Vision Zero

On March 21, 2016, the Cambridge City Council unanimously adopted Vision Zero. See the resolution here.

What is Vision Zero?

Vision Zero is a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. First implemented in Sweden in the 1990s, Vision Zero has proved successful across Europe — and is now gaining momentum in major American cities.

Vision Zero focuses on identifying the steps necessary to meet the goal of zero fatalities and severe injuries and creating the collaborative framework needed to meet the goal.

How will Cambridge implement Vision Zero?

While the city has promoted safe and sustainable transportation for many years, Vision Zero will focus our efforts on identifying and eliminating the preventable causes of traffic fatalities and serious injuries. Efforts will include changes to roadway design and operation, public engagement and education to involve all Cambridge residents in making our City a safe place, and strategic enforcement of traffic rules and regulations.

The City is in the process of developing a Vision Zero Action plan which will lay out the various elements of the initiative.

Whats Happening Now?

Volunteers Sought for Vision Zero Advisory Committee

Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale is seeking volunteers to serve on a newly formed Vision Zero Advisory Committee.

Vision Zero is a commitment the City has made to eliminate all traffic related fatalities and serious injuries while increasing safe, healthy, and equitable mobility for all. The City is creating the Vision Zero Advisory Committee to help guide our progress and ensure our work reflects the values of our community. The Committee will be made up of Cambridge residents as well as representatives of local advocacy groups including Livable Streets, WalkBoston, Boston Cyclists’ Union, Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition, Cambridge Bicycle Safety, the City’s Bicycle Committee, Pedestrian Committee and Transit Advisory Committees, the Commission for Persons with Disabilities, local universities, and the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, as well as City staff.

All Cambridge residents who are passionate about making the City a safer place to live, work, and play and who want to work collaboratively to meet the goals of Vision Zero are encouraged to apply.

The Advisory Committee will meet quarterly.

Interested persons should submit a letter of interest by email by December 16, 2016 describing their relevant experience and their professional/personal interest in Vision Zero to:
City Manager Louis A. DePasquale
City of Cambridge
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139

Protected Bike Lane Demonstration Begins December 2016

Through a number of Policy Orders and other discussions, the City Council and the Cambridge community have made clear the strong desire for a demonstration of temporary protected bike lane infrastructure prior to the winter season. Such a demonstration will allow the City to gain experience with the installation and maintenance of the flexible delineators that are typically used for these types of bike lanes, as well as the ongoing maintenance and operations associated with street sweeping and snow clearance. At the same time, this will provide an opportunity for a short-term expansion of the bicycle network, while pointing towards more significant projects that we plan to implement next year.

The City has identified two locations that were identified as priority locations for protected bicycle lanes in the Cambridge Bicycle Plan and where we believe that installing protected bike lanes will add meaningfully to the safety of the system. These locations are also maintainable through the winter season.

Based on these goals and criteria, we will implement the following demonstrations of protected bike lane infrastructure using temporary materials before the winter season:

  • Massachusetts Avenue Northbound (east/odd side of the street) from Sidney Street to Douglass Street: This is the area in front of the proposed Mass+Main residential and retail development project, and would involve creating a parking-protected bicycle lane in this area, with the use of flexible delineators to further separate the parking from the bike lane.
  • Massachusetts Avenue Northbound (east/odd side of the street) from Waterhouse Street to Everett Street: This location runs in front of the Harvard Law School, in an area with an existing bike lane located adjacent to parking. The proposed improvement would involve removing the parking to provide a separated bike lane protected by flexible delineators while maintaining two travel lanes on Massachusetts Avenue.
Demo Bike Lane Locations

City staff will monitor these locations carefully over the winter and decide whether these can be retained or expanded, whether further adjustments are needed, or whether one or both should be removed.

Information on bicycle facilities, including a description of protected bicycle lanes (also known as separated bicycle lanes) can be found here: Bike Toolbox

For more information on the bike lane demonstration, please contact the Traffic Department at 617.349.4734/

For a printable flyer, click here.

How can I learn more about Vision Zero?

Vision Zero Network

Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition

Explore Vision Zero Initiatives in other US Cities:

New York City

San Francisco


To join our Vision Zero mailing list, send us an email.