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Action: Sign Letter On Crucial Inman Square Redesign Changes

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 19

From the email:

Want to ensure that the design Cambridge is fast-tracking for Inman Square maximizes our ability to deliver on a vibrant, people-centered neighborhood? Please review and sign our letter calling for changes right now! Read on for more info.

As you know, the city is redesigning Inman Square and has selected a signalized design. The city’s proposed signalized design includes a number of essential features including protected bike lanes throughout the intersection, floating bus stops at the edges of the intersection, and a bus priority lane through a congested part of the intersection.

Unfortunately, the design also has two significant flaws that a coalition of neighborhood groups and residents, including Cambridge Bicycle Safety, are asking to be addressed.

  1. The current design includes four lanes of motor vehicle traffic in the heart of Inman Square, which represents a significant increase relative to the status quo.

  2. Because the design dedicates so much space to motor vehicles, it requires the removal of most of Vellucci Park, including a number of mature trees, in order to create space for cars to queue while still allowing for a new plaza space in front of Punjabi Dhaba.

These flaws are not necessary. The Inman Square Coalition has put together a list of recommendations for how the plan can be modified to avoid these flaws. The full list of recommendations is available here, and a letter to the City Council, City Manager, and other city staff in support of the core recommendations is available here.

TAKE ACTION: Please sign onto our letter requesting the city make these changes. Add your name here and share this email with your networks.

In addition to signing the letter, we encourage you to write your own thoughts to [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected].

We’ve placed some FAQs below.

Sincerely,
The CBS core team

FAQ

Q: Does the design really work with only two lanes?

A: Yes, the Coalition’s proposal has been reviewed by a traffic engineer and it works.

Q: What about the fire trucks, ambulances, etc? Will they be able to get through with only two lanes?

A: Yes, they will be able to get through. The two lanes will be wide enough for cars to pull over and allow fire trucks and ambulances to pass, just like they do on other two-lane streets around the city. The city’s other signalized design option included only two lanes, and although it was not chosen, the city gave it a thumbs up on public safety grounds.

Q: Doesn’t Vellucci Park suck anyway? Who cares?

A: Vellucci Park can and should get a makeover as part of the redesign process. But, its 40-year old trees – and their environmental and quality-of-life benefits – cannot easily be replaced. Also, even in the long run, the city’s design appears to create a net loss of contiguous open space, particularly when one looks closely at the placement of driveways in the proposed new plaza space. In contrast, if Vellucci is preserved and a new plaza space is created, the redesign results in a significant net increase in open space.

Q: Doesn’t the city’s design include protected bike lanes? Why are we still complaining?

A: Yes, the city’s design includes a number of awesome features, in particular, protected bike lanes throughout the intersection, which is a huge win for bike safety! However, that doesn’t mean that the design doesn’t have significant flaws, including safety flaws due to excessive speed at off-peak hours, etc., which the city should correct.

Q: I have additional concerns with the design. Should I still sign this letter?

A: Yes! And also send your other concerns separately. We are not claiming that this is an exhaustive list of concerns with the design. The Coalition’s two core recommendations are structural changes with the design that must be addressed ASAP in the design process, so it’s important to focus a broad consensus behind the need to make those two changes at this moment.


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Cambridge Releases Crash Report For The Year

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 02

Summary, lots of new riders, so more crashes, but crash rate down.  Overall good news, as the number of riders has skyrocketed the crash per-capita has gone down, meaning that more riders have lead to safer riding.

Still a lot of work to go, but its moving in the right direction (at least in Cambridge it is)

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Crime Analysis Unit at the Cambridge Police Department (CPD) has conducted analysis of the traffic crashes occurring within the CPD jurisdiction over the past 15 years. The available data includes crash calls for service (any call requesting police assistance related to a traffic collision), crash reports (any collision that is severe enough to require a police report), and incidents requiring transport to the hospital by Emergency Medical Services (EMS).

The Unit’s primary goal has been to understand trends in crash incidents in the context of population growth and changes in ridership (i.e., increasing numbers of bicyclists). This analysis resulted in the following conclusions:

x The total number of crashes occurring in the city has declined since the early 2000s, even as population and number of road users have increased. x While total crashes have declined, crashes involving cyclists increased by 28% from 2000 to 2015, corresponding with an increase in bike ridership. Normalizing for increases in bike ridership, the bike crash rate has declined since 2010, with more variability prior to 2010.

x A small portion of crashes required an EMS transport to the hospital – about 20% of crashes since 2010. Approximately half of crashes requiring EMS transport involved non-motorists.

x Crashes are distributed broadly across the city, with notable hotspots along Massachusetts Avenue from MIT to Central Square, the Harvard Square area, Massachusetts Avenue near Porter Square, and the Inman Square area.

x Two locations have had a particularly high incidence of crashes requiring EMS transport to the Hospital: Hampshire Street from Inman Square to Tremont Street, and Massachusetts Avenue from Vassar Street to Bigelow Street. These two locations accounted for 22% of all crashes requiring EMS transport in 2015 and 2016. These areas are heavily trafficked by cyclists and pedestrians, the road users most vulnerable to injury in the event of a crash. Other notable locations include the Kendall Square area near Broadway and Hampshire Street, along John F. Kennedy Street and Massachusetts Avenue near Harvard Square, and on Cambridge Street near 5th and 6th Streets

Read the full thing here (pdf)


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Come Out May 2 To Create A New Inman Square Safe For Everyone!

Written by Boston Biker on May 01

From the email:

Together, we’re making streets in Cambridge safer for all ages and abilities. As a result of our voices, we have seen some initial wins with pop-up lanes and great community support in favor of the city’s plans for Cambridge Street protected bike lanes. We need to continue this momentum this Tuesday, May 2 at the important Inman Square redesign meeting where the city will unveil the results of its months-long internal deliberations.

Cambridge St Update: 150 people showed up for the Cambridge Street protected bike lane meeting, and the tone was overwhelmingly positive, especially for making the street safe for the hundreds of CRLS students that bike or walk to school. Many bicyclists also emphasized the need to support local businesses and how this project can benefit them. The city has promised to begin construction in June, with one more public meeting between then and now, and we’ll keep you posted on how we can all make sure this project is a success.

Inman Sq Public Meeting: The other major project happening this Spring is the redesign of Inman Square, which will connect directly to the east end of the Cambridge Street protected bike lane. There is an important public meeting this Tuesday, May 2where city staff will present their preferred design and solicit feedback. All four of the designs presented at the last meeting, particularly the bend options, need significant changes to be as safe for all users as they can be. Thus, it’s crucial for as many of us as possible to come out on May 2 in support of safe, protected bicycle infrastructure and traffic calming! We deserve safe streets for all ages and abilities and the final design must reflect this.

 

When: Tuesday, May 2, 6-8pm (6-7: presentation, 7-8: discussion)

Where: Cambridge Public Library (Main Branch), Lower Level (L2)

Please RSVP so that your friends find out about it too!

 

Members of Cambridge Bike Safety have spent the last several months talking with local residents, businesses, neighborhood associations, and transportation professionals to understand how best to meet the needs of the community. CBS has put forward criteria for the project reflecting these conversations, based on safety, convenience, and environmental sustainability, and ranked the four proposed designs by the city. Read our full recommendation.

All plans meet the basic goal of providing safer bicycle facilities, in particular through the use of protected bicycle lanes. The Roundabout scores best on our metrics of safety, convenience, and environmental sustainability, with Bend Cambridge scoring second best.

Regardless of the design chosen, we expect that further changes will be needed, and Tuesday is a critical juncture to make these views known to the city.

Read our blog post for our full recommendation and considerations for all designs.

We hope to see you on May 2!

Sincerely,

All of us at Cambridge Bike Safety


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Crucial Inman Sq Meeting Tomorrow (Tues 1/24)

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 23

Get out there and let your voice be heard!

Got this in the email:


Inman Square is one of the most dangerous intersections in Cambridge and we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make it a place that’s safe for everyone. The city is in the process of redesigning the intersection and will be presenting their plans for public feedback tomorrow, Tuesday, Jan 24 and we need you to show up!

WHAT: Inman Square redesign public meeting
WHEN: Tomorrow, Tuesday January 24, 6–9PM
WHERE: Cambridge Hospital, 1493 Cambridge Street, Macht Building 3rd floor
RSVP and SHARE the Facebook event

It is critically important that we get a great turnout at the meeting to speak out for safer, protected infrastructure for people from 8 to 80 years old. There are two major design options: a “wrap-around” and the “peanut-about” proposed by the Boston Cyclists Union. (See designs for both here)

We look forward to seeing the city’s wrap-around options in more detail at the meeting, but based on what we know now, we strongly support the peanut-about proposal as it achieves the key goals of protected bike infrastructure, improved pedestrian safety, and efficient design. Representatives from Kittleson & Associates who worked on the peanut-about will be at the meeting tomorrow to answer questions.

KEY TALKING POINTS:

  • Inman Square is one of the city’s most dangerous intersections for bicyclists and pedestrians.

  • The top priority for the redesign must be to improve the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians of all ages.

  • Protected, separate bike infrastructure is absolutely necessary and must be a part of the solution. It will also maintain the vitality and uniqueness of the square.

  • The peanut-about design is the best option for the city to achieve the goals of a safer intersection for people of all ages and abilities.

One last note: If you haven’t filled out our survey about the pop-up winter pilot protected lanes on Mass Ave yet, please do so now! We’ve got over 150 responses so far. Please share it on Facebook & elsewhere so we can help make the spring network as successful as possible!

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


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Protected Bike Lanes Installed On Mass. Ave. In Central

Written by Boston Biker on Dec 09

The good folks in cambridge fighting for improved bike safety are claiming their first (of hopefully many) victories, with the installation of protected bike lanes in Central Square.

 

from their email:

We are excited to report major progress in the push for bike safety in Cambridge! Today, the City started to implement pop-up protected bike lanes on sections of Mass Ave! Additionally, the City has has committed to begin building a broader network of pop-up protected bike lanes this spring.

These are a major achievements and they would not have happened without you. The City Council and the new City Manager Louis DePasquale are responding to our petition signatures, phone calls, letter writing, rallies, and council meeting attendance. As a measure of the city’s commitment, the traffic department will be hiring an additional engineer in large part to help with the plans for increased bike infrastructure.

Our road to success has not been without challenges. As you may recall, in early November, the city had stated publicly that establishing even a single protected bike lane before the end of the year would be impossible due to the time needed for planning and the practical problems posed by snow and cold weather. This surprising reversal in policy was the result of our calls, letters and presence at council meetings letting City Hall know that we were not satisfied with the pace of progress.

Even as we celebrate, we recognize that we are still a long way from our goal of a network of protected bike infrastructure on all major thoroughfares. During the Winter, conversations will continue with city officials to work out details for the Spring roll-out of additional protected bike lanes. The city has not specified the exact plan for the spring pop-up network and we want to make sure that it is significant in scope and is as successful as possible. It will be important to voice our opinion at public meetings and, if necessary, at the council to make this happen. Let’s continue to use our collective power to ensure that we get the safe streets everyone deserves.


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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Defend Protected Bike Lanes In Cambridge From Being Removed! August 6, 2017
      Tweetfrom the email:   This Monday, August 7th, the Cambridge City Council will vote on a policy order which could put a moratorium on all new “pop-up” protected bike lanes. Earlier this month, Cambridge installed a new 2-way protected bike lane on … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • 8th Annual World Naked Bike Ride July 21, 2017
      TweetStarting location: 45 Danforth Street, Jamaica Plain, MA – 6PM Saturday! Final details for World Naked Bike Ride BOSTON! Pass it on! We've a pre-party location and will release that info 24 hrs prior to the ride. pic.twitter.com/dx15bKNZIh — WNBR Boston (@WNBRBoston) … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • 2017 Midnight Bike Ride – Saturday August 12th July 21, 2017
      TweetBoston by bike… at night. Saturday, August 12, 2017, Midnight ’til dawn Twenty ninth annual tour of architectural and historic sites. Meet at 11:15 pm in front of Trinity Church in Copley Square Bring a bicycle with a light and wear something reflective.  … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Action Alert: Send Thank Yous For Brattle St And Mass Ave Popups July 21, 2017
      TweetFrom 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 … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Bikes Not Bombs Update July 21, 2017
      TweetFrom The Email: We’re Hiring! We’re hiring! Please help us spread the word about our openings. Development Manager – Works to increase the organization’s visibility and cultivates, stewards and expands the relationships between Bikes Not Bombs and its donors at all … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Commonwheels Partners with Scouts to Help Homeless June 19, 2017
      This time we have guest authors from Girl Scout Troop 75006 who we partnered with this spring: This year, we really wanted to do something that would help our wider community. After looking into some issues we care about, we learned that there is a se... Continue reading →
      commonwheels
    • Commonwheels Partners with Scouts to Help Homeless June 19, 2017
      This time we have guest authors from Girl Scout Troop 75006 who we partnered with this spring: This year, we really wanted to do something that would help our wider community. After looking into some issues we care about, we learned that there is a se... Continue reading →
      commonwheels
    • Bikes Not Bombs Update June 19, 2017
      TweetOn Sunday June 4th we welcomed 635 riders to our 30th Annual Bike-A-Thon! These hard working riders raised over $176,000 for our youth, international and bike shop programs. Over 130 folks joined us on our brand new 100 mile Century … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • DCR Public Meeting On 6/27 RE: Morrissey Blvd Redesign June 19, 2017
      TweetFrom DotBike: On the evening of Tuesday 6/27 there is an important public meeting to learn about DCR’s preliminary plans for the redesign of Morrissey Boulevard and to provide feedback.   See below for details.     PUBLIC MEETING #3 … Continue reading →
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    • Livable Streets Update June 19, 2017
      TweetFrom the email: ———– What’s happening 3 reasons to sign up for Tour de Streets today Tour de Streets is LivableStreets’ biggest fundraiser of the year, and – more importantly – it’s a ton of fun! Here are three reasons to … Continue reading →
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