What’s New: Around Town

Mayor Marc McGovern, fifth from left. Photo by Wilford Durbin.

Mayor Evaluates Safe Injection Facilities

Mayor Marc McGovern, along with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, led a delegation to Montreal and Toronto to observe their supervised injection facilities (SIFs), WBUR reports. At these clinics, drug users are provided with clean needles, monitored as they consume, and revived in case of overdose. After the visit, SIFS were announced as part of Cambridge’s plan to tackle the opioid epidemic, according to the Cambridge Chronicle.

2018 Teen Health Survey Results Announced

The Cambridge Teen Health Survey, given every other year to Cambridge Rindge and Latin School students, revealed fresh insight into local teens’ wellbeing. This year, 1,400 students responded to questions on topics including nutrition, substance use, and mental health. While the results signaled several positive trends (a decrease in alcohol and cigarette use, an increase in fruit and vegetable consumption), it also made clear that some students are disproportionately disadvantaged. “The survey reveals significant gender and racial disparities in the experiences reported by our students,” Damon Smith, principal of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, said in a statement. “We must … develop a supportive climate and culture where all CRLS students can achieve to their potential.”

Rethinking Electrical Car Charging

Believe it or not, stringing an extension cord out your window and across a sidewalk to charge your electric car may not be the safest practice. City councilors have thus asked the city manager to confer with the city electrician to think up a new and safer way for people to charge their electric vehicles curbside, Universal Hub reports. “The City has responsibility for granting access to the public way,” the councilors’ request reads. “There may be a variety of products that would allow an extension cord or other power source to safely cross a sidewalk or reach the curb without creating a tripping or other hazard.”

Uber Enhances Safety Features

Cambridge is one of the first cities in the Commonwealth to allow Uber passengers to contact 911 directly through the Uber app, the city recently announced. In the Uber Safety Toolkit, available in the app, riders can swipe to call 911 and share their location with Cambridge Emergency Communications Center officials. A passenger’s live trip details will be shared with officials until the trip ends, as well as the passenger’s and vehicle’s information.

Introducing Side Guards

After a cyclist and a pedestrian were killed by trucks at the end of last year, Cambridge officials are pushing forward on ways to improve the city’s truck safety, the Cambridge Chronicle reports. One method in discussion is adding side guards—devices that are designed to sweep pedestrians or cyclists to the side, rather than under, a truck—to trucks that are contracted to work in the city. The devices are already required on all city-owned vehicles.

This story originally appeared in the What’s New section of the Environmental Issue of Scout Cambridge, which is available for free at more than 200 locations throughout the city or by subscription.

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