Brookline Street

Brookline Street After

The Brookline Street Reconstruction project was completed during Fall 2010. The final design resulted from a community process that began in early 2006, with over 200 Cambridge residents participating in one or more of several events.

The project included sidewalk replacement, repaving, and replacement of the water and sewer lines. Design improvements included traffic calming, safer pedestrian crossings, bicycle lanes and the addition of many more street trees. The Cambridge Arts Council commissioned artist Mike Mandel to create a series of mosaics that are imbedded within the sidewalk at various locations. The City will be piloting several innovative techniques for reducing the negative impacts of stormwater runoff on the Charles River’s water quality.

Primary traffic calming elements include: addition of many new curb extensions at crosswalks, a widened sidewalk on the east side, a bicycle lane along the entire stretch, narrower vehicle lanes, a raised intersection at Erie Street, the installation of an all-way stop at Putnam instead of the existing traffic signal, and the addition of 70 new street trees. In addition, all of the wheelchair ramps were reconstructed, and a sidewalk was added next to Hastings Square where one did not previously exist.

Public Process

Five community meetings were held.

Parking Study

A parking study was conducted March 14, 2007, which noted the number of parking spaces in each block occupied at two hour intervals during the day, beginning from 10 am - 10 pm. The results are shown during three periods, 10 am - noon, 2 pm - 4 pm, and 8 pm - 10 pm. Please note that parking on the west side of the street is allowed at night time only, and not allowed form 7am - 6pm. The study generally shows little use of night time parking on the west side of the street, south of Auburn Street. This gives more flexibility in the future to accommodate cars in the roadway. Additional data was collected from January - March 2008 which confirmed these results.

Click here for the parking study presented at Community Meeting #3

Low-Impact Design Pilot

This project included two pilot “low impact design” environmental components sought to improve the quality of the stormwater that runs off the street and into the Charles River. When it rains, oil, antifreeze, detergents, pesticides and other pollutants get washed from driveways, parking lots, construction sites and streets into storm drains and then directly to the Charles River. A new sidewalk in front of Hastings Square was constructed of “pervious concrete” material which will allow rainwater runoff to seep into the ground rather than run into the Charles. The second feature is a “rain garden” bioretention installation at one location. A bioretention system is a tank placed underground that collects the rain runoff from the street. The system contains natural biomaterial that removes pollutants and bacteria. On the sidewalk surface above the system, planted trees, grasses, and shrubs enhance pollutant removal, and add value to the urban landscape.

For More Information

For more information contact Tegin Teich Bennett at 617/349-4615 or