Cambridge Street Improvements

Today, Tuesday July 29th, neighborhood advocates held a rally at the MassPike on ramp on the south side of Cambridge Street in Allston.  Organizers hoped to draw attention to hazardous conditions for bikes and pedestrians along the corridor.  In recent years Cambridge Street has been the  site of multiple cyclist and pedestrian fatalities, including one two weeks ago as a pedestrian attempted to cross the entrance to the Turnpike.  Poor maintenance, high vehicle speeds and an antiquated street design make Cambridge Street very challenging  to navigate on a bike or as a pedestrian.  Advocates are calling for immediate safety improvements to the corridor, including fixing broken street lights, measures to reduce vehicle speeds, better access to MBTA stops and improved bike and pedestrian crossings.

There are two long term plans to rebuild portions of Cambridge Street:  The Cambridge Street Bridge Deck Replacement Project would rebuild the corridor from Harvard Ave through Lincoln Street although this project is currently on hold subject further progression of the Turnpike design improvements.   The Allston I-90 Massachusetts Turnpike Interchange Improvement Project would rebuild the corridor from Lincoln Street to Soldiers Field Road, including the ramps connecting to and coming from the Turnpike.  This project is in the nascent stages of design and will not be completed until 2020 at the earliest.  Advocates are concerned that the entire corridor is not being rebuilt, leaving the section from Union Square to Harvard Ave untouched and the intersection with Soldiers Field Road and the River Street Bridge on DCR property in their current dangerous condition.

Andrew Bettinelli
Legislative Aide
Office of State Senator William N. Brownsberger

3 replies on “Cambridge Street Improvements”

  1. Thanks, Andrew. Let’s work with advocates and our colleagues to push some immediate safety improvements — striping and or barriers to reduce excess road capacity and improve lanes.

    Also, let’s keep the River Street bridge intersection on our radar screen to support improvements.

    1. MassDOT recently commissioned a safety audit of Cambridge Street, a draft can be viewed here.

      Comments on the draft are due by the end of day on December 10th and should be sent to the contact below:

      Phil Viveiros, P.E., PTOE
      Senior Project Engineer

      McMahon Associates
      300 Myles Standish Boulevard, Suite 201
      Taunton, Massachusetts 02780
      f: 508.823.2246
      [email protected]

      Andrew Bettinelli
      Legislative Aide
      Office of State Senator William N. Brownsberger

  2. On Wednesday August 6th, Mayor Walsh sent representatives from Boston Bikes and the Boston Transportation Department (BTD) to a meeting of the Allston Civic Association to discuss proposed near-term improvements to Cambridge Street.

    Responding to the safety concerns of neighborhood residents BTD Director of Community Affairs Kevin Donahue presented a plan to add a crosswalk, flashing pedestrian beacon, curb extension and bike facilities to the intersection of Hano and Cambridge Streets. These improvements are scheduled to be completed by the end of the fall.
    Cambridge Street Plans
    Boston Bikes Director Nicole Freedman presented tentative plans to make significant near-term improvements to the Cambridge Street corridor. The plans presented last night include many measures that neighbors have been advocating for, such as separated bike lanes, fewer and narrower vehicle lanes and improved crosswalks and pedestrian facilities. The plans are still tentative but the proposed 11′ lanes should reduce vehicle speeds, which has been a primary concern of advocates. Adding a buffered bike lane will enable Allston residents to safely get to Cambridge and to the river something that has been difficult to do safely in the road’s current configuration.

    Andrew Bettinelli
    Legislative Aide
    Office of State Senator William N. Brownsberger

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