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A Utility Pole in the Middle of a Raised, Painted Bike Lane: 'It's Utterly Ridiculous'

You've probably never seen anything like this before, but if you're a bike advocate, it probably still feels familiar.
August 7, 2019, 8am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Protected Bike Lane
The beginnings of a mistake are visible in this streetview image captured before a layer of paint was added to the raised bike lane. The offending utility pole is visible down the block.

Steve Annear reports on a new entry in the annals of crime against bike lanes.

In the city of Somerville, a brand new cycle track on Beacon Street includes a utility pole "smack-dab" in the middle of the raised, painted lane.

The poorly placed pole was first documented by Ian Woloschin shared a picture on a Facebook group for local cyclists that you'll have to click through to the source article to see for yourself.

So far, it looks like the state is responsible for the snafu.

"According to the city’s website, in 2016 the Massachusetts Department of Transportation began a multi-modal, 'full-depth reconstruction' of Beacon Street, a project that includes the installation of an “exclusive bike lane that is separated from the roadway and traffic," according to Annear.

"Denise Taylor, a spokeswoman for Mayor Joseph Curtatone’s office, stressed in a statement Monday that the bike lane, sidewalk, and road repairs are being handled by Newport Construction, under a contract with MassDOT." Designs for the project, created in 2015, show the pole being relocated.

In addition to the jaw-dropping photo documentation, the article includes a lot more details about how this fugazi came to be, and what city officials are promising can be down to fix it.

Full Story:
Published on Tuesday, August 6, 2019 in The Boston Globe
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