Belmont Could Get Its First Protected Bike Lanes on Concord Ave.

Belmont's new parking-protected bike lanes on Concord Ave. (blue dashed line) would connect to an existing protected bikeway in Cambridge (solid blue line) and the network of off-street paths around Fresh Pond Reservation (green lines).
Belmont's new parking-protected bike lanes on Concord Ave. (blue dashed line) would connect to an existing protected bikeway in Cambridge (solid blue line) and the network of off-street paths around Fresh Pond Reservation (green lines).

The Town of Belmont could install its first parking-protected bike lane later this year on a one-mile stretch of Concord Avenue, from Belmont Center to the Fresh Pond Reservation at the Cambridge city line.

A detail of Belmont's plans for parking-protected bike lanes on Concord Ave. near the town's high school campus. Courtesy of the Town of Belmont.
A detail of Belmont’s plans for parking-protected bike lanes on Concord Ave. near the town’s high school campus. Courtesy of the Town of Belmont.

The project would upgrade Concord Avenue’s existing unprotected bike lanes, which currently run between parked cars and a broad motor vehicle travel lane, by swapping the positions of the bike lane and the parked cars and slightly reducing the width of the motor vehicle travel lane (see the sketch at right, or view the full plans starting on page 5 of this PDF).

The change would provide a considerably safer bike route to several local and regional destinations, including the town’s post office, library, and commuter rail stop, and the new Belmont High School campus, which currently under construction.

To the east, the project would link into existing sidewalk-level protected bike lanes on the City of Cambridge’s side of Concord Avenue.

That facility, in turn, feeds into the Fresh Pond bike paths, with the Alewife Red Line station, Minuteman Bikeway, and Somerville Community Path to the north, and the nearly-completed Cambridge-Watertown Greenway to the south.

In the longer term, the on-street bike lanes will complement the proposed Belmont Community Path, which would run alongside the MBTA commuter rail tracks just to the north. That project is still several years away from implementation.

Belmont’s Transportation Advisory Committee endorsed the Concord Ave. proposal at its regular meeting last week. The concept still needs a final go-ahead from the town’s Select Board, but if approved, the new striping could be implemented in August, in coordination with paving work associated with the construction of the new high school.

 

 

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