Last week we took a big step towards addressing the congestion at Fresh Pond Parkway and Mount Auburn Street. Local legislators have been working together over the past year to put funding in place for a long term fix. We are very grateful to the Patrick Administration for joining our efforts. See the press release below.
We hope to make progress in the short run as well — seeking to address light timing and enforcement issues. The photo shows cars streaming through the red light on Fresh Pond and blocking Mount Auburn — a problem that continues, although somewhat abated, even with the cessation of the NSTAR project at Elliot Bridge.
Patrick Administration Announces Traffic Study for Mount Auburn Street and Fresh Pond Parkway Intersections
BOSTON—Tuesday, December 2, 2014—The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) today announced that the agency will conduct a traffic study of several intersections along Mount Auburn Street and Fresh Pond Parkway in Cambridge and Watertown. These parkways channel a large volume of traffic through a series of busy intersections.
“DCR is excited to partner with the City of Cambridge and the MBTA to identify solutions to the traffic impacts of this heavily used area,” said DCR Commissioner Murray. “Our goal is to work with our partners and the community to reduce these impacts, making the commute safer.”
DCR will work with the City of Cambridge and the MBTA to improve the intersections along Fresh Pond Parkway, from Huron Avenue to Buckingham Brown and Nichols School, as well as the intersection at the Watertown/Cambridge line to Mount Auburn Street.
The goal of the $500,000 study is to identify potential safety measures, bus prioritization, and accessibility along the intersections of Fresh Pond Parkway and Mount Auburn Street. DCR will issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) within the next 45 days to select a contractor to conduct the traffic study.
“I am very grateful to Commissioner Murray and the entire Patrick Administration for recognizing the huge opportunity for improvement in this set of critical intersections. I am very hopeful that this study will point the way towards an intersection redesign project that will shorten the daily commute for tens of thousands of bus and car commuters, while improving neighborhood quality of life.” said Senator William N. Brownsberger.
“I am very pleased with the collaboration of DCR, the City of Cambridge and the MBTA, coming together to identify and solve the problems of this very dangerous intersection,” said Senator Patricia Jehlen. “Not only will these solutions make the intersection considerably safer for all road users, it will also alleviate traffic backups and congestion making for much smoother travel.”
“I’m very appreciative that the Patrick Administration and DCR are devoting resources to finding ways to improve safety and efficiency at these busy intersections. If we can speed up bus service and make these areas safer for pedestrians and cyclists, it will cut down on car use, reduce pollution and improve traffic circulation for everyone.” said Representative Jonathan Hecht.
“The City of Cambridge is thrilled that the DCR is taking such a proactive approach to help in dealing with one of our most difficult and concerning public safety issues we have in Cambridge,” said Cambridge City Manager Richard C. Rossi. “This problem is extremely complex and we are pleased to work closely with the DCR for a resolution.”
The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), an agency of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, oversees 450,000 acres of parks and forests, beaches, bike trails, watersheds, dams, and parkways. Led by Commissioner Jack Murray, the agency’s mission is to protect, promote, and enhance our common wealth of natural, cultural, and recreational resources. To learn more about DCR, our facilities, and our programs, please visit www.mass.gov/dcr. Contact us at [email protected].