Eyes on the Street: New Trail, Bike Projects Connect the Fenway

The entrance to the new Fenway multi-use path from Miner Street, showing the Landmark Center building in the background at left.
The entrance to the new Fenway multi-use path on Miner Street, looking southwest towards the Fenway Green Line stop.

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:

The first phase of the new Fenway multi-use path runs parallel to the Green Line tracks (at right) behind the Landmark Center (at left).
The first phase of the new Fenway multi-use path runs parallel to the Green Line tracks (at right) behind the Landmark Center (at left). The Fenway Green Line station is in the distance.
A view of first phase of the new Fenway multi-use path at its western end, at the Fenway Green Line stop (visible at right).
A view of first phase of the new Fenway multi-use path at its western end, at the Fenway Green Line stop (visible at right).

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:

A future phase of the Fenway multi-use path will continue along this abandoned right-of-way to Overland Street, one block away from Fenway Park. This is the view of the future path from near Miner Street, looking northeast towards Kenmore Square.
A second phase of the Fenway multi-use path will continue along this abandoned right-of-way to Overland Street, one block away from Fenway Park. This is the view of the future path’s route from Miner Street, looking northeast towards Kenmore Square.

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:

This wide, MBTA-owned corridor extends below Park Drive, and could someday connect to the Riverway path network. For now, though, a fence blocks access, and bikes and pedestrians must detour to the south to cross the hectic Park Drive rotary at street level.
This wide, MBTA-owned corridor extends below Park Drive, and could someday connect to the Riverway path network just beyond the station platforms. For now, though, a fence blocks access, and bikes and pedestrians must detour to the south to cross the hectic Park Drive/Riverway intersections at street level.

You can find more information about the Fenway Multi-Use Path project design on the City of Boston’s website.

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:

A rendering of new flexpost-protected bike lanes scheduled for installation on Boylston Street in the Fenway neighborhood in the fall of 2021. Courtesy of the Boston Transportation Department.
A rendering of new flexpost-protected bike lanes scheduled for installation on Boylston Street in the Fenway neighborhood in the fall of 2021. Courtesy of the Boston Transportation Department.

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.

A rendering of the new Carlton Street footbridge, which will span the Green Line tracks to connect Brookline to the Riverway in the Longwood area. Courtesy of MassDOT.
A rendering of the new Carlton Street footbridge, which will span the Green Line tracks to connect Brookline to the Riverway in the Longwood area. Courtesy of MassDOT.

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.

Stairs and foundations under construction on the site of the new Carlton Street footbridge, a link between the Riverway and Brookline, pictured on Tuesday, August 31, 2021.
Construction on the Carlton Street footbridge over the Green Line, seen from the Riverway on Tuesday, August 31, 2021.

The new bridge is expected to be complete in the summer of 2022.

 

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