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Ames Street Separated Bike Lane Project (Main St to Memorial Dr)

Ames Street project limits

As part of the permitting process for MIT's Kendall Square Initiative (Planning Board Special Permit #303), the Cambridge Planning Board required MIT to:

  • Redesign and reconstruct Ames Street to include an at grade two way cycle track from Main Street to Memorial Drive
  • Update the Ames Street/Main Street traffic signal to accommodate the changes to Ames Street
  • Reconfigure the Ames Street/Memorial Drive intersection to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians crossing Memorial Drive

This project was informed by the Cambridge Bicycle Plan, and aligned with the City's Vision Zero commitment to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries resulting from traffic crashes.The goals of the Ames Street separated bike lane project are to: 

  • Continue implementation of the separated bicycle lane network defined in the Cambridge Bicycle Plan
  • Complete a bicycle connection between East Cambridge/Kendall Square and the Charles River
  • Improve safety and mobility for people walking and biking
  • Make it easier to cross Memorial Drive for all users by improving traffic control on Memorial Drive

Project implementation is expected to be completed in Spring 2019. When completed, this project will connect to the existing two-way separated bike lane on Ames Street, between Main Street and Broadway, and the Kittie Knox bike path, between Broadway and Binney Street.


November 2019

Work is continuing on the separated bicycle lane on Ames Street between Memorial Drive and Main Street, with expected full completion of the project in spring 2020. Please see below for updates and interim condition:

  • Construction of the pedestrian/bicycle crossing at Memorial Drive is now complete. We expect the signal to be activated soon. Once activated, the signal will be in flashing mode for a short period before full operation is in place.
  • Signal installation at the intersection of Ames Street and Main Street is complete.
  • Bicyclists heading northbound on Ames Street from Memorial Drive to Main Street are now able to use the separated lane.
  • Due to ongoing utility work, bicyclists heading southbound on Ames Street from Main Street are not yet able to use the separated lane, but can use the full southbound vehicle lane. If you are continuing southbound from the existing two-way separated lane between Broadway and Main Street, the bicycle signal at Main Street will allow you to transition to the shared lane on Ames Street. When construction is completed in the spring, bicyclists in both directions will be able to utilize the full two-way separated lane.
  • In the interim, the separated lane will be buffered using a combination of flex-posts and cones. The final condition of the project will be buffered by all flex-posts.

For more details about the project, see the presentation available in the Documents tab.

August 2019

Parking meters will be removed on the east side of Ames Street, between Main Street and Memorial Drive, on Monday, August 19.

February 2019

On February 28, 2019, MIT, the Cambridge Traffic, Parking & Transportation Department, and the State Department of Conservation and Recreation held a community meeting about the project. In the meeting the team reviewed plans for: 

  • A two-way protected bike facility on the east side of Ames Street, from Main Street to Memorial Drive
  • An improved crossing at the intersection of Ames Street and Memorial Drive

Slides from the presentation are available here and in the Documents tab.

Please send any questions or comments to kendallsquare@mit.edu, or contact Patrick Baxter, Engineering Manager for the Cambridge Traffic, Parking, & Transportation Department, at pbaxter@cambridgema.gov or 617/349-4715.