In the wake of a tragic accident that took the life of a young Cambridge woman last month, many have called for quick action to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians in the busy Inman Square intersection where she was killed. During several recent visits to Inman, I have watched cars, pedestrians, and cyclists narrowly miss each other as they try to navigate the wide “no man’s land” that exists in the center of the square. There is a real, present danger right now for everyone using this public space, and that needs to change.
After one such visit in May, I introduced a policy order in the Cambridge City Council that requested the City Manager and relevant city staff to take another look at traffic volumes and safety in Inman during the evening rush hour. About a month later, a transportation study that had been initiated in 2015 was presented to residents at Cambridge Hospital. The study includes information about daily traffic volumes in Inman, and proposes some interesting and innovative ideas about how we could make the square a safer intersection for cyclists and pedestrians to traverse.
Now, the City is looking to move forward with the design and construction of safety improvements in Inman Square. There will be many options on the table, including “bending” Hampshire St. or Cambridge St. to form two distinct, compact intersections. There are also calls for protected bike lanes in the Square’s vicinity. I strongly encourage everyone who lives, works, or passes through Inman Square to take a moment to think about how they would like to see this area improved, and to communicate your thoughts to your elected officials. A joint public hearing will be held to discuss Inman Square safety issues and proposed changes at City Hall on July 19th starting at 5:30pm. As always, I encourage you to get in touch with me directly to share your thoughts.