Protected Bike Lanes Coming to Wellington Bridge Over the Mystic

The Wellington Bridge (circled in red) between Medford and Somerville will get new protected bike lanes this fall. Existing bike paths are shown in green and bike lanes in blue. Base map courtesy of MAPC.
The Wellington Bridge (circled in red) between Medford and Somerville will get new protected bike lanes this fall. Existing bike paths are shown in green and bike lanes in blue. Base map courtesy of MAPC.

The City of Somerville has announced that it will create new protected bike lanes on the Wellington Bridge across the Mystic River this fall, connecting Somerville’s fast-growing Assembly Square district with the City of Medford.

The project is being funded through the MassDOT’s new Shared Streets and Spaces Program, a statewide pool of funding intended to help cities and towns create safer walking and biking routes with more room for physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Wellington Bridge currently has two narrow sidewalks (which do not provide adequate space for two people to walk or pass each other side by side) alongside six broad lanes for motor vehicle traffic.

The Shared Streets and Spaces project will attempt to calm traffic on the bridge and relieve crowding on the sidewalks by narrowing the motor vehicle lanes and creating a physically-separated bike lane in each direction.

The new bike lanes will connect to a growing network of off-street pathways on both banks of the Mystic River. Several other trail projects nearby are currently under design or construction, including a new path being built between Assembly and Sullivan Square as part of a shoreline stabilization project at the MBTA’s Charlestown bus garage.

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