
Dear Ms. Hamilton,
I ride into the LMA on a [daily, weekly, regular] basis. I [work, study] there, and have no other options, but I also love the convenience and flexibility biking offers. I don’t love the feelings of stress and discomfort I feel when I reach the Longwood Medical Area, especially as I squeeze through and past cars, or they pass by me closely, while biking on Longwood Ave. I wish there were dedicated bike lanes to separate us.
I attended the Longwood Bike Summit earlier this month and was very excited to see Peter Furth’s presentation and plan that would allow bike lanes on the full length of Longwood Ave. I hope that you can work with him and the City of Boston to implement this as soon as possible.