As of our March 21st meeting, the latest news from the Cambridge Transportation Department is that they have narrowed their options for reconfiguring the intersection down to two: Bend Northside and the Roundabout. They expect to hold a public meeting in early May to announce the final decision. At that point, planning will move into the details, and the neighborhood will have the chance to work with planners on decisions around the finer points (i.e. where are the bus stops, the crosswalks? How do the lights work, etc…?). The City has also informed us that our feedback led them away from the option to change traffic flow on Springfield Street, so that street will remain 2-way.
Our job at ISNA is to get everyone in the neighborhood talking and thinking about how this troublesome heart of our Square could be reconfigured to strengthen our business district and our community. Since our vote to ask that the City consider proposals that expand the space available for public gatherings, we have not taken a stand as an association on which proposal we prefer. Instead, we are asking you, our neighbors, to submit your own thoughts and suggestions.
Please continue to send the City your feedback and send us your comments!
If you missed the meetings or just want to review the proposals and information, the Department of Public Works now has all of that information posted on its website. The same pages also offer you the chance to respond to the City with your intersection preferences. Go here for the City’s images, renderings and plans for each intersection proposal. Click on Documents and Project Background and look for Updates and the Schedule for the Project.
The Intersection Committee has written up it’s thoughts, which you can find here: ISNA-Intersect-Comm-Rec-4. And ISNA Member Elana Saporta did a rendering of possible landscaping for the “peanutabout” proposal from the Bicyclists’ Union. The same group has provided a video from a similar construction in Idaho: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEJf6rh_h8s&t=4s.
Already, we have logged suggestions for traffic slowing on Antrim, broader crosswalks, creating extra auto delays on Beacon and owner delivery access. We are also noting suggestions to build a second parking tier in the Springfield lot and related concerns about parking in front of Inman Pharmacy, Inman Hardware and the health clinics, all of which could be eliminated to make room for bike lanes.
For a suggestion to make our intersection both safer and more interesting, check out this lighted crosswalk design out of the Netherlands, submitted by one of our neighbors:
New innovation in street crossing markers:
“…Note that there are likely other useful ways to apply this tech besides the ones shown — for instance: I’d guess illuminated markers in the road could be linked to traffic and pedestrian signals (rather than being on all the time).”