South Massachusetts Avenue Corridor Safety Improvements Project
This project is complete. The City and the MBTA are working on a follow-up project to extend the bus lanes and add additional sections of separated bike lanes. Visit CambridgeMA.gov/south-mass-ave (opens in a new window) to find more information.
Massachusetts Avenue, from Sidney Street at the edge of Central Square to Memorial Drive at the Charles River, is a busy transportation corridor with a variety of uses. Many important destinations are along this section of Mass Ave: Central Square, University Park, and MIT. People walking, biking, riding buses and shuttles, and driving all heavily use this street. You can also visit many restaurants, shops and commercial venues. The street was redesigned and reconstructed in 2008 with new elements including on street bicycle lanes, pedestrian crossings and a plaza at Lafayette Square.
Because one of the busiest bus routes in Cambridge runs here, we studied bus delay and unreliability in this area. Buses on Mass Ave experience significant delay and unreliability. This section of Mass Ave also had a higher than average rate of bicycle crashes compared to other streets in the city.
The City created a new street design to address safety concerns and bus delay and unreliability and support all the activities along this street. The design included:
- separated bike lanes in both directions
- two sections of dedicated bus lanes
- new loading and pick-up/drop-off zones
- reorganized parking and food truck locations
Separate from the City project, Novartis installed a new pedestrian crossing of Massachusetts Avenue at Windsor Street. This included pedestrian waiting islands and new rapid rectangular flashing beacons.