Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sharrows at gap in Washington Street - Belgrade Ave bike route

Belgrade Ave and Washington Street are both major streete in Roslindale and run towards each other as they approach Roslindale Square. Connecting the two routes are South Street and Corinth Street, both one way. These streets border Roslindale Square and its many shops and businesses. On a typical day, Roslindale Square is full of many pedestrians and vehicles who travel to the area to reach various destinations that range from the Villave market to Wallpaper City. Another user that had recently been introduced to the area is cyclists. Along Belgrade Ave a bike lane has been intergrated in the roadway that spans 0.93 miles. Washington St has also incorporated a bike lane that spans 1.29 miles throughout Roslindale.

These pictures show the typical bike lanes along Belgrade Ave (above) and Washington St (below) to the right side of the roadway.

As Belgrade Ave and Washington St advance toward Roslindale Square, these bike lanes are replaced with sharrows in the travel lanes. Pavement markings are indicated on the roadway to show the transition on the street. Sharrows signify that the travel lan is now shared with vehicles and bucycles. These sections of the road connecting Washington St and Belgrade Ave are too narrow for the bike lanes to continue due to the on street parking on both sides of the street and the narrow lanes.

These pavement markings are located in the center of the travel lane. Coming off of Belgrade Ave, the bike lane continues until the first crosswalk and then the sharrows transition to a shared lane. Although these markings are indicated on the roadway, a lack of proper signage is evident throughout the corridor. At the transition, the only sign visible to drivers and cyclists is the "Form Two Lanes" sign on both sides of the road. The on street parking on both sides of Corinth St and South St make a shared lane more appealing to cyclists in order to avoid collision with opening doors.

The sharrows are designated on both travel lanes due to the close proximity of the intersection of Washington St where high volumes of traffic was observed to continue toward both directions of the street.

From Corinth St traveling north on Washington St, bike lanes continue along Washington St. The same treatment is seen as South St approaches Belgrade Ave.

The City of Boston has incorporated these bike routes in the city's bike map which indicated that the bike facility on Belgrade Ave is for intermediate cyclists while Washington St favors more advanced cyclists. These bike routes to the center of Roslindale do not accommodate the needs of beginner cyclists due to the high volumes of traffic as well as the various obstacles a cyclist may encounter. Continuing the bike routes within these gaps will require reallocating the curb to curb width of the roadway and possibly eliminating on side of parking. Currently, the City of Boston as well as the residents of Roslindale are considering alternatives for developing a bike lane for these streets to connect the Washington St - Belgrade Ave bike route in the future.

1 comment:

  1. This analysis doesn't say anything about how the sharrows work. Do bikes ride in the middle of the lane? Are drivers more considerate of bikes? What's it like when traffic is light / is heavy?