Bradford St Climbing Lane Construction Underway

A new climbing lane on Bradford Street is under construction as part of the repaving of the street. When it’s completed, the new bike lane will run about 700 feet from Central Street near Shank Painter Road up the hill eastbound to Carver Street.

The bike lane will be a minimum of 5 feet wide, with some areas wider than that thanks to the variable width of the roadway. After Carver Street it will be marked with a dashed line to the intersection at Prince Street.

Bike lane coming soon! It will be painted on the right heading up the hill from Central St. to Carver St.

Bike lane coming soon! It will be painted on the right heading up the hill from Central St. to Carver St.

This section of roadway has one of the highest motor vehicle crash rates in town. The removal of 11 on-street parking spaces allows space for the bike lane and also provides much-needed “daylighting” at the intersections of the narrow cross streets. Instead of nosing out around parked cars onto the busy street, drivers, people walking, and people on bikes will actually be able to see oncoming traffic.

Along the rest of the construction area from Franklin Street to Carver Street, DPW will be painting sharrows in the center of the travel lanes. While sharrows aren’t a great solution, the road is narrow (two 10-foot travel lanes and a narrow 4-ft sidewalk) and the speed limit is 25 MPH*. Given the lack of space for dedicated bike lanes, the sharrows are a compromise to help alert drivers to expect bikes to be riding in the road.

* I’d like to see the speed limit in the center of town lowered to 20 MPH, but that’s another post altogether.