Crews filling in a pothole

Street and Sidewalk Maintenance

Public Works

The Street and Sidewalk Maintenance Division maintains 125 miles of streets, over 200 miles of sidewalks and more than 5,000 curb ramps. This division provides emergency response, sidewalk and street repair, granite curb resetting, crack sealing and other preventative maintenance, new curb cut installation, pothole patching, and contract oversight for the brick and concrete sidewalk repairs and roadway grind and overlay.

If you would like to report a street or sidewalk defect:

Please use our online reporting system, Commonwealth Connect or call our street and sidewalk defect line at 617-349-4854 to report the address and nature of a defect. Provide the street address/location and as much detail as possible.

If you would like to report a pothole:

Please use our online reporting system Commonwealth Connect. your request is automatically assigned to the responsible department and you are given a tracking number and contact information in order to follow up on your request, if needed. Commonwealth Connect is available on your mobile device, download the app from the iTunes App Store or the Android Marketplace.

Service requests are generally checked each business day and initial inspections scheduled within two business days of receipt (weather and other circumstances permitting).

If you feel the situation is an urgent safety concern and in need of immediate attention, please call our 24 hour emergency line at 617.349.4860 to speak to a staff member.

The Street and Sidewalk Maintenance Division is also responsible for compliance issues related to streets and sidewalks, including:

  • Abandoned Bicycles- Bicycles in violation of any of the following parking restrictions will be tagged with a yellow bicycle removal tag requesting that the bicycle be removed within 72 hours. The bicycle will then be removed and stored for 30 days. The bicycle may be retrieved by contacting Vincent Best, 617-349-4869 / vbest@cambridgema.gov. 

PARKING RESTRICTIONS

- Bicycles may not obstruct the pedestrian path or handicapped ramps and must leave at least 36 inches of a clear path of travel- SUBJECT TO IMMEDIATE REMOVAL.

- Bicycles may not be parked to fire hydrants, hand rails, benches, trees, trash receptacles or parking meters

- Bicycles may not be parked longer than 72 consecutive hours in one location in a business district as defined by section 12.8.

- Abandoned bicycles including those with no tires or wheels, warped frames, missing or broken chains, missing or warped handle bars will be removed. 

  • Business Sidewalk Use- Businesses wishing to use an A-frame sign, sandwich board, display merchandise or banners or use tables and chairs on a sidewalk in the public way must apply for a permit to do so.
  • Botanical Obstructions- Property owners may not obstruct sidewalks and pedestrian ways with overgrown trees, bushes or shrubs from their property. In the event of a reported or observed botanical obstruction, notification will be sent to the property owner with instruction for pruning. Property owners are liable for damage or injury to persons or property as a result of a botanical obstruction. 
  • News Racks- The compliance team ensures that the 850 vendor news racks located around the City are in compliance with the sidewalk regulations.
  • Sign Posting- Illegally posted signs, handbills, notices, posters, advertisements, etc. will be removed by the Police Department, the Department of Public Works, or the Department of Inspectional Services. The person liable for the unlawful posting is subject to the cost of removal and associated penalties, including a fine up to $300. 
Page was posted on 7/24/2019 1:32 PM
Page was last modified on 10/10/2019 8:36 AM
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