Brattle Street Two-way Separated Bike Lane
In 2022, the City launched a quick-build project to install separated bike lanes further along Brattle Street, from Mason Street to Mt. Auburn Street. Click here to learn more or visit www.cambridgema.gov/brattlestsafety
In late 2015, Cambridge residents voted through Participatory Budgeting to spend $50,000 to separate bicycles from traffic, in order to minimize conflicts between bicycles and vehicles and improve safety. In spring 2016, the Cambridge City Council adopted a Vision Zero Policy aimed at eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries, as well as a formal Complete Streets Policy, which reflects the City’s commitment to ensuring that our streets work for people traveling by all modes.
Brattle Street, between Mason Street and Eliot Street, had long been discussed as a critical link in the network for people who travel by bike, with a desire for enabling two-way travel, providing direct access to key destinations. This was discussed in depth through the Harvard Square Design Project in 2002-2004, and later through the 2015 Bicycle Plan process, with continuing requests through various public forums. Informed by the historic analyses and discussions, and aligned with the Vision Zero and Complete Streets Policies and additional City policies (Climate Action Plan, Growth Policy, Vehicle Trip Reduction Ordinance, School Wellness Policy, and others), the City used the Participatory Budgeting funds to install a two-way separated bicycle facility on Brattle Street in July 2017.
The goals of the project are to improve accessibility and safety for all users and make this section of Brattle Street more comfortable for cycling, walking, and accessing businesses and services in Harvard Square. The project proposal was discussed with the Harvard Square Business Association and the Cambridge Bicycle Committee and shared at a public open house forum with opportunity for feedback. The changes were implemented as a quick-build project: without construction, using materials like paint, signs, and flexible posts. The current street design includes a two-way separated bicycle facility, one travel lane, and two parking lanes.