Apparently even riders in bicycle-savvy Cambridge need some help remembering to squeeze the brake and obey the rules.

And now Cambridge police have stepped in.

The police department yesterday launched a safety initiative intended to ensure the safety of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.

“Commuting in an urban environment can be dangerous,” said Police Commissioner Robert Haas.

As part of the new safety effort, police targeted riders in Central Square. In less than three hours, scores of tickets were issued, many for running a red light.

 

Police are expected to continue the enforcement effort across Cambridge throughout the week.

“What we’ve seen and what the community has told us is that this is an issue that needs to be addressed,” said Dan Riviello, a Cambridge Police Department spokesman. “There are lots of people, it’s very congested and people need to know the rules of the road.”

While Cambridge has the reputation of being a bicycle-friendly city with an ever-growing mileage of bike lanes, the initiative comes at a time when a state Department of Transportation report found that the city is home to eight of the top 10 bicycle crash clusters in Massachusetts.

The city’s bicycle population could also significantly increase as leaders are examining the expansion of Boston’s bicycle-sharing program across the river.

Anil Gurcan, who bikes from Brighton to Cambridge for work, said that while Cambridge’s expansion of bike lanes helps, the congestion necessitates a heightened awareness.

“Cars being aware of cyclists and cyclists being aware of pedestrians, that would be the key ... we all share the road,” he said.

More on bikers:

Motorized bike ban causes ire

A movement is afoot for bicycle safety

The sights and sounds of Bike Week 2011

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