Upcoming Hearing on Inman Square Safety Improvements

Inman_Study
Among the ideas included in the transportation study is a proposal to “bend” Hampshire St in order to form two intersections.

In the wake of a tragic accident that took the life of a young Cambridge woman last month, many have called for quick action to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians in the busy Inman Square intersection where she was killed. During several recent visits to Inman, I have watched cars, pedestrians, and cyclists narrowly miss each other as they try to navigate the wide “no man’s land” that exists in the center of the square. There is a real, present danger right now for everyone using this public space, and that needs to change.

After one such visit in May, I introduced a policy order in the Cambridge City Council that requested the City Manager and relevant city staff to take another look at traffic volumes and safety in Inman during the evening rush hour. About a month later, a transportation study that had been initiated in 2015 was presented to residents at Cambridge Hospital. The study includes information about daily traffic volumes in Inman, and proposes some interesting and innovative ideas about how we could make the square a safer intersection for cyclists and pedestrians to traverse.

Now, the City is looking to move forward with the design and construction of safety improvements in Inman Square. There will be many options on the table, including “bending” Hampshire St. or Cambridge St. to form two distinct, compact intersections. There are also calls for protected bike lanes in the Square’s vicinity. I strongly encourage everyone who lives, works, or passes through Inman Square to take a moment to think about how they would like to see this area improved, and to communicate your thoughts to your elected officials.  A joint public hearing will be held to discuss Inman Square safety issues and proposed changes at City Hall on July 19th starting at 5:30pm. As always, I encourage you to get in touch with me directly to share your thoughts.

Public Info Meetings on Longfellow Bridge Rehab Project

longfellow-original_originalThe Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT)  will hold meetings in Cambridge and Boston next week to give an update on the Longfellow Bridge Rehabilitation Project. Staff from MassDOT and the design/build contractor White-Skanska-Consigli JV will present a status on the current phase of construction as well as discuss the next stage of construction, which is projected to start in late July 2016.

The meeting in Cambridge is scheduled for Tuesday, May 24 between 6pm-8pm at the Multicultural Arts Center on 41 Second Street. For those unable to make that date, a similar presentation is scheduled for Wednesday, May 25 between 6pm-8pm at the Shriners Hospital for Children Auditorium at 51 Blossom Street in Boston.

For any questions about this meeting or the project, please feel free to contact my office by calling 617-722-2380 or by emailing timothy.toomey@mahouse.gov.

Somerville Rallies to Help Rush Street Fire Victims

Our communities have responded with great urgency and support after 32 people where displaced last week by a fire on Rush Street in Somerville. The Somerville Homeless Coalition (SHC) has set up an online fundraiser, which, as of now, has raised almost $19,000 for the victims. For those interested in donating, please visit this link to help the SHC reach its $25,000 goal.

Additionally, the City of Somerville has set up a donation drive to help the victims get much needed clothing items to ease their burden during this difficult time of transition. If you wish to contribute, items can be delivered to the Cummings School on 42 Prescott Street in Somerville, through the purple door off of the Prescott Playground area, Monday through Friday between 8:30am – 3:00pm. Below is list of items needed by the victims – please make sure that the clothing (particularly undergarments) are new or in excellent condition and pre-laundered:

Men: (need multiples of sweatshirts, T-shirts, underwear, sweatpants, socks)

Pants/Jeans: 33X 32 34X32
Shoes: 9, 9.5, 10
Sneakers: 9, 9.5, 10 (2)
T-Shirts: L
Underwear: M
Shirts: L
Sweatshirts /Sweaters: L
Belt: 34

Women: (need multiples of sweatshirts, T-shirts, underwear, sweatpants,socks)
Sandals: 6.5
Slippers: 6.5
Sneakers: 7, 8.5
Sweat shirt with zipper: M
Jeans: 28/ M
Sweat Pants: M
T shirts: M
Bras: 36 B
Pajamas: M
Underwear: M

Children’s:

Boys
Pants/jeans: size 16, 8 (2)
Sweatshirts and sweatpants: Sm, Med, Large
Shirt: sm, med, large, XL
Underwear: sm, m, l, xl

Girls
Girls size 12, 10, 8
Sweatshirt/pants: Sm, Med, Large
Underwear: sm, m, l

Infant:
Girls 6-8 months