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Please add a safe walking connection from Alewife Brook Parkway and Alewife station to Fawcett.
Bravo, Sara! Yes, absolutely a bridge now!
If current and perspective residents see no easy access to the Alewife T, the markets, the playing fields at Denehey, or the schools, they will expect to drive.
And, one more van/pedestrian/bike bridge neighboring Jefferson Houses. Equity demands comparable access, again to the markets, playing fields, and schools for all.
Cyclists are not required to walk their bikes across that bridge - they are permitted to ride on all sidewalks in Cambridge except in designated business districts (see maps here: https://www.cambridgema.gov/CDD/Transportation/gettingaroundcambridge/bikesincambridge/~/link.aspx?_id=BD4B83211EBA43E98B5D63A4ACBB8E09&_z=z).
They do need to make sure they ride safely on sidewalks, though. From a different city webpage: "Cambridge traffic regulations require that bicyclists on sidewalks travel at a walking speed and yield to pedestrians." https://www.cambridgema.gov/CDD/Transportation/gettingaroundcambridge/bikesincambridge/bikefaq
When was the last time you experienced a bicycle being driven on a sidewalk at the speed of s pedestrian?
That’s 100% of the problem right there.
No enforcement means no one adheres to the law.
I would recommend all bicycle drivers abide by the law to avoid citation and fines.
SECTION 12.7: RIDING ON SIDEWALKS
The operator of a bicycle shall ride at a speed no greater than an ordinary walk when on a sidewalk or when entering or leaving a sidewalk.
I can only speak for myself when I say that I bike over that bridge frequently, and given how steep it is, it is hard to ride any faster than someone moving at a jogging pace. Perhaps that's because I usually ride with a kid in tow.
I will also add this: the sidewalk we are all referring to is not really a sidewalk. It is a multi-use path. Unsurprisingly, given that the path on the east side of the bridge connects to the multi-use path in front of Fresh Pond Mall (Whole Foods) and the Alewife Linear Path, this "sidewalk" is actually classified as a multi-use path. The width of the sidewalk over the bridge and on either side of the bridge also attests to it being a multi-use path. Attached is part of CDD's bicycle facilities map indicating that this is a multi-use path (full map here: https://www.cambridgema.gov/~/media/Files/CDD/Maps/Bike/cddmap_bikefacilities_20191126.pdf?la=en)
*Obviously* cyclists need to safely yield/go around pedestrians. But the real problem here, as noted in the original SCF issue, is a broad lack of connectivity in the Alewife area. The area is dominated by vehicle-oriented infrastructure, and vehicles are the true menace in the area for pedestrians, whether walking in the crosswalk across the Fresh Pond Mall entrance, walking between Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, or crossing Rindge Ave at Alewife Brook Parkway. There need to be more pedestrian and cyclist facilities, full stop.
We must design all paths so that they incorporate safety for all people using them. That includes pedestrians, mobility scooter users, baby strollers, people with dogs, bicycle users and cars.
Deciding to ignore some users of a path at the request of one user of a path in the design will result in injuries to someone.
This issue is not one to be considered in isolation, sorry about that.
Thank you everyone for chiming in. I originally posted because with a single way to Alewife, there are many potential hazards with our sole way to cross the rail tracks and get to Alewife. I agree with Sara that we need another way. I agree with Arthur that we need multiple ways to get over the rail track that are restricted to pedestrians and cyclists. I appreciate the additional perspectives of Ryan and Scf.
To be honest, I always thought that the cyclists were illegally riding on the sidewalk. Thank you for clarifying this for me Ryan. But even though cycles are legally on the sidewalk, I find cyclists always ask pedestrians to move instead of just getting off and walking their bikes. With all of the new people living in this part of Cambridge, we have more people crossing the bridge on their feet or on their bikes. I think that everyone has to part to making safe to cross the bridge, pedestrians moving over and cyclists walking their bikes when there are high pedestrian volume times.
Thank you all for contributing to this conversation.
Now city planners and traffic engineers, it is time for you to chime in and let us know your plans. Thanks and City Hall- DR your turn to speak. Your silence has been deafening.
When building a new building or a larger multi building development, would anyone think to build the roads years after people move in? THEN, why are the preferred modes of travel—walk, bike, bus—left with no easy way from the Quad or neighboring Jefferson Houses on Rindge Avenue, across the commuter rail? Transit and market centric should mean something to people who walk, bike, and take the bus.
Mr. City Manager and CCD, take note.
I am discouraged by the responses of those who hold the power to influence change.
Overall, the Alewife/Fresh Pond area is poorly planned and needs to be worked over to accomplish safe and efficient walking, cycling, and driving.
I find it very hard to believe that the current layout is the best we can come up with.
Voting lets your government know.
What is this?