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Brighton Avenue to get 24-hour bus/bike lane

Installation of a permanent bus/bike lane on Brighton Avenue inbound between Union Square and Packards Corner in Allston begins tomorrow, the mayor's office announced today.

The lane will be ready for use by late June.

Unlike the bus/bike lane on Washington Street in Roslindale, only open on weekday mornings, the new Brighton Avenue lane will be set aside for MBTA and school buses and bicyclists 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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Excellent. This is an easy, quick and cheap way to improve transit in this city. But since it's so easy, quick and cheap there should be way more bus only lanes at this point. All it takes is a little paint and a few signs yet it is taking the city forever to create them. They could make a new bus lane every week instead of every 6 months.

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Voting closed 28

I know in the Roslindale case they studied who was parking on the street during the special lane hours. There was a great hue and cry about hypothetical single moms with multiple small hypothetical kids who need to park in front of their homes. But it turned out the people parking there are from the 'burbs looking for free parking near Forest Hills.

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Voting closed 29

Being the two daycare facilities on Washington Street.

This morning, the bus lane was blocked by 3 vehicles when I was going to Forest Hills. One was in front of Milagros Family Day Care. The next was in front of Guira Y Tambora, which in turn is across the street from the Little Peoples Playhouse. The third was a truck in front of DB&S.

I think the bus lanes in Roslindale are great, but without enforcement, a bus lane is basically short term parking.

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Voting closed 7

That's not all it takes. You need enforcement too. Plenty of violators in the Watertown bike/bus lane trial every day, although fewer these days.

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Voting closed 10

Don't forget police enforcement for a few weeks along with the paint and signs.

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Even easier would be losing the 4-way walk at Brighton Ave and Harvard Ave. That will save everyone -- bus, car, bike, and pedestrian -- way more time than a bus lane.

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Voting closed 6

At the cost of lives. That intersection is *the* gateway for Brookline to reach the Pike. There's one of the largest masses of restaurants outside of downtown within two blocks in every direction at that intersection driving tons of foot traffic. It's the way half of Allston reaches the B Line. There are a total of 8 lanes of traffic (10 once anyone on Harvard wants to turn left) at that intersection.

There are maybe 10 intersections outside of downtown that justify non-concurrent walk signals and that's easily one of them.

You want to help things there? Give the 66 bus some means of making a quick protected right just before/just after the pedestrian signal.

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will it actually be enforced? The "bus only" lane on Essex street in Chinatown comes to mind, having a painted roadway is one thing but enforcement is a whole other story.

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It is almost disappeared too. You can barely see it. What is happening there?

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Finally!
How about Brighton Center? That is another bottleneck that could benefit from a dedicated bus lane,,,

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*cries in A line*

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Voting closed 49

A lot of people inbound on Brighton Ave turn right onto Harvard at Blanchards. It's not unheard of for that traffic to back up around the corner. I see that as a potential bottleneck, but hey let's try it and see how it goes.

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Voting closed 5

Actually that block on Brighton Ave between Linden and Harvard [with the restaurants] is notorious for being full of double parked cars in the travel lane. Most of them probably can be attributed to delivery or livery drivers? That is the lane I would assume is slated to be the bike/bus lane, but they're going to need to buy a bulldozer to keep it clear.

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Voting closed 24

I believe you're thinking of the outbound side of Brighton Avenue (where my husband and I once witnessed a guy double-parked in the LEFT-HAND lane of traffic while he ran into Bon Chon for a takeaway order.) The bus-bike lane is only on the inbound side of the road.

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There is an empty lot at Linden and Brighton, which would make good municipal parking lot. Last summer it was used for food trucks.

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it has to be muniicipal - city owned. That's privately owned property slated for construction. used to be rental car lot - renting to food trucks in the meantime.

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I have no idea why not outbound, but I do know that the current project only covers the inbound direction.

Also, it's worth noting that the "empty lot" at Linden & Brighton, along with the building next door that used to house the bike shop, is slated for development.

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I also wonder about enforcement, I mean they claim that we need Police Details for every hole in the ground because people don't respect signs, will anyone respect the bus lane?

Also, I am totally excited that is now basicly a full lane bike lane too!

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Voting closed 6

to other side of the intersection (in front of Sunset Grille building now) to accommodate people turning right (only time cars can be in bus only lane). The lane marker is solid except for the last part of the block to signify cars can cross for turning. Also moved the bus stop at the Burger King to the other side of the intersection for the same reason. I'm hoping this works (and I live on Park Vale so I turn into crowded traffic on Brighton most times I drive). I gave up on the 57 bus due to the delays.

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Where will the 66 stop? On Harvard St?

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Yes, the 66 bus stop has been moved around the corner to the front side of Blanchard's.

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The balls-to-the-wall 57 bus just got even more exciting!

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Voting closed 10

n/t

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How amazing would it be if we got rid of derailing/breaking down trains and just ran buses? Buses can be scaled much more granularly, they can be taken off the line if broken down and easily replaced with another, run them on the old track lines and they don't have to deal with traffic, operating & capital expenses are way lower... seems like a no-brainer

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Voting closed 7

Buses suck. We want more trains, not less.

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Voting closed 20

Do them everywhere. Immediately. Right now. The city is choking on congestion.

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Voting closed 9

I look forward to the complaints about parking, blah blah blah but this will greatly improve the commutes for a larger number of cyclists and bus-riders, so who cares really.

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I’m not saying it’s your conscious thought, but I notice that cyclists tend to look at the bus element of impending bus lanes as an afterthought.

Not from Allston, so I have no opinion on the proposal. What works for the neighborhood works for the neighborhood.

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Voting closed 7

The rare days where I don't bike, I'm on the 57 and constantly stuck in traffic. This stretch from Union to Packards is usually the worst between Union and Harvard Ave, speed picks up from there to Packards but after that Comm Ave. is congested nightmare. Still, excited to see what this will do on those days, maybe it shaves 10-15 minutes off?

I've been biking the Esplanade for several weeks now, avoiding the nightmare that is the Packards Corner to BU Bridge because MassDOTs new bike lanes are crawling along and they've give zero interim infra in the two plus years its taken.

Of course I still have to go through a short but very dangerous stretch of road to do that, going down Cambridge St. to the Esplanade means I gotta ride the bike lanes thats between 2 lanes of Storrow heading traffic and two lanes of Pike heading traffic. Another fabulous MassDOT bike lane there.

So yeah circling back, I think the net-benefit to other bus riders and occasionally myself is the bigger deal. But once the Comm Ave. project completes, it'll be a bit more connected route of safer bike infra coming from Brighton Center for me.

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After posting that, I looked at the google satellite view of Brighton Ave. How is there not a dedicated bike lane on that road?

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Agreed, its truly a broken connection between the infra coming from Brighton Center and connecting to Comm Ave.

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Having a dedicated lane for the bus means they're not merging in and out of traffic which speeds up the car lanes too.

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The new bus lanes on Mass Ave thru MIT made things way worse for cars AND buses. They created such a giant traffic backup that the bus loses more time than it saves.

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Specific resources for bikes should come with a user tax. It's time we require bike license plates with registration fees, rules of the road, and tickets for those who don't abide by the laws.

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https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/10/driving-true-costs/...

The report documents that the amount that road users pay through gas taxes now accounts for less than half of what’s spent to maintain and expand the road system. The resulting shortfall is made up from other sources of tax revenue at the state and local levels, generated by drivers and non-drivers alike.

While congressional bailouts of the Highway Trust Fund have made this subsidy more apparent, it has actually never been the case that road users paid their own way. Not only that, but the amount of their subsidy has steadily increased in recent years. The share of the costs paid from road-user fees has dropped from about 70 percent in the 1960s to less than half today, according to the study.

Rules of the road and tickets are already codified in MGLs and enforced (hahahhaah) by local law enforcement. Lotta good thats done.

Now a new bureaucracy for cycling seems a little silly in the grand scheme of things, ya know things that children ride. So the police that already aren't pulling over motor vehicles and adults on bikes are suddenly going to dedicat resources to checking license and registration on every child on the road?

Maybe better to understand that laws and registration and insurance surrounding motor vehicles are a direct response to the threat they pose to society when unregulated. Bikes? Not so much.

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.

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Does anyone know what the design of this lane will look like? Is it replacing parking or a travel lane? Will it be located to the left of parking or to the right?

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but it doesn't show the layout. From what I can tell, this is currently a pilot program so they're just lane painting - it will be right lane bus and bikes, left lane cars. Cars can only cross into right lane to turn right. I had a question about the islands in the center - if there's a plan to make them a second lane of traffic for cars (where the A line used to run) but there wouldn't be cash for that in a pilot program - pilot possibly looking at whether it's needed.

https://www.boston.gov/news/busbike-lane-established-brighton-avenue-all...

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It's replacing the right travel lane. The lines have already started going down today.

It's to the left of parking. Someone parking on the curb will use the lane temporarily to park. Most of the cars in there don't move anyways, so it won't be an issue.

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If tickets aren't written, this is not likely to be especially effective.

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An entire lane for, what, four buses an hour? As for the cyclists, are they getting mowed down, and I'm not hearing about it? I share that lane with them like a big boy.

Now, you want to let Uber/Lyft have access to that lane too, you have yourself a contemporary traffic flow solution there.

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Voting closed 5

I share that lane and it doesn't help. As an occasional bus rider here at rush hour, feeling that its much more than 4 buses an hour.

Also lots of pot holes were there until recently repaved, so not only are you trying to take the lane while getting tailgated but you get to play the game of moving to avoid a pothole while hoping that that few inches you've just conceded aren't perceived to be a couple dozen inches and the motorist takes it because who cares about safe passes.

Nah, Lyft and Uber can GTFO.

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At peak times, the 57 and the 66 both run every 10 minutes. So that's 12 buses per hour.

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no buses for 30 minutes, then 6 at once, then no buses for 30 minutes, then 6 at once.

FTFY ;)

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Why would Uber and Lyft drivers get access to a bus/bike lane? They're just regular civilian cars.

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Popularity.

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The buses get a lane due to density...like your head.

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Voting closed 12

You don't think that "popularity" and "density" have the same meaning in this context?

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Not at all. Your head isn't popular, but it is dense.

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These companies are still subsidizing driver's pay despite (because of) poor stock prices. $2 bus rides are competing with $5 rideshare commutes. This is why the traffic is ridiculous. And it isn't fair market value, because the law allows publicly owned to manipulate the price to pump the stock value.

So what I mean is that this popularity is fake.

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Voting closed 8

How many people are in those 4 buses vs how many people are in the cars that would be there instead?

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Let's say 4 buses carry 120 people (and that's optimistic off-peak). A lane can handle way more than 120 cars per hour -- let's conservatively say 10 cars per green light, on a 90-second cycle: 400 cars.

NYC's bus lane on 5th Avenue serves about 20 local buses per hour, plus lots of express buses. And it's only in effect 7 am - 7 pm weekdays. *That's* an efficient use of road space.

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Voting closed 8

https://www.boston.gov/sites/default/files/document-file-05-2019/mode_sp...

Split usage charts.

Buses are 2-3% of the vehicles on that section of road all day, but carry 30-50% of the road users.

Cars are 75-90% of the vehicles, but carry only 40-65% of the road users.

More data here:
https://www.boston.gov/departments/transportation/brighton-avenue-bus-la...

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Voting closed 8

Scary. Be safe everyone.

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I guess this lane is a good idea; I'm not sure. But no one here has addressed what I regard as the background issue -- why does the 66 bus even run through Union Square? I forget how many years ago they changed the route... but if you look at the bus route overall, that's a ridiculous diversionary loop to make. If I remember correctly, the bus (going towards Harvard Square) used to follow a more direct route, straight up Harvard Ave. until it turned right.

I realize there are people near Union Square who like having the bus stop closer to them, but I walk to and from Union Square several times a week from the main intersection (Harvard & Comm Ave) and it's really not that far. Conceptually, there are always lots of people who live several blocks from a bus stop who'd like the bus to make a diversionary loop to their doorstep. Why this loop? Why not those other "stranded" bus riders? Why shouldn't the bus loop around to stop everywhere? Ridiculous.

All this loop does is slow down the obvious, direct 66 route (like in the old days) and get stuck in traffic and difficult almost-U-turns, making the route worse for the vast majority of riders.

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Voting closed 10

I can't answer for the MBTA's planning department, but I do know that if they re-routed the #66 bus back away from Union Square (straight Harvard Avenue to Cambridge Street) it would cause transportation difficulties for myself and several of my neighbors who live in the handicapped-accessible apartments on Hano Street and Everett Street.

Some of my neighbors use wheelchairs and some use walkers or canes. Walking the extra two blocks to get to Harvard Avenue might be too much of a physical struggle for some or all of them, just as it's too much of a physical struggle for me in the wintertime, (and increasingly other times of the year as well, as I get older).

This would lead to *more* use of Lyft, Uber and/or taxis for short trips, and more traffic congestion.

Keep in mind also the upcoming construction of a large number of apartments at the Stop & Shop/Home Goods plaza, and part of the traffic calming strategies promised to the neighbors was INCREASED bus service to that area...which suggests another detour of the #66 to include that area, a new bus route entirely, or possibly a shuttlebus service.

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Voting closed 5

What they should do is bring the 66 down Western to Everett and then swing the left onto North Brighton and go straight from there.

Taking it down Cambridge St is just a disaster nearly all times of day due to the Pike entrance/exit.

Or maybe a 66A or something since that would strand some people living on that part of Cambridge St and North Havard.

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