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Tag Archives: Cambridge

GLX Legislators Push Back Against Public Meeting Cancellation

I was very concerned to learn last night that MassDOT plans to cancel its final public meeting on the Green Line Extension design review, which was originally planned for the evening of May 5th. Given the importance of this project to the Somerville, Cambridge, and Medford communities, I oppose this decision, which will eliminate a key opportunity for the public to be involved in the GLX design review process. Below is a letter that members of the GLX delegation sent to Secretary Pollack this afternoon.

Construction Advisory: Overnight Closure of Land Blvd/Memorial Dr on April 21

longfellow-original_originalLand Boulevard/Memorial Drive near Longfellow Bridge will be closed from 11pm on Thursday, April 21 to 5am on Friday, April 22 for construction related to the Longfellow Bridge Rehabilitation project. Signage will be in place to indicate approved detour routes, which you can also check out here courtesy of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT):

Detours for bicyclists and pedestrians:

MemorialWB_DetoursMap_BikePed copy

Detours for vehicles from Memorial Drive/Land Boulevard westbound destined for Memorial Drive westbound and Kendall Square:

MemorialWB_DetoursMap_Vehicles copy

For questions or to report issues related to construction, please call the project hotline at 617-519-9892 or email longfellowbridge@state.ma.us.

Stand Up for Green Line Extension Wednesday March 16

GLX bannerThe Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and the MBTA Fiscal Management Control Board are holding a joint meeting next Wednesday, March 16th at 11:30am at the State Transportation Building on Stuart Street in Boston.

This meeting gives Somerville and Cambridge residents another opportunity to show Governor Baker and MassDOT how important the Green Line Extension is to our communities. I’m hoping for a strong showing of public support, and encourage attendees to bring signs and/or to speak during the public comment section of the meeting.

Please click here for directions to the building.

Info Session on Affordable Housing Options in Cambridge

The Cambridge Community Development’s (CDD) Housing Division is hosting two one-hour informational sessions on affordable housing opportunities in the City of Cambridge on Monday, February 22 at St. Paul’s Christian Life Center from 6pm to 8pm – first session starts at 6pm and the second at 7pm.

The session will cover Cambridge’s inclusionary rental housing program and the City’s home-ownership programs such as Homeowner Resale Pool, First-Time Homebuyer Workshops, and Downpayment/Financial Assistance Programs.

CDD staff will be available to help attendees find out if they qualify for these programs and how to apply. The session is open to the public and doesn’t require registration. For those unable to attend on February 22, the City will hold similar sessions on March 10 on 2401 Mass. Ave. from 6pm-8pm, and on March 22 at City Hall from 12pm-2pm.

Longfellow Bridge Project Public Informational Meetings

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) will hold a public informational meeting in Cambridge on Wednesday, January 20 to give an update on ongoing construction and to discuss Stage 3 of construction, which is scheduled to begin on February 1. The meeting will take place at the Multicultural Arts Center on 41 Second Street from 6-8pm. Staff from MassDOT and the design/build contractor, White-Skanska-Consigli JV, will be available to answer questions from the public after the presentation.

If you can’t make the informational meeting in Cambridge, MassDOT will hold a similar presentation in Boston on Thursday, January 21 from 6-8pm in the Auditorium at the Shriners Hospitals for Children on 51 Blossom Street.

For more information about the project or to sign up to receive email advisories, please visit the project website. For construction related questions or issues, please contact the project hotline at 617-519-9892.

Traffic Advisory Reminder for Longfellow Bridge Rehab Project

Please see the following construction and traffic advisory from the Department of Transportation (MassDOT) – Tim.

“The previously announced traffic shift on the Longfellow Bridge will now begin on Monday, November 9. MassDOT’s contractor, White-Skanska-Consigli (WSC), will shift traffic on the downstream side of the Longfellow Bridge to accommodate modified Stage 2 construction of the temporary outbound Red Line track (called a “shoo-fly”) on the roadway. WSC is beginning the work early to advance the schedule and minimize the risk of delays due to winter weather. Stage 2 will last approximately three months, through January 2016.

During Stage 2, WSC will also close the Longfellow Bridge to all vehicular traffic overnight, Mondays through Fridays. The closure will begin at 9:00 PM each night and end at 5:00 AM the following morning. The closure may extend to Saturday nights, if needed. The closure will be from November 9, 2015 through January 2016, and is necessary to expedite the work and shorten the duration of the temporary traffic shift.

Temporary Traffic Shift

The work will require temporarily narrowing space for vehicles, bikes, and pedestrians on the downstream side of the bridge. The traffic shift is necessary to maintain two-way bike travel across the bridge until construction of the upstream side is complete and all bike travel is shifted to it.

While the temporary traffic shift is in place, inbound bikes will continue to use a dedicated lane on the roadway, which will be shifted to the east away from the MBTA Red Line tracks. Inbound vehicles will also be shifted to the east, so the temporary tracks can be installed. Outbound bikes and pedestrians will share the sidewalk. This configuration differs from the original Stage 2 plan where bike travel in both directions would have been shifted to the upstream side of the bridge for construction of the temporary track. It is an extension of what is currently in place in the middle of the bridge between the “Salt and Pepper” towers. Bicyclists will be asked to walk their bikes across the bridge to ensure the safety of all users, and signs will be posted noting this requirement. View the Modified Stage 2 Graphic for new travel space configurations.

Nightly Closures of the Longfellow Bridge to Vehicles

Overnight closures of the Longfellow Bridge will expedite construction of the shoo-fly. Boston-bound vehicles should use the inbound detour routes described below. Bike and pedestrian traffic will be maintained across the bridge at all times. No closures will be implemented until one hour before and after all events at TD Garden to minimize traffic impacts at Leverett Circle.

Inbound Detour Routes: All motor vehicles will be detoured using one of two routes. Passenger vehicles may use Memorial Drive westbound to make a U-turn at Ames Street for access to Memorial Drive eastbound to Land Boulevard and Charles River Dam Road (Monsignor O’Brien Highway/Route 28) to reach Leverett Circle, or 3rd Street and Binney Street to reach Land Boulevard. Height restrictions are in place for Memorial Drive, so all buses and trucks must use 3rd Street and Binney Street to reach Land Boulevard and Charles River Dam Road (Monsignor O’Brien Highway/Route 28).

The Cambridge-bound detour remains in place using the existing signed route from Charles Circle following Charles Street to Leverett Circle, Monsignor O’Brien Highway (Route 28)/Charles River Dam Road and Land Boulevard.

Next Steps

WSC held an emergency responder briefing on October 30 to discuss traffic management plans with Mass General Hospital and first responders, such as police and fire personnel. WSC has also coordinated with the MBTA to ensure access for emergency busing should an emergency shutdown of the Red Line be necessary.

In early February, once the temporary track is complete, all bikes will be shifted to the upstream side of the bridge and the outbound MBTA Red Line will be shifted to the temporary track. Inbound trains will be moved to the current outbound side and WSC will begin rehabilitating the bridge under the current location of MBTA inbound tracks. This Stage 3 work will take approximately eight months to complete. During this stage, inbound vehicles and pedestrians will continue to use the downstream side. View the Stage 3 Graphic for new travel space configurations.

For more information, visit the project website at www.mass.gov/massdot/longfellowbridge. For questions or issues and concerns related to construction, please call the project hotline at 617-519-9892 or email longfellowbridge@state.ma.us. View construction progress photos on MassDOT’s Longfellow Bridge Flickr Album.”

MassDOT Seeks Community Input on Capital Investment Plan

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) will hold a series of community conversations to seek input from residents to help develop the agency’s 5-year Capital Investment Plan (CIP), including a public meeting in Cambridge on Thursday, October 22. The meeting will be held at Rindge and Latin starting at 6:30 PM. The CIP provides a framework for all MassDOT projects, covering everything from highway and municipal projects to regional airports, pedestrian walkways, and rail and transit. Click here for a flyer from MassDOT with more info on the upcoming meetings, as well as instructions on how to submit written comments.

Traffic Advisory: Memorial Drive Restrictions this Weekend

Please see the following traffic advisory from the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) – Tim.

DCR Traffic Advisory: DCR Restricting Traffic on Several Roadways to Accommodate the Head of the Charles Regatta

WHAT:

The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will institute several road closures, lane restrictions, and parking bans along the Charles River Parkways to accommodate the Head of the Charles Regatta. All times are approximates and are based on public safety recommendations.

Road Closures:

WHERE:

Memorial Drive in Boston between Western Avenue and Fresh Pond Parkway

WHEN:

Saturday, October 17, 2015
9:00AM to 6:00PM

Sunday, October 18, 2015
9:00AM to 7:00PM

Parking Restrictions:

WHEN: Currently in effect to Sunday, October 18, 2015

WHERE: There will be NO PARKING allowed at the following locations:

• Greenough Boulevard in Watertown and Cambridge (closed due to ongoing roadway construction).
• Soldiers Field Road parking lots 1-4 will be closed until Sunday, October 18, 2015 at 8:00PM.
• Soldiers Field Road Eastbound and Westbound.
• The following Memorial Drive parking lots will be closed from Thursday, October 15, 2105 at 6:00PM to Sunday, October 18, 2015 at 8:00 PM:
o Riverside Boat Club
o Magazine Pool driveway
o MWRA Cottage Farm Pump Station lot
• There will be no parking from #980 Memorial Drive to Hawthorn Street in Cambridge, (Memorial Drive to Mt. Auburn Street) from Saturday, October 17, 2015 at 8:00AM to Sunday, October 18, 2015 at 9:00 PM.
• Cambridge Boat Club will reopen on Sunday, October 18, 2015 at 8:00PM.

HONK! Fest is Back This Weekend

Activist street bands will fill the streets of Somerville and Cambridge this weekend for the 2015 edition of HONK! Fest.  The festival’s hosts describe it as a street music revolution in which bands present a diverse fusion of folkloric and modern sounds in the spirit of Mardi Gras. The festival is for free and will run throughout the weekend. For more information on the bands and the festival, please visit the official HONK! fest homepage or their Facebook page.

Construction Underway on Grand Junction Path

After years of hard work and persistent advocacy, the first shovel has finally hit the ground on the Grand Junction Path in Cambridge.

GJP_Con1

Years ago, I successfully led a unified community effort to stop a state proposal that would have seen the path be used for commuter rail trains and ethanol transportation. Since then, along with advocates like Friends of the Grand Junction and Friends of the Community Path, I have worked with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, MIT, and the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority to develop plans that will turn the Grand Junction into a safe pedestrian and bicycle path that will act as an urban necklace connecting thousands of Cambridge residents to businesses, parks, and schools. As this brief 2013 video below shows, once completed, the Grand Junction Path would improve community livability by creating a streamlined connection between Cambridgeport, Area 4, Harrington/Wellington, and East Cambridge. There remains a lot of hard work to be done before this project is complete, but I’m optimistic that we’ll get there because of the dedicated commitment of all the stakeholders involved. Please click this link to an update I posted earlier this year for more info on the Grand Junction Path Project.