In response to numerous crashes on the Craigie Bridge, including the February killing of Boston University graduate student Meng Jin, MassDOT is moving forward with plans to reduce the number of motor vehicle lanes and make room for flexpost-buffered bike lanes between Edwin H. Land Boulevard in Cambridge and Leverett Circle in Boston, a roadway also known as Charles River Dam Road.
The design, which MassDOT hopes to implement this June in a repaving project, adds continuous bike lanes separated along most of their length with 1.5-foot buffer and flexible post bollards, plus dedicated bike signals at intersections on either end of the bridge.
Museum Way, which connects Craigie Bridge to Charlestown via the North Bank Bridge, would also lose a center left-turn lane at its intersection with the bridge and gain buffered bike lanes in its place.
MassDOT presented the updated safety improvement plans to an audience of several dozen concerned citizens at a May 1 hearing at the Boston Museum of Science. While many activists in the audience expressed a desire for more durable improvements, like curb-protected bike lanes and raised intersections, the project's presenter, Andy Paul of MassDOT, stressed that the project was taking a light-and-quick approach in order to address safety concerns as quickly as possible.
“These are targeted safety improvements we can implement in the near term," said Paul. "They've been designed in such a way that they won't preclude other improvements from happening in the future.”
MassDOT data reveals that the western intersections of Craigie Bridge at Museum Way and Land Boulevard are high-crash clusters, with a combined 76 crashes causing at least 25 injuries at the interval from 2013 to 2015.