Cycling in Cambridge

Is it safe?

In 2016, two cyclists were killed in accidents on Cambridge roads: Bernard Lavins, a 60-year-old doctor from Lexington biking through Porter Square, and Amanda Phillips, a 27-year-old Cambridge resident who worked at the local Diesel Cafe while studying nursing. (cbs, wickedlocal; Overall, from 2010-2014, "cyclists in Cambridge were involved in an average of 184 crashes per year". (globe)

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Currently in Cambridge

A few sitting council members commute by bike, and there is an active community of people who like to or want to bike, so Cambridge has been making roads into road-sharing.

  • The Council and city fast-tracked implementing a few protected lanes, and requested the City Manager "accelerate the planning and installation of two or more protected bike lanes of significant length, similar to the current project on Cambridge Street". (policy order, meeting final actions)
  • The Cambridge Development Department's page on getting around Cambridge by bike has an overview of the current city network and bike-sharing (Hubway) stations.
  • About 7% of residents bike to work, 6-9% of all trips in the city are taken by bike, and in 2009 65% of households owned at least one bicycle (source)
  • Biking has been increasing over the past 15+ years, but back in 1991 Cambridge established a Bicycle Committee with members of the public.
  • The Neighborhood and Long Term Planning, Public Facilities, and Arts and Celebrations committees held a public hearing on Feb 15 2017 to to discuss next steps on bike and transit safety. (here)
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Pushing the Envelope

What would an ideal Cambridge look like? Can it ever rival Amsterdam in bike accessibility and safety? What would it take for:

  • a complete network of separated or protected bike lines throughout the city?
  • secure places to park bikes through the city?
  • a ban on large trucks with poor visibility, high cabs and big clearances - as is being implemented by London in 2020? (the guardian)
  • requiring all trucks to have side guards?
  • any of these 9 suggestions in Tom Meek's editorial in the Cambridge Day?
  • require construction projects to be mindful of bike traffic, and not close bike lanes or remove bike parking, as has happened, for example, near 208 Concord Ave.?
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