The City of Cambridge has removed motor vehicle lanes and delineated new protected bikeways on several streets around Harvard Square, partly in response to the recent deaths of Darryl Willis, 55, killed in August while riding his bike in the square’s previously-unprotected bike lane, and Sharon Hamer, 67, a retired Boston Public Schools librarian, who was killed in September 2019 while walking across Brattle Street on the other side of the square.
These “quick-build” improvements on Brattle Street and Massachusetts Avenue are only an interim safety measure until a planned reconstruction of the Harvard Square plaza makes the changes permanent with new curbs, crosswalks, and traffic signals. That project is expected to break ground within the next few months.
Meanwhile, the City of Cambridge is also putting finishing touches on two other quick-build bikeway improvements nearby: a new eastbound protected bike lane on Mt. Auburn Street, and a perpendicular route that would link the Charles River paths to Cambridge Street:
A state compilation of Uber and Lyft data from 2021 data indicates that those companies' drivers were involved in 2,267 crashes across Massachusetts last year. Nearly half of those crashes – 1,098 – occurred in the City of Boston.
“We’re keeping in place some of the changes that have helped with traffic flow and transit access, so that commuters will see lasting benefit above ground even as the subway comes back online,” said Mayor Michelle Wu in an announcement released early Tuesday morning.
The version of the legislation which passed both the House and Senate this week includes a compromise: the new lighting rules can’t be the primary purpose for a police stop, and can’t be used as conclusive evidence of contributory negligence in a civil suit.