--------------------------------------------by Xin Zhou (Doris)
Franklin Street connects North Harvard St. to Lincoln Street, from the bike lane by Harvard Ave. to the footbridge over Massachusetts Turnpike.
Franklin Street was used to be called “Harvard Ave.”, but now it is cut off by Massachusetts Turnpike and Train Tracks. A footbridge for peds and bicycles is built over the MassPike and Train Tracks. So the street can’t serve through motor traffic, but it can serve through peds and bicycles.
Franklin St. is designed as “NeighborWay” or Bike Boulevard. It is a 2-lane road with one parking lane. There is no center line separates the two direction traffic, and the intended use of the shared-use roadway is for cyclists to be allowed to use the full lane. It makes drivers to be less aggressive and friendly for pedestrians and cyclists.
Figure 2 Google Map View of Franklin St. and Harvard St.
Design consideration of Franklin St.:
l Discourage non-local motor traffic, lower through motor traffic volume
l Lower the speed of motor traffic
l Link North Harvard St. and Harvard Ave., both of which are bike-friendly areas
l Comfort and safe for cyclists
l Free flow for bicycle
Roadway markings shows that it is a Bike Boulevard (Figure 4), which made cyclists feel comfortable and safe. In the Figure 4, the cyclist is riding relax in the middle of the road.
In Figure 5, when the bicyclist encountered the vehicle, he didn’t feel uncomfortable or unsafe to ride on his way. He didn’t change his way closer to the curb, because there has enough buffer between he and the vehicle.
From my observation, the traffic volume of Franklin St. is low, during 2pm-3pm on Monday, there are around 100 vehicles passing through. While the bicycle volume is relatively high, it is around 30 bikes during that hour. It shows that the through motor traffic cut off by MassPike successfully calm the street down and become much more friendly for pedestrians and cyclists.