battle escalates in Cambridge – Boston 25 News
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Although Guitar Stop instruments on Mass. Ave. may seem nice, they may soon become more difficult to buy – not because of prices, but because of parking.
“About 70-80% of our customers come by car,” said Guitar Stop manager Anette Osgood. “We sell things that are heavy. We sell during the winter. We sell during the rain. People are already a little hesitant to bring home a beautiful piece of a wooden instrument on a rainy day. If you add in trying to transport it on a bike, you’re just not going to make the sale that day.
There’s a cycle lane battle going on right now in Cambridge. While the city wants to turn some parking spots into separate bike lanes, some companies say not so fast.
Next week, the city will vote on how to proceed with building the bike lanes, which it says is a safety issue.
Businesses tell Boston 25 that they’ve been hit hard enough by the pandemic and don’t need this additional setback.
The City of Cambridge passed the Cycle Safety Ordinance two years ago, requiring around 25 miles of cycle lanes on the city’s most dangerous roads. And Mass. Ave. is at the top of the list.
“This particular section of the road is a place where many bikers have died and been seriously injured, and I myself have a pair of jeans from when I was nearly hit on this section of the road,” said Councilman Burhan Azeem. “Each example is unique in the business world. If you have big furniture, you need to have parking spaces, and we need to make sure that as a city we take care of that. We’ve added a lot of bike lanes in Cambridge, before in Somerville, in Boston, and in general the business community, they’re booming.
But for 1,200 people who signed this petition against it, they say bike lanes will not only hurt businesses, but bring more cars into residential neighborhoods.
“We’re not against bike safety,” Osgood said. But other cities have found a way to lay out those bike lanes without removing all the parking.
Councilors say with 72,000 bikers in the city they have plenty of support.
“Of the nine city councilors currently in office, seven ran for the construction of these cycle paths and won,” Azeem said.
The project is expected to be completed in 2026.
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