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Cambridge Street along Beacon Hill to get a dedicated bike lane

The Beacon Hill Times reports on changes coming to Cambridge Street between Court Street and the Longfellow Bridge.

More details on the plans.


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It's always the nonresidents who get squeezed out. Virtually all of the metered parking in this neighborhood will be eliminated.


Good...the residents would like to be able to safely get around the city w/out fear of getting killed. What they make in meter $ isn't enough to continue to give free or very reduced parking for private vehicles.

Flame away....


The people parking for free are the ones with Beacon Hill permits. And none of those spots are being eliminated.

Safe street designs make it less likely to get killed, not eliminating 100% of the small amount of parking certain people are allowed to use, while keeping all of the parking for certain other people.

Plenty of them along this stretch.


There are enough small businesses on this stretch for which garage parking is not practical.

Hopefully this plan will also put an end.to the constant double parking that goes on with no enforcement. Both sides of the street are a nightmare for everyone travelling on it.

Eliminating all of the legal short-term and loading spaces on the westbound side won't help reduce double parking.

Somehow, there are a ton of small businesses on this stretch that survive only on customers who drive there and have to park immediately outside the shop. Incredibly, this business model has been sustainable for years despite the fact that the shop owners never seem to have any evidence to show that the vast majority of their customers are people parking directly outside, rather than, you know, parking somewhere else and walking over, just walking from their homes/workplaces, or biking there.


Have you owned a small business, and if so, are you cool with eliminating a chunk of your customers because they do not live locally? Not sure where you think all the people currently using the meters are heading to...

The only way the upper level in Charles River Plaza works is they have valets to move cars around. But there aren't enough meters now to make much difference.
And they will be taking out the parking garage between North Grove and North Anderson in the next year or so.

The construction will also probably move into what is shown as bike lane too at some point.

WTF is wrong with you?


that price signals to me that this is some pretty valuable land that could almost certainly have a more productive use than free parking!


How is meter availability? If there are typically a few open spaces at certain times, then it's not underpriced at those times.

Of course if the spaces aren't used, you'll say they're a waste, and if they are used, you'll say they're underpriced. Meanwhile, the people who found them convenient are being squeezed out, and not a single resident space is being taken away.

it is only 15 spaces actually lost. The businesses need the deliveries and the spaces will be open Saturday, Sunday and Holidays.

Residential parking is not being taken away, just all of the metered parking.

read the thread for context

How will people drive to their Very Important Historic Beacon Hill destinations if Cambridge Street is desecrated by this sort of infrastructure for the hoi polloi? Shall commoners be allowed to travel safely with less parking for real people? Think of the historic parking meters and parking lane spaces which will be sacrificed in the name of people riding bikes not being scared to death of using this roadway. What has come of this once-proud country?!

[In all seriousness, this is one of the worst streets to bike on in Boston and a protected lane is very much needed. Now do the other side. Sorry not sorry to people driving cars here.]


Are not going to be from the hill. The hospital gets 10,000 of visitors everyday. But meters won't matter either way.

What is confusing is the plan doesn't do anything to the bump outs at intersections or at the cross walk at the library.


This project is restriping and maybe installing flex posts. Removing the bump-outs would involve heavy reconstruction, including moving storm drains. It should be done at some point, I agree, and at the same time raise the bike lane to sidewalk level, float the bus stop, etc. But right now, going around the bump-outs is fine.

This is obviously a big improvement, but we were promised full two-way cycle tracks here as part of Connect Historic Boston.


On that hill!


There are no bike lanes that connect a bridge with heavy bike traffic with downtown jobs. I can ride in traffic, but I'm tired on depending on gridlock for a safe trip.


Seriously though, why is it only in one direction? I never understand this strategy, that the city seems to be pursuing all over the place of giving bicyclists a safe way to get somewhere but not one to get back. It’s not simply on a parallel street or something, which isn’t an option here anyway, but simply nothing coming from Cambridge and one of the busiest bridges for bikes into downtown.

These literal half measures perpetually illustrate the city is more interested in preserving public space for private vehicle storage than it is in keeping people, including those who cannot afford cars in the first place, safe.


Currently, Charles Street has FIVE 12' lanes dedicated to automobiles: parking along both curbs plus three travel lanes. It's insane. There isn't enough loading space, so everyone uses the outside travel lanes for double-parking trucks and cars. There is no safe way to access the Longfellow Bridge westbound from the Back Bay without zig zagging back and forth over Storrow Drive, which is ridiculous.

We've been fighting for two-way cycling on Charles Street for 15+ years. I'm hopeful that this administration might finally move on it, but this Cambridge Street proposal, which still lacks the promised two-way protected cycle track, isn't very encouraging.


A Schwinn Western Flyer to that windowless Pandora's box of an establishment aka 1987 era Sporter's on Cambridge Street... I'd be a happy guy

Only a bike lane going in one direction, which is downhill.

Obviously, lanes in both directions would be ideal, but perhaps uphill would be a better option for a single bike lane.


That was exactly my thought. I used to ride this every day and just took the lane, but it’s a lot harder to take the lane when you’re slowly pushing up the hill.

Both directions suck, maybe they thought this side would be phase 1, to be followed by phase two on the other side in the near future.

Or you know the could take out the nice but space hogging median planters and have enough space for lanes on both sides.


Somerville at least seems to get this when they only put a lane in one direction on a hill it is always in the uphill direction. It’s definitely not as good as actually having them in both directions but it definitely takes the stress off crawling up a hill with cars breathing down your neck. Very confused about the choice to prioritize the downhill side where keeping up with, or even exceeding the speed of cars is far easier.

Is the thinking that most of the people biking towards Cambridge would be from Boston while most of those biking towards downtown wouldn’t? Still seems to miss that, generally, if you bike in one direction you are probably going to want to come back in a relatively similar route eventually.

Most people going from the Longfellow into downtown are going to bike down much flatter Charles St (ahem, which needs a bike lane).

But lots of people heading anywhere downtown back to the bridge go downhill down Cambridge (with no room currently and lots of turning vehicles).