DCR takes step back, two steps forward
After receiving a letter from the Bike Union, the Department of Conservation and Recreation removed the bicycle symbols along the shoulder of the Arborway in Jamaica Plain last week, admitting that their premature addition to what was designed as a shoulder for the street was “a miscommunication between headquarters and our field engineering staff.”
An article in the last issue of the Union Rider newsletter pointed out several errors in the Arborway design that could be dangerous to cyclists, and decried a lack of public review of any kind.
On the positive side, in a response letter Commissioner Jack Murray committed to hiring a traffic analyst to help create an “initial study concept” for bikeways on the street in the late fall and, as a result of the increased attention from the Bike Union and other advocates, took stronger steps toward creating a bicycle advisory board specifically for urban areas in the state.
The Union requested that the future Arborway concept include protected bike lanes (cycletracks), and recently received plans for the street that engineers working with the Union can pour over for possible solutions.
Many sections of the Arborway measured by Bike Union volunteers are wide enough allow a cycletrack with the kind of flexibility needed to allow residential services such as trash pick up and oil delivery. The challenges DCR and Bike Union engineers will face will be the traffic circles; how to traverse them or avoid them altogether.
I think a BIG email thank you to Jack Murray fromm as many people as possible would be good. I met him back a few years ago while hiking Blue Hills. He is a real person, and really cares. Give him props.
SEMass Chapter New England Mountain Bike Association