Cambridge Bicycle Safety launches campaign to show support for building protected bike lane network by 2023

Sign the petition now at

This fall, Cambridge Bicycle Safety aims to collect thousands of signatures from Cambridge residents in support of completing the citywide 20-mile network of protected bike lanes outlined in the City’s 2015 Bicycle Plan by 2023.

We started this campaign with a soft launch on August 22, where volunteers learned about the campaign’s background and goals and received training on how to canvass for signatures. The campaign officially kicks off in the fall.

The timing of the campaign comes over nine months after the Cambridge election, where seven of the nine councilors committed to completing the 20-mile city-wide network of protected lanes in five years as specified in the City’s 2015 Bicycle Plan. The bike network would be constructed by including protected lanes in road reconstruction projects as designated in the Bike Plan, and using “quick build” approaches to create protected bike lanes on other road segments until they are reconstructed.

There have been incremental improvements since the 2017 election, but the City is not on pace to finish in the five-year timeline. As of this month, about 4 miles of the network are complete and the City has only installed 1.2 miles of protected lanes since 2015, with 0.5 miles planned for this fall.

This past spring, Cambridge Bicycle Safety members held meetings with city councillors, as well as the city manager and staff from the Traffic Department and the Community Development Department. Through these conversations, we were surprised to discover that city leadership doesn’t believe there is widespread support for installing a protected bike network! So we decided that the next step in convincing city leadership to move forward is to demonstrate broad public support for completing the network within 5 years.

How will we get there?
We’re asking the City take immediate action this year by committing to the following:

  1. By 2023 the city will complete the network of protected bicycle lanes shown in the Cambridge Bike Plan using a mix of permanent construction and quick-build approaches, and installing a minimum of two miles per year.
  2. In 2019 the City will complete a preliminary design (“25% design”) for the complete network of protected bike lanes shown in the Cambridge Bicycle Plan (Figure 5-15). The City will issue a report specifying the number of miles and particular segments of the Protected Network to be installed each year.
  3. Whenever the City makes improvements to a street, such improvements must comply with the Cambridge Bicycle Plan.

Here’s how you can take action:

  1. Sign the petition: Help get things started by signing the petition right now and, just as important, make sure to share it with your friends and neighbors.
  2. Sign up here to canvass with CBS this month. We’ll be handing out flyers at intersections with heavy bike traffic in the mornings, and flyering neighborhoods in the evenings. You will always be paired with an experienced canvasser to learn the ropes.
  3. We have a special campaign for Cambridge businesses. Ask Cambridge business owners you know to sign our business pledge of support. And if you work in Cambridge, ask your management to sign onto our employer pledge of support for the bike network.
  4. Stay in the loop: Be sure to keep an eye on our social media (like and subscribe to notifications on Facebook and Twitter) for other opportunities to volunteer on this campaign. Participation by all of us is critically important to reach our ambitious signature goal, representing all neighborhoods and perspectives in Cambridge.