MassAve4 Cycling Safety Ordinance Project - Dudley to Beech and Roseland to Waterhouse

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The City is committed to implementing separated bike lanes on Mass. Ave. to improve safety, consistent with the Cambridge Bike Plan and the Cycling Safety Ordinance.

The amendments to the Ordinance require the installation of separated bike lanes on:

  • all of Massachusetts Ave;
  • Broadway from Quincy St to Hampshire St;
  • Cambridge St from Oak St to Second St;
  • Hampshire St from Amory Street to Broadway;
  • Garden St, eastbound from Huron Ave to Berkeley St, and westbound from Mason St to Huron Ave;
  • and11.6 miles of separated bike lanes in other locations that are a part of the Bicycle Network Vision.

In the Cycling Safety Ordinance, sections of Mass. Ave. that have complicating factors were identified as the MassAve4” (the two major bus stops in Harvard Square and two sections with overhead bus wires).   The City completed an impacts analysisas required in the Cycling Safety Ordinance.

Goals

  • Improve safety for people biking in the project area
  • Improve safety for people walking at existing crosswalks
  • Improve safety for transit riders with enhanced markings and signage at bus stops
  • Improve travel times and reliability of MBTA buses
  • Implement changes in line with the Cambridge Bicycle Plan and Vision Zero Action Plan
  • Meet the requirements of the Cambridge Cycling Safety Ordinance, which includes the requirement to add separated bike lanes

Why Install Separated Bike Lanes?

Separated bike lanes provide more space and vertical separation between people on bikes and people in cars. More people are comfortable biking in separated bike lanes than in traditional bike lanes or in traffic with cars, buses, and trucks. Separated bike lanes also increase safety for people walking by reducing crossing distances.

 

The City is working to determine which sections of the Mass4 will implement separated bike lanes using quick-build methods and which sections require construction.  This determination will be based on further analysis and review of the impacts and cost of each approach (quick-build and construction).  

The City will be hosting community meetings throughout the design process. Please see the "Schedule" tab for a general schedule of the project. 

The City has hired a consultant to develop concept designs for this section of Mass. Ave. Work includes:

Fall 2021: Field data collection and catenary exploration, including a series of meetings with MBTA. The current catenary configuration does not support a design with floating parking, which is the typical design option for both quick-build and construction projects. 

Fall 2021 - Spring 2022:
Pavement, sidewalk and utility assessment to determine scope, extent, and estimated cost of construction. Developing multiple design concepts for the corridor, understanding that it will likely not be the same option for each block.

Fall 2021 - Spring 2022:
Community meetings

April 2022:
Propose quick-build or construction timeline to city council for approval* by April 30, 2022. 

Spring 2023:
Install quick-build segments.

Construction segments would proceed on the schedule approved by city council in April 30, 2022.  If schedule is not approved, these sections must be quickbuild by April 30, 2024.

*If City Council does not approve a construction timeline by April 30, 2022, we must install quick-build separated bike lanes on segments where we recommend construction, regardless of the impacts outlined in the Impacts Report, bApril 30, 2024.

 

What is "Quick-Build"?

Quick-build methods include pavement markings, flex-posts, signage, and signal changes. Quick-build projects can be implemented more quickly, but changes are limited to signs, pavements markings and posts.

What is "Construction"?

Construction involves more extensive changes, including moving curbs and/or removing medians. Work becomes more complex anytime we dig into the ground, and construction projects typically include work on the infrastructure (e.g., water, drainage and sewer pipes, traffic signal wires) that we have underground. The impacts analysis shows that installing quick-build separated bike lanes on these two segments of Mass Ave would have significant negative impacts on other road users. Construction may allow us to make more significant changes (e.g., removing the median) that would reduce some of the potential negative impacts, however, we need to determine the cost of construction on these sections of Mass. Ave. and also further evaluate the catenary wires.

How do you determine what is quick build and what will require construction?

More analysis and design work are required on these sections with the catenary wires to determine which can be quick-build, which sections require construction, the scope and extent of construction, and the order of magnitude cost of construction.

What are the timeline implications of each?

For blocks that require construction, we must propose and get City Council approval on an implementation timeline by April 30, 2022. For the blocks that are quick-build, the separated bike lanes are required to be installed by April 30, 2023.

Kate Riley - Community Relations Manager

kriley@cambridgema.gov

617-349-4870

 

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Page was posted on 9/20/2021 4:18 PM
Page was last modified on 9/20/2021 7:30 PM
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