Some seem to feel that the removal of the fog lines on Main Street, and the repainting of the lines further from the curb have made the curb to the line an official bike lane. I haven't seen any signs, or bike symbols painted on the road to indicate this, or even a mention in the paper that this was the intent. It doesn't really matter though, for bicyclist it is a welcome change.
I have a bike, have used it on the road. Before official bike trails there was no where else to ride. Having a skootch more room on Main Street will make riding a bit easier. Yes, the "bike lanes" get narrow at some turns, and eventually disappear, but the road is till there, and one is free to ride on any road in the Commonwealth except for the limited access highways (interstates), and highways specifically marked prohibiting bicycles. Contrary to what was written in the last post comment section Route 20 is not considered an interstate highway like I-90 is. Yes, they both wind their way between states, and in both cases go from coast to coast, but Route 20 is not limited access, nor is biking prohibited from that road.
Since I don't know who's idea it was to widen the curb to line area, whether it was MADoT, of the Town, or what their true intention was, I really can't comment further.
In any event, if it is an attempt to make the roads a bit safer for those on their bikes, that's great, and if it is for another reason all together, then the indirect effect for those pedaling their butts around town will be welcome as well.
Riding a bike on the road is nothing new. Kids may be restricted to riding their bikes only in their driveway nowadays, and riding to the ball field, or school a ritual of the past, but someday they'll enjoy the trails, and the roads of Central Massachusetts like so many others
We just need to keep in mind that bicyclists are not intruders on our roadways, they are welcome, and there are laws that protect them, motorists, and pedestrians as well. If you don't feel riding your bike on Route 20 is safe for you to do, then don't.
Massachusetts General Laws