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South Massachusetts Avenue Corridor Safety Improvements Project

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. Anchored at one end by Central Square and University Park, and at the other end by MIT, the street is heavily used by pedestrians, bicyclists, vehicles and transit users. The corridor has a growing variety of restaurants, shops and commercial uses.  The street was redesigned and reconstructed (2008) with new elements including on street bicycle lanes, pedestrian crossings and a plaza at Lafayette Square. Mass. Avenue is one of the busiest bus routes in the city and based on a study by the City, buses experience significant delay and unreliability. It also has a higher than average rate of bicycle crashes compared to other streets in the city. 

In spring 2016 the City Council adopted a Vision Zero commitment to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries. Aligned with this commitment, the City of Cambridge has undertaken this effort to improve safety and reliability for users of the street, particularly cyclists, pedestrians and buses. The work was accomplished mostly through quick-build methods such as re-striping, signal re-timing, signage and installation of materials like flex-posts.

The City invites you to share feedback about your experiences traveling on Massachusetts Avenue between Sidney Street and Memorial Drive through our online survey and Wikimapping toolThe deadline for input is May 27th, 2019. The input you provide on the survey and Wikimap will be used to help inform how the project has performed and if adjustments should be looked at. 

Project Update + Feedback Survey - May 1, 2019

Project installation is mostly complete. The crosswalk on Mass. Avenue at Windsor Street is expected to be installed, including pedestrian ramps, by this fall. The City has re-painted the Bus Only stencils in the bus lane and additional pavement markings will be done later this year.

The City invites you to share your feedback on the elements of the project that have been completed so far by taking this online feedback survey. Your input will be valuable in the evaluation of the South Mass Ave Corridor Safety Improvements Project.  The deadline for feedback is May 27th.  

If you would like a paper copy of the survey, please contact Bill Deignan at wdeignan@cambridgema.gov or 617-349-4632.

Project Update - March 25, 2019

A new bicycle signal has been installed at the traffic signal in front of 77 Massachusetts Avenue on March 21 (photo below). If you have questions about the installation of elements or operations in the corridor, please contact Patrick Baxter, pbaxter@cambridgema.gov or 617-349-4715.

A post-implementation WikiMap is also now available for public comment. Please use this map tool to share feedback about your experiences traveling on Massachusetts Avenue between Sidney Street and Memorial Drive. The input you provide will be used to evaluate the redesign of this segment of Massachusetts Avenue. To access the WikiMap, click here.

77 mass ave bike signal

Installation Update

The bus lane and separated bicycle lane markings are in! (See photo below.) Signal changes and the installation of green and other final markings have mostly been completed. Bicycle signal hardware is on order and will be installed when received. Minor marking additions will also be made come spring. Novartis will be installing the new pedestrian crossing near Windsor Street this coming construction season. Changes will be monitored and adjustments made as needed.

South Mass Ave post installation

Project Installation 

Installation for the South Mass. Ave Corridor Safety Improvements Project began the week of October 29, 2018 and was mostly completed in November 2018. See above for on-going work. For more information about the project in general, view the installation flyerproject User's Guide, and FAQ.

Final Project Plans Open House - September 27, 2018

An open house was held on Thursday, September 27. View the annotated design roll plan.

Project Outreach

The City conducted project outreach at several community events over the summer, including:

  • Taste of Cambridge - Tuesday, July 10
  • Central Flea - Sunday, July 15
  • Central Square Farmer's Market - Monday, July 30 and Monday, August 27
  • Screen on the Green at Greene Rose Heritage Park - Wednesday, August 1
  • Senior Center Town Meeting - Thursday, August 2

For more information, please contact Bill Deignan, Transportation Program Manager, wdeignan@cambridgema.gov, 617.349.4632.