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  1. #1
    Lug Princess Veloria's Avatar
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    Cambridge to Quincy Commute: Doable?

    I have just gotten a great new studio space in Quincy, MA. Problem is that I live on the Cambridge/Somerville line (between Inman Sq and Porter Sq), and have never cycled to Quincy before. Does anybody know how "doable" that route is by bicycle, as a regular commute? I am okay with the mileage, but am concerned about road and traffic conditions.

    Thanks in advance!

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    Step 1: http://maps.google.com

    Step 2: Use bicycle option.

    Step 3: Watch out for Massholes.



  3. #3
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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    you coudl also take a look at Boston's BIke Map (http://www.cityofboston.gov/TridionI..._tcm1-3455.pdf).

    a quick peek suggests that Mass Ave to Dorchester Ave would work as long as you can take the traffic. personally, I've had enough close calls on Mass Ave that I avoid it whenever possible.

    depending on where in Cambridge you're coming from, you could try Ruggles to Warren to Talbot.

    good luck and also check in with the friendly folks at bostonbiker.org!
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

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    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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    also, ridewithgps.com is a fabulous site for figuring out elevations
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

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    Lug Princess Veloria's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. Of course I know about google maps and other bike maps. Sometimes it's just nice to hear from people who do the route every day themselves. Thanks again.

  6. #6
    THC
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    Last summer, I used to ride from near Porter Square to my mom's house in Weymouth all the time. The shortest way for me to go was Mass Ave, to Dorchester Ave, to Neponset Ave, and over the river onto Hancock St. The traffic on Mass Ave could be bad sometimes. Dorchester Ave does not have a lot of space for cyclists, but the flow of traffic was usually just the right speed so that I could ride right in the middle of the road with the cars. The worst part was crossing the Neponset river on that bridge. It is quite long and cars go very fast. Also, I think there is construction currently taking place somewhere on the Neponset river, so you should probably look into that. Sometimes I would go further west and cross on Adams St into Milton where the bridge is much shorter, but that route was longer and there is also a big hill after the bridge on the Milton side. Anyway, good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Veloria View Post
    I have just gotten a great new studio space in Quincy, MA. Problem is that I live on the Cambridge/Somerville line (between Inman Sq and Porter Sq), and have never cycled to Quincy before. Does anybody know how "doable" that route is by bicycle, as a regular commute? I am okay with the mileage, but am concerned about road and traffic conditions.

    Thanks in advance!
    Have you seen the Rt 3A bridge?!?!?!?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Veloria View Post
    I have just gotten a great new studio space in Quincy, MA. Problem is that I live on the Cambridge/Somerville line (between Inman Sq and Porter Sq), and have never cycled to Quincy before. Does anybody know how "doable" that route is by bicycle, as a regular commute? I am okay with the mileage, but am concerned about road and traffic conditions.

    Thanks in advance!
    Have you seen the Rt 3A bridge?!?!?!?

  9. #9
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    hi-vis clothes
    strobes
    ride in the road not the sidewalks
    obey stop signs and traffic lights
    take the lane when you can, sometimes that means the left lane
    Sunday morning would be a good day/time to do a test run (nice and quiet)
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  10. #10
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veloria View Post
    I have just gotten a great new studio space in Quincy, MA. Problem is that I live on the Cambridge/Somerville line (between Inman Sq and Porter Sq), and have never cycled to Quincy before. Does anybody know how "doable" that route is by bicycle, as a regular commute? I am okay with the mileage, but am concerned about road and traffic conditions.

    Thanks in advance!
    I commute from Kenmore Square to Norwood, the reverse direction of the usual auto traffic, and I ride early, arriving by 7:30 AM. So I travel under optimal conditions. That being said, during the nice weather when I'm training for distances, I sometimes ride to Norwood by way of Quincy and Milton. I note that no one suggested taking Morrissey Blvd. It's a wide road, and there may be sidewalks if the traffic is bad, though I personally don't ride them, and never looked. The scenery is pretty pleasant too.

    I get to Morrissey through the South End via Berkley to Old Colony, to Columbia Road. Or I take Mass Ave to Columbia. At the end of Morrissey in Dorchester I either go into Quincy on the somewhat treacherous Hancock St Bridge, or take Gallivan Blvd to Adams and then into Quincy as also described above.

    I then take a different Adams Street westward through Milton and ultimately back to Lower Mills in Dorchester and on to Hyde Park and Dedham, or on Centre St through to Canton and Norwood. When I'm doing a long weekend ride further down the South Shore though Weymouth and beyond, I seem to always get confused in Quincy.
    Last edited by Jim from Boston; 04-14-10 at 06:28 PM.

  11. #11
    Lug Princess Veloria's Avatar
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    Thanks again for the replies, esp. Jim from Boston.

    It looks like I can take a "long-cut" through S Boston if I want to start off with a more familiar route, but either way you all are right that the Rt 3A bridge is fearsome. Possibly this is over my head at the moment, but I will do a trial run on a quiet weekend morning.

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    neits stien's Avatar
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    I just looked into commuting from quincy to downtown yesterday, mapping a route in my car. It was damn near suicide.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veloria View Post
    Thanks again for the replies, esp. Jim from Boston.

    It looks like I can take a "long-cut" through S Boston if I want to start off with a more familiar route, but either way you all are right that the Rt 3A bridge is fearsome. Possibly this is over my head at the moment, but I will do a trial run on a quiet weekend morning.
    Thanks for your reply. As I mentioned in the introduction to my post, if you commute outbound in the morning, especially early (leaving Boston / Cambridge) before about 6:00 AM, traffic, including on the bridge, is more tolerable. The Hancock St Bridge has a sidewalk, though not in great shape as I recall. It certainly is a good idea to check out a route on a weekend morning to verify.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stien View Post
    I just looked into commuting from quincy to downtown yesterday, mapping a route in my car. It was damn near suicide.
    Hey Stien,

    What route(s) did you check out? Though perhaps any inbound route might be difficult, but with street smarts not necessarily suicidal.

  15. #15
    neits stien's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    Hey Stien,

    What route(s) did you check out? Though perhaps any inbound route might be difficult, but with street smarts not necessarily suicidal.
    Jim,
    I went from Whitwell St (around the T station there, Quincy Center right?) along Hancock St, eventually going closer to the ocean since it was safer. From there the 3A bridge really put a damper on my fun. I saw a few large highways with no easily accessible/terrible sidewalks and no way to sidestreets from large highways, I kinda gave up from there. Have you ever done it? I'm sure it could be done, but it's nothing I'd want to do 5 days a week on my road bike especially with 700x25 tires.

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    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stien View Post
    Jim,
    I went from Whitwell St (around the T station there, Quincy Center right?) along Hancock St, eventually going closer to the ocean since it was safer. From there the 3A bridge really put a damper on my fun. I saw a few large highways with no easily accessible/terrible sidewalks and no way to sidestreets from large highways, I kinda gave up from there. Have you ever done it? I'm sure it could be done, but it's nothing I'd want to do 5 days a week on my road bike especially with 700x25 tires.
    Thanks for the reply. As mentioned in prior posts I am an early morning reverse commuter so consider the source, and I ride a road bike with 700 x 23C tires. The two other alternatives across the Neponset River from Quincy are Granite Street to Adams and thence to Gallivan Blvd; or Adams Street to Dorcester Lower Mills and on to Dorchester Ave. Both are less harrowing than the Hancock St Bridge, though I think the Morrissey route into Boston, also accessible from Gallivan, would be less harrowing than Dot Ave.

    I once had a visitor from rural Virginia and we did an early morning weekday ride from Kenmore down to Marina Bay in Quincy over the Hancock St Bridge. The ride down there wasn't bad but the return trip back to Boston was not great; I admit it was not a good choice for a rural Virginian commuter. Nonetheless Marina Bay was a great destination.

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    neits stien's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    Thanks for the reply. As mentioned in prior posts I am an early morning reverse commuter so consider the source, and I ride a road bike with 700 x 23C tires. The two other alternatives across the Neponset River from Quincy are Granite Street to Adams and thence to Gallivan Blvd; or Adams Street to Dorcester Lower Mills and on to Dorchester Ave. Both are less harrowing than the Hancock St Bridge, though I think the Morrissey route into Boston, also accessible from Gallivan, would be less harrowing than Dot Ave.

    I once had a visitor from rural Virginia and we did an early morning weekday ride from Kenmore down to Marina Bay in Quincy over the Hancock St Bridge. The ride down there wasn't bad but the return trip back to Boston was not great; I admit it was not a good choice for a rural Virginian commuter. Nonetheless Marina Bay was a great destination.
    Woow, I didn't even consider the Adams St bridge, I'll check it out. Thanks! You may have just saved me from taking the train :thu:

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    I just want to contribute to this thread because it's the first hit you get when you google Quincy to Cambridge on bike. For one thing the Hancock St bridge aka Route 3A bridge aka Neponset River bridge now has a wide sidewalk for bicycles.

    I commute Quincy to Cambridge everyday and have grown so frustrated with the Redline experience that I am planning to figure out a way to bike it safely. I will start trying to do it over the weekends and if I make any progress I will post tips on this thread.

  19. #19
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    Quincy to cambrige on a bicycle is easy.

    I rode from Quincy to Cambridge on my mountain bike over the weekend and it was easy. Basically just used used google maps bike directions.

    I entered Boston via Granite Ave, which I think wasn't even mentioned in this thread yet. The only other alternative from Quincy is the Neponset River Bridge. The Adams street bridge is in Milton and doesn't make sense from Quincy given the other two options. Which bridge you take would depend on where in Quincy you live/work and traffic conditions.

    Granite Ave could be dangerous during rush hour (40 mph speed limit, 3 highway ramps), in which case NPR bridge would be the better option. The side walk, which I think opened in 2012, is made for cycling.

    Either way, you access the Neponset river trail easily - no cars there, very pleasant. You take that to Freeport St to Dorchester Ave to Columbia Rd to Massachusetts Ave. There are no steep hills save for the NPR bridge if you go that way. There is a clearly marked bike lane for the majority of the ride. Of course the traffic on Dot Ave and Mass Ave could be heavy, but I think an experienced cyclist could handle it easily. You would just have to stay alert and be aware. The biggest obstacle is double-parkers on Mass ave. They should all be jailed .

    Also throughout this journey, you're mostly never more than a 5-10 minute walk from an MBTA station. If anything goes wrong you won't be stranded.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QtoC View Post
    I rode from Quincy to Cambridge on my mountain bike over the weekend and it was easy. Basically just used used google maps bike directions.

    I entered Boston via Granite Ave, which I think wasn't even mentioned in this thread yet. The only other alternative from Quincy is the Neponset River Bridge. The Adams street bridge is in Milton and doesn't make sense from Quincy given the other two options. Which bridge you take would depend on where in Quincy you live/work and traffic conditions.

    Granite Ave could be dangerous during rush hour (40 mph speed limit, 3 highway ramps), in which case NPR bridge would be the better option. The side walk, which I think opened in 2012, is made for cycling.

    Either way, you access the Neponset river trail easily - no cars there, very pleasant. You take that to Freeport St to Dorchester Ave to Columbia Rd to Massachusetts Ave. There are no steep hills save for the NPR bridge if you go that way. There is a clearly marked bike lane for the majority of the ride. Of course the traffic on Dot Ave and Mass Ave could be heavy, but I think an experienced cyclist could handle it easily. You would just have to stay alert and be aware. The biggest obstacle is double-parkers on Mass ave. They should all be jailed .

    Also throughout this journey, you're mostly never more than a 5-10 minute walk from an MBTA station. If anything goes wrong you won't be stranded.
    Consider also Morrissey Boulevard; pretty wide, with little-used sidewalks I think. You could take it to Columbia and then to Old Colony, Mass Ave or Dot Ave into South Boston, and then downtown and over to MGH and across the Charles.

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    Today was my first time trying this commute during the week. I've done it a handful of times on weekends. I left at 6:35 am, and arrived at work at 7:30 am. Everything was basically the same, in fact Dot Ave and Mass Ave had lighter traffic than they do on a Saturday afternoon. However, Granite Ave through Milton was frightening. The stretch from Squantum street until the 93 on ramp was like a hornets nest. Next time I do this, which will probably be this Friday, I'm going to try either the NPR bridge (sidewalk) into Boston or Adams St in Milton. I have done both before and don't like either one for various reason, but they're definitely both safer during rush hour.

    As a tip to others, I would say Granite Ave is the best way to get from Quincy to Boston via bike, as long as you're going off peak driving hours. Otherwise it is pretty scary. The funny thing is traffic on 93 gets so backed up that the entire on ramp on Granite Ave is like a parking lot. So people are just speeding past me for a few hundred yards to go wait in line. Funny how they're willing to possibly threaten another person's life for the privilege of not having to slow down a few hundred yards earlier.

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