Cambridge Brickwalk Conservancy, Inc.
Why we exist.
The Cambridge Brickwalk Conservancy, Inc., (CBC) was formed to preserve, maintain, and extend the traditional brick sidewalks in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The brick sidewalks represent a legacy of over 200 years duration and are a signature feature of Cambridge.
Regrettably 15 to 20 years ago the policy of City of Cambridge changed so that it no longer protected the brick sidewalks and began to replace fine brick sidewalks, especially the ramps, with concrete. These changes are not required or mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act. And with a hard climate for any material, the budget did not support proper maintenance and the streets have become a patchwork of concrete, asphalt and brick.
The popular belief that concrete better supports the needs of the disabled is just that, a belief. Vibration studies at the University of Pittsburgh support brick as a better street material than concrete. The proper design, installation and maintenance of brick creates walkways that are functional both for both disabled and non-disabled pedestrians. A more balanced approach to sidewalk construction and maintenance can be effective in preserving the legacy of brick sidewalks in the City while also serving the needs of the disabled.