I’ve been browsing your web page with great interest and I’m thrilled with the attention you’ve paid to biking improvements in our area. I’ve been biking down the Brighton St. – Alewife – Davis Sq. trail almost daily, and I’ve made a few observations I’d like to share. I’ll list them below. (Hopefully some of them are already included in the upcoming trail improvements.)
- The width of the trail near Brighton St. might be a safety hazard because it forces bikes within inches of the catchy chain link fence.
- The trail should go straight across the north side of the circular parking ramp at the T station, rather than following the tortuous path around the southern perimeter. A wide, straight entrance could greatly improve the safety, comfort and visibility of the trail. For example, my mom (a novice biker) thinks the trail is somewhat secluded and difficult as-is, and wouldn’t enjoy it as much alone.
- Better signage could be very helpful for new trail users. When I was in Munich, the layout of the bike trails was logical enough that I could get around without a map, using only my sense of direction. Here, I got lost on my first trip to Davis Sq., even after studying the location on Google earth!
These kinds of improvements might bring new trail users, and also bring support and momentum to possible trail expansions!
Pedestrian access in the area could be significantly improved by a new set of stairs connecting the parking lot across from Staples with the sidewalk next to Alewife Brook Parkway. (Click here to see what I’m talking about. The stairs could be located in place of the improvised path.) I see several possible advantages to having stairs like this. On one hand, it would give pedestrians headed to Staples, TJ Maxx, or the cinema a shorter and safer route, allowing them avoid climbing down a steep slope, or entering the parking lot in the same place as all the car traffic. Pedestrians would also be able to minimize their exposure to noise and fumes by shortening the part of their path which is parallel to the busy road. Finally, it would give more room for those who do travel the full length of the sidewalk. (Like bicyclists who do not feel comfortable traveling on the roadway.) Maybe if we were to go all out, a whole new pedestrian bridge over the train tracks, strategically
placed, would be even better!
I hope you find at least some of these ideas helpful or interesting.
Thank you for the work you’ve been doing on our behalf!