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GLX Update: MBTA Announced Dedicated Bus Lanes Slated for Charles River Dam Road

Posted on April 15, 2020

Updated April 21, 2020, 11:15 AM

Temporary bus lanes to take effect with closure of Green Line’s Viaduct.

Bus lanes to support reliable transit services during viaduct closure for 14,000 MBTA customers.

The MBTA announced this week that pavement markings on Charles River Dam Road would be temporarily reconfigured to include dedicated bus lanes. The lanes are designed to support replacement bus service during the planned suspension of Green Line service between North Station to Lechmere Station during construction. During a typical commute, 14,000 riders travel between North Station and Lechmere.

The plan, which was developed in collaboration with MassDOT’s Highway Division, will take effect with the closure of a segment of the Green Line north of North Station. That closure, which is scheduled to start on May 24, will allow for the rehabilitation of the historic Lechmere Viaduct and the demolition, relocation, and reconstruction of Lechmere Station and the East Cambridge Viaduct along a new alignment. The complete closure of the viaduct will allow the required work to be compressed into a period of just under one year.  

Under the plan, Charles River Dam Road will include all-day dedicated bus lanes in both directions. Further dedicated-bus accommodations will be made along the remainder of the shuttle route on Martha Road and Nashua Street in the area near North Station. The plan, which preserves the existing bicycle and pedestrian accommodations, also maintains 2 vehicular travel lanes on Charles River Dam Road, and one left-turn lane in the Cambridge-bound direction.  

“Dedicated bus lanes on Charles River Dam Road will allow MBTA customers to travel safely and efficiently during the closure of this key segment of the Green Line,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “I want to thank our partners at MassDOT for collaborating with the T to develop a solution that meets transportation needs along this corridor. We look forward to the completion of this key component of the Green Line Extension.” 

During this planned suspension of Green Line service, a designated fleet of accessible buses will transport customers between Lechmere and North Station. The frequency of buses is expected to meet or exceed current Green Line service.  

Modeling of traffic volumes indicate that bus lanes are projected to save up to 15 minutes, round trip, per passenger during peak travel times on weekdays.

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