Bike Route: Belmont Center to Cambridge Library

Route facts

Below, you will find information on a bike route that uses quiet streets, shared paths and sidewalks, and separated bike lanes between Belmont and Cambridge. Both Belmont and Cambridge made some major changes in 2022 that make this route much more comfortable to cycle.

Start: Belmont Center, Belmont
End: Cambridge Main Library, Cambridge
Bonus: Inman Square, Cambridge

It takes about 30 minutes to cycle this route.


  • Separated bike lane / cycle track = SBL
  • Quiet street / access street = QS
  • Shared-lane markings = Sharrow
  • Shared use path/sidewalk = a path or sidewalk that is intended for pedestrians and cyclists to share the space, pass pedestrians carefully


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Written directions for the main route

  1. Go east on Concord Avenue SBL
    • You will have a lengthy incline approaching Bright Road
    • You will ride on a short section of standard bike lane near Blanchard Road which is also the boundary with Cambridge
  2. Continue onto the sidewalk-level SBL
    • Make sure to stop, when you encounter a bus stopped at a bus stop.
  3. Continue on Fresh Pond reservation’s outer paths in a shared use path
    • You’ll veer to the right where there’s a signalized pedestrian crossing
Annotated photo showing the end of a separated bike lane on Concord Avenue where it transitions to a shared use path. An arrow shows the direction that a cyclist is supposed to go, that is, to the right of the traffic light pole.
  1. Follow the shared use path to the right and then make a left up to a mid-block push-button crossing
An annotated photo which shows where a cyclist should travel in order to turn toward a mid-block crossing of Alewife Brook Parkway/Fresh Pond Parkway/Concord Avenue. An arrow points from the outer path around Fresh Pond reservoir to the mid-block crossing.
  1. Go right along the shared use path to the next rotary
  2. At the rotary, you’ll be crossing New Street: cross the entrance to the rotary from New Street, then, at the second crossing, make a left toward New Street
  3. Right to Bay State Road QS
An annotated photo shows the path from a two-way separated bike lane on Concord Avenue across an approach to a rotary to Bay State Road which is a shared low-speed street.
  1. Follow the curve to the right to Field Street QS
  2. Follow the curve to the left to Garden Street QS
    • There is an incline that starts at Ivy Street (one block before the traffic signal). It increases as you go toward Huron Avenue.
  3. Continue on Garden Street through the 5-point intersection at Huron Avenue and Sherman Street SBL
  4. At Concord Avenue, use the bicycle left-turn lane to cross over. Wait for the bicycle signal to make this left turn movement from the SBL
Annotated photo showing the intersection of Concord Avenue and Garden Street. The left-turn path is marked with an arrow, this is for cyclists travelling toward Cambridge Street and Broadway. Also noted is a bicycle signal on the far left of the image.
  1. Use the cut through that connects Concord Avenue and (Little) Concord Avenue QS
An annotated photo showing the path that a cyclist should use to transition from a two-way separated bike lane on Garden Street to a shared quiet street on (Little) Concord Avenue. On the photo are arrows showing the path across the brick walkway.
  1. At Waterhouse Street, cross to the park paths in Cambridge Common.
  2. Use the shared use paths to get to the intersection of Cambridge Street and Mass Ave.
An annotated photo showing the transition from Concord Avenue to the shared use paths in Cambridge Common. Photo shows the intersection of Concord Avenue and Waterhouse Street. An arrow shows the location of the shared use path in Cambridge Common.
  1. Cross the “thousand islands” crossing to the shared use sidewalk on the edge of Harvard’s campus
An annotated photo of pedestrian and bicycle crossings of Massachusetts Avenue. Arrows show the path from the Cambridge Common to a shared-use sidewalk near Harvard University.
  1. Continue on the shared use sidewalk through the campus plaza to the corner of Quincy Street and Cambridge Street
An annotated photo which shows the shared use sidewalk at the Harvard campus area pedestrian plaza. An arrow shows the path along the northern edge of the plaza. Also included in the annotation is a yellow diamond traffic warning sign showing pedestrian crossings.
  1. Cross from the sidewalk to the dedicated bicycle path, use the bicycle signal to make a turn from the bicycle path to Cambridge Street SBL
An annotated photo shows the intersection of Quincy Street and Cambridge Street. Arrows show the path across a slip lane and to Cambridge Street eastbound. An arrow also points to the location of a bicycle signal which controls the bicycle crossing across Cambridge Street.
  1. Continue to Irvine Street where you will enter the sidewalk to cut through to the Library bicycle parking racks.

Bonus: Go further to Inman Square

It’s not that much further to go to Inman Square using the separated bike lane. Inman Square is a neighborhood commercial center with touchstone businesses like the S&S Restaurant, Christina’s Ice Cream, and 1369 Coffeehouse.

To go to Inman Square, you continue on the Cambridge Street SBL. It will take about 3 to 5 minutes more to arrive. As of early December 2022, builders are still doing construction for the Inman Square Reconstruction project. Despite the ongoing construction, however, the bicycle facilities are fairly comfortable for a very complicated set of intersections.