Allston Green | 24 Linden & 8-20 Pratt Street | Allston

stefal

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Happens sometimes, especially when you have suburban-based engineering teams design urban sites. Some pages of the BCDC presentation remark that the bike facilities are subject to TAPA review, in which case if they haven't gone through that review, I believe the bike lane and parking are also subject to review. Hopefully BTD catches it.
 

stellarfun

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https://goo.gl/maps/3acqSXyw1pn4CcEh7

This is Linden St., south of Pratt, where it becomes two-way. I am not unsympathetic to dedicated bike lanes, but how would you create one here without pissing off taxpaying, voting residents?
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One further note on fire engines, the capabilities (and 'quality') of a fire department directly factors into how much a property owner pays for fire insurance.
 

shmessy

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Hyperbole much? I don't think you get this project without making concessions to the neighbors across the street, as that is all resident street parking. It's also a grand total of 16 parking spaces that won't turn over frequently. And, linden isn't that busy of a street nor that narrow. I just don't think theres that may car vs cyclist potential conflicts, especially one way, right turn only. Besides, you have to maintain the street width; it's city property after all, so you can't extend the plaza line out, and parts of the building would probably be too far from the curb for fire standards; or if you push the building out too, it may be too close to abutters across the street. I think the parking is fine, and I would be happy on that bike path.
Wait a second......do you actually look at this render and say "Yeah, that's not going to be exceedingly dangerous"????????

The UNPROTECTED bike lane is....wait for it......in the middle of the street. Maybe this is a street that shouldn't have a bike lane. But, good God, if you're going to do it, don't do it this way.

The render actually grossly understates the danger because there are no cars in the parking spaces. How many times per day will someone who parked open up the driver's door forcing the biker to swerve into the car lane and get clipped? This is a recipe for disaster.

How many times will cars cut in suddenly over the bike lane and clip a biker while going for a coveted spot?

Easy solution: Flip it. Bike lane against the curb and parking spots towards the driving lane. Same width, but huge safety difference. The way of the render will needlessly cause carnage.

You can read the several posts above that mirror these points and how Boston/Massachusetts seems to be an outlier in not understanding how dangerous that really is. It's pretty basic.
 
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#bancars

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Am I missing a reason they couldn't just flip the parking and the bike lane, as has worked in many other locations?
I asked about this at a public meeting for the project and the proponent said that was their original plan, but it got shot down by the fire department because of the increased space needed for a parking-protected bike lane (w/ buffer) vs. just a door zone lane.
 

Stlin

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Wait a second......do you actually look at this render and say "Yeah, that's not going to be exceedingly dangerous"????????

The UNPROTECTED bike lane is....wait for it......in the middle of the street. Maybe this is a street that shouldn't have a bike lane. But, good God, if you're going to do it, don't do it this way.
I mean... its 16 residents spaces, which typically turn over relatively infrequently. I just don't expect many crossings of the bike lane per hour. I'm not saying parking protected isn't objectively better; I'm saying I understand why the decision was made this way. Protected takes up more space; as noted, 5+3ft. 8+7(parking)+12= 27ft, 3ft wider than available. Now, options to make that work are narrow the travel lane and/or eliminate the 3ft additional buffer. Both options create narrower "travel space", which BFD has evidently objected to, and they may be right by code; the 2015 NFPA 1, which MA adopted, specifies a fire access road should have 20 ft of unobstructed width, (and parking counts as an obstruction) while NFPA 1141 also specifies that a one way fire road should have a minimum clear width of 16 ft. Largely, this is driven by ladders, as they have outrigger stabilizers which extend out anywhere from 12-20ft. Now, Bostons are mostly 11; they're narrower because streets here are also just narrower. But the Tower ladders have even wider jack widths; 13'8". (These are actually extremely narrow by ladder standards; 16ft is apparently traditional) A single 12ft lane leaves no margin for error for even the standard ladder. Now, exceptions are made for existing conditions especially in a legacy city like Boston. But new build, or significant reconstruction? Significant height, necessitating aerial firefighting? And the closest station is where one of the few super wide and capable tower ladders is kept? I don't think the fire department is wrong in enforcing more generous standards.

But! I'd agree that a 12ft, interstate spec travel lane is not strictly critical. If parking protected is truly not feasible, I'd suggest perhaps something along the lines of 18in to 2ft of painted buffer on the roadway, taking the travel lane down to 10ft, and giving cyclists a bit more space while retaining the unobstructed spaces desired by the FD.

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Screenshot_20201001-222033_Chrome.jpg
 
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Bananarama

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I would've preferred the bike lane and parking swapped as well. But I mean, this really isn't that bad... there are plenty of other streets like this around Boston. If you keep and eye out, getting doored is hyper rare. Park Dr along Fenway, most of Beacon St in Brookline, etc.
 

HenryAlan

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Am I missing a reason they couldn't just flip the parking and the bike lane, as has worked in many other locations?
As @cden4 said, it requires another 3 feet. Setting that aside, the original assertion that this configuration would lead to carnage is pretty off the mark. I prefer protected bike lanes, but given the geometric constraints and the general traffic level, this lane looks adequate. I would ride on it and feel comfortable while doing so.
 

Equilibria

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As @cden4 said, it requires another 3 feet. Setting that aside, the original assertion that this configuration would lead to carnage is pretty off the mark. I prefer protected bike lanes, but given the geometric constraints and the general traffic level, this lane looks adequate. I would ride on it and feel comfortable while doing so.
But you can get 3 feet here - you're designing a project that takes up all the frontage on one side of the road. Just widen the ROW. Move the buildings back 3 feet if you have to.

Large projects fundamentally impact the width of ROW all the time.
 

Stlin

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But you can get 3 feet here - you're designing a project that takes up all the frontage on one side of the road. Just widen the ROW. Move the buildings back 3 feet if you have to.

Large projects fundamentally impact the width of ROW all the time.
They already have to some extent; look at the street section I posted earlier. That 5ft of greenspace pushed the sidewalk 5ft into the property line. I mean... you can definitely trade that greenspace in for your parking protected lane, but I'd rather have the trees.
 
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HenryAlan

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But you can get 3 feet here - you're designing a project that takes up all the frontage on one side of the road. Just widen the ROW. Move the buildings back 3 feet if you have to.

Large projects fundamentally impact the width of ROW all the time.
Wouldn't that just mean a bike lane that ends as soon as the ROW reverts to the current width at the next property?
 

Equilibria

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Wouldn't that just mean a bike lane that ends as soon as the ROW reverts to the current width at the next property?
The next property on Linden is the two-way section past Pratt. As noted above, that's a whole different kettle of fish.
 

BMW

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I mean... its 16 residents spaces, which typically turn over relatively infrequently. I just don't expect many crossings of the bike lane per hour. I'm not saying parking protected isn't objectively better; I'm saying I understand why the decision was made this way. Protected takes up more space; as noted, 5+3ft. 8+7(parking)+12= 27ft, 3ft wider than available. Now, options to make that work are narrow the travel lane and/or eliminate the 3ft additional buffer. Both options create narrower "travel space", which BFD has evidently objected to, and they may be right by code; the 2015 NFPA 1, which MA adopted, specifies a fire access road should have 20 ft of unobstructed width, (and parking counts as an obstruction) while NFPA 1141 also specifies that a one way fire road should have a minimum clear width of 16 ft. Largely, this is driven by ladders, as they have outrigger stabilizers which extend out anywhere from 12-20ft. Now, Bostons are mostly 11; they're narrower because streets here are also just narrower. But the Tower ladders have even wider jack widths; 13'8". (These are actually extremely narrow by ladder standards; 16ft is apparently traditional) A single 12ft lane leaves no margin for error for even the standard ladder. Now, exceptions are made for existing conditions especially in a legacy city like Boston. But new build, or significant reconstruction? Significant height, necessitating aerial firefighting? And the closest station is where one of the few super wide and capable tower ladders is kept? I don't think the fire department is wrong in enforcing more generous standards.
There is no tower ladder in Allston. The responding tower is actually located downtown on purchase street with the other in Jamaica Plain fwiw.
 

Stlin

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There is no tower ladder in Allston. The responding tower is actually located downtown on purchase street with the other in Jamaica Plain fwiw.
It may not be active, but per massfiretrucks, the spare tower is kept in Allston. Wouldn't necessarily surprise me either if a tower gets based out there if BFD ends up changing up it's aerial mix, as Boston used to have more than 2 towers. Besides, in the worst case scenario, I'd say if multiple alarms are ever struck *somebody's* tower/quint/pre piped ladder is responding, be it Boston, Brookline or Cambridge, and it may not be as space efficient as Boston's units.
 
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stefal

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This has a nice mix of some interesting materials. I'm excited to see how it turns out.

On another note, I know we keep harping on the bike lanes design with this project, but they really rendered a car driving IN the bike lane!!

1608315877697.png
 

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