This week crews will begin installing a raised cycletrack along Somerville Ave between White Street and Massachusetts Ave. It’s where 200 of us gathered to rally for a safer Porter Square and formed a people-protected bike lane. The City estimates that paving, markings and the traffic signal timing changes that are part of their improvements will be done by early November.
Let there be no doubt. This safe, separated bike lane is going in because you made your voice heard. Thank you for coming out to join the rally and for writing letters asking for a safer Porter Square. And we thank the city for listening. But we also know that the city’s planned improvements, while a good step forward, aren’t an adequate response to the recent deaths of Joe Lavins and Marcie Mitler – one on a bike and one walking across the street.
Porter Square should be safe and pleasant for people of all ages and abilities to walk or bike through. Thousands of people enter and leave the Red Line and commuter rail at Porter Square every single day, yet the city’s intersection design still prioritizes movement of cars over people’s safety. We appreciate that the city has made a commitment to continuing the conversation about how we can make Porter Square a safer square for people (read the letter we sent city officials earlier this year with our suggestions). We will continue to advocate for bus priority lanes, more protected bicycle lanes in and around the intersection, and shorter easier crossings for pedestrians. Our goal is a square where we all can travel safely whether we’re walking, biking, or driving.
If you haven’t signed our petition for a city-wide protected bike network by 2023 please do so today. And if you have, please share it with your friends and family who live or work in Cambridge.
Our streets are slowly becoming safer because you are speaking up. Thanks again.