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Protected bike lanes

Eyes On the Street: In Back Bay, A New Transit Plaza Takes Shape Over the Turnpike

A sidewalk under construction with as asphalt bike path running down the middle. In the distance a new high-rise building rises behind a construction fence.

The new Mass. Ave. sidewalk and separated bike lane under construction near Boylston Street, looking north towards the Charles River, on March 21, 2024.

It's been under construction for three and a half years now, but a busy transit transfer station and sidewalk in the heart of the Back Bay neighborhood are finally taking shape to open up to the public later this year.

The Parcel 12 development project is building two new high-rise buildings over the Massachusetts Turnpike along Massachusetts Avenue between Newbury and Boylston Streets.

Those buildings are nearly complete, and workers are now building a large new plaza along Massachusetts Avenue that will include a new entrance to the Hynes Green Line station and a new physically-separated bike lane on Massachusetts Avenue (pictured above).

Here's what the same sidewalk looked like in 2019, before this project went under construction:

A beige metal bus shelter and broken sidewalk. Behind the bus shelter the Massachusetts Turnpike is visible. Courtesy of Google.
A 2019 Google Street View image shows the metal bus shelter and broken sidewalk that used to exist on the western side of Massachusetts Avenue between Newbury and Boylston Streets in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood. Courtesy of Google.

And here's an architect's rendering of what's being built right now. Note the new Green Line station entrance at lower right, which will lead under Mass. Ave. to the Hynes Convention Center Green Line platforms:

An architect's rendering of a plaza with trees and people between two tall buildings. On one side is a glass stair and elevator enclosure with the MBTA T logo. In the foreground is a bike path winding behind a glass bus shelter along the curb.
An architect's rendering of the new plaza being built on Massachusetts Avenue above the Mass. Turnpike. Courtesy of the BPDA.

The project is also building a new protected bike lane and new sidewalks along the adjacent segment of Boylston Street, creating an improved connection from Mass. Ave. toward the Fenway neighborhood:

A new sidewalk, new traffic lights, and a protected bike lane run along a construction site. On the opposite side of the street are several older multi-story brick buildings.
A new protected bike on Boylston Street, seen here from the intersection of Boylston and Mass. Ave. on March 21, 2024.

According to the project's construction updates, work on the plaza and sidewalks will continue through April.

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