The Longfellow Bridge has re-opened after more than five years of construction, to full beneficial use. Due to heavy campaigning by us, our partners, and YOU, the bridge is much safer than it was going to be! Flex posts have been implemented to create physical separation between people biking and driving, speed feedback signs are up, and additional safety measures set in place. Also, as laid out in this post that details events leading up to the bridge’s re-opening, Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack made a commitment to running a pilot that would reduce the inbound travel lanes from two to one to create a wider separated bike lane that allows for safe passing.
Obviously, the best case scenario would have been for the bike lane to be wide, continuous and separated by something more permanent than flex posts — located behind the crash barrier. However, working with a design completeunder the circumstances, this campaign and your efforts proved that we can influence the outcome of a street design that has been on the shelf or under construction for more than half a decade, and better street design can be given a second chance.
The Boston Cyclists Union and other stakeholders will be meeting with MassDOT on July 16th to continue the conversation as to what the pilot looks like and how we measure success. MassDOT also released these FAQs which address elements of the updated bridge design that have received the most questions and concern.
If you’re happy with the current changes and want to make sure the Secretary knows you’re looking forward to the pilot, send her an email of thanks, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please CC us at email@example.com, so we can see the feedback as well. If you want to share additional thoughts about your experiences using the bridge, please email us and we will continue to pass feedback along to MassDOT and use it as this project continues to progress.
Thanks for being a part of this effort with us, and be sure to continue to follow and engage to ensure continued improvements for comfort and safety!