South West Corridor futures looking up!

The South West Corridor

The South West Corridor

The next few weeks should see a flurry of repaving activity on JP’s bike highway, the South West Corridor. The Department of Conservation and Recreation has been sprucing it up to honor the path’s 20th anniversary.

“There’s this big fuzzball about maybe they can do everything we marked, or maybe they can do more than we marked, but theoretically they will do this by next week,” said Jeffrey Ferris of Ferris Wheels bike shop, who helped the DCR choose the bumpiest sections of path to repave-marking them all with spray paint. Ferris is a member of the Parkland Management Advisory Committee (PMAC), which was established to oversee management of the SW Corridor shortly after its completion 20 years ago.

For those riding the path this week, the spray painted lines and arrows indicate sections that will be repaved. Some of these might also be combined into larger stretches if the asphalt supply holds out.

The DCR has also recently improved signage and repainted street furniture along the path, re-pointed some of the path’s brick sections, and will soon install LED street lights near English High School in Jamaica Plain. There is also new hope on the horizon for improving the crossings on the corridor.

Samantha Overton-Bussell, director of urban parks for the DCR, said that she is looking for ways to hire a consultant to look at all the crossings along the path, a process that would have to include the Boston Transportation Department.

“We’re trying to find the resources for that,” she said. “And maybe kick off something this summer or fall.”

But conversations with others at the DCR and with the Boston Transportation Department’s Vineet Gupta reveal that the idea for a study on the crossings is in a very early stage-save the crossing at Centre Street, which is part of the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s Jackson Square Planning Initiative. It will take advocacy from cyclists all along the corridor to make it happen.

Stay tuned to the BCU, Ferris Wheels, and to JP Bikes as we work to develop an effective strategy to support this potential new step.


  1. Judy on October 8, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    What is the situation of the stretch of the SW Corridor bike path by Northeastern University that didn’t get paved, again? Twice now, that section has been marked but not paved. In the wintertime, piles of plowed snow get left on this section. Makes me wonder if there is a right of way or ownership issue?

    Nice job on the repaving, Boston! I briefly missed that manhole nestled between tree roots at Centre Street, but only briefly…

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