In response to new analyses and expert input, the state Casey Arborway design team introduced an “opening year” design variation last month that removes on-street bike lanes. Off-road multi-use paths are still in place.
The “opening year” variation, created to enhance pedestrian safety, is so called because it is aimed at accommodating 2016 levels of traffic, the year the new Casey Arborway is expected to open. It would be easily expandable to accomodate future lanes. Combined with other changes to the total design, it is a reduction of up to 22 feet of pavement for pedestrians to cross.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) team has been consulting with a Danish urban design expert, Troels Andersen, who lectures internationally on improving bike infrastructure.
According to Andersen, co-Project Manager Paul King said, the primary focus for bike-friendly urban planners should be on crossings and intersections, not lanes.
“It’s a draft plan. They’re experimenting,” Boston Cyclists Union Executive Director Pete Stidman said. “The Cyclists Union has not taken a position. We’re sorting through the configurations we could have. Pedestrians want to have a shorter crossing distance. We want to do our due diligence to see if we absolutely need that bike lane.”
The City of Boston I currently expanding bike lanes throughout the city.