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NORTH BEACON STREET, WATERTOWN:
|The photo below (at Pequossette Road, looking east) shows the typical striping at unsignalized intersections. The white stripes nearer the centerline extend not only to the intersections, but partway across them.|
Here, at the signalized intersection with Beechwood Rd., the striping is different but also nonstandard. The lines at the bottom of the picture mark the end of a parallel parking lane.
|What should have been done on North Beacon Street?
I concur with the idea of reducing the number of travel lanes, and this reduction is advantageous to bicyclists. A road with two wide lanes is certainly better for bicycling than a road with four narrow lanes.
A single guide stripe to the right of the travel lane would leave room for a a parking lane wide enough for bicyclists to share safely. Parking stalls in the parking lane would discourage motorists from driving there, except to merge before parking or turning right. Neckdowns or median refuges would also be a possibility, to decrease pedestrian crossing times. The street has ample width for these without right-turning vehicles' impeding through traffic.
An alternative I would find much less satisfactory would be bike lanes designed according to AASHTO guidelines, with dashed sections before each intersection and signage directing motorists to merge across the bike lane before making a right turn.. The problem is that Beacon Street has many intersections and driveways, and so the entire length of the bike lane would have to be dashed. Whether it is dashed or not, motorists tend to think of a bike lane as a "sidewalk in the street", so they are more likely to turn right from the left of bicyclists than if no bike lane is designated.