Cambridge Street in Cambridge now has protected bike lanes!

This week, the City of Cambridge began installing protected bike lanes on Cambridge Street west of Inman Square! As of Thursday, line markers had been painted and flex posts were starting to be installed.

The protected bike lane being installed on August 24th.

The protected bikes lane were created after a sustained campaign by advocates including Cambridge Bike Safety and the Bike Union to push the City of Cambridge to rapidly implement a connected network of protected bike lanes following the death of two cyclists in Cambridge in 2016. As part of this campaign we led a parking study on this section of Cambridge Street last year, demonstrating that removal of the approximately 90 parking spaces to accommodate the protected bike lanes would not be detrimental to the neighborhood and mitigation steps could be taken to alleviate the loss.

Since last fall, protected bike lanes have been installed on Brattle Street in Harvard Square and three sections of Mass Ave, and earlier this month we helped mobilize hundreds of people (including many of you!) in support of the Brattle Street protected bike lanes after pushback from the Harvard Square Business Association.

The installation of the Cambridge Street protected bike lanes is truly a watershed moment. They will be the longest stretch of on-street protected bike lanes installed in the region to date — .08 miles! –and will provide a safe biking route for students of Cambridge Rindge and Latin as well as the hundreds of people who bike between Inman and Harvard Square.

Check out this video to see what it’s like to ride in the new protected bike lanes!

Save the date for Biketoberfest: Election Edition!

This year’s Biketoberfest is a special one! With so many local elections this November in the Boston area, we want to give our members a chance to learn about and meet candidates while enjoying beer from local breweries, celebrating all of our successes this year and forging connections with other residents and neighbors to gear up for more work ahead of us!

We’ll have free food, free beer/wine/cider, a raffle packed with great prizes, music to dance to with over 300 bike friends, and special guest speaker, Cambridge City Councilor Nadeem Mazen!

Stay tuned for announcements about our sponsors, raffle prizes and how to purchase tickets! For now, save the date!

Friday, October 20th, 6:30 – 9:30 PM
Hibernian Hall
184 Dudley St, Roxbury, Massachusetts 02119

How biking to Montreal changed my view of Boston’s bike infrastructure

By Alex Frieden

This past Spring, I signed up for Bostreal, a fundraising trip for the Boston Cyclists Union where 30 Bostonians bike 400 miles at the end of May from Boston to Montreal, both to support the work of the Bike Union and to experience Montreal’s excellent bike infrastructure.

During the day, I work in Cancer Diagnostics on the Longwood Medical Campus at a joint appointment for Dana Farber and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Most nights you can find me doing advocacy for bikes, walkable streets, and places for people in the trifecta that is Boston/Cambridge/Somerville. I currently lead the Somerville Bike Committee Evaluation and Planning Group which helps me think about what mix of infrastructure should exist on a street for all road users on a regular basis.

Basically, I’m a Batman bicycle vigilante saving and protecting the streets… one public meeting at a time. That is to say, I’m no stranger to bike advocacy,  so it was quite a surprise to me that my experience biking in Montreal would be so powerful.

Continue reading How biking to Montreal changed my view of Boston’s bike infrastructure

Victory in Cambridge!

20622063_1891701444192836_765679847826396053_n The Brattle Street 2-way protected bike lane. Photo courtesy of Cambridge Bike Safety.

Earlier this month, Cambridge installed a new 2-way protected bike lane on Brattle Street in Harvard Square that was proposed during participatory budgeting. The new design has dramatically transformed Brattle Street into a slower, safer street for all users, especially people biking and walking.

Unfortunately, due to opposition to the Brattle Street lane from the Harvard Square Business Association, three Cambridge City Councilors sponsored a policy order that could have stopped all work on all new “pop-up” protected bike lanes, until City staff met with every single Business Association in Cambridge.

Passage of this order could have dramatically delayed installation of all planned protected bike lanes and threatened the City’s ability to install the protected bike lanes that are planned for Cambridge Street west of Inman Square.

In response to the policy order and a potential moratorium on new protected bike lanes, the Bike Union and Cambridge Bike Safety mobilized hundreds of people to write letters to the City Council and speak at the Council meeting on Monday, August 7th, the day the order would be voted on.

At that meeting, Cambridge residents, bike advocates and patrons of Harvard Square businesses passionately voiced their support for protected bike lanes and their opposition to the Policy Order, for nearly 3 hours!

Thanks to the overwhelming opposition to the policy order, the City Council amended the order, striking the paragraph that included the moratorium language and replacing it with a paragraph calling for a roundtable event with a broad range of constituencies to discuss how to most effectively communicate with the public about these projects and their implementation.

The new policy order was passed unanimously by the Council.

We’d like to thank Cambridge Bike Safety and everyone who wrote emails, tweeted, came to Monday night’s meeting, and testified about the importance of moving forward with the rapid implementation of a connected network of protected bike lanes! Had we not responded so overwhelmingly, the Council likely would have passed the original policy order, and Cambridge could have instituted a moratorium on new “pop-up” protected bike lanes.