Select bus lanes, bike lanes and parking changes that were implemented during the 30-day Orange Line shutdown will become a permanent part of Boston’s streetscape.
Mayor Michelle Wu says the changes adopted to accommodate increased bus and bike traffic during the shutdown improved traffic flow and public safety, and keeping those changes will continue to benefit people using all modes of transit.
“We have been measuring every bit of the experience of folks who were driving, walking, biking and getting around during the shutdown, a any of the changes that were implemented in order to let shuttle buses move faster actually were better for traffic and safety overall,” Wu said while speaking to reporters at South Station on Tuesday morning.
Wu said the bus lanes created, especially around Copley Square, will be made permanent along with some of the bike lane infrastructure. The Mayor says city transit personnel will continue to monitor the effects of such changes now that the Orange Line is running again and may make other improvements.
The following street infrastructure changes will remain in place:
- Chinatown SL5 bus stop: This new bus stop creates a vital link for Chinatown residents to the SL5.
- Copley Square area bus lanes: These bus lanes include Boylston Street (Ring Road to Clarendon Street), Clarendon Street (Boylston Street to Columbus Avenue) and St. James Street (west of Berkeley Street to Dartmouth Street). These bus lanes support the 39, 9 and 10 bus routes.
- South End loading zones and drop-off zones: Changes to parking restrictions in this area will remain in place for improved curbside management and reduced double parking in the unprotected bike lane.
- Jamaica Plain pavement marking and signage: This includes traffic safety elements such as “Don’t Block the Box” and parking restrictions at corners to improve visibility.
- Boylston Street one-way for vehicles: Closing a section of Boylston Street during the shutdown improved safety by decreasing the number of collisions and near-misses along the Southwest Corridor. Reopening this stretch as a one-way street from Amory to Lamartine for vehicles will improve safety and support long-term bike connectivity plans.
- The Boylston Street bike lane: The temporary bike lane will be removed on Sept. 27. The city is working to design the recently announced permanent lane, to be installed in the spring.
- Huntington Avenue bus and bike priority lane: The priority bus and bike lane that was added to Huntington Avenue from Brigham Circle to Gainsborough Street has improved speed for the Route 39 bus.
- Columbus Avenue bike lane: This temporary bike lane will remain until early December, but long-term planning is underway for a potential permanent option.
- Bluebikes parking and reduced cost: The city will retain Bluebikes docks added during the shutdown, with minor modifications as needed, to keep up with record-breaking ridership numbers. The city is also exploring options to provide free or low-cost bike share service