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Boston-Cambridge bike route near Museum of Science getting big safety upgrade

Charles River Dam Road and the Craigie Bridge will have separate, protected bike lanes in each direction

Bicyclists take Charles River Dam Road to the Massachusetts State House in November 2018 to memorialize Meng Jin, a Boston University grad student fatally struck while biking along the route, and to advocate for safety improvements.
Boston Globe via Getty Images

Starting in June, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation will begin reconfiguring lanes along Charles River Dam Road between Cambridge and Boston, including the Craigie Bridge, to improve safety for bicyclists.

The stretch near the Museum of Science is notoriously busy and dangerous, especially for anyone not in a car. Bicyclists are especially vulnerable. A dump truck fatally struck a Boston University grad student on his bike last November as he prepared to turn onto Charles River Dam Road from Museum Way.

Post-reconfiguration, the route will include two motor vehicle lanes in each direction, one bike lane in each direction separated from the cars and trucks via vertical stanchions, and a dedicated turn lane onto Land Boulevard.

The state also plans to enhance the pavement markings, wayfinding signage, and traffic signals for both bikers and drivers. The work starting in June is supposed to be timed so it will not effect peak travel hours along the stretch. The state hopes to wrap the reconfiguration by August.

“We have been pleased to work closely with the local community, advocates, elected officials, and key stakeholders to update and refine these long-planned roadway changes so that they increase safety for this important corridor,” state Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver said in a statement. “Providing safe transportation options for all users is a priority of MassDOT and we look forward to implementing this change in the coming months.”