Berkeley Street Bike Lanes
The new lanes are part of an expansion to close gaps in Boston’s low-stress bike network. Today, people who want to bike from the South End to the Back Bay don’t have great options. The new lanes will allow for a continuous, comfortable ride from the South End to the Back Bay and provide access to the Charles River via the Arthur Fiedler Footbridge.
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WHY BERKELEY STREET
- Berkeley Street is the only street that connects South Boston to the Back Bay—a major employment center and commercial destination.
- We can add a separated bike lane to Berkeley Street while keeping vehicles flowing as well as they do today. In general, two general lanes can accommodate vehicle traffic south of Boylston Street; we are adding turn lanes in some places to improve safety. North of Berkeley Street, we plan keep the same number of lanes. Here, the separated bike lane replaces the parking lane. We cannot add a separated bike lane to other streets without restricting the flow of traffic, changing street directions, and/or removing on-street parking.
- Despite less-than-ideal bike conditions, we've counted between 200 and 300 people riding on Berkeley Street on weekdays—and that doesn't include people riding on the sidewalks.
- There is a history of bike crashes on Berkeley Street that resulted in serious injuries requiring a public safety response. Boston has committed to focusing the City's resources on proven strategies to eliminate fatal and serious injury traffic crashes by 2030.
- Berkeley Street connects two vibrant shopping, dining, and entertainment districts: Tremont Street in the South End, and Newbury Street in the Back Bay.
- The new bike lane on Berkeley will bring riders to the Charles River Esplanade, by way of a new, two-way bike lane on Beacon Street and the Arthur Fiedler Footbridge.
Everyone in Boston deserves safe streets
The Berkeley Street project is part of a bold plan for transforming Boston's streets to better serve people walking, rolling, and riding bikes. Over the next three years, we will expand our bike network so that 50% of residents will be a 3-minute walk from a safe and connected bike route.
We have illustrated the design concept for Berkeley Street from Tremont Street to Beacon Street.
TREMONT STREET TO BOYLSTON STREET
- We're adding a bike lane going northbound (towards Beacon Street) to the east side of the street.
- We're keeping two travel lanes for motor vehicles—sufficient capacity for the volume of vehicles in this section of Berkeley.
- We're keeping parking on both sides of the street—against the western curb and also along the bike lane, separated by a striped buffer with flexible delineators.
- There will be a bus lane between Columbus Avenue and St. James Avenue—the stretch where bus riders experience the greatest delay.
BOYLSTON STREET TO BEACON STREET
- The bike lane continues northbound (towards Beacon Street) to the east side of the street. Cyclists will cross Beacon on the green light. Those heading westbound on Beacon Street (towards Massachusetts Avenue) will press the button and wait for the walk signal to cross.
- There will be two travel lanes for motor vehicles—the same as today. We are also keeping all existing turn lanes.
- There will be parking on one side of the street along most of the corridor:
- Between Boylston Street and Commonwealth Avenue, the parking will be on east side of the street—along the bike lane, separated by a striped buffer with flexible delineators.
- Between Commonwealth Avenue and Beacon Street, the parking will shift to the west side of the street—against the curb.
BEACON STREET FROM BERKELEY STREET TO ARLINGTON STREET
- We're adding a two-way bike lane along the north side of Beacon Street. People biking to the Esplanade will dismount at the Storrow Drive off-ramp and then use the walk signal to cross both the off-ramp and David G. Mugar Way, before walking their bikes over the Arthur Fiedler Footbridge.
- We're keeping three travel lanes for motor vehicles (one will remain a right turn lane.)
- We're keeping parking on the south side of the street.
COLUMBUS AVENUE FROM CLARENDON STREET TO ARLINGTON STREET
- We're adding parking-protected bike lanes in both directions of travel. Designs are in progress.
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In February 2023, we announced the project to residents and users of the corridor. We mailed postcards to almost 5,000 households on Berkeley and adjacent blocks. Later in February, we posted flyers on light poles, bikes, and cars on Berkeley Street between Tremont Street and Beacon Street. We also stopped into businesses to share flyers and send an email to the project mailing list.
To build on her commitment to create safe streets for all modes of transportation, Mayor Michelle Wu and the Boston Transportation Department (BTD) announced a 9.4 mile expansion of bike lanes providing key connections within the City’s existing bike network. To do this, Boston is expanding Bluebikes to accommodate rising demand, designing traffic-calmed streets by building speed humps and raised crosswalks, and hiring more staff to aid in the design process.
The announcement was covered by local news outlets.