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City puts the brakes on Charlestown bike lanes

Posted by Sara Brown  December 13, 2010 03:53 PM

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Some Charlestown residents have been puzzling over a recent mystery: the case of the disappearing bike lanes. The city started to install, and then removed, white bike lanes --similar to those found in other parts of the city -- on Main Street.

Nicole Freedman, the city's director of Bicycle Programs, said the city did standard community outreach before starting to install the lanes on Main Street, but soon heard from community organizations that were unhappy with the consultation process.

The city thought it was "better to listen to the neighborhood and remove the bike lanes," Freedman said, noting that the Charlestown Neighborhood Council voiced concerns about communication before the lanes were installed.

Tom Cunha, the president of the neighborhood council, declined to comment about the issue. Freedman said the vast majority of criticism about the project was about community consultation before installation.

The city used a grinder to removed the white bike lanes, which were half installed when the city put the brakes on the project, Freedman said, adding that the removal was not expensive.

The entire process has taken place over the last six weeks, Freedman said, and the city will arrange further meetings with the community about the project during the next few months.

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