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Two-lane path with a line of snow next to a brick building

Linear Park Redesign

This map shows the extents of the linear park path redesign and reconstruction project. The project includes the path from the southwest corner of Russell Field up to the Cambridge-Somerville municipal border.

Linear Park, located in North Cambridge between Alewife Station and the Cambridge-Somerville city line, is a popular open space corridor for commuting and recreation. The park and pathway were completed in 1985 as part of the Red Line Extension project by the MBTA, and much of the length of the park is located over the Red Line Tunnel between Davis Square in Somerville and Alewife Station.

Given its age and condition, the City of Cambridge is undertaking the redesign and reconstruction of Linear Park between the Russell Field Fieldhouse and the Cambridge-Somerville city line, just north of Mass Ave. The goal of the project is to create a cohesive open space corridor that provides increased access for the community and improved opportunities for passive recreation and leisure, play, enjoyment of the landscape, and a reliable transportation corridor for commuters and recreational park users.

The existing paved path surface has deteriorated since it opened roughly 35 years ago. Additionally, the path redesign project intends to: 

  • rehabilitate the landscape through new plantings and trees

  • address drainage issues

  • review and replace lighting where needed

  • widen the path where possible – the current width is not operating at an acceptable level of service for path users on busy days

  • address known areas of bicycle and pedestrian conflicts

  • integrate art and placemaking into the park redesign 

  • enhance the park’s role as both a connection and a destination for people of all ages 

Public engagement activities are underway. See below for a list of upcoming public engagement events.

We would like to hear from you about your ideas for the site. Use the button below to submit your thoughts about the Linear Park design project.

Tell us your thoughts

Path Location Map

The path project is taking place between the southwest corner of Russell Field and the Cambridge-Somerville municipal border near Cameron Ave.  View this map to see the extents of the path design and construction project.

Project Vision

The Linear Park Redesign project will reimagine a beloved and highly used community park and pathway.

The outcomes of a redesigned Linear Park are:

  • to be an inclusive space and accommodating for all users
  • create an engaging community open space
  • strengthen and add neighborhood connections
  • be a resilient, and biodiverse landscape suited for a changing climate

To enhance the experience of path users and park visitors, we will:

  • include playful and creative features
  • add new seating for all to enjoy
  • widen and differentiate paths of travel, where possible

We encourage you to give us your feedback on the vision above.

What is a project vision?

A vision is a broad statement about the goals of a project. Project goals are general statements about what path users and neighbors hope to achieve with the completed multi-use path project.

How did we craft the vision?

We received hundreds of survey responses, comments at in-person events, and additional feedback during remote meetings. This feedback has helped shape the draft vision.

The Latest

Linear Park Redesign Update May 30, 2023

The Linear Park Redesign project will reimagine the beloved and highly used community park and pathway. As part of this process, the City has contracted with a local tree care company to perform subsurface root exploration along some of the pavement edges within Linear Park. This work will be done with an air spade under the supervision of a certified arborist. An air spade uses high pressure air as a quick and non-invasive way to remove soil and expose tree roots. Before the soil is replaced around the exposed tree roots, root sizes and locations will be documented to help inform the Linear Park Redesign work currently underway. With this information, the design team will have a much better understanding of the patterns of root growth adjacent to the existing path, and how they can advance the design in a way that minimizes root impacts. We anticipate that the exploration work will continue for the rest of this week.

Upcoming Events

Linear Park Redesign - Advanced Design Public Meeting #3 - Thursday, June 8th, 2023

Join City staff and members of the design team on Thursday, June 8th at 5:30pm, to see the more advanced design ideas for the Linear Park Redesign project. We'll review the different design graphics and have time to gather public input and feedback. The public will have an opportunity to ask questions live and submit written comments and questions.

The meeting on June 8th will take place virtually on Zoom. A PDF of the presentation will be posted here on the website just before the meeting. 

Registration Link

To join the meeting, please register at this link. After registration, you'll be emailed a link to join the meeting. The Zoom Webinar meeting ID is 880 7383 7516.

Past Meetings

  • On Wednesday, November 16, 2022, we hosted the second public meeting about the Linear Park Redesign project. The presentation included an update on the project schedule, what we've heard during the ongoing public input process, and presented the conceptual design options. The presentation was followed by time for questions and answers and general project input. Thanks to all who attended! 
  • On Tuesday, June 7, 2022, we hosted the first community presentation. You can view the pre-recorded portion of the presentation here: https://youtu.be/gb3BTRQxBA8. The presentation included an update on the planning process and an update on the public engagement process, followed by time for questions and answers and general project input. Thanks to all who attended! You can view a PDF of the slides here.

Past Events

  • On Thursday, June 23, 2022, staff from the Community Development Department attended a community open house event at 362 Rindge Ave. We handed out maps of the project area and discussed the two path projects with residents.
  • On Saturday, June 18, 2022, the City hosted a Paint the Path party at the Linear Park crossing at Harvey Street. The family-friendly event included opportunities to share your ideas for the path redesign. Thanks to all who attended!
  • On Saturday, June 4, 2022, approximately 25 people joined us for the second community site walk exploring both project sites. Members of the Community Engagement Team joined us to promote public engagement among folks who speak Spanish, Bangal, Haitian-Creole, and Amharic. Thanks to all who attended!
  • On May 5, 2022, approximately 50 members of the community attended the first project site walks. Thanks to all those who attended!
  • On December 15, 2021, staff from the Community Development Department attended a community open house event at 362 Rindge Ave. We handed out maps of the project area and engaged area residents.
  • November 2021 – HDR and Halvorson retained as consultants to aid in the planning and design of the path.

Stay in the Loop


For more information, please email Charlie Creagh at Ccreagh@cambridgema.gov or Bill Deignan at Wdeignan@cambridgema.gov.
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