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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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Your Hard Work Paid Off!

Written by Boston Biker on Aug 23

from the email:

————–

 

We emailed, we called, we showed up – and we won! Due to the tremendous support for protected bicycle lanes over the past 3 weeks–in emails, calls, and in-person testimonies–on Monday, August 7, the City Council decided to remove the original language of the proposed order #191 O-14 which would have halted further progress on the roll-out of bicycle lanes. Your involvement made a big difference, so thank you.

Because of the over 300 emails and 2 hours of public testimony, the order was modified to call for increased communication by the City during the roll-out of projects without a halt in implementation. We have heard from several people in the public sector that this change would not have been possible without our steadfast, collective vocal advocacy for safer streets.

What’s next? There are two events this week as well as various projects across the city. We’ll list the projects at the end of the email.

Cambridge Street Inaugural Bike Ride

This will be the longest stretch of protection on a major Cambridge artery, and a crucial step towards a network of protected infrastructure for all ages and abilities. So, let’s ride!

Meet neighbors and join in an inaugural bike ride, a local business raffle kick-off, some snacks and music! Share your thoughts on what streets should be prioritized next!

Note: City councilors and new candidates will be there. This is a chance to meet some of them in advance of this fall’s election. Let’s show them how much support there is for safe infrastructure!

WHENSaturday, Aug 26 2-4pm. First ride kickoff at 2:30pm, other groups as more people arrive!

WHERE: Plaza in front of Fitzgerald Theater at CRLS (between Irving & Trowbridge Streets on Cambridge St)

RSVP & share

North Cambridge

The final meeting for the bicycle lanes on North Mass Ave is next Monday, August 28. Given recent scrutiny due to Brattle Street, it is crucial to show up and ensure that the project goes through. As we wrote in our letter to the city, while these lanes are not protected, they will be a huge improvement over the status quo. We also made suggestions to improve their design and your continued outreach to both the community and the City will support the City to implement safer solutions for this section of busy Mass Ave.

These lanes could go in as early as this fall if there’s enough public support.

WHENMonday, August 28, 6:00 – 8:00pm

WHERE: Trolley Square Apartments Community Room, 8 Cameron Ave

RSVP & share


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Action Alert: Send Thank Yous For Brattle St And Mass Ave Popups

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 21

From the email:

Safe protected bike lanes for all ages and abilities are here on sections of Mass Ave and Brattle St. We’re so excited about the latest two segments of what needs to be a network of protected bike lanes across the city that are accessible to people of all ages and abilities.

Based on our spring canvassing, we know that residents overwhelmingly support expanding Cambridge’s network of safe bicycle infrastructure like this. But, we’ve heard that the city has been getting some discouraging negative feedback about the Brattle St and Mass Ave lanes. In order for a network to become a reality, we need to ensure that decision makers at the city hear loud and clear that the public supports these lanes and wants their installation to continue.

Action: Email the City Manager and City Council now to thank them for putting in the lanes on Mass Ave and Brattle and ask them to keep up the good work. Email [email protected] and [email protected], and copy [email protected] so we get a sense of how many people have written in. If you’re feeling ambitious, there’s a longer list of city staff you could email below.

Just a short one or two sentence email will be perfect. Here are some points to make in your email.

  • The lanes make me feel safer and their basic design has been shown to in fact increase safety for everyone, including pedestrians.

  • I appreciate the excellent, high-quality work that went into designing these lanes and engaging the community around them.

  • I love the two-way movement that the Brattle St lane enables! It provides a safe way in and out of Harvard Square.

  • We need to see a network of lanes like this across the city as soon as possible.

P.S. The lanes on Cambridge St are coming soon and you can send another thank you after you’ve had a chance to ride in those lanes!

Sincerely,

The CBS core team

Here’s the longer list of people to email:

[email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

P.P.S.:

Tuesday, July 25th is the next Inman Square redesign meeting. The design includes protected bike lanes throughout as well as other improvements.

Wednesday, July 26th is our next Livable City Social at the Prospect St Whole Foods! Stop by to chat and sample some snacks.


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Live In Cambridge? Time To Make Some Phone Calls.

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 30

Time to get on the phone!  In between calling up your senators and telling them to fight trump, you should call up your local folks and demand bike lanes!

————

We’re writing with good news and bad news about our shared work to make our streets safer for everyone in Cambridge.

First, the good news: All four designs for Inman Square include protected bike facilities and so many of us showed up to the public meeting they had to turn people away and schedule a new one!

Now, the bad news: Unfortunately, the city does not appear to be committed to implementing a Spring network of protected bike lanes as the council requested last fall, based on their most recent update which they’re going to present to the city council tomorrow. Instead, they only plan to complete a portion of Cambridge St and a small sliver of Mass Ave this spring, with no concrete plan for further work. We continue to be excited about the popup protected bike lane that’s planned for Cambridge St, but that needs to be just the first step in a concrete, accelerated work plan for a broad network across the city.

Two cyclists died last year and the city’s lack of urgency is troubling. We need your help to keep up pressure on the city to commit to a detailed plan and timetable for a connected network of protected bike lanes.

Here’s how you can help:

  1. Most valuable: Come to the city council meeting tomorrow, Monday January 30, and speak out in support of an expansive Spring network. Public comment starts at 5:30pm, you can call (617) 349-4280 to sign up until 3pm or sign up in person until 6pm. Say that you are speaking about CMA 2017 #27 (the bike safety work plan). We’ll put up talking points here. RSVP and share on Facebook.
  2. If you can’t make Monday’s council meeting, please write or call your City Councillors and the City Manager expressing your disappointment at the lack of urgency and the narrow scope in the plans for protected lanes. Numbers for each City Councillor are available here.

Sincerely,
Annie, Nate, and other members of the CBS core team


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Cambridge Bike Safety Update

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 20

Got this in the email from the Cambridge Bike Safety Folks:

 

Happy New Year! We hope you had a wonderful holiday season. We’re excited to report that planning for the Spring protected bicycle lane pilots is now in full swing. We want to thank everyone that helped us get to this point – without everyone who turned up to city council, writing to councillors, spreading the word, the network would not be on the table.

In December, the city installed pop-up protected bike lanes on Mass Ave in Central Square near the Mass and Main intersection, and north of Harvard Square, in front of the Harvard Law School. As planning for the spring network of popups ramps up, we want to express positive feedback to the city about the winter popups and remind them that we are all paying attention to what happens this spring.

It would be very helpful for you to take both of the following two actions:

  1. Contact the city council, the new City Manager Louis DePasquale, and Deputy City Manager Lisa Peterson, and thank them for the winter pop-ups. Even just a short note to thank them for making us safer and to request an expansive network of similar protected bike lanes this spring will go a long way.Email [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], and copy [email protected].
  2. Take our short five question survey to provide feedback about the winter pop-ups.

Thanks for your time and stay warm!
Nate, Annie, and other CBS core members

On Tuesday 1/24, the city will be presenting options for the Inman Square redesign. See here for more details.


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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Harvard Bridge connection to the PDW path: proposed improvement November 18, 2017
      TweetLet’s look at how well bicycle routes around the Boston end of the Harvard Bridge (Massachusetts Avenue bridge over the Charles River) might be improved.. Here is a Google maps overview of the area. There are two special bicycle routes … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Harvard Bridge connection to the PDW path: proposed improvement November 18, 2017
      TweetLet’s look at how well bicycle routes around the Boston end of the Harvard Bridge (Massachusetts Avenue bridge over the Charles River) might be improved.. Here is a Google maps overview of the area. There are two special bicycle routes … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Harvard Bridge connection to the PDW path: proposed improvement November 18, 2017
      TweetLet’s look at how well bicycle routes around the Boston end of the Harvard Bridge (Massachusetts Avenue bridge over the Charles River) might be improved.. Here is a Google maps overview of the area. There are two special bicycle routes … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Mass and Beacon: looking at the larger picture. November 18, 2017
      TweetLet’s look at how well bicycle routes around the Boston end of the Harvard Bridge (Massachusetts Avenue bridge over the Charles River) might be improved.. Here is a Google maps overview of the area. There are two special bicycle routes … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Harvard Bridge connection to the PDW path: proposed improvement November 18, 2017
      TweetLet’s look at how well bicycle routes around the Boston end of the Harvard Bridge (Massachusetts Avenue bridge over the Charles River) might be improved.. Here is a Google maps overview of the area. There are two special bicycle routes … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Harvard Bridge connection to the PDW path: proposed improvement November 18, 2017
      TweetLet’s look at how well bicycle routes around the Boston end of the Harvard Bridge (Massachusetts Avenue bridge over the Charles River) might be improved.. Here is a Google maps overview of the area. There are two special bicycle routes … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Harvard Bridge connection to the PDW path: proposed improvement November 18, 2017
      TweetLet’s look at how well bicycle routes around the Boston end of the Harvard Bridge (Massachusetts Avenue bridge over the Charles River) might be improved.. Here is a Google maps overview of the area. There are two special bicycle routes … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Harvard Bridge connection to the PDF path: proposed improvement November 18, 2017
      TweetLet’s look at how well bicycle routes around the Boston end of the Harvard Bridge (Massachusetts Avenue bridge over the Charles River) might be improved.. Here is a Google maps overview of the area. There are two special bicycle routes … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Harvard Bridge connection to the PDW path: proposed improvement November 18, 2017
      TweetLet’s look at how well bicycle routes around the Boston end of the Harvard Bridge (Massachusetts Avenue bridge over the Charles River) might be improved.. Here is a Google maps overview of the area. There are two special bicycle routes … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Mass and Beacon: looking at the larger picture. November 18, 2017
      TweetLet’s look at how well bicycle routes around the Boston end of the Harvard Bridge (Massachusetts Avenue bridge over the Charles River) might be improved.. Here is a Google maps overview of the area. You may click on it to … Continue reading →
      jsallen