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Work in progress: Charles Street bike lane

Stripes are down for new bike lane, parking spots on Charles Street

Gary Waldeck shows us the new striping on Charles Street between the Common and the Public Garden for a bike lane, a buffer lane and new parking spots, wonders when drivers will figure it out and start parking where they're supposed to.

City Councilor Kenzie Bok, who reps the area, says give it some time:

My understanding from BTD is that temporary cones are coming back shortly, flex posts are on order & should be installed within the month. They were working on line painting last night; it’s all still in process.

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More please.

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Voting closed 41

Installation is still in progress. Be patient!

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Voting closed 20

Some people would see this and think there’s no parking available. I, being the pedant that I am, would think “look at all the free spots!”

Then I’d come crashing down to the reality that my car would get hit or keyed and circle the common to find another spot.

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Voting closed 21

I noted a similar lane change on American Legion a few weeks back. Drivers didn't get it, from what I saw. Has anyone noted anything new there?

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Voting closed 15

Better put up concrete bollards if you don't want Massholes to drive right over them.

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Voting closed 32

That stretch of street always has many cars parked there. As soon as a handful are parked in the correct location, it will be obvious where not to drive, even to the Massholes.

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Voting closed 13

If nobody parks there, drivers will use it as a shortcut when traffic is backed up in the driving lanes.

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Voting closed 53

Hopefully they put up barricades of some sort that allows for bikes but not cars. Preventative measure against some nut purposely driving into cyclists as well.

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Voting closed 30

...double parking.

I'm sure it would eventually be corrected, but who doesn't expect to see 2 rows of parked cars here?

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Voting closed 22

People figured it out there, they'll figure it out everywhere else.

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Voting closed 13

This is a standard feature of mid-process parking protected bike lane installation. Columbus Ave. between Melnea Cass and Mass Ave. saw the same confusion, then the flex posts and sings went up, and it all made sense (and to this day remains one of my favorite places to ride in Boston.

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Voting closed 25

One of your favorite places to ride?

You are going to be delighted when you ride many others roadways in Boston.

Keep ‘em rolling!

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Voting closed 16

This picture pretty much sums up how much that bike lane will be used in the winter.

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Voting closed 9

City just put ours in down Broadway. Kinda surprised that people are actually not driving in it.

Now if we could just get one from Park --> Hawthrone --> Broadway

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Voting closed 17

he wants the bike lane on the other side.

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Voting closed 17

...will get the reference. :-)

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Voting closed 13

The Mayor of a World Class City DOES NOT get on a damn bike.

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Voting closed 12

By the theaters, on the right hand side the same has been done. It took a week or two and then the cars were in the right parking spots. I suspect notes were left on cars to point out where they should be parked.

Looks like they've done the same on Kneeland in front of the hostel and old Jacob Wirth's.

Drivers will catch on, they're humans change comes, just slowly.

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Voting closed 13

I’ll give a Jacob Wirth pretzel to anyone who provides a non-staged photo of someone biking in that bike lane.

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Voting closed 34

That is a well-used bike lane, actually. I ride in it everyday, as well as many others. Last Saturday at 11:30 pm I counted a dozen Blue Bikers using it.

Of course today there were four cars parked in the bicycle travel lane between Hudson and Washington Street on the westbound side, causing riders to swerve into the right-hand travel lane.

Too bad Jacob Wirth isn't around anymore.

The full plans for Phase 1 of Connect Downtown can be found here.

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Voting closed 14

Is there going to be a bike lane on the right, as well?

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Voting closed 12

.

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Voting closed 16

This and many other bike lanes need to be both directions. They are already used as such.

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Voting closed 27

This is not any more difficult to understand. Ticket them. They’ll learn real fast.

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Voting closed 14

is to put up some orange construction cones for a few weeks, until drivers get used to the new layout.

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Voting closed 10

As a cyclist, I question what this is supposed to accomplish.

I'd much rather have parking against the curb, then a buffer, then the bike lane, then the general lanes. This solves the blind spot issue, the black ice issue, and allows cyclists to merge into the general lanes to make a turn, pass another cyclist, or avoid debris.

At least for this particular area there aren't any cross streets or buildings that need deliveries or passenger drop-offs. Floating parking creates a terrible blind spot for those situations. Though I'm sure at the crosswalk pedestrians will stand in the bike lane while waiting for the light to change.

With floating parking, people always park hanging into the buffer, eliminating the intended safety benefit of preventing doorings. And I don't exactly blame them. Everyone does it, even in Cambridge where most drivers are polite to cyclists. This shows it's a fundamental design flaw rather than a driver behavior issue.

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Voting closed 17

You should already know that segregated bike lanes are not only statistically safer, but also encourage more people to commute by bicycle. This isn't an innovation.

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Voting closed 17

I question those statistics, from reading the one paper everyone cites and an article refuting it, as well as my own experience.

The biggest problem with the paper is that they lumped together a mere 34 miles of on-street cycle tracks across 9 cities with 717 miles of bike paths in large parks nowhere near a road. (The criticism said 12 and 1300 miles, but the paper’s authors refuted that.) The aggregate of those facilities was found to be safer than traditional bike lanes. Well, yeah, if most of your data is from inherently safe locations, the average is going to be safe. That says nothing about the choice of facility for a city street, where most biking for transportation needs to occur.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214140519305481

The paper’s authors said it’s not their fault that the media misinterpreted their results to focus on cycle tracks, rather than an aggregate of a few cycle tracks and a lot of park paths. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214140519306310

You only have to take a quick look at ridiculous cycle tracks like the mess in the middle of Causeway Street to see how bad they are.

I can understand why many cyclists want to support bike lanes on the wrong side of parking and sidewalk cycle tracks. They’re something highly visible that shows the city cares about biking. But I can’t support them, because they’re dangerous.

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Voting closed 5

It needs an instruction manual. This says something about something. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DEiZ35DUIAIQLzj.jpg

Do driver's manuals and driver's ed classes discuss this? Nationwide?

What about the law? Last time I checked, it still said park within 12 inches of the curb.

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Voting closed 13

How do you manage to breathe and type at the same time?

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Voting closed 42

Thanks for your thoughtful reply.

I’m glad you have insights for educating drivers about what these markings mean. Clearly the markings get the message across about where to park, since zero percent of cars in that picture followed them, even though doing so would involve no effort or inconvenience.

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Voting closed 8

When on a bicycle, I turn right onto Beacon St to hump it up the hill.
How will I do that now?

When on a bicycle, I turn right from Boylston onto Charles.
Will I be able to do that and still enter the bike lane now?

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Voting closed 9

I can’t see those intersections in the photo, but I suspect the answer is “sit around and wait for the pedestrian light”.

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Voting closed 8

Is it your first time on a bicycle riding in the city? I think you don't need your hand held to figure this out. But in case you do ...

You'll merge over to the right to turn right and hump it up Beacon St. As a cyclist, you're OK to be in any lane. So pay attention around you and merge right before your turn.

And going from Boylston to Charles, same thing, you'll pay attention to the world around you and find your chance to merge left to the bike lane. Unless you're staying on the right to turn right onto Beacon, again to hump it up the hill.

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Voting closed 13

The temp barriers were removed the road is back to the former configuration - is that until spring?

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Voting closed 28

Next are they going to solve the bigger problem: how to bike from Charles/Beacon to the Longfellow Bridge? Charles being one way southbound is a major annoyance. The only alternatives are going east on Beacon (steep climb, extra distance, and puts you on Cambridge Street which is hostile to bikes), or going west on Beacon and then on the Storrow sidewalk (bumpy, and lots of side streets onto which cars could right-hook quickly).

Heading north across the Common wasn’t a big deal. Hardcore cyclists could use the general lanes on Charles, and everyone else could ride on the path in the Common (not technically allowed, but not a big deal since it’s really wide and doesn’t have too many pedestrians).

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Voting closed 7