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Students said they welcome local resolutions passed last week that mandate the distribution of bike safety information to all new Cambridge residents, including incoming Harvard students.
According to a trio of resolutions passed by the City Council last week, the Cambridge City Manager’s office will work with local universities to disseminate information about bike laws and safety to all new residents.
The legislation comes after the death of Amanda N. Phillips ’10, who was killed in a cycling accident in Inman Square in June. Dozens of residents expressed concern about the biking environment in Cambridge at a City Council meeting following the accident.
James M. Johnston ’17 was supportive of the legislation but said its effect would largely be dependent on how the information was disseminated.
“It depends how they’re going to spread that information, how they’re going to distribute it, and what they’re going to do with it,” Johnston said. “It’s good to release it all, but it’s what you do with it and how you let people know.”
Another student, Sophie O. Pesek ’20, said the new regulations could be particularly helpful for students who come from less urban areas.
“It’s not going to be unhelpful. It’s not going to make anyone less safe,” Pesek said. “Some people might not be familiar with biking in cities if they grew up in a rural place, so that information might be good for them.”
Other students echoed Pesek in agreeing that providing information could only be beneficial.
“I feel like most bike safety stuff is pretty intuitive, but it won’t do any harm,” Robert Lowe ’20 said.
While some students like Pesek said they have felt safe biking on campus so far, a number also said they are aware of the danger posed by sharing the road with vehicles and understand the potentially grave consequences that can occur.
“The traffic patterns are confusing and drivers aren’t always looking where they’re going, so it’s easy to get hit,” Angeline N. Diana ’20 said.
Other students expressed concern about the erratic behavior of some bicycle riders.
“It’s also annoying because even if you put in bike lanes, some cyclists still hop onto the sidewalk and weave in and out of traffic and when that happens it can be dangerous,” Flora L. Dicara ’20 said.
The city’s plans to distribute the safety information have yet to be announced.
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