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Transportation & Mobility

Thursday, July 14, 2022
The City of Cambridge is committed to making its streets better and safer for all users, including walkers, cyclists, and motorists. Work continued on separated bike facilities and dedicated bus lanes. New Bluebikes stations and bike racs and corrals were installed. Work also advanced on several path projects. Learn more about the FY22 highlights below:

Green Line Extension (GLX). The MBTA opened the Green Line Extension Union Square Station in March 2022 and expects to open the second branch to Medford/ Tufts station in late summer 2022. The GLX Constructors plan to open the community path extension to North Point after completion of GLX Medford branch. Learn more at Mass.gov/glx.

Dedicated Bus Lanes. City departments collaborated to design and implement dedicated bus lanes on Massachusetts Avenue, between Dudley Street and Alewife Brook Parkway. The dedicated bus lanes make trips more reliable and faster for 4,100 weekday bus riders on MBTA Route 77, for students on school buses, and for emergency services vehicles. City departments also collaborated with MBTA to design an extension of the dedicated bus lane and additional sections of separated bike lanes on South Massachusetts Avenue. The City’s strong advocacy for additional dedicated bus lanes on state-owned roadways produced results, and in November 2021, Massachusetts Department of Transportation implemented a dedicated bus queue jump lane on the Route 2 off-ramp to Alewife Station. This lane is available to emergency services vehicles and makes MBTA buses and employer shuttles more reliable.

Traffic Signal Priority for Buses. Work advanced on purchase and installation of transit signal priority equipment on Concord Avenue, from Cambridge Common to Blanchard Road, through a $160,000 grant the City received from Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization. With assistance from MBTA Transit Priority group, development of signal timing plans with bus priority was completed, and MBTA began procurement of transit signal priority equipment for implementation in fall 2022.

Separated Bike Facilities. City departments collaborated to advance designs and implementation of separated bike facilities in accordance with the Bike Network Plan and the City’s Cycling Safety Ordinance: on Massachusetts Avenue between Dudley Street and Alewife Brook Parkway; on Massachusetts Avenue from Trowbridge Street to Pleasant Street; on Massachusetts Avenue northbound from Cambridge Street to Waterhouse Street; on Massachusetts Avenue northbound from Plympton Street to Bow Street; and on Somerville Avenue from White Street to the city line. Designs were also completed for the Porter Square portion of Massachusetts Avenue; implementation is expected during 2022.

Bluebikes Stations. In FY22, new stations were installed at Old Morse Park, Cambridge Crossing at North First Street, Concord Ave. at Spinelli Place, 955 Massachusetts Avenue, Danehy Park at New Street, Broadway & Galileo at Fulkerson, Broad Canal Way, and Gore Street. There are 73 stations in Cambridge.

Bike Parking Increases. In FY22, 200 bike racks, 4 year-round, and 11 seasonal bike corrals (each providing parking for 12 bikes) were installed.

River Street Reconstruction is expected to begin in fall 2022. Corridor design includes a separated bicycle lane, as mandated by the Cycling Safety Ordinance, pedestrian crossings, dedicated bus lane, and pocket park. The Carl Barron Plaza design includes renovated sidewalks, pedestrian areas, reconfigured central plaza, seating areas, reconfigured busway, and bus shelters.

Watertown-Cambridge Greenway, a 1.25-mile multi-use path between Arlington Street in Watertown and Concord Avenue in Cambridge, is nearing completion.

Linear Path Reconstruction & Danehy/New Street Connector Path. Design work began in FY22 on two path projects. Redesign and reconstruction of Linear Park path (from Somerville line to Russell Field) will include new landscaping/trees, lighting, seating, and playful elements to engage users of all ages. The second project is the design and construction of a new path in a former rail right of way that will connect Concord Avenue near Fresh Pond to New Street and Danehy Park, and potentially extend to Sherman Street. The path will include lighting, landscaping/trees, and other amenities. The community engagement process for both projects started in spring 2022 and construction is expected to commence in late 2023.

Traffic Calming Projects Update. Construction is expected to be completed on Franklin Street in summer 2022. Projects with traffic calming elements under construction include Chestnut Street, Webster Avenue, and Elm Street. Additional projects under construction with pedestrian safety improvements include Park Avenue and Walden Street.

Inman Square Redesign, which addresses safety and operational issues, was delayed due to COVID-19 impacts and expansion of project scope to include replacement of utilities and surface features on Oak Street. It is expected to be substantially completed by end of 2022.

A Parking Policy Study is underway to ensure parking regulations fulfill the City’s goals for traffic, greenhouse gas emissions, climate resilience, housing, economic development, and equity. Following this analysis and a community engagement process, staff will make recommendations.

New Mobility Planning has been underway since FY20 to shape strategies to support transportation options.
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