The City of Boston Transportation Department could begin construction later this year on physically protected bike lanes, new bus stops, and safer crosswalks on Tremont Street through the South End.
The city's adopted design will also considerably reduce the threats of motor vehicle traffic by cutting the number of motor vehicle lanes on Tremont Street in half, from four to two (except at a handful of intersections with traffic signals, where the design will make room for dedicated left turn lanes).
City planners have identified the current four-lane layout as one of the street's biggest safety hazards, because it creates a "double threat" for pedestrians in its crosswalks: one car might stop to let someone cross the street, but passing cars in the other lane are then less likely to see, or stop for, the pedestrian walking in front of the stopped vehicle.
In early 2018, the city kicked off a planning process to plan safety improvements to the corridor. The outlines of the current plan emerged as the preferred alternative last year, but city officials spent extra time over the winter conducting outreach with local businesses to design better curbside parking regulations as part of the project (the redesign will also add new commercial loading and passenger drop-off zones in an effort to cut down on the area's high rates of double-parking).