Boston is a city of cyclists and a city of cyclists needs cyclist-friendly streets. Luckily, Boston has quite a few from which to choose. To help you figure out which route is best for you, MassRIDES pulled together three great options: the most complete route, the most scenic route, and the most practical route.
The Most Complete: The Connect Historic Boston Project
The grade-separated and protected bicycle lanes along Staniford Street, Causeway Street, Commercial Street, and Atlantic Avenue in Boston take the cake for the most complete bike routes in the area. The routes provide comfortable, low-stress options for bike commuters to access the busiest parts of the city. These routes are ideal for cyclists of all abilities to access downtown Boston.
The Connect Historic Boston Project also enhances safety as the Staniford Street and Commercial Street sections feature two-way protected bicycle lanes on the same side of the street. Near North Station, bike lanes take center stage with center median protection and several bicycle traffic lights. This improves cyclist visibility in the busy area and reduces conflicts with pedestrian crossings.
Most Scenic: The Lower Neponset River Trail
This beautiful five-mile trail stretches from Port Norfolk in Dorchester to Milton. Since the paved bike path is completely separate from the road, it is a popular space for families and new cyclists.
The path has been completed in stages, with the first section at Pope John Paul Park opening in May 2001. Sixteen years later, the final piece, a three-mile stretch linking Central Ave to Mattapan station was installed, finally marking the trail complete. This route is great for getting an overhead view of the Ashmont-Mattapan trolley, launching a canoe, and snapping some photos at the breathtaking Harvest River Bridge.
Most Practical: Brighton Avenue “Super-Sharrows”
Many cyclists know that balancing bike access with safety on the roads can be challenging. Luckily, the “Super-Sharrows” in Allston and Brighton assist riders with both. A “Super-Sharrow”, more formally known as a priority shared-lane marking, is a specific type of bike lane marking that designates the center of a car lane as the proper place for bicycle riding. While this design does require cyclists and drivers to share the lane, it is safer for cyclists as the design keeps them out of the door zone and allows them to take full control of the lane.
These markings are ideal for roads with two lanes like Brighton Ave, since cars can easily change lanes to safely pass cyclists who are controlling the lane. This route is perfect for bike commuters traveling from Allston and Brighton neighborhoods.