Elements of that plan were installed in mid-November, when the BTD installed modular cast concrete curbs to provide protection for a new bike lane on Mass. Ave. through the BMC campus.
Similar cast concrete curbs have been in place along other sections of Mass. Ave. in the Back Bay neighborhood since May, and those remain in place.
But early Wednesday morning, crews arrived to remove the curbs through the BMC campus.
"Out of an abundance of caution and as the result of several recent crashes, the concrete barriers were removed along the edge of the bike lane on Mass. Avenue between Harrison and Melnea Cass Boulevard as we reevaluate what measures can be implemented to improve safety in this priority area," wrote Boston Transportation Department Commissioner Greg Rooney in an emailed statement to Streetsblog on Thursday afternoon. "We will reinstall protections for the bike lane basing our work on the crash evaluation."
A BTD official reported that there have been four crashes on the corridor since the new curbs were put in place.
The removal of the protected bike lane was first reported by LiveBoston617, a Twitter account run by local first responders, in a tweet that inaccurately blamed the curbs, not the drivers who drove their cars into them, for "at least 10 accidents in under a month."
There are no records, either in the MassDOT crash database or in local news reports, of any injury-causing crashes on Mass. Ave. in the vicinity of the Boston Medical Center since late August, well before the protected bike lane was installed.
StreetsblogMASS has requested copies of any police reports related to more recent crashes in this area, but has yet to receive a response.
The City of Boston has singled out the entire length of Massachusetts Avenue as a threat to public safety: the street is part of the city’s “high crash network,” and has a higher density of crashes that cause injuries to bicyclists and pedestrians than 97 percent of all other city streets.