A mile-long, two-way protected bike path along the western edge of Massachusetts Avenue between Melnea Cass Boulevard and Columbia Road in Dorchester will go under construction later this year, according to the Boston Transportation Department.
According to that email, the city has already secured "a contractor ready to begin construction later this year, 2021."
The project will repurpose the westernmost lane of Mass. Ave. from Melnea Cass Blvd. to Columbia Rd. into a two-way cycletrack – essentially a protected bicycle path, separated from traffic with low concrete barriers – along the western curb of the street.
By consolidating bike traffic along the street’s western curb, where there are fewer driveways, project designers say that the new cycletrack will minimize the “severe safety issues” associated with turning cars and large trucks.
Modular concrete curbs will separate the bike lane from parking or general travel lanes along most of the new bikeway's length, with gaps at crosswalks and driveways.
The project would also add median barriers to restrict unsafe motor vehicle turning movements at some intersections, rebuild accessible curb ramps at crosswalks, and build five new “floating” bus stop islands between the new cycletrack and the rest of the street.