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Three photos:  three people leisurely biking in Cambridge; an adult biking with a child on in a child seat; a young woman holding up a map as another person who is wearing a bike helmet leans over a table

2020 Bicycle Network Vision

The 2015 Cambridge Bicycle Plan includes an ambitious Bicycle Network Vision containing over 100 miles of existing, in-progress, and proposed bike facilities. The goal is to create a network of streets and off-street paths that are safe, comfortable, and convenient for people of all ages and abilities who want to bike in Cambridge. When complete, the Network will make it easier and more comfortable for people to travel by bicycle to and from homes, jobs, shopping, schools, parks, and other places throughout the city.

Bicycle Network Vision Video

The video below provides a basic overview of the work we've done to create the proposal for additions to the Bicycle Network Vision, watch the video to learn more.

Updating the Vision

As a part of the initial round of outreach for the 2020 Bicycle Plan update, we asked people to suggest changes to the Network Vision. We collected this feedback in-person and online. This input was incorporated into an overall assessment of the network, which included:

  • determining how comfortable and bike friendly each street is based on motor vehicle traffic, speeds, presence of on-street parking, bus routes and heavy vehicle traffic, and amount of space available;
  • identifying streets that would enhance the network, including filling missing links to enable people to travel to key destinations (works, parks, places to shop, transit stations, schools, etc.);
  • considering which additional streets would help towards the goal of providing equal access for all people.

Based on public input and our analysis, we put together a set of proposed changes. We collected feedback on this proposal through October 10, 2020.

We asked are there streets/corridors that should be added to the proposal? Are there streets/corridors in the proposal that should be recategorized or removed? Are there streets in the proposal that you want to express support for? People were able to submit comments via the feedback map or the feedback form.

Network Vision Map and Table

The map below shows the 2015 Bicycle Network Vision (solid lines) and the proposed additions (dashed lines). A list of streets is available for people who cannot access the map. The map below is for informational purposes only, use the comment map to view feedback that was submitted through the map.

Network Implementation

The Network will be built over time as projects are completed through:

  • the City’s Five-Year Plan for Sidewalk and Street Reconstruction;
  • as part of ongoing land development and redevelopment; and
  • through a quick-build implementation.

In April of 2019, the Cambridge City Council passed the Cycling Safety Ordinance, which requires the City to install separated bike facilities that are included in the Network Vision when the street is reconstructed as a part of the City’s Five-Year Plan for Sidewalk and Street Reconstruction.

Types of Facilities

The Network Vision includes a selection of streets and paths in Cambridge that will be prioritized for high-quality bicycle infrastructure improvements. It includes three general categories of facilities: 

  • Off-street paths
  • Separated bike facilities
  • Lower-traffic-volume/lower-speed streets

Off-Street Paths

Off-Street bike path, with pavement markings indicating the directions of travel

Kittie Knox Bike Path (Cambridge, MA)

A person biking on an off-street path

Indianapolis Cultural Trail (Indianapolis, IN)

Off-street paths are primarily through parks and open spaces and along linear corridors such as rail lines and rivers. There are many ways to implement and enhance off-street paths, such as building rail trails on former railroads, providing separation between people biking and walking, incorporating wayfinding, building trails along waterways, and enhancing street crossings through features such as signals.

Greater Separation

People biking along the Western Ave separated bike lane, which is at sidewalk level;  from left to right there is the sidewalk, a row of trees, the bike lane, planters, the rest of the street, including the general travel lanes

Western Avenue separated bike lane (Cambridge, MA)

A separated bike lane next to a floating bus stop, two people are biking in the lane and two other people are standing at the bus stop

Wayne Avenue separated bike lane (Silver Spring, MD)

The greater separation category generally refers to separated bike lanes (SBLs), which provide physical separation between people biking and people driving on streets with higher volumes and speeds. Since they are typically on major streets, SBLs provide access to shopping, jobs, neighboring communities, and the regional trail network. 

Separated bike lanes may be at sidewalk level or street level. The materials used to provide separation depend on the type of implementation. Construction projects may include concrete buffers or landscaping, while quick-build projects may include plastic flex posts.

Lower-Volume/Lower-Speed Streets

Street with priority bike lane markings

Priority bike lanes on Lakeview Avenue (Cambridge, MA)

People biking on a street with a contraflow bike lane

Contraflow bike lane on SE Clinton Street (Portland, OR)

Lower-volume/lower-speed streets are primarily in residential areas and other less busy areas. These types of streets provide access within and between neighborhoods, and to local parks and schools. They are often suitable for biking with little modification. Some lower-volume/lower-speed streets may include dedicated bicycle facilities, such as standard bike lanes, buffered bike lanes, and contraflow bike lanes on one-way streets. Additionally, streets that need treatments to manage speeds may have elements like raised intersections, which encourage people to drive at lower speeds, or traffic diverters, which allow people on bikes to continue on streets where motor vehicle access is restricted. 

Accessibility Statement

The City of Cambridge does not discriminate, including on the basis of disability. We may provide auxiliary aids and services, written materials in alternative formats, and reasonable modifications in policies and procedures to people with disabilities. For more information contact Najah Casimir at ncasimir@cambridgema.gov, 617-349-4359 (voice), or via relay at 711.

Page was posted on 9/16/2020 6:10 PM
Page was last modified on 7/25/2023 4:12 AM
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