On a beautiful Friday afternoon like today, I sometimes choose to bike the scenic route home. Today that meant a trip down the Upper Falls Greenway as opposed to the more direct line of taking Needham Street between my office and Winchester Street.
I’ve done this a few times and recently I run into the same issue: at the end of the Greenway a pair of trucks and a row of carefully placed granite block the route off. It’s understood that these also block the entrance if you’re entering from that point.
This isn’t a fluke and it isn’t an accident, I’ve now seen it three times and appears to be a concerted effort to reduce bike traffic. In the picture I posted you can clearly see a truck backed up against a large, deep puddle with another truck pulled up nearby. That doesn’t leave enough room to bike through; I need to get off the bike and navigate around the truck.
As far as I understand, the right of way is supposed to provide for access.
The granite blocks that border the path (carefully pushed together as to prevent cycling access, but not pedestrian access) leave the only accessible point as being a bit of overgrowth and some steep inclines. To give a sense of how tough these are to ride on, Nicole Freedman, Newton’s director of transportation and an Olympic cyclist, once went over her handlebars trying to get onto the Greenway by riding down these short inclines.