Boylston Street Bike Lanes (Back Bay)
The new bike lanes are part of a bold plan to close gaps in Boston's bike network. Boylston Street is also an important street for multiple bus routes.
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Boylston Street is an important bike route
Many people already ride their bikes on Boylston Street as a natural continuation of trips from Fenway, Mission Hill, the Longwood Medical Center, and Brookline. Boylston Street represents an inbound "pair" to the outbound Beacon Street to the north.
Today, people biking on Boylston Street contend with a busy street lacking a dedicated bike lane. There is also frequent double parking and commercial loading. As a result, several blocks of Boylston Street are high-crash corridors for bicyclists.
With several high-frequency routes serving the Back Bay via Boylston Street, we will add a permanent bus lane on Boylston Street too. This bus lane will help improve reliability for MBTA routes 9, 10, 39, 55, and 57.
We are able to accommodate these needs on Boylston Street while maintaining general travel lanes for vehicle traffic, including tour buses.
We have illustrated the design concept for Boylston Street from Massachusetts Avenue to Arlington Street.
MASSACHUSETTS AVENUE TO HEREFORD STREET
- We're adding a bike lane going westbound (towards Arlington Street) to the south side of the street.
- We're keeping two travel lanes for motor vehicles in each direction.
- We're keeping parking against the northern curb.
HEREFORD STREET TO RING ROAD
- After Hereford Street the bike lane shifts to the northern curb. Cyclists will cross Dalton Street with the green light and then wait in a two-stage turn box to cross Hereford Street.
- We're keeping two eastbound travel lanes for motor vehicles.
- We're keeping parking on both sides of the street. On the northern side, the parking along the bike lane next to a striped buffer with flexible delineators.
RING ROAD TO DARTMOUTH STREET
- At Ring Road, we will add a peak-time bus lane adjacent to parked cars on the southern curb. The bus lane will be in effect from 4 to 6 p.m. The bus lane moves next to the curb by the McKim Building of the Boston Public Library.
- We're retaining accessible parking and curbside access to the Johnson Building of the Boston Public Library.
DARTMOUTH STREET TO ARLINGTON STREET
- The bus lane runs along the southern curb.
- We're keeping two eastbound travel lanes for motor vehicles and providing a left turn pocket for vehicles turning onto Berkeley Street.
- We're retaining parking adjacent to the bike lane to serving commercial uses on the north side of the street.
- The bus lane ends in advance of the temporary construction set-up at Arlington Street. Two travel lanes continue to Arlington Street.
- When the construction is complete, the bus lane will continue to Arlington Street along the southern curb.
In February 2023, we announced the project to residents and users of the corridor. We mailed postcards to over 2,250 households on Boylston and adjacent blocks. Later in February, we posted flyers on light poles, bikes, and cars on Boylston Street between Mass. Ave. and Arlington Street. We also sent 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.