Speak up for a safer Arborway!

After 25 years of disjointed planning processes and no meaningful progress on the ground, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) last month kicked off a new round of planning to improve the Arborway. The time is ripe for change, but we need your help holding the agency accountable to finally making meaningful improvements.

Here’s what you can do: Contact DCR by next Monday (12/16) in support of our two priorities (more details below) for the planning process: 1) Bike lanes (temporary or permanent) must be physically separated from moving vehicles, and 2) Long-term fixes should begin on the ground in 2021. 

Speaking up now is critical to shaping how the planning process unfolds. 

DCR presented an overview of the project at a meeting in November. (There were many friendly faces in the room — THANK YOU to everyone who showed up and spoke up!) Overall, the project goals align with what we want to see on the Arborway, including “creating a continuous and comfortable bicycle and pedestrian connection between the Arboretum and Jamaica Pond.”  However, with DCR in transition following the recent retirement of Commissioner Leo Roy, we don’t know where the agency now stands regarding on-road, separated bike lanes. 

We hope you’ll join us in telling DCR we won’t keep waiting for change. Speak up for protected bike lanes, tell DCR how you use the Arbroway, and say why this project is important to you. 

Some additional points we’ll be sharing, and that you may want to include:

  • We are glad to see that one of the project goals is creating “continuous and comfortable” bicycle connections here. Any short-term or long-term bike lanes must be physically separated from moving vehicles to be safe and inviting to all levels of cyclists. 
  • Thank you for including ramp repairs among the short-term changes. Not only will this help pedestrians and wheelchair users, but it will also help cyclists use sidewalks if they don’t feel safe on the road amid the improvement process.
  • In the near term, we support removing one driving lane from the carriage roads, and using this extra space for a separated bike lane.
  • We’re glad to see more crosswalks added and lane markings in and around Murray Circle. However, there needs to be a short-term plan for getting cyclists through Murray Circle as safely as possible. 
  • Due to current safety concerns, and the boon this project would be for bike network connectivity, it’s important to have a concise public planning process and get permanent changes on the ground starting in 2021.

Comments can be submitted through DCR’s website here. Thank you for your advocacy!