Two important advocacy opportunities this week

River St. Reconstruction

On Tuesday , the City of Cambridge is hosting the first in a series of public meetings about major upgrades coming to River St. With the road design itself slated for changes, now is an ideal time for Cambridge to turn River St.’s narrow, cracked painted bike lane into a smooth, safe new protected bike lane.

River Street Reconstruction Public Meeting #1
Tuesday, March 26 // 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Cambridge Community Center – Gymnasium
5 Callender Street 02139 (off Howard St. near Western Ave.)
Childcare, snacks and refreshments provided

As the first public meeting for this project, Tuesday is primarily an opportunity for residents to tell the City what you like and don’t like about River St. We urge you to attend so the city hears from the many people who regularly bike along this route between Cambridge and Lower Allston, and within Cambridgeport, and who are frustrated with the current poor state of infrastructure. Having a safe, separated bike lane on River St. would also help avoid contraflow riding on the adjacent Western Ave cycletrack. The city’s initial bike plan shows a protected bike lane on River St., though in the past that hasn’t mean implementation. Your voices will ensure this critical feature is included in the final design.

Planning is scheduled to run throughout 2019, with construction set to begin early next year.

Suggested road improvements outlined in Cambridge’s draft plan.
Note the callout for a “separated bicycle facility”

Separately, Cambridge is considering an ordinance, proposed by our friends at Cambridge Bike Safety, that would require the city to build protected bike lanes when performing other road or sidewalk renovations on certain main roads — roads like River St. That ordinance is still pending. Though we are optimistic it will ultimately pass, until it does it’s important that we mobilize and you speak up to ensure safe bike infrastructure is included in this project and other ones like it. Here’s what you can do:

  • Show up and speak up! — Attend Tuesday’s hearing and tell Cambridge to install protected bike lanes on River St. alongside other road improvements.
  • Pinpoint your concerns — Using this Wikimap, you can note specific areas of concern along River St. Hate riding through a specific intersection? Put it on the map!

Cambridge has made steady progress in recent years in building out a protected, connected bike network. Let’s ensure they keep that momentum going!

Somerville Vision Zero Public Process

On Wednesday, Somerville will host the first in a series of community meetings intended to shape and accelerate the city’s Vision Zero strategy. We encourage all of you — especially Somerville residents — to attend to ensure your voices are heard and the safety of cyclists is adequately represented!

Vision Zero / Safe Streets Community Meeting
Wednesday, March 27 // 6:30pm
East Somerville Community School Auditorium
50 Cross St. Somerville, MA 02145

These are Somerville’s first public-facing hearings about Vision Zero, making this an excellent opportunity to shape important projects and policies for years to come.

If you can’t attend Wednesday’s inaugural meeting, there are two more hearings scheduled over the coming weeks:

Public Hearing on Traffic Calming and Pedestrian Safety
Wednesday, April 3 // 6 p.m
City Hall Council Chambers
93 Highland Ave.

Vision Zero / Safe Streets Community Meeting
Wednesday, April 24 // 6 p.m.
East Somerville Community School auditorium
50 Cross St.
(There is no meeting link with more information yet)

Somerville, like Cambridge, has made encouraging progress on bike safety in recent years. It boasts a rare gold-level rating from the League of American Bicyclists, and ranks among the top five cities nationwide for share of commuters who bike. We know Somerville shares our priorities around bikes, and this is your chance to help the city translate those beliefs into action.