ACTION ALERT: Speak Up For Protected Bike Lanes In Downtown Boston

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A new vision for Causeway Street. Image: Connect Historic Boston

Next Wednesday, February 26, the City of Boston will host a public hearing to present and gather comments on the 25% design of Phase 1 of the Connect Historic Boston bike trail and Constitution Road protected bike lane proposals. MassBike strongly encourages Boston residents who want safer bike routes into and around downtown to attend the meeting and voice their support for the project.

WHERE: Boston City Hall, Room 801

WHEN: Wednesday, February 26, 2014, 6:00 PM

The proposal for Phase 1 of the bike trail calls for continuous bi-directional protected bike lanes along Staniford Street, Causeway Street, Commercial Street, and Atlantic Ave in the West End, Bullfinch Triangle, and North End neighborhoods. Additional sections would be constructed during Phase 2. You can review detailed plans and meeting minutes from past public meetings on the project here.

According to Connect Historic Boston,

Bicycling through downtown is confusing and uncomfortable with one-way streets, narrow lanes, and lack of bicycle accommodations. Increasing bicycle trips from transit hubs to popular destinations, workplaces, or homes would help reduce congestion on transit by providing an alternative to one stop transfers on the subway sysem.

The Connect Historic Boston Trail will be a family-friendly bicycle loop around downtown Boston, providing access to major transit hubs, regional trails, and National Park Service visitor centers and National Park Service Partner sites.

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The proposed network. Image: Connect Historic Boston

Connect Historic Boston is a partnership between the National Park Service and Boston Transportation Department to make biking, walking, and taking the T to National Park sites and other destinations in downtown Boston a safe and attractive alternative to driving. For people who ride bikes for transportation in and around downtown, the bike trail will provide a more comfortable route protected from car traffic that will provide more direct connections between destinations than currently allowed by the mostly one-way street grid.

MassBike Executive Director David Watson was a member of the Connect Historic Boston Advisory Group which was instrumental in moving the project forward. Funding for the project, which also includes pedestrianizing the Blackstone Block and Joy Street, comes from a Federal Highway Administration TIGER grant.

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When complete, the Connect Historic Boston bike trail will probably look similar to the Indianpolis Cultural Trail, an innovative family-friendly biking and walking trail that connects downtown with historic areas outside downtown. With separate spaces for bikes and pedestrians, the trail provides safe biking routes for residents and tourists alike. Image courtesy of Indycog.

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