West Broadway Reconstruction

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The City of Somerville is planning to reconstruct sidewalks and repave Broadway between Clarendon Ave and Alewife Brook Parkway (Route 16) as part of the Pavement and Sidewalk Management Program. As part of this effort, we are taking the opportunity to make the street safer for all users.

Stay in the Loop

Sign up for the Mobility Newsletter and keep an eye on this page for updates on upcoming public meetings, street pop-up community engagement events, and project progress.

Why West Broadway?

Broadway is one of the most used main streets in Somerville. This segment of Broadway serves as a gateway to the City from Arlington, North Cambridge, and Alewife Brook Parkway and Greenway Bike Path, carries the MBTA Route 87, 88, and 89 bus routes, and is home for many residents and local businesses. In the Somerville Bicycle Network Plan, West Broadway is designated for protected bike lanes in at least one direction between Clarendon Ave and Alewife Brook Parkway, except for the small stretch between Endicott Ave and Russell Rd, which is designated for protected bike lanes in both directions. This project does not include the intersection of Alewife Brook Parkway and Broadway, which is under the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). The City is currently working with DCR to plan safety improvements for the intersection under a separate project.

Timeline

Beginning in the Fall of 2023, we will reach out to community members to gather your feedback on transportation safety concerns along this part of Broadway and your ideas to improve the street. Between the Winter of 2023 and the Summer of 2024, we will develop a conceptual design and share back with community members to hear your feedback. By early 2025, we will share out final proposed designs. Construction is anticipated to take place between 2025 and 2026.

Information in other languages

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 Broadway between Clarendon Ave and Alewife Brook Parkway (Route 16) as part of the Pavement and Sidewalk Management Program. As part of this effort, we are taking the opportunity to make the street safer for all users.

Stay in the Loop

Sign up for the Mobility Newsletter and keep an eye on this page for updates on upcoming public meetings, street pop-up community engagement events, and project progress.

Why West Broadway?

Broadway is one of the most used main streets in Somerville. This segment of Broadway serves as a gateway to the City from Arlington, North Cambridge, and Alewife Brook Parkway and Greenway Bike Path, carries the MBTA Route 87, 88, and 89 bus routes, and is home for many residents and local businesses. In the Somerville Bicycle Network Plan, West Broadway is designated for protected bike lanes in at least one direction between Clarendon Ave and Alewife Brook Parkway, except for the small stretch between Endicott Ave and Russell Rd, which is designated for protected bike lanes in both directions. This project does not include the intersection of Alewife Brook Parkway and Broadway, which is under the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). The City is currently working with DCR to plan safety improvements for the intersection under a separate project.

Timeline

Beginning in the Fall of 2023, we will reach out to community members to gather your feedback on transportation safety concerns along this part of Broadway and your ideas to improve the street. Between the Winter of 2023 and the Summer of 2024, we will develop a conceptual design and share back with community members to hear your feedback. By early 2025, we will share out final proposed designs. Construction is anticipated to take place between 2025 and 2026.

Information in other languages

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 community outreach activities for the West Broadway Reconstruction Project. We want to provide an update on the design, and the work that’s taken place over the fall.

    Design Update

    At the October 23 community meeting, we shared that we anticipated publishing a concept design at a community meeting in late winter. We now aim to present that concept design to community members in April. This does not impact the future construction schedule but provides us more time to incorporate community feedback and data collection into design development. We will post information about upcoming community meetings on this website. You can also subscribe to the monthly Mobility newsletter to get email notifications direct to your inbox.

    Fall Community Engagement Report

    From September 19, 2023, to December 6, 2023, the City worked to engage community members and gather feedback around transportation safety issues, concerns, and priorities for the street to inform the future West Broadway redesign.

    In this time period, City staff hosted a virtual community meeting, block walked to local businesses, posted flyers on nearby homes, shared flyers at the nearby mobile farmers’ market, hosted a street outreach pop-up, conducted an online survey, facilitated an online public input map, and hosted an in-person meeting at Clarendon Towers. We also logged emails that came to our team and reviewed past 311 service requests that were submitted regarding the 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.

    Transit

    Some community members asked the City to consider a morning peak hour bus lane that could revert to parking after the rush hour. Some asked if transit signal priority would be part of the project to help more buses travel faster through intersections. Some also shared skepticism of the effectiveness of short bus lanes and if it reduced delay while some requested more bus lanes so that the buses could avoid congestion. Some advocated for shared bus/bike lanes in the downhill direction over protected bike lanes on both sides. Some advocated for prioritizing bus riders traveling from Clarendon Hill to improve connectivity. Some requested more benches at bus stops or shelters at high ridership locations.

    Biking

    Community members shared the desire for safe biking facilities in both directions and advocated for more bike parking to access businesses. Some advocated for as many floating bus stops as possible to remove the conflict with people biking as well as provide more curbside access for parking since floating bus stops are shorter than curbside bus stops. Some shared their opposition or concerns about bike infrastructure and conveyed that it negatively impacts older adults or people with disabilities who might rely on walking and driving more. Some suggested that if the design only includes a protected bike lane in one direction, that it should be located in the uphill direction. Many shared that they currently feel unsafe traveling on West Broadway because of the poor pavement quality and having to share the road with vehicles that go at high speeds when the road isn’t congested. Some shared that they would only bike on West Broadway if there were protected bike lanes at sidewalk level or curb separated, while some shared that new protected bike facilities make them feel less safe.

    Sidewalks

    Community members shared that some sidewalk panels need to be fixed as they have been upended by large tree roots or are cracked. Some advocated for new and wider sidewalks to help increase pedestrian traffic and support small business patronage. Some advocated for continuous sidewalks at small intersections or installing raised crosswalks to encourage vehicles to slow down when turning onto side streets. Some community members shared that some of the current sidewalks do not have accessible curb ramps.

    Speeding, unsafe driving, and other safety issues

    Some people shared their safety concerns about the entrance and exits at the gas station by Victoria Street creating additional turning conflicts and vulnerabilities for people walking and rolling. Some advocated for more signage or flashing lights to communicate to people driving to slow down. Others shared that congestion seems to prevent speeding; however, it results in people going through red lights and not yielding to crosswalks.

    Pavement condition

    Some community members shared that Broadway is a key route for buses and trucks so the City should be mindful of ensuring pavement durability with a large number of heavy vehicles. Many described the poor quality of the pavement and how that makes it unsafe to both drive and bike on. Some advocated for simply repaving while others advocated for traffic calming once repaved so that vehicles are less likely to speed.

    Traffic management, signals, and pavement markings

    Many people described that signal timing at the signalized intersections is causing massive congestion at peak times. This was particularly described for Alewife Brook Parkway and in Teele Square. Some described that higher volumes coming in and out of Somerville (rather than from Arlington) in addition to the lack of left turn option from Somerville off of Alewife Brook Parkway, causes congestion and vehicles either taking a “Massachusetts left” or turning on the red light. Severe congestion in Teele Square can hold up buses traveling to Davis Square. Some even described that they’ve chosen to walk instead of taking the bus from Clarendon Hill to Davis Square, and managed to beat the bus to the destination. Around the time of the survey release, some adjustments had been made to the signal system in Teele Square. Contractors couldn’t implement all the proposed adjustments, and this resulted in unexpectedly longer queues.

    Amenities

    Some people requested more trash cans especially closer to North Street to help reduce the prevalence of trash.

    Parking

    Some people shared that parking can be necessary for business operations but walking and biking infrastructure could be more critical for frequent access to small businesses. Some shared that parking or curbside access is critical for picking up food or unloading product. Many businesses shared their need for parking for both loading as well as customer access. Some asked the City to consider EV charging options.

    Environment and greenery

    Community members advocated for more green space with opportunities to sit and enjoy the street with benches and shade coverage. Some advocated for using wide sections of sidewalk for new plantings. Some shared that there are segments with no trees making the street less comfortable to walk on.

    Operations

    Some community members advocated for parking enforcement paired with changes. They described some improvements in other parts of the city aren’t as effective when people park in bus stops or on bike lanes.

    Crossings and intersections

    Many comments, questions, and concerns that we heard focused on intersections and crosswalks along the street. Many people who use the crosswalks along the street say people driving often fail to yield to people waiting to cross and speed through when the street isn’t congested. Many advocated for flashing crosswalk signs, crossing islands, and other features to make intersections safer for all users. Some requested that more of the side street crosswalks be moved closer to Broadway rather than set back to make pedestrians more visible to turning vehicles. Some shared that new protected bike lanes make visibility at crosswalks worse. The survey report provides detailed comments, but some of the most mentioned intersections we heard about within the project limit are the crossings between Clarendon Towers and Stop & Shop, and Clarendon Avenue at Broadway.

    • At Clarendon Towers and Stop & Shop, many cited the lack of safety at the crossing. They described that vehicles turn off Alewife Brook Parkway and speed through the crossing and don’t always yield to people waiting to cross. The crosswalk itself has holes where even some residents have fallen. Some advocated for a traffic signal to make vehicles stop at a red light so people can safely cross. Some asked for improvements sooner than the planned construction for the project. Many advocated for prioritizing this crossing for safety improvements.
    • Many described how the crosswalk at Clarendon Avenue is unsafe to cross. Many shared that they believe vehicles are trying to turn onto Clarendon Avenue to get to Massachusetts Avenue. The high volumes and lack of signal at this specific intersection causes congestion and drivers to quickly take a left from the westbound direction ignoring pedestrians in the crosswalk. Some described that this turn is often blocked as well by vehicles trying to travel into Teele Square causing backups in the westbound direction.
    • Many community members also discussed challenges at Farragut Avenue, Russell Road, Garrison Street, and Victoria Street describing issues like poor visibility for people driving seeing oncoming vehicles when trying to make turns, and difficulties seeing pedestrians trying to cross.
  • Street Outreach Planned for 12/2

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    City staff are planning to host a street outreach pop-up at the intersection of Broadway and Endicott Ave on Saturday, December 2 from 11:00am - 1:00pm.

    Come join us to talk to staff in-person, share your ideas for Broadway, and ask questions. If the forecast changes, and rain is predicted, check back on the project website for any updates on dates and times.

  • Postponing Street Outreach Pop-Up originally planned for 11/18

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    Due to the forecasted rain, we will be postponing the street outreach pop-up originally planned for Saturday, November 18, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the intersection of Broadway and Clarendon Ave.

    We anticipate rescheduling and hosting two pop-ups during the week of November 30. We will be looking ahead at forecasts to confirm dates. Please check back on this project website for upcoming details.

  • Share your input on how to make West Broadway safer and better!

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    On Monday, October 23, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., we hosted our first community meeting on Zoom. Thank you to all who were able to join. 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 along the street and in the nearby area.

    Meeting Materials

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

    • Share your ideas through our survey! Take it online in English, Español, Português, Kreyòl Ayisyen, नेपाली, 繁體中文, 简体中文.
    • Come join us at an upcoming street outreach pop-up to talk to staff in-person, share your ideas and ask questions. We will be at the intersection of Broadway and Clarendon Ave on Saturday, November 18 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. If inclement weather is forecasted for that day, check back on the project website for an updated date and time.
    • 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 October 23, 2023

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

    Mayor Katjana Ballantyne, Ward 7 Councilor Judy Pineda Neufeld, and City staff invite you to a virtual community meeting to discuss West Broadway Reconstruction.

    Date: Monday, October 23, 2023

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

    Register in advance: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN__E-ajFb7Q4OcePJvka2Idg

    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: The City of Somerville is planning to rebuild sidewalks and repave Broadway between Clarendon Avenue and Alewife Brook Parkway (Route 16). 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, 繁體中文, 简体中文.

    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.

Page last updated: 29 Feb 2024, 12:07 PM