Statement in Support of Pedestrian Safety Policy Order for Dec 10 Council Meeting (POR 2018 #312)

Three pedestrians have died this year on Cambridge streets. Over the past ten years, sixteen vulnerable road users–either walking or biking–have been killed in our city. This is a public health crisis. Fortunately, there are many ways to help reduce both fatalities and serious injuries of pedestrians toward the goal of Vision Zero. The City of Cambridge has laudibly reduced speed limits both city-wide and in safety zones, recognizing that crashes become significantly less harmful when vehicles are moving slower. People walking stand to benefit the most if these speed limits are observed, and to face the most serious consequences if drivers are unaware or ignore them.

Cambridge Bicycle Safety knows that we can do more to ensure compliance with the speed limits and help make streets safe for all users, in particular pedestrians. This is why we helped spur and fully support Policy Order 2018 #312 (O-1) sponsored by Mayor McGovern, Vice Mayor Devereux, and Councillor Zondervan, which requests from the City Manager the latest information on compliance with the speed limits, as well as infrastructural interventions available to improve compliance, because we know that relying solely on police enforcement is not a long-term solution. For example, we know that changing paving surfaces and raising crosswalks helps slow traffic in busy areas, such as Harvard Square.

We look forward to working with the City to make the streets safe for all users, because whether we drive, bike, or take the T, we are all also pedestrians.

Cambridge Bicycle Safety

December 6, 2018