Boston's First Center-Road Bus Lane Debuts in Jamaica Plain

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The first center-running bus lane in New England opened Saturday on Columbus Avenue in Jamaica Plain. The lane runs less than a mile, from Jackson Square to Walnut Avenue, and aims to give buses a clear shot through traffic congestion. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority officials said it will provide faster and more reliable service to riders by avoiding conflict with other traffic and parked cars.

The MBTA estimated it could save riders traveling Routes 22, 29, and 44 about four to seven minutes along the corridor.

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In addition to faster times, the MBTA said there were new features like a full replacement of eight existing bus stops and new platforms and amenities. Pedestrian safety and accessibility improvements were added, including new crosswalks, ramps, signals, and curb extensions. But the MBTA said that Columbus Avenue was just the beginning with plans as builds for other Bus Transit Priority projects continued their progress.

The Boston Globe reports some car commuters took issue with the slow-downs, while some local business owners expressed concern there were fewer parking spaces than before, which could potentially discourage customers from stopping.

The city relocated some loading zones because of the new bus lane.

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