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Discussion: Sullivan square

in: Becks; Becks > 2017-07-11

Jul 12, 2017 1:54 PM # 
That is truly a rotary of death. In this state, and only this state, roundabouts are called rotaries. It's stupid, a lot like the rotary itself. I go through that one every day, with the ghost bike there a reminder of our vulnerability.

Charlestown is tough, because it's kind of isolated from the rest of Somerville/Cambridge by I-93 and the train tracks. The crossing points are either at Sullivan Square, further south on the Gilmore Bridge, or even further south at North Point Park. Sullivan Square is obviously shorter and faster, but it's also unpleasant and dangerous. Gilmore Bridge is also unpleasant, but slightly safer.

If you choose to go through North Point, you add 1.5 miles or so, but you can cross under I-93 on the pedestrian bridge and under rte 99 in a tunnel. It's worth looking at the Google bike route for that - I think you might enjoy it a lot more. And the good news is that Somerville has started to get on the "bikes are good, let's make it less dangerous for people to ride them" train of thought. Still lots of idiots out there, and always look out for doors opening from parked cars...

Also, I work up at the Schrafft Center, which you must have passed to get to 16th street! We should get together for a lunch run or just lunch one of these days. Once you're settled.
Jul 12, 2017 2:11 PM # 
Check out this loop. I did it for fun, but maybe you could turn it into a commute?

I used the bike/pedestrian bridge to North Point Park on the southern end of the loop. And (as I was going the opposite direction to traffic) must have biked around the Sullivan Square rotary on the sidewalk.
Jul 12, 2017 2:12 PM # 
Also, my go-to "where do people run/bike near my new home" tool is the Strava heatmap. Might be useful.
Jul 12, 2017 5:51 PM # 
Alex, what would you do between Somerville and North Point? I like it there most, but not sure what the best way is to do it!

I walked Sullivan this morning. It really is terrifying to watch. People banging a right with no warning from the very inside lane. Nope.
Jul 12, 2017 7:01 PM # 
To get to North Point I'd probably go through more of Cambridge: Cambridge st --> cross rte 28 --> East st --> North Point blvd. That takes you under the mess of highways and bridges, but I don't know how many stop signs are involved. I hate stop signs on my bike, because I'm lazy so I hate accelerating.

Getting to Cambridge street is up to you... but should be pretty good since it's through Cambridge.
Jul 12, 2017 8:54 PM # 
Ah ha, hadn't spotted that sneaky little back way! Will try it on my way home.
Jul 12, 2017 10:20 PM # 
Well, took a very sub optimal route after your suggestion (didn't go north enough because north is also mostly up and my legs hurt) but that was much better. Just got back in time to sit on the balcony and watch the storm. Especially liked the sneaky bit around the back of the terrible science museum junction.
Jul 13, 2017 12:46 PM # 
Yes, going under all those highways is far preferable to crossing at grade! I'm sure you'll figure out all the little tricks as you go. Different version of the commute every day for a week?

Glad you made it in before the storm - I got walloped with the middle of it while trying to change buses downtown.
Jul 13, 2017 4:07 PM # 
I did the roundabout this morning. Not as bad in this direction when the traffic in your entrance is stopped by the red and you can get into the bike box.
Jul 18, 2017 5:43 PM # 
Ooh, I might be able to help with this!

First off, Sullivan Square is enough of a mess they are planning to replace it. With straight roads! And traffic lights! It will take far too long, but at least it's coming. As opposed to the Newton Corner RoD, which they're happy with for not, apparently.

In re getting through Lechmere, East Street from Cambridge is definitely the way to go. Often faster when you're in a car, even (shh don't tell). If you ever see an EZRide bus misbehaving back there, let me know and I will pass the complaint on to the appropriate people.
Jul 18, 2017 7:45 PM # 
I love East Street! Definitely the best way through!
Aug 7, 2017 12:46 PM # 
Okay, I have a hybrid now and I have to avoid Medford St on the way in to work. Even riding in the middle of the road is a rough ride! Whaddaya reckon?!
Aug 7, 2017 1:26 PM # 
You could head down Main st, on the other side of the hill. Same number of car doors, and more lights, but better pavement.
Aug 7, 2017 6:35 PM # 
Awesome, will give it a shot!
Aug 8, 2017 2:10 PM # 
I did Main onto Broadway and didn't like it at all. Road surface a bit better, but not good enough to make up for the much worse traffic. Is that what you meant?
Aug 8, 2017 2:41 PM # 
Ha, I was in a totally different area of town! You were talking about Medford st in Somerville? I love that Boston re-uses street names so much that we could be talking totally parallel. I thought you were talking about the Medford st in Boston, that goes past my building. They've been ripping up the street for utilities, so I thought maybe that was what was going on. Facepalm!
Aug 8, 2017 5:05 PM # 
Haha! I actually did that diversion too today as I went to Whole Foods. Charlestown Medford st is not great but much better than Somerville Medford!

This discussion thread is closed.