The goals of the original MassDOT Healthy Transportation Policy (2013) state: “…to ensure all MassDOT projects are designed and implemented in a way that all our customers have access to safe and comfortable healthy transportation options at all MassDOT facilities and in all the services we provide.” A key phrase here is “all of our customers”, not just the avid experienced cyclists. This policy is geared towards attracting the “interested but concerned” bicyclist discussed above.
MassDOT took its policy further in 2020 with a new Engineering Directive (E-20-001) to apply guidelines for bicycle facilities based on vehicular speeds and volumes. The speed limit and volumes on Route 30 place this roadway in the category of requiring a separated bicycle facility in the form of either a shared use path, side path, separated bike lane, or buffered bike lane.
Through coordination with the Town, MassDOT, and the public, the preferred alternative selected was the 10-ft shared-use path (SUP). The typical cross-section includes 11-ft travel lanes, 3-ft shoulders, and a 10-ft shared-use path with a grass buffer. The grass buffer varies in width depending on space and constraints, and in some areas, the shared-use path directly abuts the roadway.
Another Important reason why a shared use path is being proposed along this corridor (as opposed to another type of bicycle accommodation), is that it will contribute to a greater shared use path network that is in design along Route 30 in Weston and Newton. There are currently four projects along Route 30 with proposed shared use paths that will connect to one another:
- Weston – Route 30 Reconstruction (this project)
- Newton – Carriageway – Route 30 from Auburn Street to Lyons Field
- Newton/Weston – Route 30 Bridge over The Charles River – from I-95 NB ramps to Auburn Street
- Weston – Shared Use Path Connection – Cutters Bluff Ln to I-95 NB ramps
Combined, the shared-use path connected with the three other projects along Route 30 will result in approximately 4.5-miles of continuous shared-use path along Route 30 in Weston and Newton. This 4.5-mile path connection will begin at the Natick/Weston town line and extend to Lyons Field in Newton.