Patty pledges to work hard for a comprehensive bike safety plan

People who know me are aware that I bike most places or take the T. I didn’t own a car until I was over 30, and even when I had two kids, I’ve always received the insurance discount for driving less than 5000 miles a year. I have lived true to the value of using cars infrequently and supported multi-modal forms of transportation naturally – since forever, basically.
Patty and friends did the Erie Canal bike ride in July 2019
Patty in her bike outfit before riding from Buffalo to Syracuse

It is not new for me to espouse the value of improving urban riding. I lived in Amsterdam over 30 years ago, and that experience informs my vision of what a city can do for safe cycling and walking. I also have been a leader on School Committee for encouraging biking and walking to school; I have consistently advocated for, and proposed policies to, support that vision. Back in 2006, I was a parent school leader for the very first “walk-Ride Days.” We greeted every student on the monthly walk-ride days with a positive message of the benefits of car-light transportation and of the importance of safe walking and biking. I serve as the Treasurer of the Green Streets Initiative, which has promoted bicycle use (and other car-light modes of transportation) for over a decade and branched out beyond schools into workplaces and general transportation choices. And this year, I did my first overnight bicycle ride – the first four days of the Eric Canal Ride that parks and trails of NY organizes each year. I LOVED it… and was inspired by the age range of cyclists and the incredible joy of covering 200 miles in 4 days – I biked from Buffalo to Syracuse, NY. While 50 miles a day for 4 days in a row may not be much for some, it was an achievement for me, made possible only by my daily riding around Cambridge and Boston.

In line with my lived experience, proven commitment and values, I pledge the following:

I support rapid implementation of the citywide network of protected bicycle lanes as described in the Cambridge Bicycle Plan. Specifically, I support complete implementation of the Bicycle Plan in the near future, within the next 5 years, using a combination of quick-build and capital improvements. Additionally, I recognize that Mass Ave is the most important street in Cambridge and needs protected bicycle lanes for its entire length as soon as possible.

Accordingly, if elected, I pledge to do everything in my power – including by voting in the City Council, proactively working with the City Manager and City Staff, and promoting this initiative publicly – to ensure that the City of Cambridge installs continuous protected bicycle lanes along the entire length of Mass Ave from the Charles River to the Arlington border, by the end of the next council term, or has started a capital project to do so. These improvements should also include bus transit priority and pedestrian safety improvements.