Week of Apr 18: Tacos and group ride, MassAve4 vote, Porter Sq

The city council vote on expanding bike lanes on Mass Ave was delayed to Monday, April 25th, so you still have a chance to show your support. Plus, there’s a bike ride on Saturday April 23rd (with tacos!), and a Porter Square meeting on Tuesday, April 26.

Saturday April 23rd, 12pm: Mayor’s bike ride, with tacos!

Join the Mayor’s Office for a Bike Bonanza to support local small businesses and enjoy the spring in the city by bike! Bring your own bike (if you don’t have one, the Mayor ’s office can provide a BlueBike pass).

The ride will start off at City Hall with tacos, and then will proceed along Riverbend Park, with stops at three other small businesses. You’ll be encouraged, but not obligated, to make a small purchase at each stop to support the businesses on this 6 mile circuit, which will be entirely on protected bike lanes. RSVP here.

Monday April 25: City Council votes on MassAve4; Write to council!

This Monday, the city council will be voting on a proposed bike safety project on Mass Ave, between Harvard and Porter Squares and north of Porter Square. This would fill in gaps in the protected bike lane network, making it much safer and comfortable for current and prospective cyclists, and would also improve both bus and pedestrian infrastructure. Safety and sustainability!

UPDATE (4/22): Councillors Toner, Carlone, and Simmons have introduced 2 policy orders that would

  • Delay installation of protected bike lanes in Porter Square by at least 4 years.
  • Remove mandatory deadlines for installation of protected bike lanes on the rest of Mass Ave. north of Harvard.

The orders ask for amendments to the Cycling Safety Ordinance, which weakens this key law.

If you care about the future of safe bicycling in Cambridge, it’s critical to voice your opposition now. Email council@cambridgema.govldepasquale@cambridgema.govjbarr@cambridgema.gov, CC clerk@cambridgema.gov and info@cambridgebikesafety.org. Emails that include the clerk will be placed on the agenda for next week’s meeting and thus increase your impact.

  • Email the city council and ask them to vote down policy orders 3 and 6
  • Tell them that we cannot wait any longer than we already have for these critical safety improvements. Just a quick 1-2 sentence email saying the above along with your personal experience is perfect.
  • Add a couple of sentences telling Councillor Carlone you are disappointed he broke his election pledge not to delay any deadlines in the Cycling Safety Ordinance. If you voted for Councillor Carlone, be sure to tell him that.
  • Tell the council to vote yes on the city’s partial Mass Ave (“MassAve4”) reconstruction proposal (PDF download here), and that:
  • People who bike deserve to be safe. Over 30% of Cambridge residents biked regularly in 2020 (2+ times/month).
  • Per the city’s survey, 53% of people who don’t bike were interested in doing so, and safety is the biggest barrier to more people biking. If we want more people to bike, we need to make it safe, by installing protected bike lanes that provide separation from motor vehicles.
  • The city’s Climate Crisis Working Group recently recommended “reduc[ing] vehicle traffic and expand[ing] bike and pedestrian infrastructure to ensure safe cycling and walking for citizens,” as well as improving bus infrastructure.
  • The city’s proposal will improve bike, bus, and pedestrian infrastructure, while also addressing businesses’ requests for parking and loading zones.
[Image: map showing "MassAve4". Two stretches north/south of Porter, shorter stretches in Harvard]

Tuesday April 26, 6pm: Third Porter Square meeting

The third and likely final Porter Square planning meeting is happening on Zoom on April 26, 6PM-8PM. You can add it to your calendar by visiting this page and clicking on the “Add to my calendar” red button on the left.

After this meeting, the city will finalize their plans, in preparation for installation of protected bike lanes sometime in the next few months.