Bike lanes installed, then removed on Arborway

August 1, 2014
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Bike lanes were installed on the Arborway between Jamaica Pond and the Arnold Arboretum in May, but were removed a month later after the state Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) received a letter from the Boston Cyclists Union (BCU) criticizing them and the lack of public process.

DCR said the bike lanes installation was the result of an internal mix-up while the Arborway was being repaved in the spring.

“Unfortunately, when the road was being repaved in mid-May, there was a miscommunication between headquarters and our field engineering staff,” said DCR spokesperson Bill Hickey in an email to the Gazette. “Our paving team marked the lanes prematurely before checking in with headquarters. It was a well-intentioned, but nonetheless unfortunate, mistake. Once we were made aware of the mistake, DCR’s engineering team removed the lanes.”

He said that the bike lanes were paint, rather than thermoplastic, allowing for an easy removal. He said the cost of that was “nominal.”

Pete Stidman of BCU said in a phone interview with the Gazette that he wouldn’t describe them as proper bike lanes and that they were dangerous for cyclists.

He criticized the lanes for being too narrow and leaving intersections unmarked. Stidman said BCU wants physically separate bike lanes and looks forward to discussing proposals with DCR in the fall.

Hickey said that the Arborway has unique contours and lane-width restrictions and that DCR is working on a traffic study to help determine the “safest and best approach to this complicated issue of bike lanes” on the road.

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