Council votes to advance Carlone's call for Safe Truck program

The Cambridge City Council voted 8-0 this evening to approve Councillor Dennis Carlone's motion to advance the concept of a "Safer Truck" program.

As a result, City Manager Richard C. Rossi is requested "to work with all relevant City Staff, safety experts, and bicycle and pedestrian advocates to consider the possibility of deploying truck side guards across all city-owned and city-leased trucks."


Councillor Carlone, who serves as Chair of the council's Transportation and Public Utilities Committee, also submitted this report from an October 22 hearing that featured discussion related to side guards and the city's pilot program of installing protective gear on certain trucks.

Last month, the City of Boston became the first in the nation to require side guards on all city-owned and city-leased trucks. While such measures are new to the United States, side guards have been mandatory in Europe for many years and have been credited with saving lives.

Inspired in part by Boston's pending ordinance, Councillor Carlone introduced a side guard policy order in September, shortly after learning about a serious accident involving a Cambridge cyclist and a garbage truck at the corner of Inman and Harvard streets. Fortunately, the cyclist survived, but he suffered a broken leg (and subsequently wrote to the council in support of the policy order).

Councillor Carlone wishes to thank Alex Epstein (Engineer, Volpe Center), Steven Miller (Board of Directors, LivableStreets Alliance), and Steven Bercu (Board President, Boston Cyclists Union) for making presentations to the Transportation Committee last month. Copies of those presentations are available below...

Councillor Carlone also wants to emphasize that this initiative isn't only about protecting cyclists; it's about making the streets safer for pedestrians, too. That's because side guards and other safety equipment could also help mitigate the risks associated with certain accidents involving trucks and pedestrians.

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