City invites BCU to work on Allston road design solutions

Western Avenue Bridge

Western Avenue Bridge

After adopting a BCU suggestion to design a cycletrack for a future Western Avenue, and receiving a rough sketch of how a cycletrack might work on Cambridge Street in Allston, the Boston Transportation Department (BTD) has invited the BCU to collaborate on these and one other improvement in the neighborhood: completing the North Harvard Street bikeway between Cambridge Street and the Larz Anderson Bridge leading to Harvard Square.

“We have invited the Boston Cyclists Union group to share ideas with us,” said Vineet Gupta of BTD.

The BCU’s sketch of a Cambridge Street cycletrack, delivered to BTD in May, was developed by a group of BCU members—longtime bike advocate Charlotte Burger of Allston, BU Bikes representative Galen Mook (a Brighton resident), Northeastern professor of engineering Peter Furth, and Anne Lusk of the Harvard School of Public Health.

“It’s something we’re definitely exploring,” said Gupta of the cycletrack sketch. “It’s very complicated because of the [highway entrance] ramps that have to be looked at. I think there are many alternatives. There are a whole bunch of ways to do this street. The city is pursuing the right solution.”

BTD is also coordinating the designs for these Allston thoroughfares with MassDOT, which is engaged in rebuilding these and several other bridges over the Charles as part of the Accelerated Bridge Program, and the City of Cambridge, which is redesigning its own section of Western Avenue.

The Livable Streets Alliance has also been working on some of the same problems from another angle-advocating to widen the scope of MassDOT’s redesign processes for the bridges to also include the approaches to the bridges.

Led by neighborhood residents, the BCU is also beginning a public campaign that will gather signatures in support of the cycletracks on Western and Cambridge. Petition gatherers will also gather more input from neighborhood cyclists on potential solutions.

All of these developments are a big plus for Allston-one of Boston’s most bike-happy neighborhoods! If you’re interested in joining the effort for safer cycling in Allston, contact


  1. brent whelan on July 2, 2010 at 5:56 am

    This is great news. As an Allston resident I would be happy to help advocate in any way I can-please put me on any list you draw up of supporters.

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