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Hampshire Street Safety Improvement Project

Hampshire Street is a busy corridor navigated daily by people, biking, walking, and driving. It’s also a key piece in the City of Cambridge’s plan for a safe, connected separated bicycle network.

Through the Hampshire Street Safety Improvement Project, the City will add separated bike lanes to Hampshire Street between Inman Square and Broadway, creating a more comfortable biking connection between Inman Square and the Port/Kendall Square. We will also make improvements to existing crosswalks and changes to parking and loading.

This "quick-build" project will change the layout of the street with new pavement markings, signs, and flex posts. 

This Project Will:

  • Improve safety for everyone on the street
  • Install separated bike lanes in both directions, adding to the City's network of separated bike lanes
  • Retain parking and loading zones wherever possible

Get Involved:

While the installation of separated bike lanes on Hampshire Street is required by the Cycling Safety Ordinance, community involvement is crucial. We value the feedback we receive from Cambridge residents and businesses in deciding details around what types of parking and loading to prioritize, the placement of lanes, intersection and safety improvements, and more. Sign up for our project mailing list for the latest news and check below for more information. 

As we start this project, we want to hear from you! A few questions to get you started:

  • How do you currently use Hampshire Street?
  • What elements are important to keep?
  • Where do you have safety concerns?
  • What can we improve?

 

Your comments will help inform layout options for the street, which we'll present in our next community meeting. We take all forms of feedback into account, so don't worry about which format you usewe'll consider everything we receive.

 

Comment Map

Leave location-specific feedback on our comment map.  

Screenshot of a map with Hampshire Street highlighted and a series of dots.

Click the image above or use this link to view the map

To leave a comment:

  • Click "Submit a Comment" button.
  • Click the point on the map that your comment refers to.
  • Fill out the form.
  • Click "Report It."

To read other comments:

  • Click a dot to read the associated comment.
  • Click the "heart" button to indicate that you agree with the comment.

Using the map:

  • Click the + and - buttons in the top left corner to zoom in and out.
  • Click the list icon in the menu to see the map legend.
  • Use the < at the top of the right menu to go back to previous menus.
  • To get rid of the start-up text box, click the X at the top right corner.

Feedback Form

If you have feedback or comments that aren't tied to a specific location, submit them using our feedback form

Please note: if you have questions or would like to receive a response to your comment, email Project Manager Andreas Wolfe at awolfe@cambridgema.gov

Email the Project Manager

Email Project Manager Andreas Wolfe at awolfe@cambridgema.gov if:

  • You're having trouble with the comment map or web form.
  • You have a question or comment that you would like to receive a response to. 

Meetings and Outreach

First Community Meeting - November 15, 2022

On Tuesday, November 15, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., we hosted our first community meeting on Zoom. During the meeting, we shared an introduction to the project, and gave attendees an opportunity to provide feedback.

Meeting Materials

Meeting Update

Please review the slides or watch the meeting recording for a full overview of what was discussed in the meeting. City staff provided background on city policies supporting sustainable transportation, separated bike lanes, and the Cycling Safety Ordinance. 

Staff talked about: 

Parking: 

There are currently about 175 spaces on Hampshire Street. Closer to Inman Square, spaces are usually metered or unrestricted. In the middle of the corridor, spaces are mostly permit-only. Closest to Broadway, spaces are mostly metered. Click here for more details

We know that this project will reduce the amount of parking on this corridor. We want to hear what parking types are most important to you. 

Design Considerations:

Related Nearby Projects:

Community Open House - November 7, 2022

On Monday, November 7, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., we hosted an in-person open house at the DPW Building at 147 Hampshire St.

During the Open House, we will shared an introduction to the project, the Cycling Safety Ordinance, the Cambridge Bike Plan, and Vision Zero, and provided attendees with an opportunity to provide us with feedback.

Attendees attached sticky note comments to a large map of the street. See the comments below: 

Sticky notes on a map of Hampshire Street

Sticky notes on a map of Hampshire Street

Sticky notes on a map of Hampshire Street

Sticky notes on a map of Hampshire Street

Sticky notes on a map of Hampshire Street

 

Business Outreach

October 2022

During the week of October 24, we kicked off our community process by speaking with business owners, houses of worship, and other key stakeholders. We'll plan to visit throughout the week, both during the day and the evening.

We're distributing a brochure with more information on the Hampshire Street Safety Improvement Project:

We want your feedback on what matters to you! Here are a few things that are helpful for us as we work through the project design:

  • How do you currently use the street? (i.e., how do you accept deliveries? What times of day do you have the most visitors?)
  • What changes matter most to you?
  • Are there particular locations along the corridor that matter to you? If so, why?

Postcards

In October 2022, as part of the project launch, we sent postcards announcing the Hampshire Street Safety Improvement Project to about 5,000 addresses around the project area. The postcards included details on the project, email list, website, open house, and first community meeting. 

Click here to view the postcard

First page of a postcard on Hampshire Street shows the project map and details   Second page of the Hampshire Street postcard give information on community meetings

Project Background

Project Area

This project will include improvements to Hampshire Street between Inman Square and Broadway.

Project Schedule

Note: This schedule is based on the latest information we have and is subject to change. 

November 7, 2022: First Community Open House

November 15, 2022: First Community Meeting

  • Project introduction
  • Discussion of preliminary plans and opportunities for feedback

Winter 2023: Second Community Meeting

  • Present a draft plan

Spring 2023: Third Community Meeting and Second Community Open House

  • Share a revised plan

Summer 2023: Installation 

Data

Crash Data

At our first community meeting on November 15, 2022, we shared crash data from Hampshire Street between June 1, 2020 and June 1, 2021. Click here to see the slide shared at the meeting (summarized below). Most injury crashes involved someone biking. 

We analyzed the 80 Cambridge Police Department crash reports from Hampshire Street between June 1, 2020 and June 1, 2021. 

  • 97% of crashes (78) involved a person driving
  • 32% of crashes (25) involved someone biking or riding a scooter and a person driving
  • 4% of crashes (3) involved someone walking or jogging and a person driving
  • There were no crashes between a person biking and a person walking

33% of crashes (26) resulted in an injury. Of these crashes: 

  • 18 people biking sustained injuries
  • 3 people walking sustained injuries
  • 5 people driving sustained injuries

Fourteen of these 26 injury crashes (54%) required medical attention. 

The most common crash types on Hampshire Street that resulted in injury were:

  1. Dooring: When a driver opens their car door into the path of a bicyclist
  2. Unsafe passing: When a driver clips the handlebars of a person bicycling
  3. Obstructed turns: When a driver turns into a bike lane or crosswalk without a clear line of sight
  4. Whiplash: When a driver rear-ends another driver

Source: Cambridge Police Department Crash Data

Traffic + Bike Counts

Project-Related Counts

We are conducing traffic and bicycle counts at the beginning of the project and will share the numbers when they are available. 

Eco-Totem Counter

An Eco-Totem bicycle counter at one end of the project area (on Broadway near Kendall Square) gives an idea of ridership trends, although it doesn't show Hampshire Street ridership. Click here to view that data. (If the link doesn't work, try copying and pasting it into your browser)

 

About Separated Bike Lanes

Separated bike lanes provide dedicated spaces for bicycles, physically separated from traffic by a vertical structure like a curb, flex-post, or other barrier. Compared to traditional bike lanes, more people are comfortable biking in bike lanes that are separated from traffic with a barrier or curb. The experience is also much more comfortable than riding in traffic with cars, buses, and trucks.

Separated bike lanes also increase safety for people walking by reducing crossing distances at crosswalks and visually narrowing the roadway width. As we install separated bike lanes, we also look for opportunities to increase visibility at intersections, refresh crosswalk markings, and install appropriate pedestrian crossing signs.

Key Components of Separated Bike Lanes

  • Bike lanes create dedicated space for people who are biking.
  • Buffers (painted lines on the street) create space between people biking and people driving. They help prevent unintentional collisions that could cause serious harm to the people involved. Depending on the location, there may be a parking lane next to the buffer area. In these instances, drivers can use the buffer area to safely get in and out of the car and to load and unload items.
  • Flex posts are placed in the buffer area and serve as a vertical barrier in the buffer area.
  • Travel lanes allow space for people to drive down the street, but can be used by anyone.
  • Green markings help alert people turning from the travel lane that they should look out for people on bikes. These are generally installed at intersections and across driveways.
  • Parking creates space for people to store their vehicles while they are in the area. This part of the street may also be designated as loading zones, which help make it easier for delivery people to do their jobs.
  • Daylighting is when the parking lane is pulled back 20 feet to make it easier for people driving down the street and people waiting to cross the street to see each other. These areas are generally marked with lines on the ground. There may also be flex posts. 

Mt Auburn St at Holyoke St - Before and After

The images below show Mt Auburn St at Holyoke St before and after separated bike lanes were installed as a part of the Inner Mount Auburn Safety Improvement Project.

The left image shows Inner Mt Auburn St with a standard bike lane, travel lane, and a parking lane. The right image shows Inner Mt Auburn St with a bike lane, buffer area with flex posts, a travel lane, a parking lane, and daylighting.

 

"Quick Build" Projects versus "Construction" Projects

This is a quick-build project, which means we are not digging into the ground or making changes to the width or shape of the road. Instead, we will make improvements using paint, flex-posts, stencils, new signage, changes to parking regulations, and traffic signal adjustments. Quick-build projects allow us to make changes to our streets more rapidly and to make adjustments even after a design is installed.

A construction project would involve more extensive changes, including moving curbs and/or removing medians. Work becomes more complex any time we dig into the ground, and construction projects usually include work on underground infrastructure such as traffic signal wires and water, drainage, and sewer pipes. When roads are reconstructed as part of the City’s Five-Year Plan for Streets and Sidewalks, roads designated for greater separation in Cambridge’s 2020 Bicycle Network Vision, including existing quick-build bike lanes, are turned into permanent separated bike lanes.

What drives our street design?

In Cambridge, we take a human-centered approach to street design, engineered to prevent errors as much as possible and lessen the impacts of errors when they do happen.

We design for all ages and abilities. This includes:

  • Designing our streets for people who may not have access to a car
  • Designing our streets to protect the most vulnerable road users, like cyclists and pedestrians
  • Creating safe and accessible facilities, including bike lanes, that can be used by a wide range of people

Our focus is on moving people and goods, not their vehicles

  • Biking and riding transit is a more efficient use of limited street space
  • We keep access for trucks and local deliveries, but safely.

The Cycling Safety Ordinance

In 2019, the Cambridge City Council passed the Cycling Safety Ordinance. The 2019 Ordinance requires the City to install separated bike lanes when:

In 2020, the Cambridge City Council passed amendments to the ordinance, requiring the installation of about 25 miles of separated bike lanes within the next five to seven years. The ordinance requires that the City install separated bike lanes on:

  • All of Massachusetts Avenue
  • Garden Street, eastbound from Huron Avenue to Berkeley Street and westbound from Mason Street to Huron Avenue
  • Broadway from Quincy Street to Hampshire Street
  • Cambridge Street from Oak Street to Second Street
  • Hampshire Street from Amory Street to Broadway
  • 11.6 miles in other locations from the 2020 Bicycle Plan
Page was posted on 8/24/2021 5:10 PM
Page was last modified on 11/29/2022 3:10 PM
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