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A view of Main Street in Cambridge shows a UHaul storefront with a moving truck parked out front, several cars on the road, and a pedestrian crossing in the background. Tere are traditional bike lanes in both directions.

Cambridge Launches Separated Bike Lane Project on Main Street

The City of Cambridge plans to install quick-build separated bike lanes on Main Street between Massachusetts Avenue and Portland Street in 2023 and will launch the project with a virtual community meeting and in-person open house in March.  

Map shows the project area for the Main Street Safety Improvement Project. A blue line runs down Main Street between Portland Street, near Newtowne Court, and Lafayette Square. Another segment connects Main Street to Mass Ave via the Sidney Street Extension.The Main Street Safety Improvement Project will help create a more-comfortable and safer bicycle connection between Central Square and the Port, improve existing crosswalks, and make changes to parking and loading. This “quick-build” project will change the layout of the street with new pavement markings, signs, and flex posts.   

Outreach will begin with two March events:  

  • Community Meeting on Zoom: Thursday, March 16, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Click here to learn more.
  • In-Person Open House: Wednesday, March 22, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the corner of Main Street and Bishop Allen Drive. Click here to learn more

At these events, community members will learn about the goals of the project and give pre-design feedback. These will be the first of three planned virtual community meetings and two planned in-person open houses.  

Quick-build projects like this one do not require construction: we do not plan to dig into the ground or make changes to the width or shape of the road. Instead, the City uses paint, flex-posts, new signage, minor traffic signal upgrades, and changes to signal timing. These methods allow us to make changes to our streets more rapidly and to make adjustments even after a design is installed.  

Main Street will eventually have separated bike lanes that connect Central Square to Kendall Square, including a mixture of quick-build and full-construction separated bike lanes. The Main Street Safety Improvement Project is one of several planned or in-progress projects that will add to this network, including the City's Grand Junction Multi-Use Path Project and separated bike lanes being constructed by private developers. 

Main Street is a key piece in the City of Cambridge’s plan for a safe, connected bicycle network. Separated bicycle lanes increase comfort for people biking by using a barrier to separate them from vehicle traffic. The City’s goal is to encourage more people to bike and increase safety by building a network of these separated lanes, connecting important destinations throughout Cambridge. Safer, more comfortable bike infrastructure helps us get closer to “Vision Zero”—our commitment to eliminating transportation-related deaths and serious injuries while increasing healthy, equitable mobility for all. 

The Main Street Safety Improvement Project will also help the City meet the requirements of the Cycling Safety Ordinance, which mandates that Cambridge install 25 miles of separated bicycle lanes by 2026.  

Interested in getting involved? Sign up for the project email list, check out the project webpage at www.cambridgema.gov/MainStreetSafety, or attend the events above to learn more. 

Page was posted on 2/28/2023 3:58 PM
Page was last modified on 2/28/2023 4:26 PM
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