BOSTON (WHDH) - The City of Boston is keeping some street and transit modifications it made during the Orange Line shutdown, including bus and bike lanes. City officials announced the changes just a day after the line reopened.
Here are the list of changes made permanent:
- Silver Line stop in Chinatown
- Copley Square bus lanes
- Boylston Street between Amory and LaMartine will become a one-way (closed during shutdown)
- South End loading and drop-off zones
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said making these changes permanent will both help with traffic in the city and keep people safe.
“Throughout our city, especially in the downtown core area where traffic just is choking off people’s ability to get where they need to go, we have to be creative and figure out the right balance for how we move as many people during rush hour as possible,” she said.
Additional Blue Bike stations added during the shutdown are also here to stay.
Pauline Dufresne, who was biking with her son, praised the changes.
“The only reason I’m with my son right now is because we can use the bike lanes safely. Otherwise, I would never have taken my child with me in the city on his bike,” she said.
“This is just the beginning, it’s year one of a four-year administration,” said Becca Wolfson, executive director of the Boston Cyclists Union. “This is a really great signal that catching up is coming.”
Commuters in cars, however, were not all thrilled about the changes.
“A bike lane is good, but they’re like, interweaving between the regular car lanes,” one driver said.
“There’s already no parking in this city,” another said. “It affects everybody, especially people like me who work every day.”
As the Orange Line gets back on track this week, more MBTA riders are preparing for another closure on the Green Line’s D branch.
The Green Line’s D branch will close Saturday on and off through Oct. 30. Prep work for the closure started this week, but that work won’t interfere with scheduled service, according to the MBTA. They added that, like the Orange Line shutdown, the D branch shutdown will allow for improvements to the aging infrastructure.
On the first day of the Orange Line opening, riders gave the service mixed reviews.
“It’s really slow,” said T rider Tumi Akin, citing the temporary speed restrictions in place.
Another rider clocked her commute at 52 minutes, though that distance usually takes her about 25 minutes.
The MBTA said that ride times should improve as they complete inspections and remove slow zones.
During the shutdown, crews replaced 14,000 feet of rail, cleaned stations and rolled out a new fleet of train cars.
Despite the temporary bumps in the road, riders said they’re happy to be back on the T.
“It’s really cool because I’m not gonna wait a lot to get to the bus,” said Nelson Aguilar-Santos.
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