Cambridge residents and businesses are suing the city over the bike lane ordinance

A group of retail owners, medical offices, restaurants, residents and others are suing the city of Cambridge over the Massachusetts community bike lane ordinance. The group, known as Cambridge Streets for All, has said it opposes the Cambridge Cycling Safety Ordinance, which was adopted by the city in 2019 and amended in 2020, which sets strict deadlines and requirements for 25 miles of cycling. alleys – which include the entire Massachusetts Avenue. According to Cambridge Streets for All, the group has filed a lawsuit against the city because shop windows are struggling to serve customers due to a lack of parking spaces. There are also fears that quiet neighborhoods on side streets will become de facto parking areas and cargo docks, and that medical patients will not have access to their suppliers’ offices. Harold Gilmer, owner of Mass Ave., said he estimates his business has suffered about a 50 percent drop since the installation of fast-moving bike lanes because people can no longer park near his store. “Despite a series of crowded City Council meetings, the message from residents and businesses that they are harmed remains deaf, the CSA has decided that taking legal action against this ordinance is our only means of being heard,” Cambridge Streets told All board members and Cambridge bakery owner Lee Jenkins said in a statement. “They did not consult with local companies and residents when they drew up these plans in the midst of a pandemic and are not listening to us now. We believe that improved access to the bike lane is a great goal, but not when parking for business customers and staff, as well as for neighborhood residents and patients of local health care providers, is completely gutted, clogging the side streets where people live. ” In an interview with NewsCenter 5 last month, Cambridge City Councilor Burhan Azim said the city was investing in new bike lanes because there were many deaths of cyclists in Cambridge, particularly on Massachusetts Avenue, and Azim and six other city councilors voted to confirm the ordinance. in late April, despite public outrage from several business owners who said the customer base was coming out of town and relying on street parking. ” The bike lanes are coming. We have confirmed the vote about seven to eight times, so it is best to adapt to the future, “Azim said. Expansion of the bike lanes is expected in the fall. However, some business owners said there was a negative reaction in the form of negative feedback, social media attacks and boycotts. One man threw a quarter at me while I was there. He said, “Call someone who cares,” said Cindy Hughes, owner of the Fast Phil barber shop in North Cambridge. “Unfortunately, the nature of the decision has reached a very high level,” said city councilor Paul Toner. Toner is a protector for business. He hoped to slow down the project to give time to find other options that keep safety and sustainability at the forefront. Since then, several additional seats have returned, including bus lanes at certain times. The city is also doing a study of the economic impact, but as Toner notes, it may be too late. “We’re safe for everyone, but please understand that we also want to pay our mortgages,” Hughes said. The MBTA has given the city an agreement to quickly remove cables from air buses that are no longer in use, and removing the average could save some parking along Ma Sachusetts Avenue.

A group of retail owners, medical offices, restaurants, residents and others are suing the city of Cambridge over the Massachusetts community bike lane ordinance.

The group, known as Cambridge Streets for All, said it opposed the Cambridge Cycling Safety Ordinance, which was adopted by the city in 2019 and amended in 2020, which sets strict deadlines and requirements for 25 miles of cycling alleys – which include the entire Massachusetts Avenue.

According to Cambridge Streets for All, the group has filed a lawsuit against the city because shop windows are struggling to serve customers due to a lack of parking spaces. There are also fears that quiet neighborhoods on side streets will become de facto parking areas and cargo docks, and that medical patients will not have access to their suppliers’ offices.

Harold Gilmer, owner of Mass Ave., said he said his business had suffered about a 50 percent drop after installing fast-paced bike lanes because people could no longer park near his store.

“Despite a series of crowded City Council meetings, the message from residents and businesses that they are harmed remains deaf, the CSA has decided that taking legal action against this ordinance is our only way to be heard,” Cambridge Streets said. board members and Cambridge bakery owner Lee Jenkins said in a statement. “They did not consult with local companies and residents when they drew up these plans in the midst of a pandemic and are not listening to us now. We believe that improved access to the bike lane is an excellent goal, but not when parking for business customers and staff, as well as for neighborhood residents and patients of local health care providers, is completely gutted, clogging the side streets where people live. “

In an interview with NewsCenter 5 last month, Cambridge City Councilor Burhan Azim said the city is investing in new bike lanes because there are many deaths of cyclists in Cambridge, especially on Massachusetts Avenue.

Azim and six other city councilors voted to confirm the ordinance in late April, despite public outrage from several business owners who said their customer base comes out of town and relies on street parking.

“The bike lanes are coming. We have confirmed the vote about seven to eight times, so it is best to adapt to the future,” Azim said.

Bicycle lanes are expected to widen in the autumn.

However, some business owners said there was a backlash in the form of negative reviews, social media criticism and boycotts.

“A man threw a quarter at me once I was there. He said, ‘Call someone who’s interested,'” said Cindy Hughes, owner of Fast Phil’s Barber Shop in North Cambridge.

“Unfortunately, the meaning of the decision has reached a very heated level,” said city councilor Paul Toner.

Toner is a protector of business. He hoped to slow down the project to give time to find other options that keep safety and sustainability at the forefront.

Since then, several additional seats have returned, including bus stops during designated hours. The city is also doing a study of the economic impact, but as Toner notes, it may be too late.

“Some have told us they will not renew their leases and potentially relocate their business outside of Cambridge,” Toner said.

“We are for everyone’s safety, but please understand that we also want to pay our mortgages,” Hughes said.

The MBTA has given the city an agreement to quickly remove overhead bus cables that are no longer in use, and removing the average could save some parking on Massachusetts Avenue.

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