Parcel 12 | Massachusetts Avenue at Boylston Street | Back Bay

Suffolk 83

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
2,533
Reaction score
767
Too bad they couldn't have just closed off completely the Mass Ave WB onramp during the lid construction. There are two onramps at Copley not too far east of here.
The onramp under back bay garage closed last year
 

HelloBostonHi

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2018
Messages
1,063
Reaction score
1,758
The onramp under back bay garage closed last year
And the reasons for that closure are dodgy at best, I'm not complaining but you don't have to be a genius to see there was significant pressure from the Back Bay station air rights team to make that happen.

That aside, the Newbury St on ramp is very high volume, the detour route involves going down Commonwealth Ave and crossing Newbury. If you ask me, we don't want to divert more traffic down those routes.
 

Suffolk 83

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
2,533
Reaction score
767
And the reasons for that closure are dodgy at best, I'm not complaining but you don't have to be a genius to see there was significant pressure from the Back Bay station air rights team to make that happen.

That aside, the Newbury St on ramp is very high volume, the detour route involves going down Commonwealth Ave and crossing Newbury. If you ask me, we don't want to divert more traffic down those routes.
Yea it seemed like private concerns from either the raffles developers or the back bay garage developers got that onramp closed which is messed up if you ask me.
 
Last edited:

Vivanna

Active Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2014
Messages
139
Reaction score
140
Yea it seemed like private concerns from either the regis developers or the back bay garage developers got that onramp closed which is messed up if you ask me.
I think you mean the Raffles developers. I agree, dodgy at best.
 

BeeLine

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 7, 2012
Messages
12,367
Reaction score
10,850

sm89

Active Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2014
Messages
984
Reaction score
120
The pike on-ramp closure for construction has been so nice. I bike through daily and while sure the bike lane being gone because of the barriers is annoying, there are just so many fewer cars gridlocking the intersections. I'm not sure where people are driving instead to access the pike, but it has really made the area much calmer. I wish it could remain closed..
 

bip05

New member
Joined
Oct 17, 2019
Messages
29
Reaction score
66
The pike on-ramp closure for construction has been so nice. I bike through daily and while sure the bike lane being gone because of the barriers is annoying, there are just so many fewer cars gridlocking the intersections. I'm not sure where people are driving instead to access the pike, but it has really made the area much calmer. I wish it could remain closed..
Isn't the purpose of this project to bring life to the area instead of making it calmer?
 

cburns

Active Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2013
Messages
111
Reaction score
48
Isn't the purpose of this project to bring life to the area instead of making it calmer?
That stretch is tough southbound on a bike, the conflicts of southbound Mass Ave vehicles banging a right to (mostly) the Pike and (distant second) Newbury are brutal; 0 regard for the bike lane there.

I'd love the city/state to introduce a right turn light here separate from forward progression of bikes/ cars to limit conflicts (similar to this one here in the West End).
 

JumboBuc

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2013
Messages
2,453
Reaction score
865
The pike on-ramp closure for construction has been so nice. I bike through daily and while sure the bike lane being gone because of the barriers is annoying, there are just so many fewer cars gridlocking the intersections. I'm not sure where people are driving instead to access the pike, but it has really made the area much calmer. I wish it could remain closed..
The project won't eliminate the Pike onramp altogether, but it will remove it from the intersection with Mass Ave. The project will turn the messy 5-way intersection at Newbury and Mass Ave intersection into a rather typical 4-way intersection, with everybody accessing the ramp going down Newbury first and then turning onto the ramp from there once they're beyond the intersection.

Plus the new bike lane along this block will be protected and go inside of the bus stop, instead of having to fight with busses along the curb.

That's all a big win for southbound bikes and peds on Mass Ave.

1619193767078.png
 

HelloBostonHi

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2018
Messages
1,063
Reaction score
1,758
I'd love the city/state to introduce a right turn light here separate from forward progression of bikes/ cars to limit conflicts (similar to this one here in the West End).
It was certainly discussed but it's not allowed unless there is a dedicated right turn lane and the volumes at this intersection don't work out to allow having one thru lane and one right lane. Removing the bike lane protection for a dedicated right turn lane was not desirable. I believe the final design includes some mountable curbing to make that right turn slower, and there was at least discussion of a leading bike interval and there will absolutely be some signal improvements and timing changes to reduce conflicts. Either way the geometry of the new intersection is supposed to slow those right turns and make bikes more visible during them.
 

ra84970

Active Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2020
Messages
312
Reaction score
252
It was certainly discussed but it's not allowed unless there is a dedicated right turn lane and the volumes at this intersection don't work out to allow having one thru lane and one right lane. Removing the bike lane protection for a dedicated right turn lane was not desirable. I believe the final design includes some mountable curbing to make that right turn slower, and there was at least discussion of a leading bike interval and there will absolutely be some signal improvements and timing changes to reduce conflicts. Either way the geometry of the new intersection is supposed to slow those right turns and make bikes more visible during them.
My "crazy" pitch is to make Mass Ave just 1 lane in each direction. The rest of our main street should be for cyclists and for transit.
 

DZH22

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2006
Messages
7,891
Reaction score
11,423
My "crazy" pitch is to make Mass Ave just 1 lane in each direction. The rest of our main street should be for cyclists and for transit.
Without the turn lanes it would be infinite gridlock. The backup would extend along the entire bridge into Cambridge. Can't really extend the light cycles either, to accommodate those taking lefts, because the lights are too close together. The turn lanes have to be there for this road to be passable.
 

Equilibria

Senior Member
Joined
May 6, 2007
Messages
5,252
Reaction score
2,746
Without the turn lanes it would be infinite gridlock. The backup would extend along the entire bridge into Cambridge. Can't really extend the light cycles either, to accommodate those taking lefts, because the lights are too close together. The turn lanes have to be there for this road to be passable.
2 lanes plus turn lanes is reasonable. 2 lanes minus turn lanes is Prospect Street, and Prospect Street sucks for everyone.

As a driver/walker/transit rider, my personal opinion is that very few roads need 4 travel lanes for cars. 2+1 in the middle is almost always operationally better than 4.
 

ra84970

Active Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2020
Messages
312
Reaction score
252
Without the turn lanes it would be infinite gridlock. The backup would extend along the entire bridge into Cambridge. Can't really extend the light cycles either, to accommodate those taking lefts, because the lights are too close together. The turn lanes have to be there for this road to be passable.
I'd suggest we could get rid of the pike on-ramp here. For Cantabs, there's still the Allston rams or access via 93 and Central Artery. For Bostonians there's the whole Pru complex. Save some of the left turn space for higher and better uses or just make Mass Ave world class for bus riders and cyclists. There's enough world class highways and arterials in the rest of the city.
 

ra84970

Active Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2020
Messages
312
Reaction score
252
2 lanes plus turn lanes is reasonable. 2 lanes minus turn lanes is Prospect Street, and Prospect Street sucks for everyone.

As a driver/walker/transit rider, my personal opinion is that very few roads need 4 travel lanes for cars. 2+1 in the middle is almost always operationally better than 4.
As a non driver and a flâneur.

4 is the worst. Especially without the left turn pockets.
Less worse is 2 + turn lanes.
Least worse is 1 in each direction.

Prospect Street in Cambridge is mostly 2 + turn. It does change in Inman and into Somerville to 2 + parking. Though, didn't it become 2 + bus lane in Union Square?
 

Equilibria

Senior Member
Joined
May 6, 2007
Messages
5,252
Reaction score
2,746
As a non driver and a flâneur.

4 is the worst. Especially without the left turn pockets.
Less worse is 2 + turn lanes.
Least worse is 1 in each direction.

Prospect Street in Cambridge is mostly 2 + turn. It does change in Inman and into Somerville to 2 + parking. Though, didn't it become 2 + bus lane in Union Square?
It depends on the segment. I was referencing it at its worst on the Cambridge to Webster stretch.

The turn lane implies that the road is wide enough to be flexible, really. That space could be used for bike lanes, bus stops, curb space for deliveries...
 

Top