QUICK-BUILD BIKE LANES ARE UNSAFE AND DAMAGE COMMUNITIES
Right turn? Bus lane? Loding zone? Parking space? Can I stop for a coffee?
The City of Cambridge must:
Implement a process and design that respects neighborhood residents and businesses
Replace the parking required for a thriving businesses and communities
Honor the pledge to "enhance the business environment"
Establish and use the community advisory committee ordered by City Council in January 2022
Perform impact studies before further bike lane installations as ordered by the City Council in January 2022
Coming to Your Street Soon!
Late Summer 2022 Installation
Quick Build Bike Lanes Mason to Spark St.
May 24, 6 pm
Community Outreach Zoom #1 (info)
Installation: to be announced
This website and a mail group were created in January 2022 when signs appeared in Porter Square announcing a community outreach Zoom about installing Quick Build bike lanes. The City outlined its intention to install the same awful configuration as North Mass Ave near the Arlington border (the new, improved version is pictured above). The installation was to happen in the Spring, giving the neighborhood very short notice of these high-impact, detrimental changes.
The North Mass Ave Quick-Build bike lane configuration removed all parking and loading zones. Travel lanes on this critical gateway in and out of Cambridge were reduced to one in each direction to accommodate a dedicated bus lane to support five buses per hour. There was no way to access the sidewalk from a car except to stop in the middle of the single travel lane. Customers and clients could no longer access their favorite shops, restaurants, doctors, and therapists. Although some improvements happened months later, the site is still confusing, dangerous, and harmful to businesses and service providers.
More on Porter Square is covered below.
Cycling Safety Ordinance
Cambridge neighborhood residents, in general, support safe cycling and lanes. However, the Cycling Safety Ordinance is not about safety. It's about installing bike lanes at all costs with specific provisions to ignore collateral damage.
The Cycling Safety Ordinance amended in 2020 (read Chapter 12.22) dictates the installation of 22.6 miles of protected bikes in Cambridge by 2026. Except for the title and introduction paragraph, there is no mention of "safety" in the body of the ordinance, nor does it have any other safety-related words like enforcement, training, education, markings, signs, measurement, metrics, or pedestrian. There is no mention of the safety of any other stakeholders except cyclists. Although the City Council has approved over $80M for a 3-mile section, there is no budget nor public accounting of the costs for the project.
Absent is the requirement to consider the businesses, neighborhoods, or other street users, except for the sentence: "Some impacts to motor vehicle traffic flow and some parking/loading loss shall not result in a determination that Temporary Traffic Control Device Separated Bicycle Lanes and or Quick-Build Separated Bicycle Lanes cannot be installed." Quick-Build installations inflict more than "some impacts," they remove almost all parking on affected streets. Section E of the ordinance requires the City Manager to install Quick Build bike lanes if the negative impacts cannot be resolved within a year. So, the City Manager must knowingly cause damage to residents and businesses.
7 out of 9 City Councilors signed a pledge to "do everything in my power to ensure the successful implementation of the ordinance." and further, " I will not vote for any proposal that weakens the ordinance or delays its timelines." (read)
Bike lane installations violate the following sentence in the pledge: "This should be done in a way that supports transit, improves pedestrian safety, protects the tree canopy, and enhances the business environment."
Removing loading zones and most customer parking critically damages the business environment. As a major artery, Mass Ave has many doctors, therapists, shops, and restaurants that serve a regional clientele that arrive by car.
Quick-Build Bike Lanes
The City continues to march through Cambridge neighborhoods one by one to fulfill the Cycling Safety Ordinance. At neighborhood outreach meetings, eager bikers who don't live in the area or even the City drown out residents' input. Neighborhood residents are not opposed to bike lanes but against Quick-Build construction that inflicts severe collateral damage on residents and businesses. Quick-Build installations mean most parking is removed from the affected streets and remove critical access for stakeholders.
Portersquareneignborhood.com has no affiliation but the utmost respect for the Porter Square Neighborhood Association which can be found at www.portersquare.net