Eyes on the Street: New Trail, Bike Projects Connect the Fenway
Several small projects in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston and Brookline are underway this fall to improve bike and pedestrian links between the Riverway parklands, MBTA stations, and the fast-growing districts around Boylston Street and Kenmore Square.
Here’s a progress report on three projects underway in the neighborhood, from a bike tour taken earlier this week:
Fenway Multi-Use Path
The first block-long segment of a new off-street pathway along the Green Line tracks has just opened behind the Landmark Center, and offers a convenient shortcut between the Fenway Green Line stop and the neighborhood around the ballpark:
A second phase of the project, scheduled to go under construction later this year, will extend the path one more block to the northeast to Overland Street and the Lansdowne regional rail stop:
Finally, a third and final phase of the project – still awaiting approval from the MBTA, which owns the right-of-way – would extend the path under Park Drive and into the Riverway path network, giving bikes and pedestrians a much safer route than the at-grade crosswalks at the Park Drive and Riverway intersections:
Boylston Street Quick-Build Bike Lanes
The City of Boston also expects to begin construction this fall on a new quick-build, flexpost-protected bikeway on Boylston Street:
New construction projects on adjacent parcels, like this new apartment building near Ipswich Street, are expected to build out the new bike lanes with more permanent materials.
City Hall is also collaborating with the Department of Conservation and Recreation, which owns the complicated and extensively paved “parkland” at the western end of Boylston Street, on safety improvements for the multi-lane intersections of Park Drive, the Fenway, and Boylston. Those improvements are still several years away from construction.
Carlton Footbridge Replacement
Finally, at the western end of the neighborhood, MassDOT is rehabilitating the historic Carlton Street footbridge across the Green Line tracks.
When complete, the bridge will offer a more direct connection between the Riverway paths and Carlton Street, a relatively calm, low-speed neighborhood street that serves as an important bike and pedestrian connection between Longwood and the Boston University Bridge, 0.6 miles away.
The Carlton Street footbridge was originally built in 1894, but closed to the public in 1976 because of structural deterioration from deferred maintenance.
The rehabilitated bridge (see rendering at right) will include new ADA-accessible ramps up to the bridge, plus gutters on the bridge’s stairways that will let bicycle users roll their bikes up and down the stairs.
The new bridge is expected to be complete in the summer of 2022.