Hubway and Huron Ave proposed cycletrack

Having a Hubway station near one’s home makes all the difference in the world in being able to use the system on a regular basis.  The attached letter from the City, on the Council’s agenda Monday night, explains how we’ll be seeing more Hubway stations in various parts of West Cambridge in the near and not-so-near future.

There is also an Order in asking the Manager to report back to the Council on constructing a separated bike lane and ADA compliant ramps along Huron Ave’s north side.  Properly constructed (without a lot of street or driveway crossings, with angled curbs and good sight lines), separated bike lanes can be good things.  When they double as sidewalks, have lots of streets and driveways cutting across them or have vertical curbs they can simply present a different set of hazards than riding on the road.  A lot, too, depends on one’s riding style.  As my kids get older, for example, they tend to bike faster and the risks posed by the sight line and drivewalk/street crossing issues associated with lanes such as the one on Vassar Street make them (and me) feel those streets are less safe than if there were more street space for cyclists.  It’s generally part of the never-ending discussion of where do bikes belong and how can the significantly differing levels of bike competence and confidence be accommodated on one street and revolves greatly around the question of should cyclists ride more like vehicles? In Cambridge, this stretch of road is one of the relatively few places where a protected lane could be installed without a lot of cross streets and with good sight lines.  Where it would come from- current travel lanes, the curb area?- is something the Manager would indicate in his report back.

Regardless of what the City does, there is no way the City can “guarantee” the safety of anyone on a bike and those of us who ride should always remember that that person who will keep you the safest, no matter how safely designed a street or path might be, is you.


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