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The crosswalks on the river side of the intersection of Memorial Drive and River Street were reconstructed in 2002. Signals and crosswalk markings also were modified.

The panoramic photo below was taken in sections, from left to right, so it is a sort of movie too. That is why the traffic lights do not agree with one anotherin the photo. The captions above the photo explain the sequence of events and the changes due to the reconstruction..

Memorial Drive and River Street (2002 photo)
Scroll right to view panoramic image/time sequence.
Section 1: the bicyclist is crossing on a flashing walk signal.
Note the the new crosswalk markings, and the blind corners,
produced by the concrete bridge railings . As is common with
MDC constrution, the (brand new!) curb cuts are narrower than the
marked crosswalk. The waiting cars are intrude into the crosswalk.
Section 2: The traffic light has turned yellow for Memorial Drive.
There are only crosswalks on three sides of the intersection. The
City of Cambridge has complained about the lack of a crosswalk on
the east side. The MDC says that another crosswalk  would limit
traffic flow. There are no pushbuttons on any of the light poles.
Section 3: Despite the lack of a crosswalk, the dog walkers have
crossed the east side of the intersection. They entered the intersection
against the signal on this quiet Sunday morning, but the signal has now
changed to allow traffic from the bridge to enter the intersection -- and
to turn right across the dog walkers' path..
DSCF0057halfmemandriver.jpg (99097 bytes)

Scroll left to read text of page

About the lack of pushbuttons: as the bridge and River Street are one-way toward Cambridge, and there is a "no turn on read" sign for the right turn from the bridge onto Memorial Drive, the path has an exclusive signal phase without the need for pushbuttons. However, the two other crosswalks do not have exclusive phases. A free-running right turn is permitted from Memorial Drive onto River Street.

From River Street partway to Magazine Beach, the path runs along an embankment between the river and a row of trees. The 1983 photo below shows the path recently repaved. A sign for Memorial Drive intrudes on the path. The sign was more recent than the path, probably installed aroudn the same time as the repaving project.. A narrower sign   need not have compromised path safety as this one does.

Around the right end of the sign can be seen the legs of someone sitting on one of the MDC's park benches, which is, as usual, too close to the path. And, as usual, the bench would have been much more pleasant if located between the path and the river so sitters could enjoy the river view without motor vehicles' whizzing past inches behind their heads.

Path east of River Street bridge (1982 photo)

8208---W03Old PD White Path.jpg (38102 bytes)

In the photo below, from the year 2001, the sign is gone -- perhaps removed intentionally, perhaps knocked down by a vehicle that strayed off the road. The concrete footing has not been removed, and still poses a hazard. The park bench is gone, too, and the row of trees has been replaced with smaller, younger ones. Pavement around the manhole cover in the foreground is caving in, and the raised edge of the manhole cover creates another hazard..

Same location (2001 photo)

005_2AOld path revisited.jpg (48926 bytes)

There are new pushbutton-operated crosswalks at Pleasant Street, in front of the Radisson Hotel.

Crosswalks in front of Radisson Hotel (2002 photo)

DSCF0060radisson.jpg (28519 bytes)

As it approaches the BU bridge, the corridor widens. There are a boathouse and ball fields between the path and the river.

Access to the path is at street level, except for a single pedestrian overpass at Granite Street, west of the Boston University Bridge, shown in the photo below. This overpass is near a school, and was probably constructed to make it safer for schoolchildren to cross Memorial Drive. The truck restriction on Memorial Drive is serious business, because of the low clearance. I once saw a truck wedged under the overpass, with the top of its trailer peeled back like the lid of a sardine can.

The iron picket fence is an unfortunate sight obstruction between path users and motorists exiting the driveway from the boathouse.

In the far background under the "Cars only" signs, another overpass carries Memorial Drive over the rotary which connects the Boston University Bridge with Brookline Street.

Path at Magazine Street (2001 photo).

006_3AMagazine st overpass.jpg (45298 bytes)

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