Action: Ask Council Candidates To Sign Onto The Bike Safety Platform

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 29

From the email:

Contact City Council candidates and ask them to sign onto the Cambridge Bicycle Safety platform (text below) urging a more aggressive implementation of the 20 miles of protected lanes called for in the City’s Bike Plan, along with a specific timeline.

Friends,

What a tough yet inspiring year it has been for those of us who bike in and around Cambridge. After the tragic deaths of Amanda Phillips and Joe Lavins in 2016, thousands of Cambridge residents signed our petition calling for safer streets. The city responded by installing several new protected lanes, bringing the total to 4 miles throughout the Cambridge.

Unfortunately these segments remain disjointed and no clear plan for the future exists. To make matters worse, the latest update from city officials for today’s City Council meeting indicates they are only exploring one new segment of protected lanes (along Mass Ave) and provides no timeline for implementation. This simply does not meet the urgency that is required to avoid future tragedies and meet the city’s equity, Vision Zero, and climate neutrality goals.

Our streets still aren’t safe:

  • First responder data show a 23% increase in bicycle crashes in 2016 even as total crashes in the city have slightly decreased (see note below).
  • First responders are called to a crash involving a vehicle and bike every other day.
  • Intentional violence by road rage drivers is now commonplace due to poor street design.

Protected lanes are overwhelmingly popular and effective:

  • Over 3,000 people signed a petition calling for a protected network in Cambridge and hundreds more have sent thank you notes after new lanes were installed.
  • Participatory budgeting shows broad, continued support through a democratic process.
  • Protection and separation are the only ways to provide a safe space for people of all ages and abilities to bike. Safe spaces for biking are proven to result in higher numbers of bicyclists, helping the city achieve the mode shift necessary to reduce car dependency.
  • The number of young or inexperienced bicyclists is increasing: high school students in Cambridge counted more than 350 bicycles parked at the school earlier this year, and the high school athletes often use bikes to get from school to practice locations and home.

Cambridge is having municipal elections on November 7, and the make-up of the City Council will play a large role in the roll-out of badly needed infrastructure. This week we are asking all candidates to sign onto the Cambridge Bicycle Safety platform (see text below) urging a more aggressive implementation of the 20 miles of protected lanes called for in the City’s Bike Plan, along with a specific timeline.

Action alert – please take all three of these actions:

  1. Contact City Councillors and City Council candidates and encourage them to sign onto our election platform. Click here to email all council candidates at once. A quick email asking them to support the platform and a few words about why it matters to you will be perfect. If that link doesn’t work for you, a spreadsheet with Council candidates’ contact info is available here. Please copy [email protected] on your email.

  2. Attend the Climate Resilience Candidates Forum tomorrow evening (Tuesday, September 26, 6:30-9pm) and ask candidates to support making our streets safe for all users, the platform and improvements to safety on our streets.

  3. Register yourself to vote right now (deadline is soon). If you are already registered or are ineligible, please tell a friend to do so.

We’ll be updating you all soon with information regarding the candidates who signed our pledge, as well as summaries of those who responded to the Vision Zero election questionnaire we co-sponsored with the Vision Zero Massachusetts Coalition. (The full questionnaire responses are available here.)

As we head into this election season, it’ll be especially important to raise our voices and speak out for safer streets and quicker action. We are grateful for the progress that has been made, but know that much more needs to be done – and at a much faster pace – if we are to avoid future tragedies and encourage people of all ages and abilities to travel safely through the city by bike.

Note regarding crash data: Police Department crash data for 2015-2016 were downloaded from Cambridge Open Data (https://data.cambridgema.gov/). This data set is likely incomplete and does not include crashes for which first responders were not called.

Sincerely,
The CBS Core Team

Cambridge Bicycle Safety Platform for the 2017 Council Election

There are over 200 miles of streets in Cambridge. The 2015 Bicycle Plan calls for protected bike lanes on approximately 20 miles of major thoroughfares to create a safe, city-wide protected network that serves residents of all ages and abilities. Approximately 4 miles of these protected bike lanes have been installed. I will vote for a municipal ordinance that requires the city to install at least 4 miles of pop-up protected bike lanes each year until the city-wide protected network is complete and to install permanent protected bike lanes when the streets specified as part of the city-wide protected network are reconstructed.


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