One morning last December, cones and small signs popped up along Broadway, the main drag in working-class Everett, Massachusetts. The modest change, replacing a mile of curbside parking with a temporary bus lane, had big implications. After a week, city officials said riders were saving so much time on their morning commutes that the bus lane would become permanent. Now other cities, including neighboring Boston, are paying attention to Everett’s bold experiment.
Everett is increasingly home to people squeezed out of ever-pricier areas like Somerville and East Boston. Yet it lacks direct subway or bus service, with riders forced to transfer on their way downtown.
“We’re located only two miles from downtown,” says Everett city planner Jay Monty. “But we’re the only city that borders Boston that doesn’t have a rapid transit connection.”