The shutdown of the Orange Line gave the city an opportunity to see how some of its alternative temporary changes worked, and they liked them, so they're making some of them permanent.
“We’re keeping in place some of the changes that have helped with traffic flow and transit access, so that commuters will see lasting benefit above ground even as the subway comes back online," said Mayor Michelle Wu.
“The past 30 days provided an opportunity to create new ways to use our public spaces to ease how residents move within the City,” said Chief of Streets (and Jamaica Plain resident) Jascha Franklin-Hodge. “We look forward to working with the community to take the lessons learned and apply them to future infrastructure projects that will enhance public space and improve mobility for pedestrians, people on bikes, and transit riders.”
The following are local road changes:
- Boylston Street one-way for vehicles: Closing part of Boylston Street (between Amory and Lamartine) to traffic throughout the shutdown has improved safety (collisions and near-misses) along the Southwest Corridor. Reopening this stretch as a one-way street from Amory to Lamartine for vehicles will support long-term bike connectivity plans, improve safety for all modes, and reduce conflict at the high crash intersection of Boylston and Lamartine Streets.
- Huntington Avenue bus and bike priority lane: The priority bus and bike lane that was added to Huntington Avenue from Brigham Circle to Gainsborough Street has improved speed for the Route 39 bus. As a permanent lane, it will continue to support the thousands of people who ride the Route 39 bus and will improve safety for those on bikes.
- Columbus Avenue pop-up bike lane: This will remain until early December and then be removed for the season. BTD Active Transportation will continue to monitor and move barrels daily to enable street sweeping. Long-term planning is underway for a potential permanent facility. This is one of the busiest corridors for biking. Improving conditions, even on just a few blocks, can make the overall trip safer and more enjoyable.
- Bluebikes parking: The city will retain Bluebikes docks added during the shutdown, with minor modifications as needed, to keep up with record-breaking ridership numbers. The city is also exploring options to provide free or low-cost bike share service.