Somerville cyclists seething after utility pole left in middle of bike lane

SOMERVILLE, MASS. (WHDH) - Green now means “caution” for cyclists on Beacon Street where a giant utility pole remains sitting in the middle of a new bike path.

The pole was meant to be moved as part of a years-long, $10 million street reconstruction project. Clearly, that is not the case.

“Having a pole right in the middle of the designated path is pretty annoying,” one man said.

“When they put the paint in, it really made it pop how the pole was still in the wrong location,” another cyclist said.

Commuters excited for the upgraded bike lane in Somerville say they are disappointed and concerned over the pole placement.

“As you go down the street you’ll see that most of the poles were moved in an effort that started in 2018. I am still trying to figure out why this one wasn’t,” City Counselor J.T. Scott said.

Scott blames the Massachusetts Department of Transportation for this lane liability.

“A set of contractors was able to lay down the brand new sidewalk, the brand new brick strip, all of these tree pits and a new separately paved bicycle track and then paint it, without anybody asking the question, ‘Why is this pole here?’

MassDOT confirms it is overseeing the project and responded in part, “MassDOT is looking into this situation… and coordinating with stakeholders regarding longterm options for the utility pole.”

“It is just one more obstacle in an already dangerous place,” one cyclist said.

Until MassDOT can come up with a suitable solution, they have placed cones and caution tape in the area to make sure cyclists are aware of the pole.

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