Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

February 2, 2015

Updates: Snow Emergency and Parking Ban (Jan 26 – Feb 3)

Filed under: Cambridge — Tags: — Robert Winters @ 10:52 pm

ALERT & CLOSINGS INFORMATION – Feb 3

Effective 7:00am on Tuesday, February 3, the Snow Emergency Parking Ban will be lifted. Snow clearing crews will be working through the night. City offices will be open. DHSP pre-schools, after-schools, youth centers, and the King Open Extended day programs will open at 10:00am.

Cambridge Public Schools will be closed on Tuesday, February 3rd due to the winter weather conditions.

Curbside trash/recycling will occur as scheduled.

All Community Schools will be closed. Classes will not be held at the Community Learning Center.

Senior Centers will be open to serve seniors, but classes are canceled.

The School Committee Meeting scheduled for February 3rd is cancelled.


City of Cambridge Announces Cancelled Meetings, Early Closures
All City Offices to Close at 2:00pm. All Public Meetings and Programs Cancelled for Feb 2, 2015

Feb 2, 2015 – The City of Cambridge will be closing all buildings to the public today at 2:00pm and all public meetings and programs have been cancelled, including the City Council meeting. Items originally scheduled to be before the City Council tonight will roll into the agenda for the Feb 9, 2015 meeting. The public can find rescheduled meeting times on the City’s online calendar at www.cambridgema.gov.

Residents are reminded that a snow emergency parking ban is still in effect. Parking is prohibited on streets signed No Parking during Snow Emergency. If you need to travel, please ensure that snow is cleared from the top of your motor vehicle to create safer conditions for those travelers around you. Information on when the snow emergency parking ban will be lifted will be available on the City’s website, www.cambridgema.gov, on Twitter at @CambMA, and on Facebook at CambridgeMA.gov. Additionally, subscribers to the Cambridge Alter Network will receive notification. The public can sign-up to receive notification of snow emergency parking bans at cambridgema.gov/AlertNetwork.

The Department of Public Works (DPW) will continue to clear streets throughout the night, starting with major arteries. Your patience and participation in clearing sidewalks helps the City return streets and sidewalks to safe, passable conditions as quickly as possible. After major street clearing operations have been completed, crews will begin working on high traffic bus routes to clear snow from bus stops, ramps, and crosswalks.

City Ordinance requires property owners to remove snow from sidewalks next to their property or business within 12 hours of daytime snowfall and before 1:00pm when it has fallen overnight. Property owners must also remove or melt all ice within 6 hours of the time it forms. There is a $50 fine for each day of non-compliance.

Property owners are asked that when shoveling their sidewalks to please maintain a minimum of 36 inches clear width, so that people who use wheelchairs and other mobility devices (also parents using strollers, etc.) can navigate the sidewalk. The Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD) requests that a 48 inch clear width be created when possible – this gives an extra measure of safety. Additionally, CCPD urges residents and businesses to pay particular attention to the corners, where one sidewalk meets another – shovel the full length and width of curb ramps, so that pedestrians with disabilities can get to the crosswalks. Business owners are requested, if there is a disability parking space on the street near your storefront, to please take the extra time to shovel a clear path to that space, so that your customers with disabilities can visit your establishment. In particular, shovel a space wide enough so that vans with lifts can deploy the lift onto the sidewalk.

The City recognizes the effort that goes into shoveling out any vehicle parked on a city street during a snow event. However, residents may not use objects such as trash/recycling barrels, furniture items or any other item to save parking spots on public streets. These items will be treated as trash and disposed of by DPW.

Updated information will be available at www.cambridgema.gov throughout the storm. In addition, the public is encouraged to follow updates on Twitter at @CambMA and on Facebook at CambridgeMA.Gov. The City will be utilizing the hash tag #CambMASnow on Twitter to help the public follow the conversation. Members of the public can also call 617-349-4800 or 617-349-4700 for information. Members of the public are encouraged to sign-up to receive notification of snow emergency parking bans at http://www.cambridgema.gov/AlertNetwork.


Feb 1, 2015 – The City of Cambridge is declaring a Snow Emergency Parking Ban effective at 5:00am on Monday, February 2nd. Parking will be prohibited on streets signed No Parking during Snow Emergency. Towing operations will begin at this time. Beginning at 4pm Sunday, February 1st, our free off-street parking program, which is available only to Cambridge residents with Resident Parking Permits issued by the Department of Traffic, Parking and Transportation, will go into effect.

Off Street Parking is available at the following locations:

  • Galleria Mall. Enter on Cambridgeside Place, Between P.F Chang’s and The Cheesecake Factory Entrance. Residents of Cambridge can park for free in the Cambridgeside Galleria Garage from 4pm Sunday, February 1st until 2 hours after the ban is lifted.
  • First Street Garage. Enter on Spring Street. Parking is free if you have a Cambridge resident parking permit from 4pm Sunday, February 1st  until 2 hours after the ban is lifted.
  • Green Street Garage, Central Square. Parking is free if you have a Cambridge resident parking permit from 4pm Sunday, February 1st  until 2 hours after the ban is lifted.
  • 52 Oxford Garage. This is a Harvard owned and operated garage. Beginning at 4pm Sunday, February 1st it is open to City residents with a resident parking permit on a space available basis for no fee from the time the declared snow emergency is in effect until two hours after the snow emergency is lifted. Space is limited, and availability is on a first-come, first-served basis. The University reserves the right to cease admittance due to capacity limitations and operation issues.
  • 65 Waverly Street. This is an MIT owned surface lot at the corner of Sidney, Waverly and Erie adjacent to Fort Washington Park.  Parking is free with a resident permit starting on 4pm Sunday, February 1st until 2 hours after the ban has is lifted.
  • One Kendall Square Garage. This is a privately owned garage next to the Kendall Square Cinema. Parking is free from 4pm Sunday, February 1st for Cambridge residents with a resident parking permit on their vehicle until two hours after the ban is lifted. The garage entrance is at 389 Binney Street.

Updated information will be available at www.cambridgema.gov throughout the storm. In addition, the public is encouraged to follow updates on Twitter at @CambMA and on Facebook at CambridgeMA.Gov. The City will be utilizing the hash tag #CambMASnow on Twitter to help the public follow the conversation. Members of the public can also call 617-349-4800 or 617-349-4700 for information. Members of the public are encouraged to sign-up to receive notification of snow emergency parking bans at http://www.cambridgema.gov/AlertNetwork.


Keep those fire hydrants clear of snow!
Map of Cambridge fire hydrants – Zoom in for a closer look.

Wed, Jan 28 – The City’s Snow Emergency Parking Ban was lifted at 4:00pm on Wed, Jan 28.

City of Cambridge Snow Operations Continue into the Weekend
Public Schools and City Buildings Re-open Thursday, January 29

Jan 28, 2015 – As Cambridge Public Schools and City offices prepare to reopen on Thursday, January 28, the Department of Public Works (DPW) will be continuing snow operations well into the weekend.

While the citywide Snow Emergency Parking Ban was lifted at 4 p.m. today, there are still many streets that will be marked with temporary “No Parking” signs. Because of the total accumulations received during the blizzard, there are many streets that—while passable to motor vehicle traffic—would be impassable to emergency vehicles and MBTA buses if parking were restored at this point. Residents and visitors are encouraged to check posted signs regularly in order avoid being ticketed and towed. The City will continue to monitor the need for these signs, and will take them down as soon it is safe to do so.

Regardless of whether a street has a parking restriction in place, any vehicle parked so far from the curb as to obstruct the safe flow of traffic is subject to ticketing and towing. Drivers should use their best judgment when considering whether to park in areas where large snow piles are still alongside the curb, to ensure they do not block the flow of traffic.

The City will begin snow clearing and removal along high volume bus routes on Thursday evening. These routes include approximately 200 MBTA bus stops, nearly 2/3 of the total in the city. All bus stops, crosswalks, and ramps along these routes will be cleared of snow and ice. Crews can work quickly and efficiently during nighttime hours as pedestrian, cyclist, and motor vehicle traffic are extremely low.

This work requires the use of heavy equipment, and will take several nights to complete. Crews appreciate the public’s patience as the City works to ensure safe, accessible travel for all users.

Nighttime clearing routes for bus stops, crosswalks, and ramps include:

  • Cambridge Street – Lechmere station to the Cambridge Common
  • Massachusetts Avenue – Memorial Drive to the Arlington Line
  • Concord Avenue – Cambridge Common to Fresh Pond Parkway
  • Mt. Auburn Street – Belmont line to Massachusetts Ave
  • Western Avenue
  • River Street
  • Huron Avenue – Concord Avenue to Fresh Pond Parkway
  • Rindge Avenue
  • Broadway
  • Prospect Street – Cambridge Street to Massachusetts Avenue
  • Pearl Street
  • Brookline Street
  • Green Street – Brookline Street to Western Avenue
  • Granite Street
  • Aberdeen Avenue

Residents with questions about snow removal operations can contact the Department of Public Works at 617-349-4800. Inquiries regarding traffic and parking can be addressed by calling the Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department at 617-349-4700.


City of Cambridge Continues Snow Operations
Emergency Operations Center Monitors City Response

SnowpocalypseTues, Jan 27, 2015 – Overnight, the City of Cambridge had more than 130 pieces of apparatus working to keep the major roads clear of snow and ice. The City clears over 125 miles of streets and 23 miles of public sidewalks. “So far, the Cambridge has received between 12 and 15 inches of snow,” said Owen O’Riordan, Commissioner of Public Works. “As residents and business begin the process of digging out, I want to remind them to not shovel snow into the roadway, to clear at least a three foot path on all sidewalks abutting one’s property, and to clear snow around fire hydrants, catch basins, and crossway ramps in their neighborhood.” DPW crews will be working around the clock to clear the snow from city roads and sidewalks.

The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) continues to coordinate and monitor the City’s response to the storm. “We were fortunate last night that there were not any major incidents.  Since last night at 5pm, there have been only 3 motor vehicle accidents,” said Richard C. Rossi, City Manager. “Residents cooperated with the Snow Emergency Parking Ban, used caution during last night’s commute, and adhered to the travel ban imposed by the Governor. This type of cooperation helps the City focus on snow operations.  The City only had to tow 65 vehicles citywide.  A decade ago we would have towed hundreds of cars. I ask that residents use caution when going outside, watch for plows on the street, and take breaks often when shoveling snow.”

Last night, Cambridge opened a temporary Emergency Shelter at the War Memorial Recreation Center, 1640 Cambridge Street. The shelter is pet friendly, fully accessible, and able to accommodate individuals requiring additional assistance. No residents have had to take advantage of the shelter so far. Citizens with questions about the shelter should call the Emergency Communications Center at 617-349-3300. Information on how people should prepare prior to heading to the shelter is available on www.cambridgema.gov.

The City has not experienced any significant power outages or public safety events. Residents are reminded to report any power outages directly to NSTAR at 800-592-2000. Downed tree limbs and wires in the public way can be reported to 617-349-3300.  Residents should not approach downed tree limbs and should use extreme caution to avoid downed wires as they could still be live.

The City encourages residents to consider relatives, friends and neighbors that live alone, are elderly, or have a medical condition. Please check in by phone or in person with elders and people with disabilities to ensure that they are safe or if they are in need of assistance with clearing snow.

The City’s Snow Emergency Parking Ban will remains in effect until further notice.

Updated information will be available at www.cambridgema.gov throughout the storm. In addition, the public is encouraged to follow updates on Twitter at @CambMA and on Facebook at CambridgeMA.Gov. The City will be utilizing the hash tag #CambMASnow on Twitter to help the public follow the conversation. Members of the public can also call 617-349-4800 or 617-349-4700 for information.  Members of the public are encouraged to sign-up to receive notification of snow emergency parking bans at http://www.cambridgema.gov/AlertNetwork.

Note: The Cambridge Public Schools will again be closed for Wednesday, Jan 28.

Note: City Buildings will again be closed on Wedy, Jan 28. All programs and public meetings have been cancelled.


Mon, Jan 26, 2015 – The City of Cambridge is preparing for the approaching blizzard. Updated information will be available at www.cambridgema.gov throughout the storm. In addition, the public is encouraged to follow updates on Twitter at @CambMA and on Facebook at CambridgeMA.Gov. The City will be utilizing the hash tag #CambMASnow on Twitter to help the public follow the conversation. Members of the public can also call 617-349-4800 or 617-349-4700 for information.

Below are important updates from the City:

  • A Snow Emergency Parking Ban is effective as of 4pm on Monday, January 26.
  • Vehicles parked on streets that are signed “No Parking during a Snow Emergency” will be ticketed and towed until the ban is lifted.
  • For a listing of facilities that provide free parking during snow emergencies, visit http://camb.ma/1thd1ab.
  • All City buildings and programs will close at 6pm on Monday, January 26.
  • All City buildings and programs will be closed on Tuesday, January 27.
  • Public meetings scheduled for January 26th and January 27th have been cancelled or postponed. Updates on new dates will be available on the City’s website.
  • Cambridge Public Schools will be closed on Tuesday, January 27.
  • Curbside trash/recycling collection is cancelled for Tuesday, January 27. Collection will be delayed by one day for the remainder of the week.
  • MBTA will not be operating on Tuesday, January 27.

With the potential for heavy snowfall and strong winds, some areas may be affected by power outages.  Please report any outages directly to NSTAR at 800-592-2000.

In addition to following updates on the city’s website and social networks, members of the public are encouraged to sign-up to receive notification of snow emergency parking bans at http://www.cambridgema.gov/AlertNetwork.


SNOW EMERGENCY and PARKING BAN (on posted streets) will go into effect in Cambridge starting at 4:00pm on Monday, January 26. Also, Governor Baker has declared a ban on motor vehicle travel beginning at midnight tonight (Mon 1/26) and continuing until further notice has been issued. There are exceptions for public safety vehicles and public safety workers, and other essential travel. Details of the exceptions to follow. Governor Baker also announced that the MBTA will shutdown at midnight tonight (Mon 1/26) and will not operate on Tuesday 1/27. A State of Emergency for the entire Commonwealth was declared today (1/26/15) as of noon (12:00pm).

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