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Old 07-08-16, 08:00 PM   #1
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"Cambridge bike lane design gets uneven response"

I should say so! I haven't ridden through here since this was done, but I certainly would not be expecting this:

Cambridge bike lane design gets uneven response - The Boston Globe

It seems a bit out of character for Cambridge, which has a reputation for being more cycling-friendly.
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Old 07-08-16, 09:55 PM   #2
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If they're too cheap to move the air vents, then they should have narrowed the overly-wide travel lane and maintain at least a minimally functional bike lane. That's pathetic traffic engineering; someone's head should roll for that one.
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Old 07-08-16, 10:17 PM   #3
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Bike lane or not, that seems like an absurd place to put a vent. At some point, something is going to run into it.
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Old 07-08-16, 11:37 PM   #4
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“It’s not a perfect situation, but we know it’s safe and we know it meets the standards,” he said.
Boston must have some very odd standards.
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Old 07-08-16, 11:38 PM   #5
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Bike lane or not, that seems like an absurd place to put a vent. At some point, something is going to run into it.
Hopefully, it will be a snow plow.
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Old 07-09-16, 12:42 PM   #6
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Hopefully, it will be a snow plow.
Do you really think they will plow this bike lane? Didn't someone say it is raised above the travel lane?
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Old 07-09-16, 12:47 PM   #7
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I should say so! I haven't ridden through here since this was done, but I certainly would not be expecting this:

Cambridge bike lane design gets uneven response - The Boston Globe

It seems a bit out of character for Cambridge, which has a reputation for being more cycling-friendly.
Had something similar on a road near my house... the thing that really annoyed me was that the pinch point in the BL could have been relieved by changing the center divider on the road... but apparently no one thought of that.
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File Type: jpg genesee_pinched_BL.jpg (94.0 KB, 236 views)

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Old 07-09-16, 01:17 PM   #8
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Bit odd of a place for that indeed, bike lane or not. That said, I've seen all sorts of odd road configurations for cars going around preexisting or otherwise unrelocatable things (Detroit had pillars for a raised rail track smackdab in the middle of a few intersections, for example), you're bound to run into this eventually for bike too. If it is a one off thing (i.e., these aren't all over town in bike lanes), it is just a known less-than-ideal situation. Stick some warning signs up well before people get to it and ride sensibly around it.

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Old 07-09-16, 01:21 PM   #9
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Bike lane or not, that seems like an absurd place to put a vent. At some point, something is going to run into it.
Third Street used to end at Broadway. There was a uturn from Broadway to Main. Essentially only used by cabs.

They've reconfigured the road, claiming part of a pocket park. So, existing construction.

Chances that fountain infrastucture would have survived if it got in the way of the "road"?

Anyhow, the right thing to do is eliminate the bike lane going in the direction of the one-way road (sharrow it) and move the contra elevated bike only lane.

Before view.

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Old 07-09-16, 01:26 PM   #10
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“It’s not a perfect situation, but we know it’s safe and we know it meets the standards,” he said.

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Boston must have some very odd standards.
Cambridge is not Boston. What he said is mistaken fwiw.

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Old 07-09-16, 01:29 PM   #11
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The vent placement makes a lot more sense after seeing the "before" picture. The bike lane makes a lot less sense after seeing the "after" picture. They simply put a separated lane in a place where there isn't room for one.
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Old 07-09-16, 01:31 PM   #12
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Hopefully, it will be a snow plow.

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Do you really think they will plow this bike lane? Didn't someone say it is raised above the travel lane?
In the unlikely event that "thing" sees snowfall, it will be cleared. They clear the Vassar Street and Western Ave bike lanes - both of which are not at road grade.

BTW, unlike *some* places, we don't have must use "things."

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Old 07-09-16, 02:25 PM   #13
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Third Street used to end at Broadway. There was a uturn from Broadway to Main. Essentially only used by cabs.

They've reconfigured the road, claiming part of a pocket park. So, existing construction.

Chances that fountain infrastucture would have survived if it got in the way of the "road"?

Anyhow, the right thing to do is eliminate the bike lane going in the direction of the one-way road (sharrow it) and move the contra elevated bike only lane.

Before view.

-mr. bill
Why not just route the BL to the right of the vent stuff, behind the vents, through the park?
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Old 07-09-16, 09:05 PM   #14
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Had something similar on a road near my house... the thing that really annoyed me was that the pinch point in the BL could have been relieved by changing the center divider on the road... but apparently no one thought of that.
Now that's just lazy.
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Old 07-09-16, 09:12 PM   #15
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Why not just route the BL to the right of the vent stuff, behind the vents, through the park?
It seems like there would be enough space. Maybe they thought the turn would be too sharp (the vent things extend into the park). Or they don't want to disturb the area immediately around the fountain.

If they don't put a little flag on this thing, I'd bet money a plow nails it. When the snow farm from "Snowmageddon" melted, they were finding plowed up fire hydrants.
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Old 07-09-16, 09:34 PM   #16
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Cambridge is not Boston. What he said is mistaken fwiw.

-mr. bill
Then the Boston cyclist should just shut up about Cambridge infrastructure.

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The narrowed lane was brought to the forefront this week by Steve Bercu, president of the Boston Cyclists Union, an advocacy group.
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Old 07-09-16, 09:58 PM   #17
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Then the Boston cyclist should just shut up about Cambridge infrastructure.
And a Hawaiian cyclist should....

People on bicycles are known to cross *gasp* rivers. There are things called bridges.

-mr. bill

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Old 07-10-16, 08:56 AM   #18
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You say 'bridge' I say 'BMX jump ramp.'
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Old 07-10-16, 07:23 PM   #19
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Cambridge has a pretty decent track record of doing things reasonably right for people on bikes - this is an unfortunate first for them.

On the other side of the Charles, Boston, under Mayor Mahty , won't even put in bike lanes unless someone else pays for them. Thankfully the bridges between the two Cities are owned (or repairs financed) by MassDOT, so we have bike lanes (with some cycletracks coming soon) on most of them.

Brookline is playing catch up to Cambridge and both have left Boston in the dust as far as bike infrastructure goes.
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Old 07-11-16, 10:15 AM   #20
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That's just down from the Longfellow bridge at the start of Kendall Sq., yes? I used to cut through that park on a near regular basis, commuting from Ft. Point day job to Central Sq. PT jobs...
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Old 07-11-16, 10:21 AM   #21
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Why not just route the BL to the right of the vent stuff, behind the vents, through the park?
The structure for the vent is bigger than it appears in the newspaper photo.

Google street view shows what was before the change.

The bike lane was (more or less) routed on the sidewalk. Which means cyclists have to hop down a curve if they turn too widely around the vent.

There doesn't appear to be enough room to route the lane on the other side of the vent (and that would have cyclists popping out in a bad place.

https://www.google.com/maps/@42.3625...!6m1!1e1?hl=en

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Old 07-11-16, 10:43 AM   #22
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On the other side of the Charles, Boston, under Mayor Mahty , won't even put in bike lanes unless someone else pays for them. Thankfully the bridges between the two Cities are owned (or repairs financed) by MassDOT, so we have bike lanes (with some cycletracks coming soon) on most of them.
Uh, that's simply not fair. Nothing ever happens as fast as we would like it to happen, BUT....
  • Stefanie Seskin Director of Active Transportation (replacing Bike Czar Nicole Freedman now in Seattle.)
  • 20 mph speed limit - See H 4349 Home Rule Petition
    (If you've ever biked in 30 kph neighborhoods, you'd know that this is a BIG DEAL.)
  • Go Boston 2030
  • Commonwealth Ave protected intersections approved
  • Feasibility studies for Mass Ave and North Station Area underway
  • Hubway expansions to Roxbury and Dorchester
  • Hubway expansion to East Boston (but you can't get there from here!)
  • ...

You have rose colored glasses on about the state of our bridges btw.

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Old 07-11-16, 10:45 AM   #23
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That's just down from the Longfellow bridge at the start of Kendall Sq., yes? I used to cut through that park on a near regular basis, commuting from Ft. Point day job to Central Sq. PT jobs...
It is indeed.

According to one person on a bicycle in Hawaii, you may not mention Fort Point and Central Square in the same sentence, because.

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Old 07-11-16, 11:00 AM   #24
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It is indeed.

According to one person on a bicycle in Hawaii, you may not mention Fort Point and Central Square in the same sentence, because.

-mr. bill
Even worse... I now live in Maine, or as my embarrassment of a Governor calls it, "Northern Massachusetts."

Google earth isn't really giving me a better view of the new lane -- either it's not updated or the trees are blocking. But yeah, because of the previous layout and timing of the lights, etc., I would do a cycling no-no and usually cut over on the sidewalk, ride through the park, and pop out on Main St, heading toward Mass Ave.
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Old 07-11-16, 11:22 AM   #25
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Even worse... I now live in Maine, or as my embarrassment of a Governor calls it, "Northern Massachusetts."

Google earth isn't really giving me a better view of the new lane -- either it's not updated or the trees are blocking. But yeah, because of the previous layout and timing of the lights, etc., I would do a cycling no-no and usually cut over on the sidewalk, ride through the park, and pop out on Main St, heading toward Mass Ave.
The new lane is just a few dozen days old - so both.

Probably no surprise to you that I don't do the no-no. (I'm guessing you no-no'd at Lafayette Park too.)

Anyhow, your embarrassment would be historically accurate if he was referring to all of Maine.

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