Take action on the separated bike lane delay

A photo of the Porter Square intersection. In the foreground is a white ghost/memorial bike. In the background, a cyclist wearing a high visibility fluorescent vest is riding in the bike lane, and up ahead a truck is parked in the bike lane,

Please sign and share our petition right now. Anyone who cares about your safety on the road or who uses our bike lanes in Cambridge should sign it.

On April 29, the Council voted 5 to 4 to ban separated bike lanes construction for up to 15 months on Cambridge St, Broadway, and Main St, and to delay when these bike lanes must be completed until November 2027. But we’re not giving up! The massive public outcry, after just 3 weeks of organizing, shows how unpopular this delay is:

  • The Council received over 1,000 emails against the delay.
  • Throughout an epic public comment session lasting over 5 hours, only 10 people spoke in favor of delay, while 252 people spoke in support of building safer bike lanes on schedule. Those calling for safer bike lanes included many parents with children, seniors, a wheelchair user who benefits from the bike lanes, and far too many people sharing heartbreaking stories of crashes and life-altering injuries caused by dangerous road design.

Nonetheless, Mayor Simmons, and Councilors Nolan, Wilson, Toner, and Pickett, voted for a delay. These votes were inconsistent with campaign messaging for two councilors: Councilor Nolan campaigned on the critical importance of climate change and bike lanes that do “not compromise safety.” Councilor Nolan also voted for the CSO ordinance timeline, and last night’s vote is inconsistent with her previous support. During the campaign, Councilor Wilson shared a personal tragedy where her friend was killed while biking near Porter Square as a teenager. It is profoundly disappointing that these Councilors supported changes that will endanger more children and adults in our community for an additional 18 months. We hope they will change course before the final vote to amend the Cycling Safety Ordinance. 

Our deepest thanks to Councilors Azeem, Siddiqui, Sobrinho-Wheeler and Vice-Mayor McGovern for their continued support for residents’, workers’, and visitors’ safety while biking and walking. Lacking a majority, they offered a compromise to try and prevent this very long delay, but it too was rejected.

What we can do next

This fight isn’t over: there are multiple votes yet to come before these delays will be passed, and even if it does pass we won’t be giving up on reducing crashes and injuries. We will continue to organize and show this council how important, engaged, and energized the electorate is about building safer streets.

How do we succeed? By reaching all the people who haven’t yet heard about this delay, all the people who will be put at risk, and making sure they know what is at stake for them and their loved ones. And we need your help for that!

Getting the word out: Many people still do not know these changes are happening and have not weighed in. In the short term, we’re launching a petition to inform people about the ban and delay, trying to get as many people as possible to show their support for safe infrastructure. While it’s important that you sign, it’s even more important that you get other people to sign. Fill out the petition and then share it with two Cambridge friends who care about your safety: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/stop-the-delay-of-separated-bike-lanes/ 

Making crashes matter: The Councilors who voted for delay are willing to accept the trade-off that a delay will bring more crashes and injuries. We won’t let that stand. If you or someone you know are in a crash in Cambridge, especially on Cambridge St, Broadway, and Main St, please take photos if you’re willing, write up details, and send it to us as soon as it happens. We heard from many speakers last night that their crashes or injuries were not recorded by the police; we want to make sure your stories don’t get lost.

Much more! We’ll be following up over the coming days and weeks with more ways you can help. It will take more work, but we can and will win this fight.