Tufts Street Reconstruction

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The City of Somerville is planning to reconstruct sidewalks and repave Tufts Street between Cross Street and Washington Street as part of the City's Pavement and Sidewalk Management Program. In this effort, we are taking the opportunity to explore a new design that makes it safer and more comfortable for people walking, rolling, biking, or driving. Tufts Street is a residential street and serves as an important connection to the new East Somerville Green Line Station. Tufts Street is designated as a Neighborways on the Somerville Bicycle Network Plan.

In the Summer and early Fall of 2023, we reached out to community members to gather input on transportation safety concerns and ways to improve the street. In the late Fall of 2023, we shared a conceptual design with community members to hear feedback. Over the winter and spring, the City’s consultants are refining the design to then share with the community a proposed 50% design in early Summer of 2024 and a 100% design in late Summer of 2024. Street construction is anticipated for 2025. Learn more about the project on this website and subscribe to the Mobility Newsletter for email updates on upcoming public meetings, street pop-up community engagement events, and feedback surveys.

Si necesita ayuda en su idioma, comuníquese con nosotros a través de somervillema.gov/ContactSomerviva o llame al 311 (617-666-3311)      

Caso precise de assistência em seu idioma, entre em contato conosco por meio deste formulário online: somervillema.gov/ContactSomerviva ou ligue para 311 (617-666-3311)      

Si ou bezwen asistans nan lang ou a, kontakte nou nan somervillema.gov/ContactSomerviva oswa rele 311 (617-666-3311)    

यदि आफ्नो भाषामा सहायता चाहिन्छ भने कृपया सम्पर्क गर्नुहोस: www.somervillema.gov/ContactSomerviva गर्नुहोस् वा यो ३११ (६१७-६६६-३३११) / 311 (617-666-3311)   

如果您需要語言方面的協助 請撥打 311 (617-666-3311) 或於somervillema.gov/ContactSomerviva 聯絡 彩薩默: 移民事務辦公室。  

如果您需要语言方面的协助,请联系 (somervillema.gov/ContactSomerViva)或者请拨打 311(617-666-3311)。

The City of Somerville is planning to reconstruct sidewalks and repave Tufts Street between Cross Street and Washington Street as part of the City's Pavement and Sidewalk Management Program. In this effort, we are taking the opportunity to explore a new design that makes it safer and more comfortable for people walking, rolling, biking, or driving. Tufts Street is a residential street and serves as an important connection to the new East Somerville Green Line Station. Tufts Street is designated as a Neighborways on the Somerville Bicycle Network Plan.

In the Summer and early Fall of 2023, we reached out to community members to gather input on transportation safety concerns and ways to improve the street. In the late Fall of 2023, we shared a conceptual design with community members to hear feedback. Over the winter and spring, the City’s consultants are refining the design to then share with the community a proposed 50% design in early Summer of 2024 and a 100% design in late Summer of 2024. Street construction is anticipated for 2025. Learn more about the project on this website and subscribe to the Mobility Newsletter for email updates on upcoming public meetings, street pop-up community engagement events, and feedback surveys.

Si necesita ayuda en su idioma, comuníquese con nosotros a través de somervillema.gov/ContactSomerviva o llame al 311 (617-666-3311)      

Caso precise de assistência em seu idioma, entre em contato conosco por meio deste formulário online: somervillema.gov/ContactSomerviva ou ligue para 311 (617-666-3311)      

Si ou bezwen asistans nan lang ou a, kontakte nou nan somervillema.gov/ContactSomerviva oswa rele 311 (617-666-3311)    

यदि आफ्नो भाषामा सहायता चाहिन्छ भने कृपया सम्पर्क गर्नुहोस: www.somervillema.gov/ContactSomerviva गर्नुहोस् वा यो ३११ (६१७-६६६-३३११) / 311 (617-666-3311)   

如果您需要語言方面的協助 請撥打 311 (617-666-3311) 或於somervillema.gov/ContactSomerviva 聯絡 彩薩默: 移民事務辦公室。  

如果您需要语言方面的协助,请联系 (somervillema.gov/ContactSomerViva)或者请拨打 311(617-666-3311)。

  • February 2024 Project Update

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    Thank you to all those who participated in virtual community meetings, street outreach pop-ups, and online surveys in the fall of 2023. We want to provide a project update that includes:

    1. Details about extending the design development schedule later into the summer of 2024.
    2. An overview of the yield street demonstration conducted with the Somerville Fire Department.
    3. A summary of parking utilization data collected in October.
    4. A report on community feedback we received about the concept design.

    Read below for more details. We will continue to post updates on this project website. You can also subscribe to the monthly Mobility newsletter to get email notifications direct to your inbox.

    New Project Schedule

    Over the last couple of months, we’ve processed the feedback we heard, analyzed parking utilization, and observed traffic behavior in a demonstration project. We are now revising the concept design to incorporate what we learned.

    During our community engagement, we heard advocacy from community members to widen sidewalks, install new crosswalks, and plant more trees and greenery. This requires deeper excavations than just replacing sidewalk and repaving. In light of this and new information we’ve received from our design consultants about potential shallow soil contamination, we’ve made the decision to extend the project schedule to allow for more extensive soil analysis. This due diligence analysis of the soils under Tufts Street is required due to past contamination from 50 Tufts Street which was previously used to store tetrachloroethylene (TCE), a chemical often used in dry cleaning.

    At this time, our plan is to complete the design this year. We anticipate construction to take place from 2025 to 2026. However, the design schedule and construction are subject to change depending on the results of the soil analysis. At this point we anticipate sharing an updated design at a community meeting in May or June.

    Yield Street Demonstration

    On November 14, 2023, City Staff from the Mobility Division and Fire Department conducted a demonstration of the Tufts Street concept shared in October 2023. Staff assembled traffic cones from the intersection at Washington Street to Glen Street and placed video message boards to communicate the traffic pattern change. Staff arranged the cones to narrow the width of the street to a yield condition, where cars need to wait using pull over areas to let oncoming traffic through. The Fire Department tested driving standard and longer tower fire trucks along the stretch of street. Throughout the demonstration, staff adjusted the placement of cones to see the impact to traffic. Click here for more details on the demonstration design.

    Parking Utilization Data Collection

    To better understand parking usage in the area, City staff counted parked cars within a 12-minute walking distance (0.4 miles) on two different days and times in October. The first at midday when parking utilization can be high because school is in session, and the second at night, when parking is historically at its highest when many residents are home for the night.

    We found that during school and on a day with street cleaning, 102 Resident Parking Permit spaces out of 267 were available for parking. At night, we found that 57 Resident Parking Permit spaces out of 267 were available for parking. Nearby are also parking lots available for resident permit parking between 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. outside of school times.

    Check out this overview for more details on specific data collected.

    Fall Community Feedback Report

    From September 20, 2023, to December 11, 2023, City staff aimed to provide a variety of ways that community members could provide input on the proposed concept design for Tufts Street. Check out this report describing all the community outreach activities and specific comments, questions, and ideas we received. There is also a short summary below describing what we heard.

    Sidewalks

    We heard from many people who supported widening sidewalks to create more space for people walking and for new plantings. We heard opposition to the proposed changes because it precluded parking. Many people advocated for better walking infrastructure in general and we heard support for redoing the sidewalks to improve accessibility and comfort especially for people with strollers.

    Crossings

    Community members responded positively to the proposed new crossings. Many shared that they supported raised crosswalks to reduce speeding and make it safer to cross. We heard strong support for the new raised crosswalks at both ends of the street as well as for intersecting Glen and Dell Streets. Some requested a raised intersection at Washington Street, Knowlton Street and Tufts Street, and some requested curb extensions or a raised crosswalk across Cross Street and larger curb extensions on Tufts Street. Some further advocated for a raised crossing on Cross Street closer to the bridge to slow vehicles and make a more direct connection to the new community path entrance. Many asked for further improvements of the crossing across Washington Street to connect with the station such as moving the crosswalk closer to Tufts Street and making it more visible. Many urged the City to push the MBTA to make improvements at this crossing as soon as possible as it is part of outstanding Green Line Extension work. There was some concern from blind users about raised crosswalks and if they create accessibility issues. School representatives shared their support for curb extensions at Glen Street to prevent illegal parking at the corners and so ensure that school buses and shuttles aren’t prevented from turning onto Glen Street to get to the Capuano.

    Traffic

    There were concerns about the feasibility of the yield condition and inquiries for further data collection or comparison to other similar conditions in other cities. Many community members supported overall traffic calming and the desire to reroute vehicles who were using Tufts Street to bypass McGrath Highway. Some supported the pull over treatments but advocated for clear signage to indicate traffic pattern. Some shared concerns about traffic calming treatments such as new installations on Pearl Street and questioned if it resulted in safer driving. While others requested adding speed humps to the design. We heard a lot of support for repaving the street and getting rid of the potholes.

    Plantings & Amenities

    Many community members shared their support for more trees and green space. Some advocated for more trees to make the street more pleasant to be on, to help with storm water, and potentially provide shade. Some residents were interested in the addition of murals or art. Some shared concerns about existing lighting on the street. We heard some requests for more benches and trash cans. Some opposed additional greenery as they saw it excessive or preferred to have parking options.

    Bike facilities

    There was some support for new biking conditions in the concept as well as some concern around the efficacy of traffic calming to make it a Neighborway condition safe for biking in the travel lane. Some suggested making the pullover areas segments of separated bike infrastructure. Some feedback was specific about additional curb ramps for people biking and waiting areas to make turns easier. Some opposed the designs that required people biking to dismount at intersections or pull over to allow oncoming traffic. Some advocated for painting the crosswalk across Washington Street with green markings to indicate that it was shared use. Many shared concerns about safe ways to enter Tufts Street from Washington Street and Cross Street.

    Parking

    Residents who live nearby shared their concern and stress about the lack of parking in the concept. They described that it is difficult to find parking, and they feel that with the new affordable housing construction at 31 Tufts Street, the demand will increase. Some community members expressed frustration about how parking was removed as a temporary measure during Green Line construction but then made permanent in opposition to residents’ needs. Some felt that installing more trees did not preclude parking. Some shared their concern about people illegally parking in the pull-over areas causing traffic jams.

  • Tufts St. Concept Design – Emergency Vehicle Testing – Week of 11/13

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    Weather permitting, City staff will install a temporary street design to evaluate emergency vehicle operations as part of the Tufts Street Reconstruction project design process.

    What to expect:

    • Temporary spray paint and cones will be used to create a yield condition on the street.
      • Under a yield condition, the width of the street is narrowed, and vehicles must yield to oncoming traffic by using dedicated pull-over spaces. Traffic can still go in both directions. This is similar to how many residential streets in Somerville currently function.
    • The Somerville Fire Department will then evaluate how fire equipment moves along the street.
    • There will be no street closures, driveway access restrictions, or detours required.
    • Walking and rolling should not be impacted.
    • People on bicycles will be able to use the existing advisory bike lanes along the curb.

    Schedule (subject to change):

    • Testing is expected to take place for one day during the week of 11/13
    • The temporary condition is expected to be in place for approximately 3 hours during the 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. weekday timeframe.

    If you have any questions, please email transportation@somervillema.gov or call Kate White, Transportation Planner, at 617-366-7293 with questions.

  • Take the Concept Design Survey to Share Your Feedback

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    At the second community meeting on October 11, the City shared a proposed concept design for Tufts Street.

    Based on community member feedback and including other considerations such as emergency vehicles, the City set out to create a concept design to:

    • improve safety for people walking, rolling, biking, and driving
    • ensure emergency access
    • lower vehicle speeds and volumes
    • add new and safer crossings
    • ensure sidewalks and crossings are accessible
    • provide parking options for people with accessibility needs
    • and add trees, planted areas, and benches.

    The concept design includes a meandering path for vehicle and bike travel with dedicated pull over space, new longer planter areas with more trees, wider sidewalks, new and raised crosswalks at each intersection, and accessible parking spaces.

    We want to hear from you about your feedback on the proposed concept! Take the survey to share your comments, thoughts, and ideas. If you have ay questions, email transportation@somervillema.gov or call 617-666-3311. The deadline for the survey is November 30, 2023.

  • Check out the Second Community Meeting Materials

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    Thank you to all who were able to join City staff for the second community meeting. On Wednesday, October 11, from 6 p.m. to 7:45 p.m., we hosted our second community meeting on Zoom. During the meeting, we shared an overview of the project, summarized community feedback we received over the last couple of months, presented the proposed Concept Design and discussed your initial feedback.

    Meeting Materials

    We want to continue to hear from you! There are multiple ways to share your input over the next month.

    Come join us at an upcoming street outreach pop-up to talk to staff in-person, share your ideas and ask questions.

    • Tuesday, October 17, 1:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. at Glen Park Playground (rain date: October 24)
    • Thursday, October 19, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. at Tufts Street and Knowlton Street Intersection (rain date: October 26)

    Visit us at upcoming community events.


    Take our Concept Design Feedback Survey to share your feedback. The survey is now available until November 30, 2023.

    Si necesita ayuda en su idioma, comuníquese con nosotros a través de somervillema.gov/ContactSomerviva o llame al 311 (617-666-3311)      

    Caso precise de assistência em seu idioma, entre em contato conosco por meio deste formulário online: somervillema.gov/ContactSomerviva ou ligue para 311 (617-666-3311)      

    Si ou bezwen asistans nan lang ou a, kontakte nou nan somervillema.gov/ContactSomerviva oswa rele 311 (617-666-3311)    

    यदि आफ्नो भाषामा सहायता चाहिन्छ भने कृपया सम्पर्क गर्नुहोस: www.somervillema.gov/ContactSomerviva गर्नुहोस् वा यो ३११ (६१७-६६६-३३११) / 311 (617-666-3311)   

    如果您需要語言方面的協助 請撥打 311 (617-666-3311) 或於somervillema.gov/ContactSomerviva 聯絡 彩薩默: 移民事務辦公室。  

    如果您需要语言方面的协助,请联系 (somervillema.gov/ContactSomerViva)或者请拨打 311(617-666-3311)。

    If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at transportation@somervillema.gov.

  • Join us for the Second Community Meeting on October 11

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    Meeting Flyers Available In: English | Español | Português | नेपाली | Kreyòl Ayisyen | 简体中文版 | 繁體中文版

    Mayor Katjana Ballantyne, Ward 1 Councilor Matthew McLaughlin, and City staff invite you to a virtual community meeting to discuss Tufts Street Reconstruction.

    Date: Wednesday, October 11, 2023

    Time: 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

    Register in advance: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_3FEMDBmDREKBha6lo2uBYw

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. You will also receive reminders one week and one day ahead.

    To join via audio:

    Description: In August, the City hosted the first public meeting for this project to hear from community members about transportation safety concerns, gather ideas for the street, and discuss potential design concepts. At this upcoming meeting, the City plans to share a conceptual design and get feedback from attendees.

    For those who can’t attend, the conceptual design will be posted on the project website after the meeting along with a survey to share feedback. You can also join staff at a series of street outreach pop-ups to be held after the meeting. Details for those events will be posted to this website.

    You can also share your feedback through our concept options poll! Questions? Email transportation@somervillema.gov.

    Interpretation into any language is available upon advance request (at least 7 days in advance) by contacting the SomerViva Office of Immigrant Affairs at somervillema.gov/ContactSomerViva 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 Adrienne Pomeroy in advance at 617-625-6600 x 2059 or apomeroy@somervillema.gov.

  • Take the Concept Options Poll!

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    At the Community Meeting on August 30, 2023, the project team introduced two different concept options for a redesigned Tufts Street.

    The first option, named Mid-Block Moments, describes a street with a succession of two or more pinch points - areas where the road narrows to only let one car through - distributed along the street. The street would remain fairly straight but the pinch points discourage speeding and allow for moments to experience wider sidewalks and shorter and safer crossings. A typical layout of the street would be sidewalks approximately 10.5 feet in width (with 14 feet sidewalks at the pinch point), and vehicle lane widths of 9.5 feet in both directions (except at 12 feet at the pinch points). To further slow down speeds and reduce traffic volumes, we would propose adding a few speed humps between the pinch points.

    The second option, named Meandering Opportunities, describes a meandering narrow street that allows us to maximize sidewalks widths and explore more open space opportunities. A typical layout of the street would have a road width of 12 feet. This creates a yield condition where cars would have to wait in dedicated pull-over areas for an oncoming car to pass. A yield street encourages cars to slow down and lowers traffic volumes. It also allows us to explore opportunities to create open spaces on sidewalks as wide as 19 feet in a few areas distributed along Tufts Street.

    Take our quick poll to share your initial feedback on these two concept options!

  • Street Outreach Pop-Ups Rescheduled due to Heat Advisory & Flood Watch

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    On Friday, September 8, we canceled the street outreach pop-up planned for the intersection of Tufts Street and Knowlton Street at 4:00pm to 6:00pm due to the National Weather Service Heat Advisory. We had planned to host the pop-up during the rain date (September 11), but due to the forecasted rain starting in the afternoon and flood watch, we are postponing this pop-up.

    We still plan to host the planned pop-up for September 12 at the Glen Street Park from 1:30pm to 4:00pm.

    We anticipate hosting the next pop-up at the intersection of Tufts Street and Knowlton Street on Tuesday, September 19 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. We will post any outreach schedule changes to this project website.

    Thank you for your patience as we work around the inclement weather. If you have any questions, please reach out to us at transportation@somervillema.gov.

  • Share your input on how to make Tufts Street safer and better!

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    Thank you to all who were able to join City staff for the first community meeting. On Wednesday, August 30, from 6 p.m. to 7:45 p.m., we hosted our first community meeting on Zoom. During the meeting, we shared background on the project, related plans and ordinances, community engagement strategies, and design opportunities and constraints. We also gathered feedback from attendees about transportation safety concerns and initial feedback to design options.

    Meeting Materials

    We want to continue to hear from you! There are multiple ways to share your input this September to help us learn more about your transportation safety concerns and gather feedback on design elements we should include in the project.

    Come join us at an upcoming street outreach pop-up to talk to staff in-person, share your ideas and ask questions.

    • Friday, September 8, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. at Tufts Street and Knowlton Street Intersection (rain date: September 11)
    • Tuesday, September 12, 1:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. at Glen Park Playground (rain date: September 19)

    You can also share your ideas through our survey! Take it online in English, Español, Português, Kreyòl Ayisyen, नेपाली, 简体中文版, 繁體中文版.

    Add your comments to our online Public Input Map. Writing your comments on this map will help let us know what you see as issues and opportunities in the project area. Use pins to highlight locations that you think it is important for us to prioritize for changes or improvements, as well as locations that are currently working well. Once you add a pin, you can also include comments and images to highlight specific priorities or concerns.

    At anytime, you can always share your ideas or questions via email to transportation@somervillema.gov or via phone at 617-666-3311. Subscribe to the Mobility Monthly Newsletter for project updates.

  • Join Us for the First Community Meeting on August 30

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    Meeting Flyers Available In: English | Español | Português | नेपाली | Kreyòl Ayisyen | 简体中文版 | 繁體中文版

    Mayor Katjana Ballantyne, Ward 1 Councilor Matthew McLaughlin, and City staff invite you to a virtual community meeting to discuss Tufts Street Reconstruction.

    Date: Wednesday, August 30, 2023

    Time: 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

    Register in advance: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_6GaVNJK8ROSERXZVZp9mOw

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. You will also receive reminders one week and one day ahead.

    To join via audio:

    • US: +16465588656,,82307326244#US (New York) or +16469313860,,82307326244#US
    • Or dial: +1 646-558-8656 and enter the webinar ID
    • Webinar ID: 823 0732 6244

    Description: The City of Somerville is planning to rebuild sidewalks and repave Tufts Street between Cross Street and Washington Street. We are also redesigning the street to make it safer for people walking, rolling, biking, taking buses, and driving. What changes would you like to see? Join us at this virtual community meeting to learn more and share your feedback.

    You can also share your ideas through our survey! Take it online in English, Español, Português, Kreyòl Ayisyen, नेपाली, 简体中文版, 繁體中文版. Questions? Email transportation@somervillema.gov.

    Interpretation into any language is available upon advance request (at least 7 days in advance) by contacting the SomerViva Office of Immigrant Affairs at somervillema.gov/ContactSomerViva 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 Adrienne Pomeroy in advance at 617-625-6600 x 2059 or apomeroy@somervillema.gov.

  • Take the Tufts Street Transportation Safety Concerns and Needs Survey!

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    Along with repaving the street and reconstructing the sidewalks, the City is taking the opportunity to explore a new design for Tufts Street that makes it safer and more comfortable for people walking, rolling, biking, taking public transit, or driving.

    We want to hear from you! Please take the Tufts Street Transportation Safety Concerns and Needs Survey to share your feedback and ideas. The deadline for survey responses is September 19, 2023.

    The survey is available in English, Español, Português, Kreyòl Ayisyen, नेपाली, 简体中文版, 繁體中文版.

Page last updated: 29 Feb 2024, 03:44 PM