Hammond Pond Pkwy Road Diet

George_Apley

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Actually, no. Looks like a shared sidewalk / bike path. So, if you are walking, you still get run over by wheeled vehicles.
It's a community path like the Minuteman or the Somerville path. I doubt this one will be anywhere as busy as those. Mostly cyclists and runners more than casual short-walkers. There aren't many pit stops or turnouts on Hammond Pond between Beacon St and Chestnut Hill.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Actually, no. Looks like a shared sidewalk / bike path. So, if you are walking, you still get run over by wheeled vehicles.
It's an officially designated area for peds/bikes to be, vs. the makeshift footworn dirt strip on the shoulder that exists today. That in itself is revolutionary for DCR.

You realize this was a "parkway" that for 7 decades has had zero non-automobile accommodation whatsoever.
 

KCasiglio

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I used to jog in this area all the time when I lived in Brighton, SUCH welcome news. A quibble in the scheme of things but replacing the slip lanes at the intersection with traditional right turn lanes would have been nice
 

JeffDowntown

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I understand that this is a major improvement. I just wish we could commit to more three level infrastructure, like in Europe, separation of walk/run; cycle; and drive.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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I understand that this is a major improvement. I just wish we could commit to more three level infrastructure, like in Europe, separation of walk/run; cycle; and drive.
12 ft. wide is the most they can fit within the lane-drop and existing shoulder grass while affording buffer protection from road spray. Anything >18 ft. off to the side would probably come at double the cost for the extra wetlands permitting to widen the roadpack to greater than what it is now. So with bang-for-buck a consideration for expediting it, a uni-path was the only real solution. Going bipedally grade-separated would've required extra width they don't have within cost.


Now keep in mind after all that that this is a track on only ONE side of the road. The other side is still open and could get a narrower, less-buffered path tacked on at some later date. So separation of walking path vs. bike path is still a goal you can shoot for here in a future budget allotment. I don't see the motivation to nitpick this one to death when it's doing gooder/sooner at cut-rate price and still leaves some future flex. If you wanted utterly perfect 30 ft. wide ped v. bike grade separation on the shoulder...you were getting bupkis for your advocacy because the cost would've sailed too much from going off the extant roadpack. So project parameters were "What's the best config we can do on the existing roadpack?" This is it. I'm baffled as to what radically better configuration would've fit those project parameters. Could somebody please elaborate if this is still their gripe?
 

Charlie_mta

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I ride my bike along a similar 12' wide paved path almost every day, and the key is for pedestrians and bicyclists to stay to the right. Problems arise when wandering in the middle, or in some cases groups taking up the entire width, Just stay to the right, and it should be fine.
 

bigeman312

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An opinion I hold VERY STRONGLY: All multi-use paths should have clear signage and markings indicating desired behavior.

Without getting into angry rant territory, I've come across many multi-use path users who don't understand that there's a flow of traffic for which compliant behavior is preferable. When someone is completely ignorant of the rules of the road (using a multi-use path does not require a license or anything at all, which is totally fine), and there is no signage and no pavement markings, it's possible to empathize with an ignorant group of people walking shoulder-to-shoulder, taking up the entire path, completely ignoring the cyclist behind them ringing a bell.

A simple line down the middle and periodic signs reading "keep right except to pass" is all that's needed to take care of 90% of misunderstandings. Unfortunately, this is sorely lacking on many of our multi-use paths.
 

North Shore

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An opinion I hold VERY STRONGLY: All multi-use paths should have clear signage and markings indicating desired behavior.

Without getting into angry rant territory, I've come across many multi-use path users who don't understand that there's a flow of traffic for which compliant behavior is preferable. When someone is completely ignorant of the rules of the road (using a multi-use path does not require a license or anything at all, which is totally fine), and there is no signage and no pavement markings, it's possible to empathize with an ignorant group of people walking shoulder-to-shoulder, taking up the entire path, completely ignoring the cyclist behind them ringing a bell.

A simple line down the middle and periodic signs reading "keep right except to pass" is all that's needed to take care of 90% of misunderstandings. Unfortunately, this is sorely lacking on many of our multi-use paths.
There is no shortage of professional design guides that exist for proposed sign and marking standards for mixed-use paths. We just need to collectively hold those officials in charge of marking those decisions (i.e. local DPWs, MassDOT, DCR and their consultants) to those standards.
 

Highwayguy

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There is no shortage of professional design guides that exist for proposed sign and marking standards for mixed-use paths. We just need to collectively hold those officials in charge of marking those decisions (i.e. local DPWs, MassDOT, DCR and their consultants) to those standards.
Unfortunately thats easier said than done. Too often, shared use paths are designed with no buffer and unaligned curb cuts at intersections that create hairpin turns for cyclists. To anyone actually using them, the “shared use” path looks like an over-wide sidewalk, because its pretty much designed as one. Cant blame peds for getting in the way of /pissed off at bikes on what they perceive to be a sidewalk. Even on facilities like this (where its needed the most), getting a center line striped is akin to pulling teeth.
 

FK4

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I understand that this is a major improvement. I just wish we could commit to more three level infrastructure, like in Europe, separation of walk/run; cycle; and drive.
This is done horrendously absent mindedly across the state. Yes, great to see DCR doing something on this road but I am with you -- bikes and peds do not and should not have to share space, especially when there's room in a project like this to have a pedestrian and bike route separated. Compounding the issue is that people in any form of transit in MA act like total entitles assholes, and that goes for peds and bikers as much as cars... dont expect the Newton joggers to not hog the bike path, and dont expect the bikers to not passive aggressively buzz families with strollers while zipping by in spandex at 30 mph.

Other than planning, another major difference between Boston and Europe is order and behavior... drivers, walkers and bikers are all more rule-abiding and that's a significant part of why I think traffic in general over there seems to flow more smoothly. People stick to their lanes, avoid speed limits, dont cause accidents by recklessness. Pedestrians also dont hurl themselves into the roads in places like Paris or London.
 

donkeybutlers

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Actually, no. Looks like a shared sidewalk / bike path. So, if you are walking, you still get run over by wheeled vehicles.
I have lived near and walked and biked on a shared use path my whole life I have never been hit by a bicycle or hit a pedestrian. This is not an issue.

On the other-hand I have literally been hit by a car on a similar road without pedestrian or bike infrastructure.
 

Charlie_mta

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I have lived near and walked and biked on a shared use path my whole life I have never been hit by a bicycle or hit a pedestrian. This is not an issue.
I would have agreed with you 10 years ago, but in recent years I've increasingly seen motorized bikes, skateboards and scooters zooming by really fast on paved ped/bike trails. On my unpowered bicycle I have to watch out for these. I've almost been hit a couple of times.
 

bigeman312

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Agreed 100%. The game has changed. We are increasingly running up against the need for increased regulation and distinction between electric micromobility vehicles (e-bikes, e-scooters, e-skateboards etc) and human-powered vehicles (bicycles, kick scooters, kick skateboards, etc).

It's very relevant to point out that early motorcycles were simple motorized bicycles. History is rhyming. Absent any regulation, e-bicycles will trend towards electric versions of high-speed motorcycles.

Potentially unpopular opinion: we should ban all motorized vehicles from multi-use trails, including e-bikes and the like, with the only exception being 8 mph limit mobility scooters for those with disabilities.

We should be carving out space from general travel lanes for these electric micromobility vehicles. That's a step in the right direction.

Taking multi-use trails, which should be a peaceful marriage of recreation and transportation, and allowing high-speed e-bikes to fly down them is a step in the wrong direction. Multi-use trails should be for pedestrians and other low-speed users enjoying the outdoors in a peaceful manner. Otherwise, we will repeat the mistakes of the 20th century and the Charles River Bike Path just becomes Storrow Drive part 2.

The longer we wait to take on this challenge, the less possible it will be to tackle.

@donkeybutlers's experience is likely honest and accurate, but they are skating to where the puck is (and has been). We need to be skating to where the puck is going.
 

donkeybutlers

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Potentially unpopular opinion: we should ban all motorized vehicles from multi-use trails, including e-bikes and the like, with the only exception being 8 mph limit mobility scooters for those with disabilities.
@donkeybutlers's experience is likely honest and accurate, but they are skating to where the puck is (and has been). We need to be skating to where the puck is going.
I support the existing proposal to differentiate between high and low speed electric vehicles, and only allowing the latter on mixed use paths/bike infrastructure: https://www.massbike.org/ebikes
 

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