Thursday, September 10, 2009

Towards a Better Comm. Ave. Carriage Road

Spent an hour at City Hall and heard a bunch of college students suggest some great changes to the Comm. Ave. carriage road that would make it a much more attractive bicycle facility. Friend of NS&S Professor Peter Furth's Northeastern Civil Engineering students identified 4 (or 5?) types of obstacles to happy, two-way bicycling the length of the carriage road and proposed a suite of solutions.

One of my favorites was a solution to the problem of the carriage road ending at four major intersections (Centre, Walnut, Lexington, and one other). Car traffic is diverted off the carriage road back onto Comm. Ave. because the intersections would be unworkable with two separate car crossings. And, the sidewalks continue from the carriage road to the crosswalk across the major road. But, bikes are in limbo: can't go on the sidewalk and it's a particularly tough place to bike on the road.

The students' solution was simple: on those short stretches between the end of the carriage road and the crosswalks, widen the sidewalk to make it a multi-use path, with two-way bike traffic.

And, I also loved a road-diet solution for Rowe Rd. in Auburndale, just west of the Pike. And, their proposal for the last bit on the western edge, by the Marriot and the Charles River Canoe & Kayak boat house. And, ...

I hope to get the presentation and explore some of the problems and solutions in a little more depth.

Kudos to Lois Levin, Helen Rittenberg, and Nathan Phillips of Bike Newton for engaging Peter and his students to take a look at the opportunities along the carriage road.


required field said...

Thanks for following up on this meeting. I wanted to attend. Will the students let you post any drawings online? That would be way cool. Thanks, Sean. -- John Sisson

Anonymous said...

John - Peter will forward the powerpoint and you should be able to access it soon at

I think a follow-up meeting to hash out some further details, concerns, ideas, open to all, will be great. Please stay tuned to and the Bike and Pedestrian Task Force ( for more info

Anonymous said...

meant to sign the above - Nathan Phillips