The Danger of Waiting

Bicycle and pedestrian crashes along 1 mile of Cambridge Street since 2021

Ilana Strauss and Ned Narni

April 25, 2024 

The Cambridge City Council voted to delay separated bike lanes by an additional 18 months, despite major public outcry. Major connections including Cambridge St, Broadway, and Main St will not be required to be completed until over 3.5 years from now in November 2027. 

Some have minimized the costs of this delay, saying there are other roads cyclists can take, with others suggesting that there just aren’t that many crashes and those that happen aren’t serious. We took a look at some of the crashes on just one mile of Cambridge Street over the last 3 years, and could not disagree more. There are many reports of dangerous incidents, including vehicles fleeing the scene after driving into somebody, both illegal and inhuman behavior.

We found many reports of pedestrians who were hit and seriously injured, while simply crossing the street. These included a pedestrian who was dragged by a vehicle which drove over 60 feet after impact, which required fire fighters to run from the station to lift the vehicle in order to rescue the victim. There was also a visually impaired resident, and another incident where both an owner and dog were injured, all traveling in a crosswalk.

We found numerous reports of cyclists who were doored, and many others who were traveling straight when drivers failed to yield, driving into them. Many drivers were crossing or turning on or off of Cambridge Street. One cyclist we interviewed was crushed between an MBTA bus and an SUV, another was knocked unconscious with serious migraines and side effects lasting well beyond the crash, yet another was pregnant when a car drove into her by turning without signaling. Another victim had a broken back, elbow, and wrist, and is still in chronic pain, over a year after their crash. 

These are just a few of the people we were able to speak with or read about. There is a serious human cost to these delays. Many of these injuries are serious and even life-altering. Other crashes have had a more tragic ending, as described in this story map of Cambridge residents who have been killed while biking.

If we wait another three years, it is a virtual guarantee that we will have a similar set of crashes and serious injuries, and if we are lucky, nothing worse.

Please look through these videos and police reports from your neighbors who have been affected by our dangerous streets. This is not a rare event, and could happen to you or somebody you love while walking or biking. and tell the council that there is no more room to delay these critically needed safety projects.