Monday, March 22, 2010

Beacon Street -- the end of the end of the bike lane in sight

Thanks to the leadership of Boston Bike Czar Nicole Freedman, the Boston portion of Beacon Street east of Cleveland Circle has been striped with bike lanes for a while. The absence of bike lanes from the Boston/Newton line to Hammond Street has been glaring. The abrupt end of the bike lanes at the cities' border is particularly poignant.

Concern that Newton has just dropped the ball can be eliminated. Filed last week with Traffic Council:

ALD. FULLER, BAKER, & SCHNIPPER requesting on Beacon Street east of Hammond Street to the Newton/Boston City Line adjacent to Boston College: (a) changes to the existing parking regulations to facilitate the addition of marked bicycle lanes on both the north and south sides of Beacon, and (b) installation of parking meters on the north, and possibly, south, sides of Beacon, to facilitate through travel and short-term daytime parking.

The parking west of Chestnut Hill Dr. complicates the installation of bike lanes. In particular, there's a point west of Lawrence Ave, where there is not enough room for the existing parking on both sides, automobile travel lanes, and proper bike lanes. To do the bike lanes right, the city had to wrestle with the parking implications. That explains the delay.

To his credit, Associate City Engineer Clint Schuckel has been working with the Ward 7 aldermen, BC, and the Chestnut Hill Neighborhood Association to reconfigure the parking in a way that will provide a net increase in on-street parking (always good!) and provide full bike lanes. Having reviewed the pulp-based, reflective technology (paper) version of the plans, it looks like the time was well spent. The plans look great. (I'll post an electronic version when I get it.)

Here's the kicker: the parking is going to be metered, at least on the north side of the street. Bike lanes, smart parking policy, and new revenue!


Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to see the plans. At Beacon and Hammond St (by College Road) it looks pretty tight without any parking. Going west, there's a turning lane and a thru lane for cars. Where is the bike lane going to be? Is the yellow line down Beacon St. going to shift?

Anonymous said...

Why stop at Hammond? There is more than enough real estate on the roadway to redo the pavement markings and allow for bike lanes to at least Hammond Pond Parkway, even further.

Nathan Phillips said...


Anonymous said...

Hey Newton S&S blog, Long time reader, first time commenter. What is the deal with Beacon St. between BC (Hammond St.) and Newton Centre? For two years, I have ridden this way every day to/from work and I have always wondered this: There is a very wide shoulder that is striped and signed as prohibited for travel. Also, there are yellow bicycle warning signs with text that says "share the road." I always ride on the shoulder despite the apparent intention of these traffic control devices. Is there a reason that one should not ride on the shoulder here? Does the bicycle sign/"share the road" mean that I should be riding in the roadway, not the shoulder? Why is there no bike lane in this section - seems like a no-brainer.
Thanks for your response,
John C., Newton