Monday, July 22, 2024

These are just some of the municipal meetings and civic events for the coming week. More are on the City Calendar and in the city’s Open Meetings Portal.


Garden Street in Cambridge’s Neighborhood 9 as bike lanes are installed in November 2022. (Photo: Marc Levy)

Halting bike lane installation

City Council, 5:30 p.m. Monday. Three councillors call to extend the deadline on the city’s Cycling Safety Ordinance by a year and a half around the installation of bike lanes on Main Street, Cambridge Street and Broadway – preventing installation there unless zoning is enacted to make up for lost parking spaces. The order by Paul Toner, Joan Pickett and Ayesha Wilson cites people who have “expressed significant concerns regarding the potential negative impacts to their businesses” and says it was drafted with the help of staff: the deputy city manager, assistant city manager for community development, commissioner of Traffic, Parking & Transportation, commissioner of public works and more. The same councillors and Patty Nolan have an answer to  wondering if they can regulate or ban the electric bikes, scooters, skateboards and other mobility devices behind a sharp rise in injuries nationwide. A Law Department memo says yes to regulating electric mobility devices on bike paths – and a likely no on public pathways. Another policy order asks for a community meeting to address speeding and cut-through traffic on Appleton Street and the surrounding Huron and Brattle Street neighborhoods in West Cambridge.

The idea of giving lower-income tenants free legal aid against evictions has enthusiastic support and a recommendation for a funding increase in 2025 from the Office of the Housing Liaison and the Department of Human Service Programs’ Multi Service Center.

The council meets at City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Televised and watchable by Zoom videoconferencing.

Road diet and bike lane impact

Transportation and Public Utilities Committee, 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday. This committee run by city councillor Joan Pickett investigates how the city factors potential congestion into street redesign and monitors and adjusts for it – especially in newly reconfigured areas such as North Massachusetts Avenue, Garden Street and Inman Square/Cambridge Street, all places changed by the recent installation of bike lanes – and understands its effect on residents, businesses and public safety. State plans to reduce Memorial Drive to two lanes from four between JFK Street and the Eliot Bridge in West Cambridge gets a look too. The committee meets at City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Televised and watchable by Zoom videoconferencing.

Redoing a North Cambridge street

Haskell Street reconstruction project walk, 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday. Haskell Street in North Cambridge is scheduled for reconstruction this year from Rindge Avenue to Massachusetts Avenue as part of a five-year city plan remaking sidewalks and roads. Staff designing the project plan to walk Haskell to identify and discuss issues of concern. (A video presentation at should be watched before participation in the meeting.)

Discussion about doing DEI

Malia C. Lazu reads from “From Intention to Impact: A Practical Guide to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion,” 6 to 8 p.m. April 11. The MIT Sloan School lecturer, DEI strategist and entrepreneur discusses the hurdles to systemic change and provides a map for creating inclusive environments. My Brother’s Keeper Cambridge founder Tony Clark joins the conversation. The first 100 guests will get a free copy of Lazu’s book courtesy of MBK and the Central Square Business Improvement District. (This event was originally scheduled for March 18.) Free, but register, for this event at the Cambridge Main Library, 449 Broadway, Mid-Cambridge.

Room for Harvard Chabad

Board of Zoning Appeal, 6 to 11:30 p.m. April 11. Lubavitch of Cambridge, which operates the Harvard Chabad for services to Jewish members of the university community and has been busy creating assembling property and creating day cares in Cambridgeport and the Riverside neighborhood near Harvard Square, asks changes at some of those properties: 38-40 Banks St. and 54-56 Banks St. It would include the relocation of a two-story 19th-century structure at 48 Banks St. and the construction of an addition connecting addresses to create a unified structure, proponents said, to “be able to renovate, expand and create one unified building” in which to operate. Watchable by Zoom videoconferencing.

Housing agenda town hall

A Better Cambridge town hall, 7 to 8 p.m. April 11. The housing advocacy group A Better Cambridge hosts the second of two sessions to hear from city councillors on their housing agenda for this term. This session features vice mayor Marc McGovern and councillors Sumbul Siddiqui and Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler. Register here.