The Top Projects to look forward to in 2018 – Part 3

This year we’ve seen some monumental changes on our streets, including the completion of projects that have been underway for years, as well as a number of pop-up projects that were quick to implement, but will have a lasting impact for people biking.

Next year is looking to be even better. Over the last week of December, we’ve been showcasing some of the projects that you can look forward to in 2018 that may have big implications for your commute! You can find the third and final installment in the series below!

The Longfellow Bridge

Under construction since 2013, the restoration of the Longfellow Bridge will be complete in 2018. While the project was initially scheduled to be completed in 2016, the project was delayed by 2 years.

Over the course of the project, people on bikes have experienced varying conditions ranging from standard bike lanes to sharing sidewalks with people walking. The Bike Union and other advocates have kept a watchful eye, and called on you to help us pressure MassDOT to make changes at times when the conditions for people riding were not adequate.

One particularly challenging issue arose when the a temporary track for the Red Line was being constructed. Construction of the track pushed into the inbound bike lane, and people biking on their morning commute found that the bike lane abruptly ended in a jersey barrier, forcing them to merge into motor vehicle traffic.

The bike lane on the Longfellow Bridge ending in a jersey barrier in January, 2016.

In response, we called on you to let MassDOT know that these conditions and lack of thought for people biking were unacceptable, and MassDOT responded to your flood of letters by addressing the issue.

Since then, we’ve worked with MassDOT and it’s contractors to address safety issues for people biking over the bridge as construction has progressed. Now, with the completion of the project in sight, we’ll soon be enjoying better biking conditions on the Longfellow Bridge than we’ve had in years, though it could be even better. Currently the plans will create a protected bike lane into Cambridge and a standard, painted bike lane into Boston. We’re going to be calling on you in the next few weeks to do everything we can to push MassDOT to change the final design to include a protected lane into Boston, so stay tuned!

The Longfellow Bridge (right, oriented up/down), Storrow Drive (oriented left to right) and the future bike and pedestrian bridge over Storrow Drive (in white.) Rendering by White Skanska Consigli.

Moreover, the bike and pedestrian bridge over Storrow Drive is being reconstructed as part of this project! Check out the rendering to the right to see what it will look like when it’s completed next year. Anyone who has biked or walked on the current pedestrian bridge over Storrow Drive knows it’s far from ideal, with steep grades and tight turns. Thankfully the new bridge won’t be nearly as steep and will be much easier to navigate by bike!

Fighting for changes on our streets that will improve the safety and comfort of people biking is the kind of work that you support when you become a member or donate to the Bike Union! 

PLUS, when you join or donate between now and the end of 2017, you have a chance to win a bike from our friends at Crimson Bikes! Become a member today and help us make 2018 the best year ever for biking in the Boston area!

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