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Bicyclists disgruntled over 
Bldg. 26 ramp move

The recent removal of the ramp just west of Building 26 has upset cyclists who rely on that section of sidewalk to go about their daily business. Up until a few weeks ago, the curb from the roadway between Buildings 12 and 24 had a ramp in the center, and bicyclists and skateboarders travelled through the Bldg. 26 underpass and toward the Stata Center.

Facilities has shifted the ramp about 15 feet to the north, so wheeled traffic now makes three consecutive sharp turns.

Last week, Ruth T. Davis, spokeswoman for Facilities, said in an electronic mail that “the wide curb cut was removed because the area was used as a multiple-vehicle parking spot. The curb is designed to discourage vehicles and encourage the alley for pedestrians.”

Alex Cornejo Collado G, a cyclist, said that it was the “first remodelling change that’s for the worse instead of for the better.”

Skateboarders now stop and pick up their boards. Cyclists slow to a crawl to navigate the double-dogleg turn.

Pedestrians seem to have mostly not noticed, but one said that bike traffic through the walkway was slower now. Parked trucks are no longer a fixture of the walkway.

Norman H. Magnuson, Jr., who manages Grounds Services for Facilities, said vehicle barriers were planned, but did not explain why it was necessary to shift the ramp since the barriers would seem to effectively prohibit vehicular traffic. Magnuson could not be reached for further comment.

Jonathan A. Battat G said the change was “super annoying,” but acknowledged that the new configuration might be more pedestrian-friendly. Other riders remarked that the new configuration was “a pain in the ass” and “quite annoying.”

Davis said last week that Facilities might “install a depressed curb ramp on either the left- or right-hand side of the main pathway to allow for better flow of bicycles and pedestrians” if bikes have trouble navigating the path.

John A. Hawkinson