Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

August 15, 2010

Construction detour at Mass. Ave. and Alewife Brook Parkway

I attended a Livable Streets StreetTalk event on August 4, at which the city of Copenhagen, Denmark was praised for, among other things, always providing a good detour for bicyclists during construction projects.

Only a couple of days later, I got a report from a cyclist who had attempted to take Massachusetts Avenue across Alewife Brook Parkway (Route 16) , and found that the official detour was on Alewife Brook Parkway to Broadway in Arlington — circuitous, and Alewife Brook Parkway has to be one of the least bicyclist-friendly roads in the area. The detour apparently was in effect from 8 PM till 5 AM each night. I don’t know how for how many days this situation continued.

A quote:

It took over 5 minutes for them to stop the 16 traffic and let the Mass Ave traffic go…there are different people out there every day from 5 different agencies. I was not looking for special treatment, just direction when out there as to what the cops wanted me to do. I ended up scooting up the traffic for the last 2 blocks on the sidewalk (because of the lane closing) and waited with many pedestrians at the corner for an extended amount of time until they let the rest of the traffic go and did not try to give us a safe way to cross. I had to cross onto the sidewalk and then get onto the road further down. It took over 5 minutes for them to stop the 16 traffic and let the Mass Ave traffic go.

If Cambridge can’t get something as basic as this right…?

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