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Bangla-Speaking Focus Group Feedback

1/7/22 Summary of Comments

  • The one person who takes the bus and T everywhere said they like Sunday mem drive closures, the other people who drive everywhere said they care about driving and parking. Confirms city goal to reduce car ownership.
  • Mostly everyone agreed that they don't want to change anything with parking. They like the way it is now--resident permit allows them to park anywhere in the city.
  • Meters are hard to deal with, don't always have quarters (no one likes the app), and too expensive (2 people have less than $25k household income). Some say they would rather pay more for resident permit and have more res spaces available and fewer meters.
  • Trip types--take elderly parents to hospital appts, take kids to afterschool activities, and visit family and friends across the city. 
  • Two people like the bike lanes. Before it was really hard to drive next to the bike lanes. Really helpful to separate all the people walking, biking, driving. 
  • Many would like the City to mark all the on-street spaces with paint to make it clear where to park.
  • People were very appreciative that the City was listening to their opinions.

Questions asked

  1. Signs for street parking rules sometimes have small letters under that people cannot see (“from 4-8 pm”). Can the City make the sign bigger?
    Answer: We generally use a standard sign size (12' x 18") for parking signs to balance between the legibility of the sign and the visual and physical impact of the sign. But, as parking regulations get more complex, we are looking at whether we need to install larger signs in certain locations to clearly show the different rules.
  2. Before every street had 4 lanes, now only two lanes. What is the city's plan to make streets narrow?
    Answer: Cambridge has always had a limited number of streets with more than two lanes, but we are making changes to narrow the limited number streets that are wider, both to improve safety for road users and to use that space for other purposes such as bike lanes, bus lanes, wider sidewalks, outdoor dining, tree plantings, and plazas/open space, Overall, narrower streets are safer for all people, since they limit traffic speeds, improve the safety of pedestrian crossings, and can reduce the amount of paved area.
  3. Narrow streets make a lot of traffic, but interested in knowing if take parking away to make narrow, is it possible to make a parking lot to park instead of on-street parking? I love to live in Cambridge very much. 
    Answer: In some parts of the city, property owners are allowed to create parking lots where anyone can park. But in other parts of the city, creating new parking lots is not allowed by zoning. City planners will be looking more closely at these rules as part of our study process.
  4. The 68 bus going from MIT is not working now, so for these people, it is hard to walk everywhere, so now they have to take a car. Can we have a shuttle bus instead?
    Answer: Coming soon... 
  5. On Mass Ave between Harvard and Central also near Porter Sq., the new bus-only designated lane makes it very bad traffic. Is it possible to do it only during rush hour? 
    Answer: Generally, the impacts of bus lanes are felt during the peak period/rush hour. So if we designate a bus lane during those times, it also makes sense to keep it in place outside the rush hour (unless there is a possibility of turning it into a parking lane, which is not always feasible).
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