Because of a three-year construction project, the Cambridge-bound vehicular lane on Longfellow Bridge will close starting Saturday, and weekend Red Line diversions are set to begin in August. (David L Ryan/Globe Staff)
There are still a few weeks left before Boston-area residents will have to deal with weekend Red Line diversions on Longfellow Bridge — those are scheduled to come in August — but local bike enthusiasts won’t be able to use two wheels to bypass the gridlock.
Though cyclists will be allowed to travel in both directions on the bridge during most of the construction project, officials at the Massachusetts Department of Transportation have decided to bar bike-riding during the 25 weekend Red Line diversions, when the T will cease running at the bridge, and buses will instead run shuttle service between Park Street, Charles/MGH, and Kendall/MIT s tations.
“It’s purely out of concerns for safety,” said Michael Verseckes, a MassDOT spokesman.
During those weekends, the bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic to allow a steady stream of buses to cross the bridge uninterrupted, Verseckes said.
In recent years, there have been multiple incidents of MBTA buses involved in crashes with bicycles, several of them fatal. Verseckes said the agency decided it was too dangerous to have biycles riding alongside so many buses on the narrowed bridge without having a physical barrier between them.
Cyclists who want to cross the bridge will have to dismount their bikes and walk them across the bridge.