Bike lanes coming to rest of Centre St.

August 12, 2011
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Bike lanes are coming to the rest of Centre Street as soon as this month, a city-hired planner announced July 26 to the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council.

Bike lanes and shared-lane markings were painted on Centre and South streets through central JP last year. The new bike lanes will continue down Centre from Monument Square and past Faulkner Hospital to the VFW Parkway in West Roxbury.

It is unclear whether the markings will be lanes; “sharrows” that indicate that cars should share the road with bikes; or both. Also, Centre Street between the Arborway and the VFW Parkway already has wide, marked shoulders that bicyclists use as lanes. It is unclear how those play into the bike lane plans. The Mayor’s Office did not respond to Gazette requests for comment.

The lanes will skip Murray Circle, the rotary where Centre crosses the Arborway, said Michelle Langone Danila, a civil engineer with the city-hired Toole Design Group. That is because the rotary is too complex and current industry standards oppose putting bike lanes in rotaries, she said. Bicyclists will be encouraged to ride on the sidewalks there.

“The long-term goal is to use ramps to get bikes up onto the sidewalk,” said Langone Danila.

Centre Street between the Arborway and the VFW Parkway is a state parkway, not a City of Boston street. The city is coordinating the lane-painting with the state Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), according to Langone Danila. DCR spokesperson S.J. Port had no immediate response to Gazette questions.

Langone Danila also said that plans to place bike lanes in the Forest Hills area are on hold pending the final design of the Casey Overpass replacement project.