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South Massachusetts Avenue Corridor Safety Improvements Project

Massachusetts Avenue, from Sidney Street at the edge of Central Square to Memorial Drive at the Charles River, is a busy transportation corridor with a variety of uses. Anchored at one end by Central Square and University Park, and at the other end by MIT, the street is heavily used by pedestrians, bicyclists, vehicles and transit users. The corridor has a growing variety of restaurants, shops and commercial uses.  The street was redesigned and reconstructed (2008) with new elements including on street bicycle lanes, pedestrian crossings and a plaza at Lafayette Square. Mass. Avenue is one of the busiest bus routes in the city and based on a study by the City, buses experience significant delay and unreliability. It also has a higher than average rate of bicycle crashes compared to other streets in the city. 

In spring 2016 the City Council adopted a Vision Zero commitment to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries. Aligned with this commitment, the City of Cambridge is undertaking this effort to improve safety and reliability for users of the street, particularly cyclists, pedestrians and buses. The work will be accomplished mostly through quick-build methods such as re-striping, signal re-timing, signage and installation of materials like flex-posts, if needed.

The City invites you to share feedback about your experiences traveling on Massachusetts Avenue between Sidney Street and Memorial Drive using a Wikimapping tool. The input you provide on the Wikimap will be used to help inform the redesign of this segment of Massachusetts Avenue.

Installation Update - November 15, 2018

Installation of the South Mass. Avenue Corridor Safety Improvements project continues; the bus lane and separated bicycle lane markings are in! (See photo below.) Signal changes are underway, and the installation of green and other final markings will continue as long as weather permits; pavement markings will not stick if pavement is too cold or wet, but temperatures are expected rise a bit into the weekend. Flex post installation will also begin soon. All elements planned for this fall are scheduled to be completed by the end of next week (weather dependent). Changes will be monitored and adjustments made as needed. If you have questions about the installation of elements or operations in the corridor, please contact Patrick Baxter, pbaxter@cambridgema.gov or 617-349-4715.

South Mass Ave post installation

Project Installation Underway

Installation for the South Mass. Ave Corridor Safety Improvements Project began the week of October 29, 2018. Weather permitting, installation will last approximately two weeks for the initial elements; some of the final pavement markings, along with the new crosswalk, will be completed in spring 2019. For more information, view the installation flyerproject User's Guide, and FAQ.

Final Project Plans Open House - September 27, 2018

An open house was held on Thursday, September 27. View the annotated design roll plan.

Project Outreach

The City conducted project outreach at several community events over the summer, including:

  • Taste of Cambridge - Tuesday, July 10
  • Central Flea - Sunday, July 15
  • Central Square Farmer's Market - Monday, July 30 and Monday, August 27
  • Screen on the Green at Greene Rose Heritage Park - Wednesday, August 1
  • Senior Center Town Meeting - Thursday, August 2

For more information, please contact Bill Deignan, Transportation Program Manager, wdeignan@cambridgema.gov, 617.349.4632.