Biking the Boston 'Burbs (Trails, MDC, & Towns beyond Hubway area)

HenryAlan

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Bike only will never fly there. If anything, it needs to be rebranded as the Minuteman Path, because Minuteman Bikeway makes people expect it to be pedestrian free. We do not yet know the details, so anything we say will be speculative. As this was a head-on collision between two bike riders, my guess is that somebody was passing another bike and either didn't notice opposing traffic or thought there was more space/time for safe passage. It will likely be some time whether we know pedestrians were part of the issue.
 

millerm277

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We do not yet know the details, so anything we say will be speculative. As this was a head-on collision between two bike riders, my guess is that somebody was passing another bike and either didn't notice opposing traffic or thought there was more space/time for safe passage. It will likely be some time whether we know pedestrians were part of the issue.
That's pretty much what someone who's claiming to be a witness on Reddit says happened:

https://www.reddit.com/r/boston/com...es_in_collision_on_popular_lexington/ejc3mn4/
 

FK4

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That's pretty much what someone who's claiming to be a witness on Reddit says happened:

https://www.reddit.com/r/boston/com...es_in_collision_on_popular_lexington/ejc3mn4/
Very important point made on that post that people are incredibly oblivious and inconsiderate in the way they walk on that trail. The trail may be multi use, but we need some serious rulemaking for shared and semi shared bike/ped paths. There’s bikers who bike like assholes, way too fast for crowded, mixed use trails, and pedestrians who hog the space and create risky situations. Signage, at minimum, would be helpful.
 

Vagabond

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Medford continues to click the parts into place for the "missing link" Clippership Connector, which will connect the Medford Square Mystic riverfront (and other Somerville-Medford-Winchester trails) to the paths that lead around the north side of the Mystic and onward to Assembly and Wellington.
Biking the burbs update - Clippership Connector meeting was this month. Check out the new designs and a likely Spring 2020 Construction date.

https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2019/06/07/clippership-presentation-2019-6-6.pdf
 

sm89

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Biking the burbs update - Clippership Connector meeting was this month. Check out the new designs and a likely Spring 2020 Construction date.

https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2019/06/07/clippership-presentation-2019-6-6.pdf
8.5ft wide? 14ft is the preferred width for a mixed use path and 10ft is typically the minimum. I understand that there might be some pinch points, but they should at least hold 10ft where they can manage (and from the renderings that's at least half, if not more of the route).
 

Wash

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Are there any projects to improve bike and pedestrian accessibility between the Lowell commuter rail station and the "downtown" area?
 

Codman89

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Are there any projects to improve bike and pedestrian accessibility between the Lowell commuter rail station and the "downtown" area?
I'm not aware of any projects currently in design or construction, but the GoLowell planning effort was launched last year: https://www.lowellma.gov/1340/GoLowell

While linking the commuter rail station and downtown isn't an explicit goal, one would imagine many of recommendations from the plan would have to serve that purpose. It certainly aligns well with the stated project goals and vision.
 

Arlington

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Are there any projects to improve bike and pedestrian accessibility between the Lowell commuter rail station and the "downtown" area?
I've long wished there were: I wanted my kids to do dual-enrollment (High School & Community College) classes at MCC but they couldn't really get out to Lowell and into downtown (even though it is a great train ride)

Thank you, Codman89, for the link to the survey. They do a good job of showing how "not bike connected" the MBTA CR station is.
 
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stefal

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There's no explicit effort I'm aware of, but the Thorndike overpass/intersection mess just began construction this month, and it includes dedicated bus lanes and bike lanes. That's a big link right there, as you'll then be able to bike safely from the station to Middlesex or Appleton and down to downtown somewhat safely. That, or hope for future bike lanes on Dutton Street, which should have the space.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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There's no explicit effort I'm aware of, but the Thorndike overpass/intersection mess just began construction this month, and it includes dedicated bus lanes and bike lanes. That's a big link right there, as you'll then be able to bike safely from the station to Middlesex or Appleton and down to downtown somewhat safely. That, or hope for future bike lanes on Dutton Street, which should have the space.
Future efforts on Thorndike are going to be key. If Pan Am ever stops bullshitting around on holding sale of the Lowell Industrial Track hostage, the Bruce Freeman Trail north extension from the shopping center in Billerica into downtown has its trail head at Canada & Quebec St.'s. 8 blocks of bike accessorizing on Thorndike then becomes the only surefire way to link that with the Canal District and safe access to the riverfront paths.
 

kjdonovan

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The Northern Strand has been paved through Lynn (Boston St to Western Ave).

However, the "neighborhood spur" or "MBTA railbed" section (see link) that continues from Western Ave towards Summer St is a zigzag disaster.
So it is all paved and open? Or work still ongoing? Last update I could find on the work is end of May https://mcusercontent.com/f8c193009...orthern_Strand_03_May_2020_monthly_report.pdf

And I am not too bothered by the routes through the middle of Lynn. They are direct and very progressive by local standards--separated two-way cycletrack through the whole corridor. I live in Somerville and the idea of getting separated two-way cycletracks on major roadways is still hotly debated, and we have the largest cycle commuter population in the region!
 

sm89

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So it is all paved and open? Or work still ongoing? Last update I could find on the work is end of May https://mcusercontent.com/f8c193009...orthern_Strand_03_May_2020_monthly_report.pdf

And I am not too bothered by the routes through the middle of Lynn. They are direct and very progressive by local standards--separated two-way cycletrack through the whole corridor. I live in Somerville and the idea of getting separated two-way cycletracks on major roadways is still hotly debated, and we have the largest cycle commuter population in the region!
The zig zag route isn't the on-street separated route through the middle of Lynn, it's the offshoot feeder path that continues in the other direction starting at Western Ave/Market Basket. It looks like one of those examples you see in "how not to design a multi-use path" memes.

I also live in Somerville and was biking to Nahant Beach. The newly paved portions weren't officially opened, but were accessible and still being used, mostly by people walking. The bridges over the marsh are just metal construction plates right now. I would guess that the paving took place in the Thurs-Sat timeframe.
 
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kjdonovan

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The zig zag route isn't the on-street separated route through the middle of Lynn, it's the offshoot feeder path that continues in the other direction starting at Western Ave/Market Basket. It looks like one of those examples you see in "how to not design a multi-use path" memes.
Yeah that section does seem to be a "we have the money to do this even if it doesn't go anywhere" situation. They should post a big "TBD" at the end of that stretch.
 

The EGE

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Given that the waterfront and 'Lynnport' are supposedly upcoming redevelopment areas, that spur will probably be real useful in a few years. And there's residential all the way to Bennett, so it's not like the spur is useless now.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Environmental OK issued for the last-leg Northern Strand trail connection to Encore Boston & Gateway Ctr. Will take the current West St./Wellington Ave. trailhead, extend 900 more feet on the Saugus Branch ROW underneath Route 16 on a fenced-off path next to the active T rock ballast spur, then divert across wetlands to glom onto the back of the Gateway parking lot. Encore connection via the new duck-under path of the CR bridge (for now...at least until they get their vision-thing footbridge house in order, in which case a more direct track overpass up to 1500 ft. closer by Horizon Way may ultimately be in the cards as the preferred dump-out to lower Broadway).


Approval for crossing the wetlands was the last big hurdle they had to wait for. Now the Northern Strand will be completely contiguous with the Mystic path network. While the Lynn end is still a work-in-progress, spanning Lynn Common and North Shore Community College with bikeable cross streets and a safe Lynnway crossing becomes the next big 'get', as that's what'll connect the other end to Nahant and Swampscott via the grade-separated Lynn Shore Drive beach reservation...with Swampscott then only having a few city blocks to work over with bike laneage for connection to the Marblehead Rail Trail.
 

sm89

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Environmental OK issued for the last-leg Northern Strand trail connection to Encore Boston & Gateway Ctr. Will take the current West St./Wellington Ave. trailhead, extend 900 more feet on the Saugus Branch ROW underneath Route 16 on a fenced-off path next to the active T rock ballast spur, then divert across wetlands to glom onto the back of the Gateway parking lot. Encore connection via the new duck-under path of the CR bridge (for now...at least until they get their vision-thing footbridge house in order, in which case a more direct track overpass up to 1500 ft. closer by Horizon Way may ultimately be in the cards as the preferred dump-out to lower Broadway).
I'd like to know more about these conversations with Gateway Center. Did they successfully get out of paying for the design?
 

F-Line to Dudley

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I'd like to know more about these conversations with Gateway Center. Did they successfully get out of paying for the design?
They settled out-of-court in 2018 and agreed to cooperate. I don't know who paid off whom to make that happen, but the lawsuit was designed to make them hold up 100% of the bargain they signed 20+ years ago when developing the property to pay for the path...and there was a settlement before the guns started shooting in front of a judge. Which carries strong implication that they are not paying 100% anymore, otherwise why settle? Doesn't seem like they're totally off the hook, but I would guess public interests ended up picking up the lion's share as that's how settlements usually break.

At any rate, this red tape-cursed trail leg is finally a full go, and that is unequivocally a Good Thing™. Nevermind the debate over cross-Mystic footbridges...the connectivity now gets way more dynamic strictly on how vastly improved the ped/bike accommodations are on the new Route 16 Malden River and Orange Line overpasses. Just that little bit of path infill scheduled underneath the 93 Mystic bridge to close the Medford Sq.-Meadow Glen gap (hopefully completed in similar timeframe) and the all-bike connection between Alewife and the Northern Strand is 100% complete. That's big. As much of the utilization here is going to be coming from the west as it will over any footbridges to the south.
 

Arlington

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Filling the Mystic's Medford Sq.-Meadow Glen gap == Clippership Connector
Supported by both prior Mayor and her current replacement but drowned out by COVID since the new Mayor came in.
 

Vagabond

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Supported by both prior Mayor and her current replacement but drowned out by COVID since the new Mayor came in.
Annoying NIMBY Update from June 4:

Announcements, Updates, and Funding Opportunities
Alicia Hunt from Medford shared that DCR is managing the Clippership Connector trail
project in Medford, which had been expected to be constructed this season. However,
delays due to easements have meant that they won’t go out to bid until this coming
winter with construction occurring next year.

 

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