Porter Square Still Is Not Safe

Over three years ago, Marcie Mitler was killed while walking in Porter Square. A few months later, Joe Lavins was killed while biking through the Square. Yet, we are still waiting for the commonsense changes that we proposed to complete immediately—such as protected bike lanes on Somerville Ave and designated pickup/dropoff zones—and for the promised discussion to revisit the flawed design and larger stretch of Mass Ave.

This Tuesday, Cambridge Bicycle Safety and other volunteers—including Vice Mayor Jan Devereux—formed a people-protected bike lane in Porter Square to call on the City to make good on their promise to make the intersection safe for everyone.

We applaud the City for the addition of the raised protected bike lane on the north side of Somerville Avenue that clearly protects bikers from encroaching traffic. However, on just the other side of Somerville Ave, painted, unprotected bike lanes next to the T Station face exactly the same challenge, with dangerous truck, bus and car turning movements:

During busy Tuesday morning traffic, we left our homes a little early and gathered for a people-protected bike lane to make bicycle riders feel a little bit safer, and reiterate that this issue is not still fixed:

A “ride-by” for what this might look like when completed:

This is just one stretch of the dangerous Porter Square intersection. As we wrote last year, there’s much more the city should be doing to make Porter Square safer for bicycle riders and pedestrians—the time to act is now, before more people are injured or killed.