Upcoming bike lane construction on Boylston Street grabbing attention

BOSTON — Plans to begin installing bike lanes in one of the busiest corridors of Boston is bringing strong opinions in the Back Bay.

The city of Boston is announcing that construction on Boylston Street, from Massachusetts Avenue to Arlington Street, will begin sometime this month.

It’s part of a goal to install 10 additional miles of bike lanes over the next year.

Boston already installed about 10 miles of bike lanes over the last year.

Boston 25 News spoke with some business leaders who worry that they’re going to be negatively impacted by the magnitude of the project.

“Do the homework. Count the cars, count the bikes and count the parking spaces. Figure it out so one gets murdered,” said Patrick Lyons, co-owner of the Lyons Group.

Patrick Lyons co-owns five restaurants in the Back Bay: Rochambeau, Back Bay Social Club, Sonsie, Kings and Summer Shack.

“You may have a utopian view of the city where there should be bikes for everyone. That’s a great thought, but somebody’s got to balance that against the reality,” he said.

The President and Executive Director of the Back Bay Association said she supports bike lanes but doesn’t feel that the city is listening to those who will be adversely affected.

She told Boston 25 News that 95 parking spots, from Mass Ave to Arlington, will be lost, and said the city seems to be downplaying that number.

“We think there’s very fuzzy math here, and we don’t think they’ve done their homework,” said Meg Mainzer-Cohen. “We know they haven’t done outreach to the business community, and we’re alarmed by their lack of concern about the impact this is going to have.”

Boston 25 News asked the city of Boston about the neighborhood concerns.

A city spokesperson provided a link with information on the project but did not provide a direct response.

City officials have stated that Boylston Street is one of the most dangerous stretches for bicyclists.

“I usually just wait behind the cars because I’m scared to be killed,” said bicyclist Jen Wen. “I think the bike lane would be good for me, but I don’t know about everyone else.”

The Boylston Street project will add a one-way separated bike lane on Boylston Street from Massachusetts Avenue to Arlington Street.

The project will also include the construction of a bus lane from Ring Road to Arlington Street.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

Download the FREE Boston 25 News app for breaking news alerts.

Follow Boston 25 News on Facebook and Twitter. | Watch Boston 25 News NOW

Comments on this article