Online Permit Process Sidewalk Obstruction

Online Permit Process – Sidewalk Obstruction (No Excavation)

Before applying online for a Sidewalk Obstruction Permit you will need to obtain your user name and password by contacting the DPW Permit Desk at 617.349.4833 or by email .  Note:  A permit will not be reviewed unless permit fees are paid at time of application and a valid $5000.00 bond and certificate of insurance is on file at the Department of Public Works (see requirements below).

    1. Sign into the online permitting system using your assigned username and password. 
    2. Enter or update current company information. 
    3. Enter a valid email address. Please ensure that your email address is correct. Once approved, your permit will be emailed to the address you provide
    4. Provide an emergency contact number of the person in charge of the project. 
    5. Set a desired permit beginning and end date. The fee for a sidewalk obstruction permit is $100 plus $2.00 per square foot for the size of the obstruction and needs to be renewed monthly. Weekend work is not allowed except under special conditions and additional fees may apply. 
    6. Enter the location of the project. If not working at or in front of a specific address, list the project location and cross streets in the “Location Description” text box. 
    7. In the “Project Description” field please provide a detailed description of the work that is to be performed. 
    8. Select purpose for the sidewalk obstruction and fill in the “Location Description” text box. 
    9. Select if no parking signs are required (Note: The DPW does not post no parking signs this is your responsibility). 
  10. Please list the size of the obstruction (total square footage). 
  11. If parking meters are impacted the Traffic and Parking Department will also need to be contacted – 617.349.4700.

Remember:  Permit applications need to be reviewed and approved by the Department of Public Works before work begins. Printing this online application does not mean that you have an approved permit.

    1. A traffic/pedestrian management plan must accompany this application. The traffic/pedestrian management plan must meet MUTCD and ADA requirements. 
    2. If your $5000 surety bond and/or certificate of insurance needs to be renewed, please attach a copy. COI must be for $1,000,000.00 per occurrence and $3,000,000.000 aggregate.  The City of Cambridge must be named as an additionally insured and the certificate holder Originals need to be mailed to the DPW. 
    3. Include any site plans, maps or additional documents as required.

Submit Permit Application:
Before submitting your permit application, please make sure the information entered is correct.
Once submitted a permit application cannot be modified. If you do need to make a change, please contact the Permit Desk at (617) 349-4833 or by email

Permit application fee must be paid at the time of application, unless deferred payment is approved in advance in writing by the Superintendent of Streets, Sidewalks and Sewers. Once an online permit is submitted you will automatically be taken to a payment window. The Cambridge DPW accepts Visa, MasterCard and Discover. Enter all required information and submit your payment. You can also pay balances on existing permits by clicking HERE.

Permit Approval:
Once approved your permit will be sent to the email address specified in the online application. The permit review process could take up to 3-5days.



How can we help you? I'd like...

Mobile Cambridge

Keeping you connected wherever you are. Learn more about Mobile Cambridge


Have a question?
Find the answer in our extensive
Frequently Asked Questions

Dept of Public Works

147 Hampshire St
Cambridge MA 02139


Hours of Service

Monday: 8:30am-8pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 8:30am-5pm
Friday: 8:30am-12pm