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City to install newly designed 'bike priority shared lanes' along Brighton Avenue in Allston

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  April 17, 2013 06:21 PM

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The city plans to install newly designed markings that designate shared bike and vehicle use along the entire length of busy Brighton Avenue in Allston this spring, officials said.

The green-painted “bike priority shared lane markings” are “enhanced versions” of standard share lane markings used to demarcate the “optimal riding zone” for cyclists, according to an announcement from the city’s Boston Bikes program.

The bike lane design is new and the city is testing how well it works, the announcement said.

“Brighton Avenue is a primary corridor for cyclists travelling between Brighton, Allston and downtown,” the announcement said. “Bike lanes currently exist on both sides of Brighton Ave., with no facilities on Brighton [Ave.] These bike lanes will increase safety for all users of the road.”

The announcement said the new markings will improve safety by: providing guidance for vehicles to pass cyclists; reducing the number of cyclists on the sidewalk; encouraging motorists to drive slower; encouraging cyclists to ride more “respectfully and predictably” and make pedestrians and drivers more aware of cyclists.

“Bike lanes and shared lane markings are proven to make the roads safer for all users,” the announcement said. “We anticipate the priority shared lane markings will as well.”

Brighton Avenue draws a high level of foot, bike and vehicle traffic. It runs about three quarters of a mile, between the Packard’s Corner area at Commonwealth Avenue and the Union Square area at Cambridge Street.

The announcement said the markings will be installed this spring, but did not specify further.

Officials said such work is usually done during the daytime over the course of two to three days. Parked cars may need to be moved during the project.

The new markings will not cause an increase in traffic, nor will it lead to the removal of any travel lanes or parking spaces, according to the announcement.

The city is preparing materials to educate drivers and cyclists about new facilities. The city is also working with the Boston Police Department to enforce proper rules of the road.

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at mjrochele@gmail.com.
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