An attempt to delay the “quick build” of bike lanes through Porter Square by up to four years failed Monday. The majority of city councillors pointed to the lives that could be saved with safer cycling infrastructure, while councillors who brought forward the order said that parking spaces replaced by bike lanes meant the death of businesses.
After a flurry of amendments and a substitution, the City Council agreed to ask for a “committee of committees” to review the installation of separated bike and bus lanes and for city staff to meet with those affected by a recent rollout on North Massachusetts Avenue to alleviate their concerns and improve future transportation changes.
The overhead catenary wires that power the 71 and 73 bus routes in North Cambridge are expected to be gone by 2024, made obsolete by battery-electric buses that rely on charging depots. The plans have come under scrutiny by transit activists who see higher environmental priorities elsewhere.