Casey bike upgrades, busway discussed

November 9, 2012
By

FOREST HILLS—The state Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Casey Arborway design team announced bicycle amenities planned to be incorporated into the new Casey Arborway at a Nov. 1 community advisory meeting.

Cyclists who use the corridor can look forward to two-way off-street bike paths similar to those on the Southwest Corridor Park on both sides of the Casey Arborway and parts of Washington Street.

The design team is including designated on-street bicycle stops at intersections, called “bike boxes,” to increase safety for riders. Steps are also being taken to incorporate future bike amenities expected to be added to Morton Street east of the project area.

The Design Advisory Group (DAG) expressed concerns over how reliably off-street bike paths would be plowed during winter snowstorms, and asked the design team to prioritize the service.

Design team member Paul Godfrey further explained the rationale for moving the 39 bus to an expanded upper busway. He covered three discarded variations for the busway design and explained why the proposed design was chosen.

The design team also covered the impact expected on the route’s turnaround time. Using 2035 projected traffic levels, the bus would have a shorter turnaround time than under current conditions for the morning peak hour, while it would take longer during the afternoon peak hour and during the mid-day off-peak period. Those delays are all under a minute-and-a-half; most are under a minute.

According to MBTA data presented by the design team, the 39 bus takes on average 42 minutes to reach Copley Square, its terminus, from Forest Hills station.

The design process is expected to last until Oct. 2013, with regular DAG meetings occurring in that period.

The Casey Arborway, an at-grade surface street network, will replace the crumbling Casey Overpass. The Casey Overpass is the State Route 203 bridge over Washington Street at the Forest Hills T Station.

The state Casey project website is massdot.state.ma.us/caseyoverpass.