Walk/Ride Day

WHEREAS: Green Streets Initiative, a Cambridge-based organization which celebrates and promotes awareness of healthy and sustainable commuting choices, hosting Walk/Ride Days on the last Friday of every month; and


WHEREAS: The 10th Anniversary of Green Streets Initiative Walk/Ride Day takes place on Friday, the 29th of April, 2016; and


WHEREAS: The City of Cambridge and dozens of Cambridge-based companies participate in the annual April through October Walk/Ride Day Corporate Challenge which will kick off on Friday, the 29th of April, 2016; and


WHEREAS: Cambridge, due to its physical characteristics and determined leadership, has the opportunity to show itself a model city in environmentally friendly transportation policy and practice; and


WHEREAS: We are in the midst of a local and worldwide climate crisis in which transportation is the biggest single emitting sector; and


WHEREAS: Cambridge’s Climate Action plan envisions harnessing “the capabilities of residents, businesses, and institutions to transform Cambridge into a city that… Relies on walking, bicycling, and transit for mobility”; and


WHEREAS: There are plentiful low-cost and easily available active, environmentally-friendly commuting options in and around Cambridge; and


WHEREAS: A partial closing of Memorial Drive, opening full lanes to car-free transportation, encourages novice cyclists who are intimidated by sharing the road with traffic to have an opportunity to ride long distances while enjoying the view of Boston along the Charles River; and


WHEREAS: Parts of Memorial Drive are closed to cars on Sundays from the last Sunday of April to the first Sunday of November between Western Avenue and Mount Auburn Street; and


WHEREAS: Other sections of Memorial Drive are closed to cars on July 4


WHEREAS: Memorial Drive has very few entry and exit points, and making it an ideal road for bikes and cars to co-ride and affects few commercial businesses (besides gas stations); and


WHEREAS: This temporary reconfiguration of Memorial Drive allows the road remains open to cars while  prioritizing the safety of cyclists; and


WHEREAS: This is an exciting opportunity for Cambridge and others to study the impact of making roads more inviting to non-car commuters; and


WHEREAS: Providing space for cyclists to safely bike on the roadway will allow pedestrians to use multi-use paths along the river more safely, with less fear of conflicts with bicycles; and


WHEREAS: Bicycle commuting has been shown to extend life expectancy, reduces demands on the health care system and contributes to improved air quality.


WHEREAS: Commuting via healthy, active transportation in Cambridge unites people across all socioeconomic backgrounds; and


WHEREAS: This will inspire commuters, many of whom are waiting for safer infrastructure to try healthier modes of transport such as walking, running, cycling, skating, to give it a try; and


WHEREAS: Cambridge residents, visitors, and others deserve to have cleaner and healthier air as they walk or bike along the river; and


WHEREAS: This celebration of healthy and sustainable commuting opportunities is an exciting and appropriate way to honor Earth Day and Earth Month; and


WHEREAS: The April Walk/Ride Day is the last Friday and Walk/Ride Day before May’s Bike Month; now therefore be it


ORDERED: The City Manager be and hereby is requested to ask the state DCR for their permission to use two lanes (one in each direction) of Memorial Drive for non-motorized vehicles and pedestrians only and further to coordinate with the appropriate city departments to close two lanes to cars (one in each direction) on Memorial Drive on April 29th 2016, in celebration of the 10th anniversary of Walk/Ride Days, and the kick-off of the 5th Annual Walk/Ride Day Corporate Challenge; and be it further


ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to report back to the council on plans for the closure of lanes of Memorial Drive on April 29th once they are determined.

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