Tell DCR: Include bike lanes in short-term Arborway plan

This month, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) proposed adding buffered bike lanes to the Arborway. Before DCR commits to adding bike lanes though, they want to see what the public thinks about that plan.

Will you speak up to convert car space into bike lanes on the Arborway?

You have until Friday, October 2, to send feedback on the proposed short-term improvements. (Check out the pavement markings here.)

A rendering of DCR’s proposed short-term design for one of the Arborway’s rotaries

With the Arborway Parkways Improvement Project now fully underway (it paused in March due to COVID) this is a crucial opportunity to shape DCR’s plans. One of the long-running challenges in two decades of Arborway planning has been getting DCR to remove driving lanes to slow traffic and create space for protected bike lanes. With its draft short-term plans — which would remove driving lanes in 3 places while adding buffered bike lanes — DCR has shown it is finally willing to do just that.

The plans aren’t perfect, but they would undeniably improve the Arborway. That’s why we need you to speak up now so DCR knows the public not only supports these plans, but hopes to see more improvements in the long-term plans, too.

Some suggested points to include:

  • Thank DCR for removing some driving lanes and adding buffered bike lanes in the plans and for the recent improvements to sidewalks and curbs.
    • Positive feedback goes a long way. Don’t just say what you dislike; say what you like too!
  • Please add physical barriers to ensure cars follow new road markings and to maximize safety for all users, especially in and around both rotaries and at the beginning of the bike lanes.
  • The bike lane on the Arboretum block is shown only in the outbound direction. People on bikes traveling inbound also need a safe short-term solution.
  • Share your experience biking on the Arborway — or say why you avoid it.
  • Share any thoughts you have about the rotaries and what could improve them in the short-term (i.e. with just paint and signage).
    • Unfortunately, rotaries will continue to be challenging for people on bikes until they are completely redesigned in the next phase of this project. However, sharing your thoughts about them now will help engineers begin to plan future fixes.