Trot, Trot to Boston With New Bus and Bike Lanes in Lynn

An MBTA Route 455 bus cruises down the newly-installed bus lane on North Common Street in Lynn on April 8, 2021. Courtesy of the MBTA.
An MBTA Route 455 bus cruises down the newly-installed bus lane on North Common Street in Lynn on April 8, 2021. Courtesy of the MBTA.

The City of Lynn has completed a quick-build project that gives the city its first dedicated bus lane, plus a new bike route between the newly-extended Northern Strand Trail and the city’s downtown district.

Map of new bus and bike lanes on Market St. and Common St. in Lynn, April 2021
New bike lanes (in blue) and a shared bus-and-bike lane (in red) will bridge a gap between downtown Lynn and the Northern Strand Trail.

The new shared bus-and-bike lane (pictured above), a collaboration between the MBTA, MassDOT, and City of Lynn, opened this week on North Common Street along the Lynn Common.

The bus lane will benefit riders on the MBTA’s routes 455, which runs between Salem and the Wonderland Blue Line station, and the 426, which runs between downtown Lynn and downtown Boston.

The T estimates that the new lane will benefit approximately 3,000 daily riders with faster, more reliable trips.

“Ridership on Lynn bus routes like the 455 has been resilient throughout the pandemic,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak in a press release. “Systemwide bus ridership is around 44% compared to pre-COVID data, but ridership for the Route 455 has been one of the most durable, maintaining about 60-65% of its pre-COVID passengers.”

New bike lanes on Market Street in downtown Lynn, looking north towards Lynn City Hall. Image courtesy of Google Maps.
New bike lanes on Market Street in downtown Lynn, looking north towards Lynn City Hall. Image courtesy of Google Maps.

As part of the same project, Lynn also re-striped South Common Street and Market Street to provide bike lanes along the Lynn Common and into downtown Lynn.

The new bike lanes, which were painted last fall and can be seen on Google Street View, connect the newly-built Northern Strand Trail to Lynn’s downtown commuter rail station in Central Square.

The bike lanes are also a first step towards the city’s longer-term vision to install protected bike infrastructure along the same route, and eventually to Nahant Beach on Lynn’s waterfront (see rendering below).

A rendering of an on-street protected bikeway and widened sidewalk on Market Street in Lynn - part of a planned project to extend the Northern Strand Community Path through downtown Lynn to the city's waterfront at Nahant Beach. Courtesy of the City of Lynn's 2019 Walking and Bicycling Network Plan.
A rendering of an on-street protected bikeway and widened sidewalk on Market Street in Lynn – part of a planned project to extend the Northern Strand Community Path through downtown Lynn to the city’s waterfront at Nahant Beach. Courtesy of the City of Lynn’s 2019 Walking and Bicycling Network Plan.

“These improvements will make it easier, safer, and more reliable for Lynn residents to get around their city and access workforce opportunities, education, and essential services during the current crisis and moving forward,” said City of Lynn Mayor Thomas M. McGee in a press release.

The restriping projects were funded with a $125,000 grant from MassDOT’s Shared Streets and Spaces program.

More changes could be coming soon: a new round of MassDOT grants announced in December included another $318,450 grant for the MBTA and the City of Lynn “to install bidirectional, curb-running shared bus/bike lanes and two transit signal priority treatments on the MassDOT-owned portion of Western Avenue, between the Belden Bly Bridge and Ida Street” – about half a mile southwest of Lynn Common.

 

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