Pearl Street Reconstruction & Safety Improvements

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The City of Somerville will be resurfacing the roadway and sidewalks of Pearl Street between McGrath Highway and Mount Vernon Street. This project presents an opportunity to improve the experience of people traveling on Pearl Street while promoting sustainability and improving traffic safety for all users.

This project will include traffic calming interventions such as raised intersections/crosswalks, speed humps, and neighborhood traffic circles. The project will not include any utility work below the surface of the road, nor will it include new traffic signals or major network redesign such as turning Pearl St into a one-way street.

The City of Somerville will be resurfacing the roadway and sidewalks of Pearl Street between McGrath Highway and Mount Vernon Street. This project presents an opportunity to improve the experience of people traveling on Pearl Street while promoting sustainability and improving traffic safety for all users.

This project will include traffic calming interventions such as raised intersections/crosswalks, speed humps, and neighborhood traffic circles. The project will not include any utility work below the surface of the road, nor will it include new traffic signals or major network redesign such as turning Pearl St into a one-way street.

  • Initial Construction to Begin

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    Starting as early as next week (7/25) or soon after, City contractors will begin work to reconstruct and improve Pearl St. between McGrath Highway and Mount Vernon St., as well as nearby intersections.

    Anticipated Work Schedule (subject to change):

    Construction is expected to begin as early as Monday, July, 25th or soon after and continue through the fall. Work hours are weekdays, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

    Initial Locations and Descriptions of Work:

    • Intersection of Cross St./Everett Ave. (installation of raised crosswalk)
    • Intersection of Cross St./Pearl St. (installation of raised intersection)
    • Pearl St. between Cross St. and Glen St. (sidewalk reconstruction)

    Anticipated Construction Impacts:

    • Some on-street parking may be temporarily restricted
    • Periodic road closures may be required during work hours (detours provided)
    • Trash/recycling pick-ups, deliveries, and bus access will not be affected


    If you have questions, please call the Engineering Division at 617-625-6600 ext. 5400 or email construction@somervillema.gov.

  • Rescheduled Pearl Street Final Designs Pop-Up now June 10

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    Due to the forecasted rain on June 3, the Pearl Street and East Somerville Mobility Improvements Pop-Up has been rescheduled to June 10, 2:00pm - 4:30pm. Please join the Mobility Division and SomerViva for the rescheduled pop-up next week.

    Pop-up flyers available English, Español, Portugues, Kreyòl Ayisyen, नेपाली.

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

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    Available also as a Printable PDF Brochure in:

    Background

    • 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 somervillema.gov/pearlstreet.


    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

    • 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 construction@somervillema.gov or 617.981.2896, and follow updates on Twitter @SomervilleInfr1.


  • Take the Pearl Street Design Feedback Survey!

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    The City of Somerville shared proposed designs at the Second Pearl Street Reconstruction and Safety Improvements Meeting on January 19, 2022. We now want to hear from you!

    Please let us know your feedback on the proposed designs. What did we get right? What did we miss? What might you want for the long-term for the street?

    The survey is available in English, Español, Portugues, Kreyòl Ayisyen, नेपाली.

    The survey deadline is Monday, February 21, 2022.

  • Pearl Street Safety Improvements Community Meeting #2, January 19, 2022

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    Español

    Kreyòl Ayisyen

    नेपाली

    Portugues

    Join us for the next virtual community meeting to discuss roadway upgrades and traffic safety improvements on Pearl Street.

    At this meeting, City staff will provide an update on the project timeline, share public survey response summaries, and present proposed designs for Pearl Street. Community members are invited to share their feedback on the proposed designs. If you are not able to join, there will be an opportunity to provide feedback through a survey.

    The meeting will take place virtually on Wednesday, January 19, at 6:00 p.m. Spanish interpretation will be provided. Interpretation into Portuguese, Haitian Kreyol, or Nepali may be available upon advance request by contacting the SomerViva Office of Immigrant Affairs at somerviva@somervillema.gov or calling 311 at 617-666-3311.

    To join by phone:

    • For higher quality, dial a number based on your current location.
      US: +1 646 558 8656 or +1 301 715 8592 or +1 312 626 6799 or +1 720 707 2699 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 346 248 7799

    • Webinar ID: 880 1043 3543

    • Passcode: 457 057

    For any questions, please email transportation@somervillema.gov.

    Persons with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication (i.e., CART, ASL), written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures in order to access the programs, activities, and meetings of the City of Somerville should please contact Adrienne Pomeroy at 617-625-6600 x 2059 or ADA@somervillema.gov.

  • Pearl Street Safety Improvements Public Meeting, April 21

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    CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

    Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone and Ward 1 Councilor Matt McLaughlin invite you to a virtual community meeting to discuss roadway upgrades and traffic safety improvements on Pearl Street.

    As part of the Pearl Street Reconstruction and Traffic Safety Improvements project, sidewalks will be reconstructed, the road will be repaved, and traffic safety upgrades will be installed on the eastern section of Pearl Street, between McGrath Highway and Mount Vernon Street. Construction is expected to begin later this year.

    At this meeting, City staff will introduce the project, provide existing conditions data, and present concepts for potential roadway changes to improve traffic safety and support sustainable, multi-modal transportation. Community members are invited to provide input about the conceptual designs and priority locations for different types of improvements.

    The meeting will take place virtually on Wednesday, April 21, at 6:30 p.m. Please register at the following link: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/1945779753428878350.

    For more information, visit somervillema.gov/pearlstreet or email transportation@somervillema.gov.

    Interpretation into Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Kreyol, or Nepali may be available upon advance request by contacting the SomerViva Office of Immigrant Affairs at somerviva@somervillema.gov or calling 311 at 617-666-3311.

    Persons with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication (i.e., CART, ASL), written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures in order to access the programs, activities, and meetings of the City of Somerville should please contact Nancy Bacci at 617-625-6600 x 2250 or nbacci@somervillema.gov.

Page last updated: 21 Jul 2022, 02:38 PM