The City of Somerville has installed protected bike lanes on Route 28 across the Wellington Bridge thanks to a MassDOT Shared Streets and Spaces Program grant award. This statewide funding program supports public health by facilitating quick-build projects that provide new or repurposed space for socially-distanced walking, bicycling, dining, retail, and bus travel during the coronavirus pandemic.

With the addition of this protected bike lane over the Wellington Bridge, Park & Pedal riders from the Mystic River Reservation Park & Pedal hub (4253 Mystic Valley Parkway in Medford) now have a much improved commute when heading south into the city by bike. The trails within the Mystic River Reservation take riders directly from the designated Park & Pedal parking area to the bridge, and connect with the new bike lane to bring riders into Somerville.

The Wellington Bridge has long represented a gap in the regional network of walking and biking routes along the Mystic River. A narrow 4-foot sidewalk prevents social distancing for people walking, jogging, rolling, and biking across the bridge. Local and regional policy plans identify this crossing as a priority for upgrades to better connect the riverside parklands, employment centers, and transit hubs of Somerville, Medford, Everett, and Boston.

The grant-funded project reconfigured pavement markings on the bridge, reducing the width of the motor vehicle lanes and using the reclaimed space to establish a physically-separated bike lane in each direction that connects to existing pathways in Assembly Square, Station Landing, MacDonald Park, and Blessing of the Bay Park. The separated bike lanes reduce crowding on the sidewalks, improving comfort and safety for people on foot or on wheels. Narrower lane widths for motor vehicles are intended to reduce speeding, improving safety for all road users.

News via somervillema.org