Eyes on the Street: A Safer Commonwealth Avenue Takes Shape

Shorter crossings, raised crosswalks, transit priority traffic signals and separated bike lanes are coming to Boston University's west campus.

The under-construction protected bike lane on Commonwealth Avenue, photographed on May 8, 2019.
The under-construction protected bike lane on Commonwealth Avenue, photographed on May 8, 2019.

At the western end of the Boston University campus, construction workers are making steady progress on the Commonwealth Avenue complete streets project, which extends from just east of Packard’s Corner to the BU Bridge. As of May 8, the street’s westbound lanes were nearly complete and the new protected bike lanes were open to traffic, while excavation continued on the southern, eastbound side of the street.

When the project is complete, this section of Commonwealth Avenue will have protected bike lanes in both directions, raised crosswalks at intersections to help slow down traffic, and shorter, safer pedestrian crossings.

The project will also incorporate elements of the MBTA’s “Green Line Transformation” upgrades. Right now, trains on this 1/2 mile stretch stop four times, or roughly once every 750 feet. Those stations will be consolidated into two stops with wider, ADA-accessible platforms.

The corridor will also be part of the MBTA’s “transit signal prioritization” pilot, which will give Green Line trains and the MBTA’s route 57 buses extra green-light time to move through intersections.

The under-construction westbound protected bike lane on Commonwealth Avenue is nearly complete and open to bike traffic, while excavation continues on the south side of the street.

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