Begun in May of 2016 and finalized in mid-2018 with the publication of the project’s final report, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) conducted the Mount Auburn Street Corridor Study to develop short- and long-term recommendations for the improvement of Mount Auburn Street and portions of the adjoining roadways. The objectives of the project were to identify improvements to create safe and welcoming conditions for bicyclists and pedestrians, particularly between the Charles River and abutting neighborhoods, and to improve conditions for transit riders, all while maintaining vehicular access particularly to local businesses and Mount Auburn Hospital. The study addressed the Mount Auburn Street Corridor from Belmont Street in Watertown to Traill Street in Cambridge and Fresh Pond Parkway/Greenough Boulevard from Huron Avenue to the Eliot Bridge.
Mount Auburn Street between Belmont Street and Fresh Pond Parkway has two travel lanes in each direction and carries approximately 19,000 vehicles per day. Fresh Pond Parkway has two travel lanes in each direction north of Mount Auburn Street and carries approximately 34,000 vehicles per day. The 71 and 73 MBTA bus routes carry 12,000 weekday daily riders, representing as much as one-third of total people traveling through the corridor, many of whom walk or cycle to access transit service. At the time of the study’s launch in 2016, both Mount Auburn Street and Fresh Pond Parkway were noted as significant gaps in Cambridge’s current cycling network.
The study was conducted by a consultant team led by Howard Stein Hudson (HSH), supported by Kittelson Associates, Crosby | Schlessinger | Smallridge, Fort Hill Companies, and Bryant Associates. Crucial to the successful completion of the work was a dedicated stakeholder group which met seven times over the course of the project. This group was composed of over 40 members, including representatives of local government, area businesses, residential neighborhoods, and applicable advocacy organizations. In addition to several stakeholder group meetings, four public meetings were held, and additional community input was gathered through community pop-up sessions and a web-mapping citizen engagement tool.
The short- and long-term recommendations that are the product of this planning process are contained within the final Mount Auburn Street Corridor Study Report. The individual chapters of the Report can be downloaded below.
- Building of the Stakeholder Group
- Existing Conditions
- Defining the Issues and Established Shared Goals
- Design Development and Concepts
- Short Term Design Concept
- Mount Auburn Report - Long Term Design Concept
- Long-term Design Concept Part 2
- Appendix A - Traffic Counts
- Appendix B- SIDRA Roundabout Analysis
- Appendix C – VISSIM Outputs
It is the agency’s goal to implement many of the Study Report recommendations through the measures described below:
Last fall, DCR reduced the speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph along Gerry’s Landing Road from the Mount Auburn Street intersection to the Coolidge Avenue rotary. The agency also installed direct-read speed indicators along the roadway.
DCR also expects to complete the following items during the remainder of 2018:
- Improvements to the configuration and timing of pedestrian crossings at Fresh Pond Parkway and Mount Auburn Street;
- Coordination with the City of Cambridge to create a bus queue jump-lane inbound at the Mount Auburn Cemetery;
- The painting of new pavement markings where determined to be needed and appropriate; and
- Creation of a separated bicycle track along the southbound side of Gerry’s Landing Road (from Coolidge Avenue to the Memorial Drive intersection) to provide cyclists with their own crossings over Gerry’s Landing Road in order to access the Charles River shared-use path.
- Improvements and reconfiguration of the intersections at Mount Auburn Street/Fresh Pond Parkway and Mount Auburn Street and Brattle Street;
- Additional improvements to the signalized pedestrian and bicycle crossings;
- Traffic calming measures, such as major geometric changes to the intersection of Mount Auburn Street and Fresh Pond Parkway;
- Coordination with the MBTA to adjust bus caternaries to allow Fresh Pond Parkway intersection reconfiguration; and,
- The creation of a separated bicycle track along the northbound side of Gerry’s Landing Road from Coolidge Avenue to the Memorial Drive intersection.
The implementation of long-term measures will be subject to the availability of funding. DCR is working with consultant Howard Stein Hudson (HSH) to qualify for federal Transportation Improvement Projects (TIP) funding to implement the recommendations.
Stakeholder Meeting Materials
Public Meeting Materials
If you have questions or concerns or wish to subscribe to a listserv to receive periodic project updates, please email Mass.Parks@state.ma.us or call 617-626-4973.