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Cambridge, MA: Alewife to Memorial Drive path

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Cambridge, MA: Alewife to Memorial Drive path

Old 09-22-07, 12:08 PM
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sergeb
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Cambridge, MA: Alewife to Memorial Drive path

I am about to start commuting via bike from Arlington to South Boston, and one part that looks a little tricky is getting from the end of the Minuteman path at Alewife to the Memorial Drive/Storrow Drive bike paths near Mt. Auburn/Harvard.

I did some investigation this morning, and am not really thrilled with any of the routes I found.

Can anyone recommend a safe and not too slow way to get between these two points?

Thanks.
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Old 09-22-07, 01:08 PM
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Take the minuteman path to porter square and then Mass Ave down to Storrow.
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Old 09-22-07, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by sergeb View Post
I am about to start commuting via bike from Arlington to South Boston, and one part that looks a little tricky is getting from the end of the Minuteman path at Alewife to the Memorial Drive/Storrow Drive bike paths near Mt. Auburn/Harvard.
From the end of Alewife, ride around the commuter garage to the eastern half of the terminal (where all the buses enter) and then underneath Rt. 16 to the eastern end of the Alewife complex. You can pick up an extension of the path from here that leads through Russell Field and eventually ends at Mass. Ave. near Davis Square, at the interesection of Cedar and Massachusetts.

I would, however, head east past Russell Field to Dudley St. make a right on either Clifton or Clay, then left on Rindge. Right on Sherman. Follow Sherman to the Garden St. / Huron Ave intersection.

From here you can either go right on Huron then left on Sparks and follow Sparks to Mt. Auburn but the left on Sparks is tricky because it's on a downhill right curve with little forward visibility.

The slightly slower alternate is to follow Garden St. into Harvard Square and then do that right loop through Brattle to Eliot to JFK, but that does mean riding through the pedestrian morass of Harvard Sq. and I don't know if that qualifies as safe/pleasant to you; but that is what I would do.

alternatively, you can bail on the minuteman before you get to alewife. Leave at Lake, follow Lake to a left on Cross, then left on Blanchard, follow Blanchard past Concord Ave. then left at a rotary onto Grove. follow Grove to a left on Belmont St. Belmont will flow into Mt. Auburn and from there you can ride into Harvard Sq. and make a right onto JFK to get on the river path. It's possibly slower than the previous options but it's a simpler set of turns.
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Old 09-22-07, 04:19 PM
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I'll be looking for you guys in Boston Sunday.
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Old 09-22-07, 05:17 PM
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Alewife to Mem Drive

I have been commuting daily for over a year now from Arlington Heights to Cambridge on Mem Drive near BU. I have tried lots of different routes, but my most common path involves getting from Alewife to Mem Drive. My usual route for this is: https://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=1337259. This is all on the street except for the stretch in the middle where you are on a mostly very wide sidewalk. The sidewalk stretch starts where you cross under Rt. 2 at Alewife, and ends with the left turn onto Vassal Lane.

You can't follow this in reverse to get back because Sparks one-way. Here is my route home: https://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=1337273. I usually dip into the first rotary at Alewife Brook Parkway. This is usually no problem, but if you aren't comfortable with traffic, you can use the crosswalk at the end of Lakeview and take the bike path around Fresh Pond to the other crosswalk after the second rotary.

These are a very easy, pleasant routes.
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Old 09-22-07, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by jdh37 View Post
I have been commuting daily for over a year now from Arlington Heights to Cambridge on Mem Drive near BU. I have tried lots of different routes, but my most common path involves getting from Alewife to Mem Drive. My usual route for this is: https://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=1337259. This is all on the street except for the stretch in the middle where you are on a mostly very wide sidewalk. The sidewalk stretch starts where you cross under Rt. 2 at Alewife, and ends with the left turn onto Vassal Lane.

You can't follow this in reverse to get back because Sparks one-way. Here is my route home: https://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=1337273. I usually dip into the first rotary at Alewife Brook Parkway. This is usually no problem, but if you aren't comfortable with traffic, you can use the crosswalk at the end of Lakeview and take the bike path around Fresh Pond to the other crosswalk after the second rotary.

These are a very easy, pleasant routes.
Bingo! Just goes to show, a picture -- or a map -- really is worth a thousand words. What a helpful post from a new member.

To add my own two cents, I rode this exact way the other day after getting slightly lost. After you get past Fresh Pond, it's all residential streets, very relaxed. Just be careful where Sparks crosses Brattle Street: it's a wierd five way intersection with a flashing yellow (I think). Some drivers will ignore it and blithely drive through, others will stop and wave you through.

Jdh, it's cool that you get to use TWO nice bike paths for your commute!
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Old 09-22-07, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by spokenword View Post
Sherman to the Garden St. / Huron Ave intersection.
I took Sherman to Garden to Harvard from the extension of the minuteman trail that ends at Mass Ave (down Cedar/Rindge) all last year, and definitely recommend it over going straight down Mass Ave. Adds a bit of distance, subtracts quite a bit of unpleasantness.

Ari
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Old 09-23-07, 07:03 PM
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I tried jdh37's route this morning (Vassal and Sparks) and it worked pretty well, they are very rideable streets.

I will check out the other recommendations - thanks everyone for your assistance.
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Old 08-31-14, 04:05 PM
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what is the best way to get from arlington to harvard square and not go through mass ave?
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Old 09-02-14, 08:38 AM
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Might find some help on the regional forums as well. I would not ride on MA ave if there were better alternatives. I commute from Wilmington to Brighton year round. From the end of the MM bike path loop around the back side of alewife to connect with the path that turns right just after going under rt 2. Follow to the ped activated light between the 2 rotaries. WAIT until the traffic has cleared. Take the fresh pond bike path to right on Huron st. Left on larchwood, rt on pond, left on brattle ( bike path) Take sidewalk on rt to cross rt16 ( with ped light) Take coolidge hill and then cut through BBN school. From there cross the roads to get to the boat house. Take bike path UNDER elliot bridge and charles river path to go to Boston.
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Old 09-05-14, 01:27 PM
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Use the bike paths

I'd utilize the Cambridge/Somerville bike paths to have sections where you can 'zone out' a bit... saving your spider senses for car doors and the traffic later in the ride.

From Alewife take the bike path into Davis Sq.

From Davis take Elm St. (or continue down the path a bit and just cut across Elm later

cut across to Mass Ave. at Porter Sq (White St?) then go behind Porter Station to Oxford St.

That leads you right into Harvard Sq via the back way. You'll actually be on some of the Harvard campus paths.

From there you're a hop skip and a jump to the boathouse or mt auburn

Last edited by Marc40a; 09-05-14 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 09-05-14, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by spokenword View Post
From the end of Alewife, ride around the commuter garage to the eastern half of the terminal (where all the buses enter) and then underneath Rt. 16 to the eastern end of the Alewife complex. You can pick up an extension of the path from here that leads through Russell Field and eventually ends at Mass. Ave. near Davis Square, at the interesection of Cedar and Massachusetts.

I would, however, head east past Russell Field to Dudley St. make a right on either Clifton or Clay, then left on Rindge. Right on Sherman. Follow Sherman to the Garden St. / Huron Ave intersection.

From here you can either go right on Huron then left on Sparks and follow Sparks to Mt. Auburn but the left on Sparks is tricky because it's on a downhill right curve with little forward visibility.

The slightly slower alternate is to follow Garden St. into Harvard Square and then do that right loop through Brattle to Eliot to JFK, but that does mean riding through the pedestrian morass of Harvard Sq. and I don't know if that qualifies as safe/pleasant to you; but that is what I would do.

alternatively, you can bail on the minuteman before you get to alewife. Leave at Lake, follow Lake to a left on Cross, then left on Blanchard, follow Blanchard past Concord Ave. then left at a rotary onto Grove. follow Grove to a left on Belmont St. Belmont will flow into Mt. Auburn and from there you can ride into Harvard Sq. and make a right onto JFK to get on the river path. It's possibly slower than the previous options but it's a simpler set of turns.
That's a clean route but you have to fight your way through the Fresh Pond Mall area and not one but two roundabouts. Very few drivers know what the F they're doing in those (they should use a directional to signal when they're leaving the roundabout.)

Though, it must work well or be better than I envision it to be, if it works for you. I would imagine that if that route is the result of commuting for a year that it's likely the one of the best routes.

Last edited by Marc40a; 09-05-14 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 09-05-14, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by spokenword View Post
From the end of Alewife, ride around the commuter garage to the eastern half of the terminal (where all the buses enter) and then underneath Rt. 16 to the eastern end of the Alewife complex. You can pick up an extension of the path from here that leads through Russell Field and eventually ends at Mass. Ave. near Davis Square, at the interesection of Cedar and Massachusetts.

I would, however, head east past Russell Field to Dudley St. make a right on either Clifton or Clay, then left on Rindge. Right on Sherman. Follow Sherman to the Garden St. / Huron Ave intersection.

From here you can either go right on Huron then left on Sparks and follow Sparks to Mt. Auburn but the left on Sparks is tricky because it's on a downhill right curve with little forward visibility.

The slightly slower alternate is to follow Garden St. into Harvard Square and then do that right loop through Brattle to Eliot to JFK, but that does mean riding through the pedestrian morass of Harvard Sq. and I don't know if that qualifies as safe/pleasant to you; but that is what I would do.

alternatively, you can bail on the minuteman before you get to alewife. Leave at Lake, follow Lake to a left on Cross, then left on Blanchard, follow Blanchard past Concord Ave. then left at a rotary onto Grove. follow Grove to a left on Belmont St. Belmont will flow into Mt. Auburn and from there you can ride into Harvard Sq. and make a right onto JFK to get on the river path. It's possibly slower than the previous options but it's a simpler set of turns.
This sounds like a great route as well.
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