Central Broadway Recap: Realizing Potential

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Last week on September 10th, residents, business owners, elected officials, and project team members gathered for the second public meeting on the Central Broadway Streetscape to look at some exciting preliminary concepts for the corridor. Attendees learned about traffic study findings and how those results informed the preliminary concepts. Using large roll out plans, attendees provided site-specific feedback on the various concepts. The meeting presentation has been posted here.

Projects like the Central Broadway Streetscape Improvements Project can have profound and lasting effects on both the street and the surrounding community. Improvements that may seem to be simple have benefits beyond what appear to be cosmetic. Measures to calm traffic alter how people and vehicles move through and interact with a street. These measures, including sidewalk enhancements, bicycling accommodations, improved traffic signalization, and clarified travel lanes, allow users to move through a corridor at a more regular, considered pace. In addition to improving vehicular and pedestrian safety, this allows people to easily access and explore local businesses and landscapes. Even small changes, such as the addition of pavers in crosswalks (as seen for example in the Kenmore Square Improvements Project) can transform a street, improving aesthetics and safety.

In the case of Central Broadway, considering such elements is all about harvesting the corridor’s potential and transforming its future.  Broadway from McGrath Highway to Magoun Square is both a major artery and a commercial center for Winter Hill. Broadway’s extensive width lends itself to a variety of options, allowing for the expansion of bicycle and pedestrian features, while simultaneously accommodating and calming traffic. This effect carries over to how travelers and community members are then able to interact with businesses and green, civic space. A complete street project, such as this, preserves the identity of the community while enhancing its mobility, economic prospects, accessibility, and safety.

We encourage you to stay a part of this process as we work to make this project a reality. If you were unable to attend last week’s meeting, you can visit the project website  and view the meeting presentation. Be sure to keep the conversation going by providing your feedback online. Give us your opinion on new topics, preliminary concepts, or other feedback on the project using the Somerville by Design Mindmixer.  Also, please note our future meeting dates for the Central Broadway project as well as the neighborhood planning process:

  • Visioning Session: September 29th at the Healey School
  • Charrette: October 27-29th, 328 Broadway
  • Open House: January 15th, Healey School
  • Next Streetscape Meeting: February-March 2015

If you have questions on this project, please contact Sarah Spicer, Project Manager: sspicer@somervillema.gov

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