Protected Intersection Could Bridge Critical Bike Network Gap on the Fenway
The proposed redevelopment plans for the Star Market supermarket on Boylston Street reveal the City of Boston’s near-term plans to fill in a critical gap in the city’s bike network and improve safety at the complex intersection where the Emerald Necklace paths enter the fast-growing Fenway neighborhood.
Samuels & Associates, a real estate company that owns numerous properties in the Fenway neighborhood, including the nearby Landmark Center at 401 Park Drive, is proposing to demolish the Fenway Star Market, its parking lots, and the adjacent abandoned gas station at the corner of Park Drive and Boylston Street to build a high-rise, half-million-square-foot lab building (see rendering above).
The preliminary site plans for the project also indicate that the developers are also proposing a new streetscape along the project’s frontages on Park Drive (a Department of Conservation and Recreation roadway) and Boylston Street. The plans also reveal how those new protected bike lanes could tie into a new protected intersection that’s being planned for the junction of Boylston Street, Brookline Avenue, and Park Drive:
This is the same intersection where, in the winter of 2019, a driver killed Paula Sharaga, 69, a children’s librarian at the Coolidge Corner Library, by driving a cement truck over her.
“What they are showing is consistent with plans to have a two-way cycle track on the south side of the Muddy River crossing (Brookline Avenue between Park Drive and Fenway), as well as a two-way cycle track connecting north along Park Drive to the Fenway Path through the Landmark Center site,” wrote a Boston Transportation Department spokesperson in an email to StreetsblogMASS. “We have been working with DCR (the Department of Conservation and Recreation) on these plans as well as with MassDOT, MBTA, and the developers for the Landmark Center and Star Market.”
The spokesperson added that a design public hearing should be scheduled sometime soon for the intersection project. According to MassDOT’s project database, the project has been scheduled to go under construction next year.
The Boston Transportation Department also installed flexposts and a new striping pattern on Boylston Street through the Fenway neighborhood earlier this year to delineate a separated bike lane.
Those bike lanes are still frequently blocked, particularly at intersections and bus stops where there are no bollards to keep cars out, but development projects on adjacent parcels, like the Star Market redevelopment and this new apartment building near Ipswich Street, are expected to bulk up the quick-build bike lanes with more permanent materials.