Casey Arborway Project Meeting Notes August 16, 2012

Casey Arborway Project
Meeting Notes
MassDOT: Steve McLaughlin, Paul King
HNTB: Don Kindsvatter, Essek Petrie
Boston Cyclists Union: Pete Stidman
McMahon Associates: Maureen Chlebek
Livable Streets: Kevin Wolfson
Northeastern University: Peter Furth
MassBike: David Watson
DCR: Ruth Helfeld
City of Boston: Alice Brown, Vineet
Gupta, Rachel Szakmary
Toole Design: Michelle Danila
BRA: Tad Read
City of Cambridge: Jeff Rosenblum
WalkBoston: Wendy Landman
August 16, 2012
Project Number
Notes Taken:
Essek Petrie, Maureen
Summary of Discussion:
Presented current design for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. Discussed most desirable
way to enhance connections through the corridor for all users. Discussion focused on safety
for all, in particular at the intersections.
Discussion Topics:
One-way v. two-way bike paths (cycle tracks):
Pete Stidman argued strongly for having a one-way bike path system mimicking the
vehicular travel patterns. This idea was considered not appropriate for this area as there are
major bicycle desire lines that would result in cyclists using the one-way system against the
flow (in particular from the SWCP to Franklin Park). Pete is concerned that certain cyclists,
commuters in particular, will be opposed to the removal of the on-street bike lanes and the
inclusion of a two-way bike path system because they feel their travel time would be slowed
considerably due to increased conflicts with other cyclists. It is possible that a wider
shoulder or sharrow/priority shared lane system would alleviate this concern. These options
will be researched further by the design team. It was also suggested that a bike travel time
model be run to determine the length (in time) the cyclist trip would be through the corridor.
Right turns at intersections:
There are multiple occurrences of vehicular/bicycle conflict due to right-turning vehicles in
the project area. Peter Furth recommended providing right-turn lanes at all intersections and
allowing for “protected” through movements for cyclists/pedestrians. This means that bikes
and peds traveling through an intersection would share some of the signal time with the
through traveling vehicular traffic as the right-turning vehicular traffic was in a red
condition. The current design only allows for this configuration at one intersection. The
design team needs to further analyze options for efficiently handling this concern.
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Vineet Gupta brought up the idea of installing bike signal lights at these intersections and
the City of Boston agreed to manage the process involved in getting bike lights approved for
the project.
Pete Stidman suggested that all bike lanes be adjacent to the roadway no less than 150’ from
the intersection allowing for better awareness between cyclist and motorist. Michelle Danila
noted that a problem with this design is how to then treat cyclists at the intersection, as
motorists or pedestrians (what signal would they follow?). The primary reason for bringing
the path next to the roadway is sight lines and others agreed that sight lines should not be an
issue in this corridor. The possibility of analyzing engineered calculations of sight lines and
angles was brought up as a potential remedy if it is believed there is a concern at a particular
Another concern is the conflict between bikes/peds in crosswalk and vehicles turning right
through an intersection. One solution brought up was for raised crosswalks, preferably
between 3-4” in height and raised at a steep angle. It was recommended that all unsignalized
crosswalks have these raised crosswalks in particular.
Intersection Treatments
In addition to the raised crosswalk treatment, it was also suggested that the bike paths be
pulled back away from intersections (particularly unsignalized) enough for one car to be
between the path and the road parallel to the path to facilitate decision-making for the driver
pulling out onto the Arborway.
Intersection design for interaction between pedestrian and bicyclists is of major concern as
there are multiple high volume locations. It was determined that another meeting may be
necessary later in the design process to fully vet the options at each of these locations. Due
to the complicated nature of these intersections it will be necessary to explain to all users
that certain “sacrifices” will need to be made by all to allow for a design that achieves a
little something for everybody. Jeff Rosenblum suggested a sensitivity analysis similar to
what the DOT completed for the BU Bridge to help with that discussion. The idea is that the
design team would present the public with the criteria it used to make the decisions and
recognize the trade-offs necessary.
Wendy Landman recommended that the design team recognize the newly created visual
connectivity between South Street and Hyde Park Ave as part of the urban design process.
As part of the urban design process, it was requested that DCR allow for on-street (shortterm) parking along the Arborway in the section that is now New Washington Street.
It was recommended that a bicycle connection be provided throughout the MBTA plaza that
connects the north-south route (paralleling South Street) with the east-west route. The
current design where these two routes meet at the corner is not sufficiently close to the
desire line.
Next Steps: MassDOT will coordinate with DCR on snow removal on bike paths and sidewalks
BTD and MassDOT to discuss the experimenting with bike signals
McMahon to provide bike counts around Forest Hills Station
McMahon to look at bicycle route travel time on and off street
Design team to further examine right turns and vehicle/bicycle conflicts
HNTB to look into raised crosswalks at unsignalized intersections
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