Cambridge Bicycle Safety Platform for the 2017 Council Election

We are inviting Cambridge city council candidates to endorse the following platform:

There are over 200 miles of streets in Cambridge. The 2015 Bicycle Plan calls for protected bike lanes on approximately 20 miles of major thoroughfares to create a safe, city-wide protected network that serves residents of all ages and abilities. Approximately 4 miles of these protected bike lanes have been installed. I will vote for a municipal ordinance that requires the city to install at least 4 miles of pop-up protected bike lanes each year until the city-wide protected network is complete and to install permanent protected bike lanes when the streets specified as part of the city-wide protected network are reconstructed.

We will be sharing the names of candidates who endorse the platform publicly as part of our election education efforts.

May 2: Come out to create a new Inman Sq that’s safe for everyone

Together, we’re making streets in Cambridge safer for all ages and abilities. As a result of our voices, we have seen some initial wins with pop-up lanes and great community support in favor of the city’s plans for Cambridge Street protected bike lanes. We need to continue this momentum this Tuesday, May 2 at the important Inman Square redesign meeting where the city will unveil the results of its months-long internal deliberations.

Cambridge St Update: 150 people showed up for the Cambridge Street protected bike lane meeting, and the tone was overwhelmingly positive, especially for making the street safe for the hundreds of CRLS students that bike or walk to school. Many bicyclists also emphasized the need to support local businesses and how this project can benefit them. The city has promised to begin construction in June, with one more public meeting between then and now, and we’ll keep you posted on how we can all make sure this project is a success.

Inman Sq Public Meeting: The other major project happening this Spring is the redesign of Inman Square, which will connect directly to the east end of the Cambridge Street protected bike lane. There is an important public meeting this Tuesday, May 2 where city staff will present their preferred design and solicit feedback. All four of the designs presented at the last meeting, particularly the bend options, need significant changes to be as safe for all users as they can be. Thus, it’s crucial for as many of us as possible to come out on May 2 in support of safe, protected bicycle infrastructure and traffic calming! We deserve safe streets for all ages and abilities and the final design must reflect this.

When: Tuesday, May 2, 6-8pm (6-7: presentation, 7-8: discussion)
Where: Cambridge Public Library (Main Branch), Lower Level (L2)
Please RSVP and share so that your friends find out about it too

CBS has put forward criteria for the redesign project based on safety, convenience, and environmental sustainability, and ranked the four proposed designs by the city. Read our full recommendation here. Members of Cambridge Bicycle Safety have spent the last several months talking with local residents, businesses, neighborhood associations, and transportation professionals to understand how best to meet the needs of the community with respect to Inman Square, and this recommendation reflects these conversations.

Current Inman Square:

All plans meet the basic goal of providing safer bicycle facilities in particular through the use of protected bicycle lanes. The Roundabout scores best on our metrics of safety, convenience, and environmental sustainability, with Bend Cambridge scoring second best.

Roundabout:

Bend Cambridge:

Here are the criteria we used and will continue to push for, and we provide more detail in the document.

Safety
★     Incorporate protected bike lanes
★     Reduce speed and frequency at which bikes, pedestrians and cars interact
★     Reduce length of crosswalks to minimize exposure of pedestrians and bicyclists to vehicles

Convenience
★     Reduce travel time through intersection at both peak and off-peak times
★     Reduce impact on neighborhood side streets
★     Enable pedestrians to cross the intersection in 60 seconds or less

Environmental Sustainability
★     Preserve existing mature trees and augment community open space
★     Reduce automobile emissions caused by stopping and starting at intersection
★     Alleviate heat island effect by reducing total area of asphalt paving

We hope to see you on May 2!

Sincerely,
All of us at Cambridge Bicycle Safety

(Wording updated May 1.)

Memos on the Spring Network of Protected Bike Lanes

Cambridge Bicycle Safety has written two memos on the city’s spring network of protected lanes.

The first memo, available here, outlines our recommendations about how to maximize the connectivity of the spring network of protected bike lanes the city is installing.

The second memo, available here, outlines our recommendations about design elements that we view as critical for safety for the Cambridge Street pilot and all protected bike lane pilots.