Building Back Flimsier: Flexposts Replace Concrete Curbs for Mass. Ave. Bike Lanes
The Boston Transportation Department (BTD) has installed flexible-post plastic bollards along the Massachusetts Avenue bike lanes through the Boston Medical Center campus, one of the city’s most dangerous street segments, to replace more robust concrete curbs that were removed in December.
The entire length of Massachusetts Avenue is part of the city’s “high crash network,” with a higher density of crashes that cause injuries to bicyclists and pedestrians than 97 percent of all other city streets.
Drivers killed three victims on Massachusetts Avenue in the vicinity of the Boston Medical Center (BMC) in 2020, according to state crash records.
On January 7, a motorist drove into a pedestrian who later died of their injuries near the corner of Mass. Ave. and Melnea Cass Boulevard. On March 16, another driver reportedly killed a pedestrian walking in a crosswalk at Mass. Ave. and Albany Street, and on April 22, a truck driver struck and killed a bicycle rider at intersection of Mass. and Harrison Avenues.
To address some of the street’s serious threats, BTD had installed modular cast concrete curbs (pictured at right) to keep motorists from driving into the bike lanes, in November 2020.
At the time, BTD officials said that the concrete bike lane separators had been removed “out of an abundance of caution” after four crashes on the corridor, some of which involved motorists who had driven their vehicles into the concrete curbs at high speeds.
State records indicate that none of those crashes resulted in any injury, only property damage.
There was, however, yet another injury-causing crash involving a pedestrian recorded on December 28, about two weeks after BTD removed the protective curbs, at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Albany Street.
The newly-installed flexible-post bollards will allow drivers to drive into the bike lane, the adjacent sidewalk, and any humans occupying those spaces without damaging their personal property.
Did you notice the new flex posts that were installed on Mass Ave? Let us know what you think. Not sure what a flex post is? Let us tell you. In short, these are white flexible posts that are used to better separate bike lanes from other traffic. #StillHere #TeamBTD pic.twitter.com/6KwmHX3XqQ
— BostonTransportation (@BostonBTD) January 26, 2021