Franklin Park gets bike stripes painted

David Taber

Paint was laid for new bike lanes on Circuit Drive—the roadway running through Franklin Park—last week.

The lanes are among over five miles of bike lanes that are being installed in Boston, including on Washington Street between Forest Hills T station and Roslindale Village. [See related article.]

Nicole Freeman, head of the city’s Boston Bikes program, and a Jamaica Plain resident, told the Gazette that the locations for the lanes were decided based on the existing number of cyclists; usefulness for different communities; connection to existing or future networks; and requests from the community.

While the winding Franklin Park roadway does not get a ton of use by cyclists currently, there were a lot of requests for lanes from recreational park users, Freeman said.

Bike lanes were also recommended in a city-funded transportation improvement plan for the park completed last year by consultants Howard/Stein-Hudson Associates.

And Freeman said the lanes could inspire more use of the roadway by bicycle commuters. Circuit Drive is the shortest route for JP residents to get to the South Boston’s waterfront area, she said. And the bike lanes will connect people in Mattapan and Dorchester with the Southwest Corridor bike path, which runs from JP to downtown.

Freeman said signs will be installed to direct bicyclists from Circuit Drive to the corridor, probably via Glen Road.

The Circuit lanes are also an important component of inter-neighborhood bike travel, said Pete Stidman, an organizer with the Dorchester Environmental Health Coalition.

Stidman said the Dorchester group successfully advocated with the city for bike lanes on Talbot Avenue connecting Dorchester and Roxbury, and is working to get lanes installed on Blue Hill Avenue, where the state is planning to install new dedicated bus lanes. With those connections from Circuit Drive, “We’ll have the beginnings of a real network connecting Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan and JP,” he said.

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