Friday, March 2, 2012

ice ice go away

I went to the Longfellow EA meeting last night.
Long and short of it,  the meeting  was fine, and the overall EA should probably be approved.

What got people excited was that this finally released the "preferred alternative" which was definitely NOT what I would prefer.

There was a huge line of speakers, 90% of whom spoke in favor of the cycletrack option that the coalition of advocacy groups, including LSA, Walk Boston, MassBike, Institute for Human Centered Design, Charles River Conservancy and Boston Cyclists Union had all signed onto.

There were lovely renderings circulating about the Esplanade 2020 project which suggests consolidating the two sides on Storrow as they used to be, under only one of the bridge's spans.  This would require a lot smaller pedestrian bridge, and would open up a much larger section of parkland.   I suspect that it's a bit much to add to the bridge project at this late date, but it's very interesting, and seems like it should be taken into account as they're doing other shifts to the parkland.

It was so incredibly icy last night- everything was covered with 1/2" of frozen rain, which was then covered with 1/2" of snow.  I had been ambivalent about not biking in what had until the evening not seemed like such a bad storm.  When I got out of the meeting at 10PM, I was glad that I was on my feet.  I'm not even going to try biking in it this morning.  I'm sure they've cleared some of it with salt, but the small streets and the bike lanes seem dicey.  Anyone still got their studded tires on?


  1. I went in this morning. Still don't own studded tires. It was fine, though I wind up clipping my right hand against a car in an almost-dooring. Hand's ... ok. Nothing a bit of rest and ice won't fix. Last night was certainly a bit dicey, but not as bad as what we had last year. I think we're all just a bit out of practice ;)

    can you give a little more detail about what the eventual preferred alternative was?

    1. Cris, I added a link to the chapter of the EA on Alternatives. The relevant pages are 53, 54, and 55. The "preferred alternative for Mass DOT is two 11' lanes of traffic, a 5'6" bike lane, a crash barrier, and then a 8'6" sidewalk. There's basically no improvement in bike facilities (6") on the boston bound side, although they will put bikes to the left of the right turn lane which is currently a problem at Charles Circle.

  2. Thanks for the report; I wimped out last night and couldn't even bring myself to taking the T to the meeting. Time to start writing letters again - the in-bound bike lane in the "preferred Alternative" is rather pathetic.
    PS: damned spambots!

    1. Yeah, it slipped through because it was one of those anodyne comments that made sense in the context of the post, but then I realized who it was "from"

  3. oh, and interesting/ funny story. A guy at the meeting was a retired DCR engineer, and he said that in the 60's it was three lanes of traffic each way.
    He went out one day with a striping crew and unilaterally re-striped it to two lanes and a bike lane, without getting any permissions, without any public hearings! I bet a couple of the MassDOT people wished they could do it that way now :)

  4. Doesn't blogger give you, as the blog owner, the option of removing permanently, after reading how it can't be undone? That is how I remove spam comments (or my own when I quickly notice odd typos from iOS). Doing so avoids people like me with vivid imaginations wondering if it was just spam or if something wicked came this way.