Check out the Final Designs for Pearl Street and other Transportation Safety Improvements in East Somerville!

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  • The City of Somerville is reconstructing Pearl Street from McGrath Highway to Mount Vernon Street to improve safety, maintain the street quality, and make the street accessible for everyone.
  • Official City policy guides the way we design our streets. Check out SomerVision 2040, Somerville Climate Forward, and Vision Zero to learn more.
  • We use data to prioritize street and sidewalk upgrades, and Pearl Street, with it’s many potholes, asphalt ruptures, and broken sidewalk panels, scores highly.
  • Repaving the street gives us the opportunity to make mobility improvements to align with the City’s goal of being the most walkable, bikeable, and transit accessible city in the country. Adding safety elements during repaving is an efficient use of funding and will reduce speeding and crashes.

Public Input

  • We heard from residents, workers, and visitors, a significant desire for improving safety at existing crosswalks, decreasing speeding, creating a greener street with more trees, improving safety for people biking, and improving amenities at bus stops.
  • Many described the poor condition of the asphalt and sidewalks, concerns around speeding and cut-through traffic on Pearl Street and Cross Street and the need to improve safety for children traveling to East Somerville Community School (ESCS).
  • Some advocated for continuous separated bike lanes, which would require more extensive parking regulation and infrastructure changes. The City will explore a neighborhood mobility analysis in the future to determine how traffic patterns in East Somerville could change to meet long-range goals.
  • Residents also shared support for incorporating public art through street murals.
  • To learn more about public input we heard, read survey responses, and watch public meeting recordings, visit the project website at

Pearl Street’s New Design and Intersection Improvements in East Somerville

  • To calm traffic, speed humps will be installed throughout Pearl St. Speed humps often reduce speeds to 10 to 15 mph.
  • Raised intersections will be added on Pearl Street at the Cross St and Franklin St intersections. Raised intersections give priority to people walking by bringing the intersection up to sidewalk level and making vehicles slow down.
  • Two raised crosswalks will be added at the intersection of Pearl St and Rush St.
  • Neighborhood Traffic Circles will be installed on Pearl Street at the Myrtle Street and Glen Street intersections. Neighborhood traffic circles encourage people driving to slow down at key crossing locations while also providing a space to plant trees or other plants.
  • A new crosswalk will be added across Mt Vernon St where it meets Pearl St.
  • All the intersections will have “daylighting” that include improving the ability to see people in the crosswalks when driving by making sure people don’t park directly next to the intersection.
  • Speed humps will be added along Cross Street and Franklin Street to slow speeds of people driving.
  • A raised crosswalk will be installed at Everett St and Cross St to create a new path for people walking to the entrance of ESCS.
  • A raised intersection will be implemented at Cross Street at Gilman St and Oliver St with designated areas for people biking to turn safely.
  • Three raised crossings will be added at the intersection of Franklin St and Oliver St.
  • A neighborhood traffic circle will be installed at Glen St and Oliver St with new curb ramps and painted crosswalks.

Next Steps

  • The proposed designs are reviewed by the City’s Mobility Division, Infrastructure and Asset Management Engineering team, the Parking department, and Fire Department, prior to being finalized.
  • If the new designs require curbside regulation changes, the changes are proposed to the City’s Traffic Commission, who is the regulatory body that oversees all traffic regulations. They meet the second Thursday of the month at 5:30 p.m. and their meeting details can be found on the City Calendar. After, the City will prepare for construction.
  • Join city staff for a pop-up on Friday, June 3, from 2:00pm - 4:30pm, at the intersection of Pearl Street and Glen Street to learn about the final designs for Pearl Street and other transportation safety improvements in East Somerville and the next steps in the construction process.
  • Pop-up flyers available English, Español, Portugues, Kreyòl Ayisyen, नेपाली.


  • Construction on Pearl Street and the other intersections is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2022 and be completed in 2023.
  • City contractors will start on sidewalk reconstruction and then move to repaving the roadway and installing the new traffic calming features (speed humps, neighborhood traffic circles, and raised intersections and crossings).
  • To stay up to date on construction, sign up for City Alerts available via phone call, text, or email and in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Kreyol, and Nepali.
  • You can also reach out to the Construction Liaison, Jesse Moos, at or 617.981.2896, and follow updates on Twitter @SomervilleInfr1.

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