SOMERVILLE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) —The Wellington Bridge on Route 28 will receive protected bike lanes this fall, from a partnership between Somerville, MassDOT and the city of Medford.
According to Brad Rawson, Somerville's Director of Mobility, the current traffic lanes on the bridge are about 13 feet wide—which is a safety hazard.
"Extensive scientific research demonstrates a direct relationship between lane width and motor vehicle speed," Rawson said. "It incentivizes fast driving, it incentivizes crashes."
The city plans to narrow the lanes over the bridge, and install a dedicated bike lane in each direction.
The project is funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation's Shared Streets and Spaces program. Rawson said the redesign will provide a safer route for travelers on foot or bike, and promote more social distancing in the era of COVID-19.
"Imagine that you're pushing your baby stroller across a four foot sidewalk on the Wellington Bridge, and somebody is coming from the other direction on a bicycle, or a larger group walking together."
Rawson added that the lanes will not only make the route safer to navigate, but will also provide access to recreation, employment and commerce opportunities in Somerville and Medford.
"Allowing people to walk across the bridge or ride a bicycle," he said. "And take in the majestic Mystic River Reservation, access state-owned parklands and Assembly Square, Sullivan Square, Wellington Circle, Station Landing."
Installation for the lanes is expected to happen in late fall 2020.
WBZ NewsRadio's Chris Fama (@CFamaWBZ) reports.