Harvard Square Business owners are trying to kill protected bike lanes in Cambridge. We need your help to defend them!


Update: We did it! Click here to read about the Cambridge City Council meeting.

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 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. For the first time there is now a safe route in and out of Harvard Square for people of all ages and abilities to ride a bike, allowing them to avoid the other streets where they’d have to ride in motor vehicle traffic.

Unfortunately, the Harvard Square Business Association has begun an active and unfounded opposition campaign to try and get the protected bike lanes on Brattle St removed, and are now taking their fight to the city council.

Three councilors (Simmons, Toomey, and Maher) have sponsored a policy order for Monday’s agenda that would stop all work on all new “pop-up” protected bike lanes, until City staff have met with every single Business Association in Cambridge.

Passage of this order could dramatically delay installation of all planned protected bike lanes and threatens the City’s ability to install and construct new lanes like the ones recently installed on Mass Ave, and in planning on Cambridge Street west of Inman Square.

We need to show up and speak up in favor of safer streets! The Cambridge City Council needs to see that an overwhelming number of people support protected bike lanes, and they shouldn’t cave to the pressure of one group.

We can all work together to address reasonable concerns with the Brattle Street design, and city staff are working to make small changes and address concerns, but eliminating the protected bike lane and delaying the implementation of more protected bike lanes is unacceptable.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Write to the city council right now (council@cambridgema.gov, and please copy info@cambridgebikesafety.org and info@bostoncyclistsunion.org) and ask them to vote against policy order O-14 on Brattle St. If you are a Cambridge resident, we suggest mentioning that voting against policy orders like this is important for getting your vote and that you’ll pay attention to how the vote turns out. Please be polite! If you wrote about Brattle before, you might reference that email, too.
  • Show up at the city council meeting this Monday and speak out encouraging the council to vote against this policy order. Note the unusual location:
    • When: Monday, August 7, 5:30pm
    • Where: Dr. Henrietta S. Attles Meeting Room, Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, 459 Broadway
    • What: Attend and speak against Policy Order O-14
You can sign up to speak by calling the City Council Office at 617-349-4280 on Monday between 9:00am and 3:00pm, or by signing up in person at the meeting between 5:00pm and 6:00 pm. If you come to the meeting late, you can usually also speak by responding to an invitation to speak at the end of public comment.
  • Contact local businesses in Harvard Square and speak with them about why the lanes are important. Be respectful and ask local business owners to support the installation of the bike lanes and speak out against the HSBA’s opposition. After you’ve contacted a business, please send a quick note to us at info@bostoncyclistsunion.org anleus know who you spoke to. Also, if you personally work or own a business in Harvard Square, please get in touch with us – we need your active support on this.
Last, we want the Harvard Square Business Association to see that bikes are GOOD for business!  You can also help by taking part in and amplifying a social media campaign, #boughtbybike. Go to Harvard Square businesses this weekend, make a purchase, and post on instagram or twitter. Use the hashtags #boughtbybike and #saferbrattle, and be sure to tweet at or tag us (@bostonbikeunion / @cambridgebikesafety) as well as the Harvard Square Business Association (@HarvardSquare). We will amplify and retweet, and hope that you do, too!


Show up and Speak up!


Cambridge City Council Meeting – Protected Bike Lane Policy Order

Monday, August 7, 5:30pm
Dr. Henrietta S. Attles Meeting Room, Cambridge Rindge and Latin School
459 Broadway

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