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Map of project limits for the Brattle Street Safety Improvement Project

Brattle Street Safety Improvement Project

Project Description

Through this project, we will install separated bike lanes on Brattle Street between Mason Street and Mount Auburn Street and make improvements to pedestrian crossings. We will also consider modifications at key intersections to improve safety and comfort for people walking, biking and driving.

Project Plans 

More information on the project phases can be found below.

 

Installation Updates

November 4 Update: Phase 1 Installation Begins Next Week

Beginning next week, the City will install Phase 1 of the Brattle Street Safety Improvement Project, between Mason Street and Sparks Street. Previously, we announced that we would delay installation to the spring, but we have adjusted our approach after re-evaluating the feasibility of using temporary materials.

We plan to use tube-style cones to separate people biking from vehicle traffic until concrete curbing becomes available this winter. These cones are taller and have a heavier base than a typical traffic cone.

Parking Restrictions

On Tuesday, November 8, City crews will remove all parking signs on the north side of the street and replacing them with "No Stopping" signage. You will start to notice temporary signage beginning on Monday, November 7, to let people know that these changes are coming.

Timeline

After changing parking signs on Tuesday, we expect to begin pavement marking work Wednesday, November 9, at 8 p.m. This includes:

  • Adding a two-way separated bike lane between Mason Street and Sparks Street
  • Reconfiguring the intersection of Brattle Street with Craigie Street
  • Painting all remaining crosswalks
  • Finalizing all other remaining road markings, including parking stalls, turn arrows, and lane lines

Additional nights of work may be needed on an ongoing basis. This work is weather-dependent, and we will communicate any changes we make to the schedule.

We anticipate having all curbing installed by January 2023. Curbing will be installed by a city contractor, E.M. Lofgren, under city supervision.

More Information

We still plan to install Phase 2 of the project in 2023, with community engagement continuing this winter. We look forward to hearing your feedback. Please let us know if you have any questions in the meantime!

November 4: What will change during Phase 1 installation?

Brattle Street Safety Improvement Project implementation phases. Phase 1, between Mason Street and Sparks Street, will be installed in 2022. Phase 2, between Sparks Street and Mt. Auburn Street, will be installed in 2023.

We will install Phase 1 of the Brattle Street Safety Improvement Project starting Wednesday, November 9 (weather permitting). 

A mockup of the Brattle Street layout. From left to right, we see a sidewalk, parking lane, a traffic lane in each direction, a buffer zone with concrete curbs, and a two-way separated bike lane.

New Bike Lanes

We are adding a two-way bike lane between Mason Street and Sparks Street on the north (odd) side of the street. Installation will begin on Wednesday, November 9 (weather permitting). 

Parking changes on Brattle Street for the Brattle Street Safety Improvement Project: all parking will be removed from the north/odd side of the street between Sparks and Mason Streets. On the south/even side of the street, there will be permit parking, one handicap/accessible parking space, and a 8am to 4 pm loading zone

Parking Changes

We will remove all parking on the north (odd) side of the street between Mason Street and Sparks Street. Signage will begin changing on Tuesday, November 8. 

Currently, Craigie Street and Sparks Street merge together into Brattle Street. This project will create two distinct intersections.

Reconfigured Brattle/Craigie Intersection

We will reconfigure the intersection of Brattle Street with Craigie Street. This will create two distinct intersections at Brattle Street/Craigie Street and Brattle Street/Sparks Street. 

October 28 Update: Brattle Street Installation Delayed to Spring 2023

We are still waiting for the concrete curbing required to separate bike lanes from parking and vehicle travel lanes. We don't expect to receive the materials until early winter, which will delay the installation of separated bike lanes and the realignment of Craigie Street.

We now plan to install the separated bike lanes and realign Craigie Street in the early spring, when pavement parking work can resume and the curbing is available. 

Over the next one to two weeks, we will be completing minor pavement marking work. 

October 2022: Pavement Markings

Beginning the evening of Wednesday, October 12, the City of Cambridge will install pavement markings on Brattle Street. Work will begin at 8 p.m. on the section of Brattle Street near Harvard Square.

Work will continue in the evenings as weather permits.

Parking restrictions will be in place during this work, and we will indicate restrictions with signs posted at least 24 hours in advance. If you park your car in the area, please check for temporary "No Parking" signs.

First, we will restripe the portion of the street between Harvard Square and Mason Street, adding back markings that were recently removed during repaving. This will return the street to its previous configuration, with the same layout of a two-way bike lane, single travel lane, and crosswalks. As time allows, we will also begin to install new pavement markings between Mason Street and Sparks Street, including vehicle travel lane lines and crosswalks.

We do not expect to install separated bike lane markings or markings reconfiguring the Brattle/Craigie/Sparks Street intersection this week. 

October 2022: Curb Reconstruction

The City's contractor, Fred DeRoma & Son, will start reconstructing the curbs at Longfellow Park and Willard Street on Friday, October 7. Curb reconstruction should conclude the following week. All work is weather dependent. Please look for signs directing you where to drive and/or park, and make sure to drive, walk, and bike carefully around construction crews.

Meetings

Fourth Community Meeting - Fall 2022

We will host an additional community meeting this Fall to discuss Phase 2 of the project, which covers the section of Brattle Street from Sparks Street to Mount Auburn Street. Check back here for updates on the meeting date, or sign up for the project mailing list to receive the latest information.

At this meeting, we will:

  • Share updated plans for Phase 2 based on community feedback from the third community meeting and open house
  • Share additional information regarding plans for the intersection of Brattle Street and Fresh Pond Parkway
  • Discuss preliminary plans for the intersection of Brattle Street and Mount Auburn Street, including the connection to Aberdeen Avenue

Cambridge Historical Commission Meeting - September 8, 2022

We presented again in front of the Historical Commission on September 8, 2022.

At the meeting, the Commission granted a three-year temporary Certificate of Appropriateness for Phase 1 of this project. 

Open House at Buckingham Browne & Nichols Lower School - August 8, 2022

On Monday, August 8, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., we hosted an in-person open house. The event took place outdoors at the Buckingham Browne & Nichols Lower School at 19 Craigie St.

There was no formal presentation and no new information was shared; instead, community members were invited to drop in any time from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. to browse project plans and ask city staff and consultants questions.

Public Information Board 1

Public Information Board 2

Project Plans

Click the links below for the draft roll plans shared at the open house.

Cambridge Historical Commission Meeting - August 4, 2022

Brattle Street falls within the Old Cambridge Historic District. Given its location, on August 4, 2022, we presented plans to the Cambridge Historical Commission regarding Phase 1 of the project from Mason Street to Sparks Street. 

The Commission voted in favor of a continuance and the discussion will continue at the next meeting on September 8, 2022. Members of the public are invited to attend Historical Commission meetings and may comment or ask questions of fact. Information on how to attend the meeting, along with a full agenda, will be posted on the Historical Commission website.

Third Community Meeting - August 2, 2022

On Tuesday, August 2 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., we held a third community meeting for the project over Zoom. This meeting covered both Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the project. City staff shared draft plans for Phase 1 of the project between Mason Street and Sparks Street. This portion will be installed in summer or fall of this year. Staff also shared preliminary plans for Phase 2 of the project, between Sparks Street and Mount Auburn Street. We plan to install Phase 2 in 2023.

Note: the materials below were created for this meeting. There may be future updates to the design of this project. Please look at more recent updates for the latest news. 

Meeting Materials

Meeting Update

Please review the slides above for a full overview of what was discussed at the meeting.

A mock-up of what a two-way separated bike lane with pre-cast concrete curbs could look like on the portion of Brattle Street between Sparks Street and Riedesel Avenue, in front of the Holy Trinity Armenian Church.
A mock-up of what a two-way separated bike lane with pre-cast concrete curbs could look like on the portion of Brattle Street between Sparks Street and Riedesel Avenue, in front of the Holy Trinity Armenian Church. 

We shared preliminary designs for Phase 2 of the project, including: 

We also shared draft designs for Phase 1 of the project, which were unchanged from those shared at the second community meeting. See the "Second Community Meeting" tab below, watch the meeting recording, or view the full presentation, for draft designs of the section of Brattle Street between Mason Street and Sparks Street. We plan to install these changes in 2022. 

Contact us if you have questions or thoughts about these draft designs! 

Second Community Meeting - June 21, 2022

We held a second community meeting for the Brattle Street Safety Improvement Project on June 21, 2022, over Zoom. The meeting focused on Phase 1 of the project -- the portion of Brattle Street between Mason Street and Sparks Street. City staff shared preliminary plans for adding separated bicycle lanes and improving safety at intersections in this area. 

Note: the materials below were created for this meeting. There may be future updates to the design of this project. Please look at more recent updates for the latest news. 

Meeting Materials

Meeting Update

Please review the slides and/or watch the recording above for a full overview of what was discussed at the meeting.

A mock-up of what a two-way bike lane with pre-cast concrete curbs could look like in front of the Longfellow House.
A mock-up of what a two-way separated bike lane with pre-cast concrete curbs could look like in front of Longfellow House.

Updates included:

Contact us if you have questions or thoughts about these draft designs! 

First Community Meeting - May 3, 2022

On Tuesday, May 3 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., we held the first community meeting for the project

During the meeting, we:

  • discussed the goals and objectives of the project
  • reviewed background information, including the Cambridge Bicycle Plan and the Vision Zero Action Plan
  • shared the timeline for the project
  • provided an opportunity to ask questions and provide comments

This meeting was held virtually over Zoom.

Click here to view the slides from the meeting.

Background

Project Schedule

Installation Schedule

Fall 2022: Install Phase 1: Mason Street to Sparks Street
Spring/Summer 2023: Install Phase 2: Sparks Street to Mount Auburn Street

Brattle Street Safety Improvement Project implementation phases. Phase 1, between Mason Street and Sparks Street, will be installed in 2022. Phase 2, between Sparks Street and Mt. Auburn Street, will be installed in 2023.

Engagement Schedule


May 3, 2022: First Community Meeting

June 21, 2022: Second Community Meeting

  • Review plans for Phase 1: Mason Street to Sparks Street

August 2, 2022: Third Community Meeting

  • Final review of plans for Phase 1: Mason Street to Sparks Street

  • Initial review of plans for Phase 2: Sparks Street to Mount Auburn Street

August 4, 2022: Historical Commission Meeting #1

August 8, 2022: Open House at Buckingham Browne and Nichols Lower School

September 8, 2022: Historical Commission Meeting #2

Fall/Winter 2022: Phase 2 Engagement

  • Ongoing community engagement on Phase 2: Sparks Street to Mount Auburn Street

*Note that this schedule is based on the latest information we have. 

Community Feedback Survey

Our community feedback survey closed on Friday, June 24, 2022. 

2017: Separated Bike Installation Between Brattle Square and Mason Street

Separated bike lanes that were installed on Brattle Street closer to Harvard Square in 2017. Click here for information on this project.

This project will build on this previous work and extend separated bike lanes the length of Brattle Street to the intersection of Mount Auburn Street.

2018 Meeting: Long-Term Brattle St at Sparks St/Craigie St Intersection Safety Improvements

In 2018, we held a community meeting presentation about long-term improvements at the Brattle Street/Sparks Street/Craigie Street intersection.

As part of that community process, the community selected a roundabout as the preferred alternative for this intersection. Funding for roundabout construction is not identified at the moment in the city's Five Year Plan for Sidewalk and Street reconstruction.

As part of this process, we can install interim improvements at this intersection. We will also refine design and cost estimates for the long-term proposal. We do not have a timeline for work on the roundabout at this time.

Click here to view the presentation slides from that meeting.

Page was posted on 8/24/2021 5:10 PM
Page was last modified on 10/28/2022 1:42 PM
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