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For immediate release:

November 19, 2021

 

MassDOT Announces Bicycle Safety Pilot on the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge

Over the Charles River (Harvard Bridge)

 

The separated bike lane will be installed and in place by 5 a.m. on Monday, November 22

 

 

BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing a bicycle safety pilot on the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge over the Charles River (the Harvard Bridge).  This pilot is the result of a strong partnership with the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), City of Cambridge, City of Boston, and various advocacy groups including Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), LivableStreets Alliance, TransitMatters, MassBike, Cambridge Bike Safety, and WalkBoston.

 

Consistent with MassDOT’s commitment to sustainable transportation and creating a safe and convenient transportation network for all modes, this pilot will reduce the number of vehicular travel lanes to one lane in each direction and will increase the available width of the bicycle lane to provide additional buffer space to separate cyclists from vehicles and trucks.

 

“MassDOT is thrilled to implement this bicycle safety pilot to better serve all users of the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Jamey Tesler. “This pilot is a great example of various agencies, municipalities, and advocacy groups working together to create safer and more sustainable transportation options for all modes.”

 

“Implementing this bicycle safety pilot will help explore a mobility solution on the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge that can help support a sustainable transportation system,” said Department of Conservation and Recreation Acting Commissioner Stephanie Cooper. “DCR is pleased to collaborate with so many partners to advance this safety pilot and looks forward to understanding the important data that the Commonwealth will be able to collect in the coming months.”

 

This separated bike lane will be installed and in place by 5:00 a.m. on Monday, November 22 using cones, arrow boards, and advance signage.

 

“As we work to promote low-carbon travel options, our City needs to move urgently to protect the safety of our commuters and residents,” said Mayor of the City of Boston, Michelle Wu. “Boston is grateful to our local and state partners for helping this safety pilot come to fruition, connecting our communities and laying the groundwork for safer, more sustainable transportation infrastructure throughout the region.”

 

“The City of Cambridge is pleased to see the Massachusetts Department of Transportation start installing greater separation for cyclists on the Harvard Bridge in time for the winter,” said Joseph Barr, Cambridge’s Director of Traffic, Parking, and Transportation. “This improvement is supported by our City Council and is consistent with Cambridge’s overall goal of installing separated bicycles lanes along the entire length of Massachusetts Avenue to improve safety and comfort for cyclists of all ages and abilities.”

 

The bicycle safety pilot will run through the winter months while engineers and advocates evaluate safety and crash data, traffic volumes, bicycle volumes, and travel time of the MBTA’s Harvard Square-Nubian Square bus, (running bus route number 1).

 

“On behalf of the Boston Cyclists Union and all of the advocacy groups who requested MassDOT address safety issues on the Mass Ave Bridge, we are grateful for the state’s prompt leadership in addressing the issues identified, as well as city leadership on both sides of the bridge who embraced the proposal. This important regional route already carries thousands of daily bicycle riders who have protection on city streets on both sides of the bridge and have endured the gap in the bike network over the bridge itself,” said Becca Wolfson, Executive Director of Boston Cyclists Union.  “We’re in a critical moment where we need to get more people out of cars to address our climate crisis, our congestion crisis, and to provide more affordable means to get around. Making this bridge safer and more comfortable to bike will protect those who have been biking on the bridge and unlock exponential opportunity and access for more people in the region to choose to get around on two wheels, create more space for pedestrians on the sidewalk, and help moderate driver speeds. This commitment from MassDOT is truly a win-win, and we look forward to working with the state and other stakeholders to achieve the more permanent changes in the spring.”

 

All scheduled work is weather dependent and subject to change.

 

During severe weather, the pilot may be temporarily suspended during snow and ice operations with the intent to restore the pilot as soon as possible.

 

For more information on traffic conditions, travelers are also encouraged to:

 

  • Dial 511 and select a route to hear real–time conditions.
  • Visit www.mass511.com, a website which provides real-time traffic and incident advisory information and allows users to subscribe to text and email alerts for traffic conditions.
  • Follow MassDOT on Twitter @MassDOT to receive regular updates on road and traffic conditions.
  • Download MassDOT’s GoTime mobile app and view real-time traffic conditions before setting out on the road.

 

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