Lake Street/Bikeway Public Meeting - Jul 26th, 2017

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These are notes from a public meeting, where a firm presented plans for revamping the intersection of the Minuteman Bikeway and Lake Street.

(Adam Chapdelaine). The intersection of Lake Street and the Minuteman is very congested. TAC did an analysis in 2014 and recommended the addition of a synchronized signal (synchronized with the traffic light at Brooks Ave). Later, TAC performed a simulation of what such a signal would do, using a traffic control officer at the bikeway intersection. TAC presented additional recommendations, based on that simulation.

This project is in the preliminary phases. Our goal tonight is to solicit feedback. We expect to have 75% plans sometime in September.

(Jason Sobel, Green International). Safety is our number one concern, for all users of the crossing, especially since it's such a high volume crossing. We want a safe, reliable, and predictable crossing.

Between 2011--2014, there were 11 crashes along the Lake Street corridor, 4 of which involved cyclists or pedestrians. Between 2015--2015 there were 14 crashes at the intersection, two of which involved pedestrians.

We're proposing an improved traffic crossing, with a full traffic signal. This signal will be synchronized with the traffic signal at Brooks Ave. The signal at Brooks Ave will also be replaced.

The current crossing is twelve feet wide. We'll have separate areas for different modes of transportation (i.e., separate bike and pedestrian areas). Bikes will cross in the middle, and pedestrians will cross on the outside lanes. There will be separate signals from cars, bikes, and pedestrians, similar to what Lexington has done for the intersection of the Minuteman and Bedford St.

The crossing will be wider than what we currently have. We're also planning to add lighting and landscaping (specifics TBD). We'd also like to avoid unintended consequences, like interfering with pedestrian traffic from the Hardy school. We expect a 10--20 second crossing delay for pedestrians.

There's a long section for public comments. I've noted some here, but this is not a complete list.

Comment: People often slow down at the signal in anticipation of cyclists darting out. The solution is to make the cyclists stop.

Question: What is the current timing of the Brook Ave light?

The cycle is about 65 seconds.

Question: Originally, the Minuteman was supposed to operate from dawn to dusk. Will the lights operate 24/7?


Question: Will there be a countdown timer?

We'll consider this.

Question: How will you prevent backups on roads that feed into Lake Street? Orvis Street, for example?

Our goal is to keep traffic flowing, so that the majority of cars will not have to stop twice.

Question: Could you say more about the Lake Street and Brooks Ave. intersections?

The Brooks Ave signal will be replaced, and coordinated with the Bikeway crossing signal. Coordination with the signal at Lake Street and Mass Ave. is not part of this project.

Comment: The signal at Brooks Ave and Lake street is a big problem. Please consider working on this first, and then see if a bikeway signal is still warranted.

Comment: There's a lot of morning traffic on the bikeway. You may need a larger capture area, to accommodate pedestrians and cyclists.

There will be another public meeting, sometime in late September.