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Mass Ave Partial Construction

Project Image

In April 2022, staff recommended, and City Council approved implementing separated bike lanes on Mass Ave north of Harvard Square to the Arlington town line through partial construction. This will remove the median, install separated bike lanes, improve pedestrian crossings of Mass Ave, improve the experience for people taking the bus and maintain 40% to 50% of curbside uses such as accessible parking, customer loading, and outdoor dining. Maintaining curbside uses along this critical section of Mass Ave and supporting local businesses were the key drivers behind the decision to move forward with partial construction and was strongly supported by the community.

The Partial Construction project includes two previously implemented quick-build separated bike lane projects to allow for a more complete evaluation of this two-mile corridor. Mass Ave is the longest corridor project that the City has undertaken. It is twice as long and almost twice as wide as River Street or Western Ave!

Mass Ave Partial Construction by the Numbers:

  • Approximately 2 miles long, with 4 travel lanes
  • Average roadway width 71 feet from curb to curb
  • Approximately 4 miles of sidewalk, typical widths 8 to 10 feet
  • 55 intersections, including 16 signalized intersections
  • 42 pedestrian crosswalks across Mass Ave at 30 different locations
  • 69 pedestrian crosswalks across side streets
  • Approximately 4 miles of water main and 15 fire hydrants
  • Approximately 5 miles of sewer and drainage pipes, 175 manholes and 100 catch basins

Impacts Analysis and Construction Feasibility Evaluation

In April 2021, the City completed the MassAve4 Impacts Analysis which recommended a construction feasibility evaluation. This evaluation, which included a community engagement process, was completed between fall 2021 and spring 2022. The project team evaluated quick-build, partial construction and full construction options for each segment. The findings and recommendations were summarized in a report for the City Council.

Recommendation to City Council:

In April 2022, the City Council approved the recommendation that MassAve4 Segments A and B undergo partial construction.

The following construction activities are included in partial construction:

  • Removal of concrete median
  • Crossing islands and pedestrian ramps
  • Changes to intersection geometry 
  • Critical repairs to existing utilities 
  • Relocation of sections of utilities to improve traffic signal location
  • Paving the street and new pavement markings 

 

Design Open House Video Series Part One

Design Open House Video Series Part Two

See additional materials from the Design Open House on December 5, 2023, under the Documents tab above. To provide feedback on the concept design fill out our survey at arcg.is/0CafTa


December 2023

Tree Transplanting

In anticipation of future construction as part of the Mass Ave Partial Construction Project, the DPW’s contractor, Cambridge Landscape, will be transplanting six small trees located in the Porter Square area. The trees are currently small enough to be relocated.

• 1924 Mass Ave – two Japanese Elm trees transplant to Riverside Press Park
• 2067 Mass Ave – 1 London Planetree, two Elm trees, one Sweetgum transplant to Riverside Press Park

Winter 2023/2024

Eversource

In anticipation of future construction as part of the Mass Ave Partial Construction Project, Eversource will be installing new gas main on Mass Ave between Somerville Ave and Mossland Street (Somerville) to Cameron Ave.

• Eversource is currently coordinating with the city to obtain permits for this work
• Additional information about the work will continue to be posted with the Mass Ave Partial Construction updates


The Mass Ave Partial Construction Design Open House: Tuesday, December 5th, 2023

Join us on Tuesday, December 5th, from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm at Lesley University | University Hall Second Floor (accessible by elevator) | 1815 Mass Ave, Cambridge MA

The Cambridge Department of Public Works invites you to attend our open house to learn more about the Mass Ave Partial Construction Project (Linnaean Street to Waterhouse Street) and see updated designs.

The evening includes presentations, a chance to engage with project staff, and more.

View the flyer for the event here.


Spring 2023 - Winter 2024

  • Mass Ave Partial Construction Working Group Members appointed and kick off meeting held in May 
  • Develop design concepts and advance the designs phases
  • Review sewer and storm water collection system inspections and identify necessary repairs
  • Evaluate the condition of the water distribution system
  • Develop a phased construction approach along the two-mile project limits
  • Monitor progress on other construction activities within the project limits (MBTA - removal of trolley bus infrastructure, Eversource gas main work)

May 26, 2023: Mass Ave Partial Construction summary of costs document now available under the 'documents' tab


April 24, 2023: City Manger Yi-AN Huang appoints the following persons as members of the Mass Ave Partial Construction Working Group.

Sukia Akiba Steven Beucher
Christopher Cassa Makayla Comas-Race
Debby Galef Diane Gray
Timothy Keefe Eitan Normand
Ruth Ryals Daniel Stubbs
Darren Buck Gary Dmytryk
Denise Jillson Laurie Pessah

November 9, 2022: New Mass Ave Partial Construction Working Group Members Sought

Cambridge City Manager Yi-An Huang is seeking volunteers to serve on a new Working Group to help guide the Mass Ave Partial Construction Project on Mass Ave, from Waterhouse Street to Alewife Brook Parkway.

Project Goals

The project was initiated in response to the city’s Cycling Safety Ordinance (CSO) and the goals include:

  • Improving the safety and comfort for people walking, biking, and taking transit;
  • Reducing travel times and improving the reliability of MBTA buses;
  • Maintaining loading and short-term parking access to support local businesses;
  • Implementing changes in line with the Cambridge Bicycle Plan, Vision Zero

Action Plan and the Cambridge Cycling Safety Ordinance (CSO), which requires separated bike lanes on Mass Ave.

Individuals who are excited about shaping the future of Mass Ave and want to work collaboratively with city staff to accomplish the goals above are encouraged to apply.

Membership and Meetings
The Working Group is anticipated to be made up of 15-20 members, representing a diverse set of interests along the Mass Ave corridor to ensure that each perspective is heard and that there is adequate representation reporting back to the larger community. The Working Group will include residents, business owners, institutional representatives, and a variety of people that use the corridor to live, work, walk, bike or take the bus.

It is anticipated that the group will meet eight to ten times between January 2023 and December 2023. Meetings of the Working Group will be open to the public.

Working Group members will have two overall responsibilities:

  • Serve as a community representative to advise the City Manager and staff on key issues related to the design of improvements on Mass Ave;
  • Help communicate the process and design of the project back to the larger community.

There are several key elements where the Working Group will be asked to help shape the design of the Mass Ave corridor:

  • Design of separated bicycle lanes;
  • Evaluation of existing crossing locations for pedestrians and recommendations for additional crossing opportunities;
  • Curb use regulations (i.e., understand where parking/stopping/loading is possible and not possible, and advise on curb use regulations);
  • Options for bus priority.

How to Apply
Individuals interested in being considered should apply by using the City’s online application system at www.cambridgema.gov/apply and selecting “MassAve Partial Construction Working Group” in the list of Current Vacancies. A letter of interest can be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. The deadline for submitting applications is Monday, December 12, 2022.


Notice: Work at various locations along Mass Ave between Waterhouse Street and Churchill Ave Beginning November 15, 2022

Beginning November 15, the Department of Public Works and its contractor will be working at various locations along Mass Ave between Waterhouse Street and Churchill Ave.

Work hours will be Tuesday, November 15 through Friday, November 18 from 7am to 4pm.

This work is part of the MassAve4 Mass Ave Partial Construction Project and is being performed to document the existing conditions of the median and subsurface conditions. A series of test pits will be excavated along the center concrete median. The construction crew will begin near Mass Ave and Waterhouse Street. The work areas will be set up in the inside westbound lane adjacent to the median.

There will be parking impacts along Mass Ave as the construction crew advances westbound. No Parking signage will be posted at various locations along Mass Ave, and the crew will minimize parking impacts to the extent possible.

Questions about the MassAve4 project? Feedback can be sent to massave4@cambridgema.gov.

To receive future updates via email, please click the orange button under the Contact tab.


Recommendation Submitted to City Council

In April 2022, after an extensive community engagement process, the City Council approved the submitted recommendation that these MassAve4 segments undergo partial construction to adhere to the Cycling Safety Ordinance and manage the complication factors of the bus stops and overhead wires. The full report of that recommendation can be found here


The boards presented at yesterday's pop up session can be found on the "Documents" tab.


DATE CHANGE: Pop Up Info Session -Tuesday, March 22, 2022 3-7PM

Due to forecasted rain, the date of this event has been changed. It will now be on Tuesday, March 22nd 3-7PM. 

On Tuesday, March 22nd, 3-7PM., we will hold an outdoor pop up information session to discuss changes to Mass Ave in relation to the Cycling Safety Ordinance.

During the event, you will have a chance to:

  • Engage directly with members of our staff,
  • Review updates to the plan
  • Ask questions and receive information

We hope you can attend as we value the feedback we get from residents and businesses.


Pop Up Info Session - Saturday, March 19, 2022 10AM-2PM

On Saturday, March 19 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., we will hold an outdoor pop up information session to discuss changes to Mass Ave in relation to the Cycling Safety Ordinance.

During the event, you will have a chance to:

  • Engage directly with members of our staff,
  • Review updates to the plan
  • Ask questions and receive information

We hope you can attend as we value the feedback we get from residents and businesses.


The presentation for the March 3, 2022 Community Meeting is now available to view. 

To submit a question or feedback in advance of the meeting, please email massave4@cambridgema.gov The team will try to answer as many questions as possible at the community meeting. Questions may be grouped together by category. 

After viewing the presentation, please take this short survey.


Community Meeting - Thursday, March 3, 2022 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.

The City of Cambridge invites you to a virtual community meeting on Thursday, March 3, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. to discuss projects associated with the Cycling Safety Ordinance. This meeting will focus on the segments from Dudley Street to Beech Street and Roseland Street to Waterhouse Street

Register in advance for this webinar:

https://cambridgema.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_hNDtVTP9R6mICqQKTsC9xg

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

There will be a presentation starting at 6 p.m. followed by a question and answer session. Attendees will be able to unmute themselves and ask questions or they can submit questions via the Q&A function in zoom. 

The presentation will also be posted to the project page in advance of the meeting so that residents can submit questions in advance and join the meeting at 6:20 p.m. for just the Q&A portion. Questions can be submitted to massave4@cambridgema.gov.

The City of Cambridge does not discriminate on the basis of disability. The City of Cambridge will provide auxiliary aids and services, written materials in alternative format, and reasonable modifications in policies upon request. To receive future updates via email, please contact massave4@cambridgema.gov


The boards presented at each of the Pop-Up Info Sessions are now available to view on the Documents tab.


 

Presentation Now Available to View

The MassAve4 Cycling Safety Ordinance Project introduction video is now available to view.

This video focuses on the segments of Massachusetts Avenue between Dudley Street and Beech Street and Roseland Street to Waterhouse Street

This video will highlight:

  • Where the City is in the process of evaluating the MassAve4 segments
  • The project timeline as it relates to the Cycling Safety Ordinance requirements
  • The range of design possibilities
  • How to provide feedback to the project team

The video does not have specific plans for these segments. We are in the beginning stages of the community process that will be used to develop a recommended implementation strategy and schedule that will be presented to the City Council for approval in April 2022.

Please join us at one of the pop-up community info sessions listed below to ask questions, give feedback, and learn more about the project. A formal presentation will not be given at these events. They are informal drop-in sessions where City staff and members of the project team are available to discuss the project.

  • Saturday, November 13th, 2021 10AM-12PM Cambridge Common (Waterhouse & Mass Ave)
  • Saturday, November 13th, 2021 2PM-4PM St. John’s Church Parking Lot (2254 Mass Ave)
  • Monday, November 15th, 2021 3PM-6PM St. John’s Church Parking Lot (2254 Mass Ave)
  • Tuesday, November 16th, 2021 3PM-6PM Cambridge Common (Waterhouse & Mass Ave)

If you are unable to attend one of these sessions, please submit feedback or questions to massave4@cambridgema.gov

 


Community Meeting Notice: Mass Ave Improvements, Dudley Street to Beech Street, Roseland Street to Waterhouse Street Pop-Up Community Meetings

The City is committed to implementing separated bike lanes on Mass. Ave. to improve safety, consistent with the Cambridge Bike Plan (cambridgema.gov/BikePlan2020) and the Cycling Safety Ordinance (cambridgema.gov/CyclingSafetyOrdinance).

For these two sections of Mass. Ave., City staff must get Council approval by the end of April 2022 on a timeline for implementing separated bike lanes. The implementation could include a combination of quick-build and construction.

We want to know what you think!

On Wednesday, November 10th, a video presentation about the project will be available to view on the project website (cambridgema.gov/MassAve4A).

You are then invited to attend one of the Pop-up Community Meetings listed below to ask questions, give feedback, and learn more about the project.

  • Saturday, November 13th, 2021 10AM-12PM Cambridge Common (Waterhouse & Mass Ave)
  • Saturday, November 13th, 2021 2PM-4PM St. John’s Church Parking Lot (2254 Mass Ave)
  • Monday, November 15th, 2021 3PM-6PM St. John’s Church Parking Lot (2254 Mass Ave)
  • Tuesday, November 16th, 2021 3PM-6PM Cambridge Common (Waterhouse & Mass Ave)

For more information about the project, visit the website (cambridgema.gov/MassAve4A) via the QR Code. Questions or comments? Contact massave4@cambridgema.gov

We hope you can attend as we value the feedback we get from residents and businesses.


The City is working to determine which sections of the Mass4 will implement separated bike lanes using quick-build methods and which sections require construction.  This determination will be based on further analysis and review of the impacts and cost of each approach (quick-build and construction).  

The City will be hosting community meetings throughout the design process. Please see the "Schedule" tab for a general schedule of the project. 

Spring 2024 - Winter 2025

  • Continue to meet and collaborate with the working group to advance the corridor design.
  • Continue to hold meetings with Cambridge committees, the public, various City departments and stakeholders.
  • Continue to develop design concepts and advance the design phases.
  • Continue to evaluate sewer and stormwater collection system inspections and identify necessary repairs.
  • Continue to evaluate the condition of the water distribution system and coordinate with Cambridge Water to determine extent of upgrades needed to address affected water infrastructure.
  • Continue to refine the phased construction approach along the two-mile project.
  • Continue to monitor progress on other construction activities within the project limits (MBTA, Eversource).
  • Prepare construction contract documents for a public construction bid.
  • Start Phase 1a construction in late 2024

Spring 2023 - Winter 2024

  • Mass Ave Partial Construction Working Group Members appointed and kick off meeting held in May
  • Develop design concepts and advance the designs phases
  • Review sewer and storm water collection system inspections and identify necessary repairs
  • Evaluate the condition of the water distribution system
  • Develop a phased construction approach along the two-mile project limits\
  • Monitor progress on other construction activities within the project limits (MBTA - removal of trolley bus infrastructure, Eversource gas main work)

Summer 2022 – Winter 2023: Review/evaluate underground utilities and subsurface conditions:

  • Coordination with Eversource about the condition of gas infrastructure
  • Continued coordination with the MBTA about removal of OCS infrastructure
  • Review of City utilities in the MassAve4 program area (water, sewer and drain infrastructure)
  • Excavate test pits at various locations to verify the location and condition of underground utilities as well as subsurface conditions.

April 2022: The City Council approved the construction timeline for the four segments of MassAve4:

  • Segment A - Massachusetts Ave Dudley Street to Beech Street by December 31, 2026
  • Segment B - Massachusetts Ave Roseland Street to Waterhouse Street by December 31, 2026
  • Segment C - Harvard Square Bus Stop Garden Street to Church Street by June 30, 2025
  • Segment D - Harvard Square Bus Stop Dunster Street to Plympton Street by June 30, 2025

March 2022: MBTA de-energizes the Overhead Catenary System (OCS) that powers the trolley buses and will be removing the OCS infrastructure. Coordination with MBTA and City of Cambridge has been ongoing since March.

Fall 2021 - Spring 2022: Pavement, sidewalk and utility assessment to determine scope, extent, and estimated cost of construction. Developing multiple design concepts for the corridor, understanding that it will likely not be the same option for each block.

Fall 2021 - Spring 2022: Community meetings

Fall 2021: Field data collection and catenary exploration, including a series of meetings with MBTA.

September 2021: The City has hired a consultant for the MassAve4 Program.

 

The MassAve4 Mass Ave Partial Construction Project was initiated in response to the City’s Cycling Safety Ordinance. Four segments of Mass Ave that have complicating factors, such as significant underground utility considerations, major bus stops and the MBTA’s electric Overhead Catenary System, were identified as the “MassAve4”:
• Segment A - Massachusetts Ave Dudley Street to Beech Street
• Segment B - Massachusetts Ave Roseland Street to Waterhouse Street
• Segment C - Harvard Square Bus Stop Garden Street to Church Street
• Segment D - Harvard Square Bus Stop Dunster Street to Plympton Street

In April 2022, Segments A and B were approved as partial construction projects by the City Council. Work on the Mass Ave Partial Construction Project is ongoing. Refer to the Schedule tab for more information.

Mass Ave Partial Construction Group Meeting #4

Thursday April 25, 2024

3:00 PM to 5:00 PM

To register for this meeting with remote participation on Zoom webinar:

https://bowman.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_-BF8M3eHQxC8TvwWiOFgzw

To view full working group flyer click here.

To view the full presentation click here

To view the meeting minutes click here


Mass Ave Partial Construction Working Group Site Walk #3

Thursday, October 12, 2023
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Location: Meet at the intersection of Day Street and Mass Ave


Working Group Site Walk #3: Day Street to Alewife Brook Parkway

The City and Working Group have participated in two site walks along Mass Ave between Waterhouse Street and Day Street, and will be having a third site walk to observe travel behavior and consider design challenges in the northern segment of the Mass Ave project area:

  • The site walk will be between Day Street and Alewife Brook Parkway, an approximately .7 mile segment

All Working Group meetings are open to the public, although time for general public comment will be limited. -The Project will also be holding general public meetings and other public events during the planning and design phase. We encourage interested members of the public to join the Project contact list at cambridgema.gov/massavepartialconstruction in order to learn about these events.

To view the full flyer click here.

 

Mass Ave Partial Construction Working Group Meeting #3

Thursday, September 28, 2023

3:00 PM to 5:00 PM

To register for this meeting with remote participation on Zoom webinar:

https://bowman.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_S28kCr5JRc6os7HHG7dhnQ

To view full flyer click here.

To view the full presentation click here.

To view the meeting minutes click here.


Mass Ave Partial Construction Working Group Site Walk #2

Monday, August 7, 2023
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Location: Meet at the red windmill sculpture at Porter Station
Contact: Kristen Kelleher 617-349-4825 kkelleher@cambridgema.gov

Working Group Site Walk #2: Porter Square to Rice Street

The City and Working Group will be having two site walks along the corridor to observe travel behavior and consider design challenges and possibilities:

• One site walk between Porter Station and Rice Street, an approximately .6 mile segment
• One site walk between Porter Station and Waterhouse Street, an approximately .7 mile segment.

All Working Group meetings are open to the public, although time for general public comment will be limited. The Project will also be holding general public meetings and other public events during the planning and design phase. We encourage interested members of the public to join the Project contact list at cambridgema.gov/massavepartialconstruction in order to learn about these events.

View the full flyer here.

Mass Ave Partial Construction Working Group Site Walk #1

Thursday, August 3, 2023
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Location: Meet at the red windmill sculpture at Porter Station
Contact: Kristen Kelleher 617-349-4825 kkelleher@cambridgema.gov

Working Group Site Walk #1: Porter Square to Waterhouse Street

The City and Working Group will be having two site walks along the corridor to observe travel behavior and consider design challenges and possibilities:

• One site walk between Porter Station and Rice Street, an approximately .6 mile segment
• One site walk between Porter Station and Waterhouse Street, an approximately .7 mile segment.

All Working Group meetings are open to the public, although time for general public comment will be limited. The Project will also be holding general public meetings and other public events during the planning and design phase. We encourage interested members of the public to join the Project contact list at cambridgema.gov/massavepartialconstruction in order to learn about these events.

View the full flyer here.


Mass Ave Partial Construction Working Group Meeting #2

Thursday, June 22, 2023

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

To register for this meeting with remote participation on Zoom webinar:
https://mcmahon.zoom.us/webinar

View Working Group Meeting 2 Flyer here.

The Meeting Minutes from Working Group #2 can be viewed here. 

The Working Group 2 Presentation can be viewed here. 


Mass Ave Partial Construction

Working Group Meeting #1 Thursday, May 18, 2023

The presentation from Working Group Meeting #1 can be viewed here.

The Meeting Minutes from Working Group Meeting #1 can be viewed here.

The Mass Ave Partial Construction Project was initiated in response to the City’s Cycling Safety Ordinance. The project will design and implement improvements to Massachusetts Ave between Waterhouse Street and Alewife Brook Parkway, including separated bicycle facilities, pedestrian and transit improvements, and accommodation for curbside access. Improvements will be accomplished using a combination of quick-build techniques and limited construction such as removal and/or reconfiguration of the roadway median. Map of Mass Ave Partial Construction Scope


Visit cambridgema.gov/massavepartialconstruction for more complete information about the Project, and for Project updates.

At the first Working Group meeting, the Project Team will describe the purpose and background of the project, introduce Working Group members, review the basis for design and potential design options, and provide space for discussion. Subsequent Working Group meetings will review and promote discussion on specific design elements along the corridor.

All Working Group meetings are open to the public, although time for general public comment will be limited. The Project will also be holding general public meetings and other public events during the planning and design phase. We encourage interested members of the public to join the Project contact list at cambridgema.gov/massavepartialconstruction in order to learn about these events.

Mass Ave Partial Construction Working Group Meeting #1
Thursday, May 18, 2023
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
To register for this meeting with remote participation on Zoom webinar:

https://mcmahon.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Y7VNygRnR9KfWcSl5r_TpA#/registration

For more information on this project or to be added to the project email list, please visit: cambridgema.gov/massavepartialconstruction. If you have any questions about this project or the upcoming meeting, contact Jerry Friedman at jfriedman@cambridgema.gov or 617-349-9720.


Working Group Members:

 Sukia Akiba  Steven Beucher
 Christopher Cassa  Makayla Comas-Race
 Debby Galef  Diane Gray
 Timothy Keefe  Eitan Normand
 Ruth Ryals  Daniel Stubbs
 Darren Buck  Gary Dmytryk
 Denise Jillson  Laurie Pessah



Questions or comments? Please contact MassAve4@cambridgema.gov

Sign up to receive updates for this project, or any other projects associated with the Cycling Safety Ordinance, click here

Page was posted on 9/20/2021 4:18 PM
Page was last modified on 6/10/2024 7:38 PM
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