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City looks to extend Southwest Corridor path all the way to the West End

The Beacon Hill Times looks at a Boston Transportation Department proposal to continue the Southwest Corridor walking and bike paths that now end at Dartmouth Street to the West End via routes that could include streets and parks in the South End, Bay Village, downtown, and Chinatown.

The BTD has held community walks on Beacon Hill and in the Back Bay and is planning walks in the South End, starting at 7:30 a.m. on Weds., Nov. 13 at 400 Tremont St., and in Bay Village, starting at 7:30 a.m. on Dec. 3 at 10 Park Plaza.

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Comments

Fantastic! Now if we could only get Dedham to make the old rail a trail. I swear it's been 15 years that they have been trying to do that.

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Do Hyde Park Ave rather than West End. It would cost less and make it safer for people riding bicycles to Hyde Park and Cleary Sq.

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Would you put this on HP ave? And please don’t say remove a lane of travel because that’s plain stupid.

Hyde Park Avenue (or Washington Street, or whatever they call it) by Forest Hills is effectively one lane now due to the one car or truck that is seemingly permanently double parked there all day long, and it doesn't seem to be that much worse.

The rest of the way has some room to play with because of the median strip - so (caution: If you're from West Roxbury and have high blood pressure, stop reading now), eliminate that, put in bike lanes and put in turn lanes at the intersections. Or maybe equally good, eliminate the median strip and do what they've done on Washington Street - put in a dual bike/bus lane (and then start either running more 32 buses or some of those 39-style double buses).

No, I'm not a traffic planner (or a bike rider), just somebody who drives down HPA a lot.

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.... and creating a bike and bus lane would make it more attractive to people to ditch their road hogging personal vehicles for bikes, scooters, busses etc. Thus reducing motor traffic on HPA and the need for more than one lane. Win-win situation.

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Bikes may LEGALLY use the full lane of travel. Educate yourself.

Lets make Hyde Park, Cleary Sq., the West End and the rest of the city safer for cyclists and pedestrians!

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And slower for people in HP to reach rapid transit.

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and don't say it would cause traffic because I called it that you can't say it would.

That's how anon commenters work, right? 'I disagree with your premise and your argument is invalid. Now, why won't you explain yourself!'

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Just splash red paint on the sidewalks and ta dah!

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I love this idea. There are many examples of this working well, like St Catherine Street in Montreal. Shut a street down to cars and give it back to the people.

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Montreal has a good biking system. It's possible!

The people: drive cars, ride bikes, walk, ride scooters, take the bus. We are ALL 'the people.'

In the city, space matters. Solo cars and uber/lift are a much lower priority because they suck space and blow pollution.

Southwest Corridor is a term used by transportation planners back in 1972 when I-95 was supposed to blast through Boston.

Let's think up a new name.

Upon reaching Dartmouth the bike ride to the downtown and beyond is very challenging. Many folks have told me I am brave to ride along the streets. It's not bravery; it's being careful.

However, the greatest care will not prevent a driver on their cell phone in a crowded area from ignoring a biker even when the biker in is the right lane and doing all the right things.

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It's longer, depending where I'm headed, but it's generally safer to take it to the MGH area and then use the roads in that area that have decent bike lanes. Depending on the weather, the esplanade path can take forever, because people seem to think the path is for standing around having conversations or letting your toddler wander around despite it being in the middle of a whole damn park where they could do that, but at least there aren't cars.

They could probably close the tiny one-way end stretch of Columbus (that goes past M.J. O'Connor's) to cars; it doesn't get a ton of traffic anyway, and cars can only get on it from Park anyway and they could just stay on Park to Arlington instead to get to the same place. They could also put a traffic light on Charles St. where Park splits off, which would then leave Boylston as the only terrible intersection to cross to get between the Common and Park Square on bike/foot.

The two block stretch between Park Square and Clarendon St., though, is a puzzler. I have no idea how they would make that safe, let alone pleasant, for bikes or pedestrians. A ton of cars, large and dense buildings, and not a ton of extra road or sidewalk to convert.

Maybe, if the planned development at Back Bay allows for extending the corridor to Clarendon, they could use Frieda Garcia Park and Stanhope St., and then I guess figure out how to co-exist with car traffic on Berkeley/Stuart to Park Square? That area is a traffic nightmare for cars already, so adding more signals and making it even worse for driving wouldn't be such a big deal.

A road diet on Columbus Ave between Dartmouth and Arlington St should do the trick. Left turns usually block the left lane in both directions right now. You could easily serve the same amount of traffic with 3 lanes rather than 4: one lane each direction plus left turn lanes at intersections. This would also allow for dedicated left turn arrows if desired as well. With the reclaimed space, you could create protected bike lanes in each direction or a two-way protected bike lane on one side of the street.