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Boston to make new downtown bike network permanent

A wide lane all to his own for this bicyclist on Boylston Street by the Boston Public Garden.
A wide lane all to his own for this bicyclist on Boylston Street by the Boston Public Garden.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff


The new separated bike lanes circling Boston Common and the Public Garden will be made permanent this fall, with paint and flex posts soon replacing the traffic barrels that currently delineate the network.

The city installed these “pop-up” bike lanes over the summer, using the orange barrels to quickly carve out space for bikers.

Officials already had been considering new bicycle lanes in this part of the city prior to the coronavirus. But the pandemic expedited the plan as officials sought to accommodate increased interest in cycling as travelers shied from public transit.

Until recently, the city had said the lanes would likely be removed by winter. On Tuesday, however, the Walsh administration clarified that much of this new network would become permanent sooner — specifically, along Tremont, Boylston, Charles, Beacon, and Arlington streets.

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The announcement comes as the BlueBikes bike-share system expands into several new communities. On Monday, BlueBikes announced that it had recorded its highest-ever single-day ridership over the weekend, registering more than 14,400 trips. Bicycle shops have also reported big sales increases during the pandemic.


Adam Vaccaro can be reached at adam.vaccaro@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamtvaccaro.