City of Cambridge redesigns Massachusetts Avenue lanes

MIT raises concerns in letter to city

The City of Cambridge held a town hall in 32-155 last Thursday to discuss the new plans to redesign the lanes of Massachusetts Avenue from Sidney Street to Memorial Drive.

The MIT Office of Campus Planning had sent a letter Sept. 10 requesting that before the project is implemented, the city should consider other concerns, such as accomdating additional pedestrians near Vassar and Albany Streets and coordination with other projects like the Grand Junction community path and Longfellow Bridge renovations. The city is not delaying construction due to the letter.

The final design includes a Boston-bound bus-only lane, protected bike lanes, protected turn lanes, and bicycle traffic signals. The City of Cambridge is also coordinating with Novartis to construct a crosswalk across Mass. Ave. between Landsdowne and Albany Streets.

Modification is expected to start the week of Oct. 22. The city anticipates the project will take approximately a week, with construction only taking place at night.

These changes occur as part of the City’s VisionZero initiative to reduce traffic fatalities. As part of the program, the City of Cambridge Police Department identified the section of Mass. Ave. from MIT to Central Square as one of five areas with frequent accidents requiring EMS transport.

Updates are available on the Cambridge South Mass. Ave. webpage.

Update 10/16/18: The article was updated to clarify information in the second paragraph regarding the contents of MIT's letter to the city of Cambridge, as well as to correct that MIT is requesting coordination on the Grand Junction community path, not railroad, and Longfellow, not Harvard, Bridge renovations. The subhead was also updated.