History of the Western Avenue Cycle Track, with Sources

This page is a supporting document for my blog post about the Western Avenue Cycle Track, giving an accurate history of the cycle track and citing sources.

The first  0.1 mile cycle track segment, only on the south side, was installed in November, 2010, but parking adjacent to it was allowed starting possibly as late as September or early October, 2011. This segment was removed sometime before June 7, 2012.

This segment was reinstalled and another 0.1 mile segment, also only on the south side near North Harvard Street was  installed sometime between July and October of 2012.

So: all in all, over the 2009-2012 time period of the Boston Cyclist Safety Report — which has a map showing the entire 0.58 mile segment of Western Avenue as “cycle track,”

  • 0.1 miles of cycle track — some of the time without  adjacent parking — existed for approximately 1.5 year, for a total of 0.15 miles * years, on one side of the street.
  • 0.2 miles of cycle track with parking existed for at most  0.5 year, for a total of approximately 0.1 miles * years — also on only one side of the street..
  • The total miles * years for cycle tracks in the years 2009-2012 are, then, about 0.25, though only on one side of the street.
  • Total miles * years for the 0.58 mile segment, counting both directions, is 4.6. The cycle track segments, then, account for at most 5.4% of the miles * years of the segment during the time of the Boston Cycle Safety Report data collection.

Sources:

Videos —

  • My video of June, 2009  — no cycle track
  • Greg Hum’s blog post of November 10, 2010, includes a video and description of the newly-installed cycle track segment near the Harvard Business School, with construction barrels in the adjacent parking lane, so no parking, but a park-away-from-curb sign is not bagged.
  • My video of September 21, 2011: only one cycle track segment, near Harvard Business School. Only one car is parked in it at approximately 5:20 PM. Signs are not visible, as I was traveling westbound.
  • My video of June 7, 2012 (Segment is online): no cycle track.
  • My video of April 10, 2013: (westbound): two cycle track segments, about 1/3 of the North Harvard Street-Soldier’s Field Road stretch, south side only.
  • My video of April 24, 2013: (eastbound): two cycle track segments, about 1/3 of the North Harvard Street-Soldier’s Field Road stretch, south side only. This video gives the best overall look at the cycle track.
  • My video of April 29, 2013: (westbound): similar to video of April 10 but at dusk.

Google Street Views

Google Street Views of the section near the Harvard Business School. Clicking on the clock face near the upper left of the screen opens up a timeline for Street Views from different dates:

  • August, 2007: two travel lanes, parking both sides.
  • August, 2009: two travel lanes, no parking either side. This was during the time period of the Cicty of Boston Cyclist Safety Study.
  • July, 2011: cycle track with construction barrels in parking lane on south side, bike lane on north side, no parking. Sign to permit parking to the left of the cycle track is bagged.
  • August 2011: cycle track with construction barrels and flex posts on south side, bike lane on north side. Sign is still bagged and no vehicles are parked.
  • October, November, December 2011: cycle track with flex posts on south side, bike lane on north side. Parking is now permitted and vehicles are parked.
  • July 2012: Cycle track has been removed, bike lane both sides, no parking.
  • October, November, 2012; August,  September, 2013: cycle track with flex posts and parking.

Google Street Views of the section nearer North Harvard Street — Click on the clock face for the timeline feature:

  • August, 2007 and August, 2009: two wide travel lanes, parking on north side
  • July, August, November, December, 2011: bike lanes both sides; north side bike lane is in the door zone.
  • July 2012: Construction barrels in parking lane on north side: no parking either side
  • October, November 2012; August, September, 2013: cycle track behind parking on south side, bike lane against curb on north side.

Newspaper/online articles:

No cycle track in 2009:

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2009/3/16/allston-looks-for-creative-solutions-in/”

http://www.boston.com/realestate/news/articles/2009/03/22/reevaluating_plans_for_harvard_held_land/

The article linked below gives a date for initial installation of the bikeway but doesn’t give details about its length:

http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/allston_brighton/2010/11/half-mile_stretch_of_western_a.html

One Response to History of the Western Avenue Cycle Track, with Sources

  1. Pingback: Boston’s Western Avenue Cycle Track — correcting the public record | Street Smarts

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