Action Alert: Support Safer Biking in Newtonville!
Great news! The City of Newton reconstructing Walnut Street, focusing on pedestrian safety and comfort, slowing drivers, and bike access. This will be a transformation of Newtonville south of the Pike!
The full presentation from May 1st can be Found Here
Information regarding who to email and what to support is below:
The approximate project limits are in orange below, North is to the right—->:
The design consultants have proposed two options: A and B.
· Option A expands sidewalks to their limit throughout the project and provides no bike facilities beyond shared lane markings.
· Option B provides regular bike lanes through the project but does not allow any sidewalk expansion.
Neither are ideal; we prefer Option C!
We feel our proposed Option C takes the best aspects of both versions.
· Maximum sidewalk expansion in the village heart between Austin St. and Highland Ave./Washington Prk. with a narrowed road designed to slow drivers and which will provide shared lanes with green sharrow markings.
· Bike lane facilities from the bridge to Austin St, and from Highland Ave/Washington Prk. to Otis St.
We also feel that the one-way sections of Madison Ave. and Washington Prk. proposed in both options should remain.
However, the one-way designation should be reversed (Madison leaving Walnut, Washington Prk. entering Walnut) and reduced to a section only ~40 feet from the intersection with Walnut, with the rest of both streets being maintained as two-way.
We also propose that a reverse direction bike lane be provided on these one-way sections that will allow safe, legal, and convenient two-way bike access to the business district for neighbors and students.
We feel that this one-way pairing will reduce turning conflicts on Walnut, improve visual sight lines for all users, and reduce cut-through traffic, thereby increasing safety.
Example of this design from Portland OR below, yellow bollards not required:
We all wish this project were able to meet the same level of safety that the project in West Newton Square has. Wider sidewalks, protected bike lanes, and narrowed and slower driving lanes are all part of that project, and it will simply be an amazing transformation of West Newton!
Unfortunately this project cannot meet that level of safety due to a more constrained Right of Way in Newtonville.
We feel our proposed Option C is the best option that meets the competing desire of many Newtonville residents to provide more sidewalk and green space while also provide safer bike access to the village and surrounding schools.
We need your help to make sure Option C has the best chance of being adopted.
Please email your support for Option C to the City ASAP by Clicking Here.
Please make sure you mention you support the “hybrid option C” that provides wide sidewalks in the village center and bike lanes leading up to it on both sides. We feel the one-way pairing is not critical to success, but could really help with safety so mention that only if you think it is a good idea.
Please also note if you are a Newtonville resident!
Please feel free to copy your councilors on the email as well; full councilor contact information can be Found Here.