Election FAQ: Why does the Cambridge Bicycle Safety Platform advocate for protected bike lanes on major roads in Cambridge?

Our streets aren’t safe for bicyclists or pedestrians:

  • In the last three years, 3 cyclists and 2 pedestrians have died on Cambridge streets.
  • First responders are called to a crash involving a bike and a vehicle every other day.
  • Deaths of both young and old–new and experienced bikers–show the city has much more to do for today’s bikers as well as the thousands more who want to use our streets, but lack safe options.
  • Building a protected bicycle network creates transportation equity by making cycling a safe, healthy and affordable option for everyone.

Protected bike lanes are considered best practice for streets with high numbers of vehicles and bikes, and are being widely adopted in cities around the world and across the US–from New York to Boise. A recent study from Harvard School of Public Health found protected bike lanes improved safety, and an accompanying article notes that “it is crucial to provide physical separation from fast-moving, high-volume motor vehicle traffic and better intersection design to avoid conflicts between cyclists and motor vehicles.” Mass Department of Transportation identifies separated bike lanes as a key element of a safe, comfortable, bicycle network, and the Cambridge Bike Plan–prepared by the city–identified 20 miles of roads needing protected bike lanes for a city-wide network that is safe for people of all ages and abilities.. In other words, it is widely accepted and mainstream practice to install protected bike lanes on busy roads.

 

As a group of resident volunteers who formed Cambridge Bicycle Safety after the deaths of three cyclists, we believe the city must move more quickly to install protected bike lanes.  We asked candidates for city council whether they would pledge to sign a platform to build out the protected bicycle lane network specified in the Cambridge Bike Plan in 5 years.  Click here to see the platform and how candidates voted.

Want to learn more?  Here are 12 reasons why Cambridge should prioritize protected lanes now.

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