News & Updates

BRA Bike Planning Rolls Forward

Apr 03, 2014

harvard-cycle-track2-(2).pngIt’s springtime (finally), which means the bikes are back in town!

On March 31, the Office of Mayor Walsh, Boston Bikes, the Boston Transportation Department (BTD), Hubway, and the Boston biking community convened the 6th Annual Boston Bike Update at Faneuil Hall. Hubway, Boston’s popular bike sharing program, opened for the season on April 2 with ten new stations.

Biking has doubled in Boston in the last six years, and the BRA has seen bicycling infrastructure become an increasingly visible part of community meetings, planning, and development review work. Community members are asking for infrastructure to support biking for health, commuting, and recreation. Developers are finding that bicycle amenities are a desired community benefit as well as an attraction for potential tenants.

Collaborating closely with Boston Bikes, BTD, the Department of Public Works, and the City's many bicycle advocacy groups, the BRA has been seeking creative ways to incorporate bicycles into urban planning and economic development. Below, find a roundup of some of the BRA's latest planning initiatives and Article 80 projects which have incorporated bicycle planning or amenities.

Bicycles + Urban Planning

  • The Mt. Vernon Redesign Project, which kicked off with its first community meeting on March 27, will consider whether bike lanes or cycle tracks are more appropriate for this critical spine through Columbia Point, Dorchester.
  • The Summer Street Cycle Track, part of the Crossroads Initiative, will help bikers safely navigate the quickly evolving South Boston Waterfront neighborhood.
  • The BRA offered land use and development review support on the BTD’s efforts to add buffered bike lanes to Harrison Ave. in the South end and a two-way cycle track along Rutherford Ave. in Charlestown.
  • The South Bay Harbor Trail extends from Ruggles Station in Roxbury, under the Southeast Expressway (Interstate 93), to the Boston Harborwalk along Fort Point Channel. The BRA assisted with gaining easements from private businesses along the route to build several segments of bicycle infrastructure.
  • The BRA is a partner on the Connect Historic Boston initiative, which aims to make walking, biking, and taking public transit to Boston’s historic sites both convenient and fun.
  • The BRA is a partner on the Fenway-Yawkey Multi-Use path, which is a part of the BTD-led Fenway-Longwood-Kenmore Transportation and Pedestrian Action Plan.
  • BRA staff were part of multi-agency team which brought the Complete Streets guidelines to Boston in 2013. Complete Streets offers easily understandable strategies to reimagine Boston’s streets as public amenities with room for cafes, street furniture, pedestrians, and bicyclists as well as cars and transit.

Bicycles + Development Review

  • The Dudley Square Municipal/Ferdinand Building, which is refurbishing a historic building as part of the Dudley Vision effort to catalyze economic development in Roxbury, will include ample bike parking as well as shower facilities for future tenants.
  • Harvard University agreed to build a cycle track in Allston in 2010 as part of its cooperation agreement negotiated through the Institutional Planning process.
  • The Landmark Center redevelopment will be constructing a shared-use bicycle and pedestrian path adjacent to its property in accordance with the Fenway-Longwood-Kenmore Transportation & Pedestrian Safety Action Plan.
  • As part of its community benefits for Boston Landing, New Balance’s new HQ will install 80 bicycle parking spaces for employees with showers and changing rooms, as well as reconstruct several streets in the area according to Complete Streets guidelines, aiming for easier bicycle and pedestrian access.
  • Lovejoy Wharf, Factory 63, and 315 on A all include bike rooms as amenities for their tenants.
  • Seaport Square, Fan Pier, Harvard University, Allston Green, Proctor & Gamble/Gillette, and Spalding Rehab have all sponsored Hubway bike sharing stations or agreed to have them installed on their property as part of the community benefits negotiated during their development review process.

To share your thoughts on bicycle infrastructure as it relates to the BRA's planning and development review work, check out our calendar and attend an upcoming community meeting, or send your feedback through the project comment forms which open on the BRA's website during official comment periods.

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