Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

March 13, 2017

City of Cambridge Declares Snow Emergency Parking Ban – to be lifted at 7:00am, Wed, Mar 15

Filed under: Cambridge — Tags: , , , — Robert Winters @ 6:24 pm

City of Cambridge Lifts Snow Emergency Parking Ban Ban lifted as of 7:00am on Wednesday;
Trash/recycling collection 1 day behind schedule

The Snow Emergency Parking Ban in effect will be lifted in the City of Cambridge as of 7:00am on Wed, Mar 15, 2017. Tow operations will continue until the ban is lifted.

Residents parked in one of the City’s Snow Emergency Off-Street Parking locations should exit within 2 hours after it has been lifted to avoid being charged. Residents parked at the 52 Oxford Garage must exit within 2 hours of the ban being lifted.City Seal

Due to icy conditions caused by the storm, people are urged to stay off the roads tonight. If travel is required, please use extra caution and leave additional distance between other vehicles and snow crews.

City of Cambridge offices, programs, and library branches will be open on Wednesday. Because curbside trash and recycling pickup was canceled on Tuesday, pickup routes will be delayed 1 day for the remainder of the week.

The Department of Public Works (DPW) will continue to clear streets throughout the night, starting with major arteries. Crews will also be working to remove downed trees. 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.

The public can follow updates on Twitter at @CambMA and on Facebook at CambridgeMA.Gov. The City uses the hash tag #CambMASnow on Twitter to help the public follow the conversation. 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: CambridgeMA.GOV/Snow.


City of Cambridge Declares Snow Emergency Parking Ban
Ban goes into effect at 7:00am on March 14; Trash and Recycling Pickup Cancelled

Mar 13, 2017 – A Snow Emergency Parking Ban will go into effect in the City of Cambridge beginning at 7:00am on Tues, Mar 14, 2017. Vehicles parked on streets that are signed “No Parking during a Snow Emergency” will be ticketed and towed until the ban is lifted.Snow on Broadway

There will be no curbside trash or recycling collection on Tues, Mar 14 because of weather conditions. All curbside trash and recycling daily pickup routes will be one day behind schedule for the remainder of this week.

The Cambridge Public Schools will be closed on Tues, Mar 14, 2017.

Updated information will be available at CambridgeMA.GOV/Snow 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.

Below is important information from the City:

  • A Snow Emergency Parking Ban is effective as of 7:00am on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 and vehicles parked on streets that are signed “No Parking during a Snow Emergency” will be ticketed and towed at that time until the ban is lifted.
  • To assist residents in parking their vehicles, free parking is provided at a number of facilities beginning at 6:00pm on Mon, Mar 13, 2017. The 52 Oxford St. Garage will allow parking at 8:00pm. A listing of facilities that provide free parking during snow emergencies, is available at: CambridgeMA.GOV/Snow.
  • Always park at least 20 feet from the street corner. Parking this far away from the corner improves visibility and safety year-round and ensures compliance with Cambridge Traffic Regulations. In the winter, it also allows plows to push snow away from crosswalks.
  • Ice needs to be removed within 6 hours from the time it forms, per City Ordinance. Snow needs to be removed within 12 hours after snow stops falling during the day and before 1:00pm if it snowed during the night, per City Ordinance.

Please report any power outages directly to Eversource 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: CambridgeMA.GOV/Snow. As always, if you need immediate assistance, please contact the Police Department’s Non-Emergency Line at 617-349-3300.

February 21, 2017

Black ice blindness

Snowmelt drains across "protected" bikeway on Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge

Snowmelt drains across “protected” bikeway on Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge

The photo is of a stretch of barrier-separated bikeway recently installed on the north side of Massachusetts Avenue between Sidney Street and Douglass Street in Cambridge. The headline of the February 17, 2017 Boston Globe article with this picture is “Snowbank becomes accidental hero for area cyclists”.

But — the shiny area in the bikeway is meltwater from said snowbank. When the temperature drops, the water freezes into a sheet of black ice. The usual drainage techniques don’t work here because, if you will excuse me for belaboring the obvious, the “hero barrier’ is uphill and water runs downhill. I discussed bikeway drainage issues in more detail recently in a post on another blog and years ago in connection with the 9th Avenue bikeway in Manhattan. Just to make it clear, I do have  nice things to say about other features of the 9th Avenue bikeway.

Neither Steve Annear, author of the Globe article, nor anyone quoted in it, makes any mention of the black-ice problem. They are all enthusiastic about the snow-barrier.

From the article: “I like this snowbank-protected cycle track,” Ari Ofsevit, a local cyclist, said on Twitter.

Ari is more than just a “local cyclist”. He widely, imaginatively and thoughtfully discusses transportation improvements his blog. I usually agree with him, except when he turns a blind eye to problems with barrier-separated on-street bikeways.

The article cites Joe Barr. Director of Traffic, Parking, and Transportation for the City of Cambridge:

Barr acknowledged that the snow mound separating the bike lane and the road has offered a sense of protection to cyclists, but he said it could also be masking damage to the base of the flexible posts.

“We won’t know that until we get some more melting. But it certainly looks good on the street,” he said.

And Richard Fries, Executive Director of the massachusretts Bicycle Coalition, commented:

It’s great. It won’t last that much longer, but it does help to hammer into people’s heads [road] patterns and driving habits,” he said. “Because it’s there, it makes the existing bike lane more visible to drivers and more prominent.

Segregation promotes a sense of entitlement on the part of the majority group –in this case, motorists. How do I explain to horn-honking motorists that I have to ride my bicycle in “their” travel lane, now narrowed to make room for the barrier, to avoid crashing on a sheet of black ice?

Or for that matter, to travel at my usual 15 miles per hour so I’m not stuck behind a cluster of bicyclists who are traveling at 8 miles per hour?

Or to avoid being right-hooked and crushed under the back wheels by a right-turning truck where the bikeway ends at Douglass Street?

Just asking.

January 26, 2016

Catching Up on the Cambridge News (Jan 26, 2016)

Filed under: Cambridge,Cambridge Redevelopment Authority,elections — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 11:15 am

The Cambridge Redevelopment Authority announces the second year of the FORWARD FUND.

Forward Fund 2016This micro GRANT PROGRAM is intended to support civic improvement projects and creative physical interventions that better Cambridge’s built environment for the benefit of all the city’s residents, workers, and visitors by non-profit organizations, community groups, and small businesses throughout Cambridge, MA.

We’re awarding Planning & Design grants up to $5,000; Innovation & Experimentation Capital grants up to $10,000; and Infrastructure Capital grants up to $10,000 for a wide variety of projects that contribute to the civic and social capital of Cambridge. LEARN MORE


Cambridge Launches New Snow Center Website: www.CambridgeMA.gov/snow

Snow SidewalkJan 25, 2016 – The City of Cambridge has launched a new Snow Center website, www.cambridgema.gov/snow, to provide residents with timely updates on the city’s response to winter storms and to provide useful winter storm information that can be viewed quickly and easily in one location.

Through the online Snow Center, Cambridge residents can stay informed of when a Snow Emergency has been declared or lifted; register to receive emergency alerts; find out about Snow Emergency off street parking locations; or learn if city offices or programs have modified hours of operation.

“After last year’s record-breaking snow season, we made it a priority to learn lessons not only about how to improve our operations, but also about additional ways to communicate timely, useful information to residents,” said Owen O’Riordan, Commissioner of Public Works. “The Cambridge Snow Center website will be a great tool for helping the public access information about the city’s snow operations, parking regulations, and other frequently asked questions, all in one, easy-to-view location.”

The Cambridge Snow Center also includes a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section with helpful information on property owner responsibilities and the Snow Exemption Program, as well as a What’s Happening section displaying real time snow related social media updates and news stories; and finally a Useful Information section with additional resources and important phone numbers and websites.

Residents can also use the new City’s non-emergency reporting system, Commonwealth Connect, www.cambridgema.gov/CommonwealthConnect to report an icy or snowy street or unshoveled sidewalk. To receive voice, text, and email notification of declared Snow Emergency Parking Bans in the city, residents can sign up for receive CodeRed alerts directly from the City’s Snow Center.


Voter Registration, Absentee Ballots and Extended Office Hours for the March 1, 2016 Presidential Primary

Vote!The Presidential Primary will be held on Tuesday, March 1, 2016. For Cambridge residents not already registered, the last day to register to vote is Wednesday, February 10, 2016 until 8 p.m. The Office of the Secretary of State has developed an Online Voter Registration System at www.registertovotema.com. Individuals may use the online system to submit an online application, update their address, or change their party affiliation. You must have a valid driver’s license, learner’s permit, or non-driver ID issued by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV). You must also have a signature on file with the RMV. If you do not have an RMV ID you can use the system to create an application. Print and sign the completed form and mail or bring it to the office of the City Cambridge Election Commission.

Absentee Ballots are now available at the Cambridge Election Commission office. Any voter who is unable to go to the polls on Election Day due to physical disability, religious belief, or absence from the City may request an Absentee Ballot from the Commission. The deadline to apply for an Absentee Ballot is Monday, February 29, 2016 at Noon. Absentee Ballots may be mailed to voters, or such voters may choose to vote at the Commission office during regular city office hours: Monday, 8:30am-8:00pm; Tuesday-Thursday, 8:30am-5:00pm; Friday, 8:30am-Noon. The office will also be open for Absentee Voting on Friday, February 26th from 8:30am until 5:00pm and on Saturday, February 27th from 9:00am until 5:00pm. The polls will be open on Election Day from 7:00am until 8:00pm.

For any additional information, please visit the Cambridge Election Commission office at 51 Inman Street, call (617-349-4361) or visit our website at www.cambridgema.gov/election.

February 21, 2015

Plowing, or sweeping under the rug?

The photo of the Western Avenue bikeway with this post has been making the rounds in bicycling advocacy circules, accompanied with praise for Cambridge’s plowing it.

You can praise the plowing all you like, but in terms of safety, it amounts to window dressing, distracting from problems which would not exist except for the segregated bikeway: with the snowbanks, bicyclists and motorists are both going to have to come nearly to a complete stop at every crossing to see each other in time to avoid collisions. Streets, on the other hand, even narrowed by snow, are wide enough that the cyclists can ride away from the edge, and motorists can poke out far enough to see approaching traffic without the risk of collisions.

The bikeway is also too narrow for one bicyclist safely to overtake another. The street is wide enough for anyone — bicyclist or motorist — to overtake a bicyclist, though maybe not always wide enough for one motorist to overtake another, what with the snow. It is narrower too because of the space that was taken out of it for the bikeway. The street also most likely is clear down to pavement within a day or two after a snowfall, and it is crowned so meltwater drains to the curbs. The bikeway is going to be a sheet of ice if there are thaw/freeze cycles, unless there is a very heavy application of road salt.

Bicycling is already difficult enough in winter without the added difficulties and hazards imposed by this bikeway.

western_avenue_winter

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February 17, 2015

Cambridge Snow Emergency Updates (Feb 14 – Feb 17)

Filed under: Cambridge — Tags: , — Robert Winters @ 7:44 pm

The Snow Emergency Parking Ban will be lifted at 7:00am on Wed, Feb 18.

  • Trash/Recycling is one day behind this week due to the holiday. If your trash/recycling is not collected, please leave it out an additional day for crews to pick up. Please call Public Works with any questions, 617-349-4800.
  • Residents parked at Harvard’s 52 Oxford St. Garage and MIT’s 65 Waverly St. lot must exit by 9:00am on Wednesday.
  • Residents parked at Green St. Garage & One Kendall Square Garage must exit by 9:00am on Wednesday or stay, and pay for parking.
  • Residents at Cambridgeside Galleria Parking Garage Levels 4 or 5, and at the City’s First Street Parking Garage can stay for free until Sunday, Feb 22 at 8:00pm. After that, they can opt to stay and pay regular fees.

Feb 16, 2015 – Cambridge Snow Operations & City Services Update

Snow WalkA Cambridge Snow Emergency Parking Ban remains in effect until further notice. City offices and programs will be open on Tuesday, Feb. 17. Rubbish and recycling will be one day behind schedule for the week due to President’s Day holiday.

In light of the nearly 90 inches of snow that Cambridge has received over the past three weeks, the City is taking extraordinary measures in order to maintain emergency vehicle access to all roadways. This includes:

  • Removal and hauling operations to widen main arteries, secondary streets and dead-ends prioritized by public safety officials;
  • Converting certain two-way streets to temporary one-way streets; and
  • Maintaining the snow emergency parking ban until further notice.

1) Removal and Hauling Operations
Crews resume snow removal and hauling operations throughout Cambridge Monday, Feb 16 at 9:00pm. The City expects to have over 100 pieces of equipment on the road at this time. In addition to prioritized main arteries, crews will be addressing secondary streets and dead-ends as identified by public safety officials.

What does this operation involve?
A team of operators will use bobcats, loaders, and dump trucks to remove piles of snow, most particularly on corners and on dead-ends. Not all snow on a street will be removed, but clearing will be done to ensure emergency vehicle access.

Removal and hauling is primarily an overnight operation due to traffic challenges during daytime hours, though certain locations may be done during the day if feasible. This work is expected to take numerous evenings to complete, and may continue into next week.

How are streets selected for this operation?
Streets are selected for removal based on consensus by Public Works, Police, Fire, Emergency Communications, and Traffic & Parking that widening the street is critical for maintaining emergency access, and that standard plowing and salting operations is insufficient to achieve that access. The
purpose of these operations is to ensure emergency vehicle access. Given the huge volume of snow, the City is unable to provide removal and hauling at all streets.

2) Converting certain two-way streets to temporary one-way streets
Public safety officials are evaluating certain two way streets that have been narrowed due to snow, and will be converting some of these to temporary one-way streets. The City expects to begin this program in East Cambridge in the next several days, and potentially expand to other streets as feasible.  Additional details about program will be posted once finalized.
3) Maintaining the snow emergency parking ban until further notice.
A citywide parking ban began at 7:00pm on Saturday, Feb 14 and will remain in effect until public safety officials determine it is safe to lift the ban. We thank residents for their cooperation in helping us to keep roadways clear.

We also thank local garages that have partnered with us to offer residents parking during these repeated snow emergencies. Please note that Green St Garage, First St. Garage and the 50 Oxford St. Garage are currently full. Please see alert at www.cambridgema.gov for more information about available parking.

Public Safety Is Our Top Priority
Despite the challenging weather conditions we face, the City has devoted the personnel and resources necessary to maintain public safety. We will continue snow clearing efforts into the coming week and beyond.

For more information about the City’s overall approach to snow operations, and the response to the Presidents’ Day Weekend Blizzard, see alert at www.cambridgema.gov.


Sat, Feb 14 – A Snow Emergency will go into effect starting at 7:00pm for Cambridge. Happy Valentine’s Day.

The City of Cambridge is declaring a Snow Emergency Parking Ban Saturday, Feb 14 at 7:00pm. Parking will be prohibited on streets signed No Parking during Snow Emergency. Towing operations will begin at this time. Please note that some streets may still maintain temporary no parking signs even after the ban is lifted due to the current conditions. Free off-street parking is available to Cambridge residents with Resident Parking Permits issued by the city’s Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department at the locations listed below from the time the ban goes into effect until 2 hours after it is lifted. Please note that other locations we generally make available during a ban, such as First Street and Green Street Garages, are currently full due to the current conditions.

CambridgeSide Galleria Parking Garage. Free parking is valid for the upper garage only, Levels 4 and 5; enter on First Street at Sears. Vehicles parked in the lower garage (Levels A, B & C) will be asked to pay the regular parking fees. Generally free resident parking is available from the time the declared snow emergency is in effect until 2 hours after it is lifted. Due to the extensive amount of snow that has accumulated in the area, persons with a Cambridge resident parking permit can park at this location from now until Sunday, Feb 22, 2015.

52 Oxford Garage. This is a Harvard owned and operated garage. 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 2 hours after the ban 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 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 for Cambridge residents with a resident parking permit on their vehicle until 2 hours after the ban is lifted. The garage entrance is at 389 Binney Street.

We are currently experiencing delays in trash collection due to weather conditions. If your trash was not collected on Friday, please leave it out and it will be collected on Saturday. Check this site for more updates and information or call Public Works at 617-349-4800.

City Offices will be closed on Monday, Feb 16 in observance of the Presidents’ Day Holiday. There will be no trash or recycling pickup Monday, Feb 16, and routes will be one day behind schedule for the rest of that week. Any regular programs scheduled for Feb 14 will take place, however programs for Feb 15, including War Memorial programs, have been cancelled.

DPW crews continue to work to keep main roadways clear. Property owners are asked to do the best they can under the extremely challenging conditions to clear sidewalks, corner crossings, catch basins and fire hydrants of snow. Business owners are requested, if there is a disability parking space on the street near their storefront, to please take the extra time to shovel a clear path to that space. In particular, shovel a space wide enough so that vans with lifts can deploy the lift onto the sidewalk.

The historic amounts of snow that have fallen in the past two weeks have created special challenges for the city and the region. Even with plowing and snow removal, streets in Cambridge and the Greater Boston Area remain narrow. The MBTA continues to experience weather related failures and delays and has announced that service will be suspended on Sunday, Feb 15. Please see more on this at www.mbta.com.

Drivers should allow additional travel time, exercise patience during slower traffic patterns, and use extra caution at intersections and crosswalks. Prior to traveling, residents are asked to ensure that snow is cleared from the top of their motor vehicle to create safer conditions for those travelers around you. 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.

Updated information will be available at www.cambridgema.gov. 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.

Rooftop snow - 364 Broadway

February 10, 2015

Cambridge Snow Emergency and Parking Ban (Feb 8-10)

Filed under: Cambridge,City Council,schools — Tags: , — Robert Winters @ 6:05 pm

City of Cambridge to Lift Parking Ban on Wednesday, February 11 at 7:00am
City announces free off street parking for Cambridge Residents
at Cambridgeside Galleria Parking Garage and First Street Garage

Feb 10, 2015 – Cambridge will be lifting the Snow Emergency Parking Ban at 7:00am on Wednesday, February 11. Residents who are taking advantage of the free off street parking program will have until 9:00am on Wednesday to exit the Green Street Garage and the One Kendall Square Garage before being charged.

Residents parked at Harvard’s 52 Oxford Street Garage and MIT’s 65 Waverly Street lot must exit these locations by 9:00am.

The City is announcing an extended free parking program being offered at both the Cambridgeside Galleria Parking Garage and the City’s First Street Parking Garage through February 22 in recognition of the historic amounts of snow that Cambridge has received during the past few weeks, including the 18.5 inches of new snow that fell over the past few days.

Residents with a valid 2015 City of Cambridge resident parking permit on their vehicle who are having difficulty finding street parking or are traveling for February school vacation week can participate in the extended free parking program at the Cambridgeside Galleria and First Street Garages until Sunday, February 22 at 8:00pm. Parking for this program at the Cambridgeside Galleria Parking is restricted to the upper garage, levels 4 and 5. The upper garage entrance is located on First Street, closest to Sears. The First Street Garage is open, subject to availability. Vehicles without a 2015 Cambridge resident parking permit will be charged full parking rates.

Residents currently parked in the First Street garage do not have to exit once the parking ban is lifted; however, residents who parked their vehicle at the Cambridgeside Galleria need to exit and reenter through the First Street entrance and park on levels 4 or 5.

In addition to this free short-term program, the City of Cambridge offers a year-round discounted parking program at the First Street Garage to Cambridge residents with a current City of Cambridge resident parking permit on their vehicles.

Even with plowing and snow removal, streets in Cambridge and the Greater Boston Area are getting narrower due to snow accumulation. Prior to traveling, residents are asked to ensure that snow is cleared from the top of their motor vehicle to create safer conditions for those travelers around you. 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.

Any parked vehicle that obstructs a 10 foot wide safe travel lane will be ticketed and towed.

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.


UPDATE: All Cambridge City Offices and Cambridge Public Schools will remain closed on Tuesday, February 10. The Snow Emergency/Parking Ban remains in effect. Tuesday’s curbside trash and recycling pick up will occur as scheduled.

City of Cambridge Announces Parking Ban and Closures
Parking Ban in Effect; Curbside Trash/Recycling pick-up on Schedule;
All City Offices, Programs, and Public Schools closed Monday, February 9

SnowpocalypseFeb 8, 2015 – A Snow Emergency Parking Ban went into effect at 4:00pm today (Sun, Feb 8). [City Notice] Cambridge residents with a current Resident Parking Permit issued by the Department of Traffic, Parking and Transportation can take advantage of the City’s free off street parking program during the declared snow emergency parking ban. A complete list of off street locations as well as a listing of streets with parking restrictions during a snow emergency can be found at www.cambridgema.gov.

Curbside trash and recycling collection will occur on Monday as scheduled. Due to the large amount of snow received in the area, trash and recycling trucks may not be able to get to all streets scheduled for a given day. If this does happen, DPW asks residents to leave their trash/recycling out on the curb for pick up the following day. In the event the roadway conditions do not allow for trucks to access the roadway the following day, residents should remove all trash and recycling from the curb and place their contents curbside the following week on their regularly scheduled day.

All City offices and programs, as well as the Cambridge Public Schools, will be closed on Monday, February 9. All public meetings, including the City Council meeting, have been cancelled for Monday. Additional information regarding school closings can be obtained by calling 617-349-6513 or visiting www.cpsd.us. Information about rescheduled meetings will posted to the City’s website.

The Department of Public Works (DPW) will be working around the clock for the duration of this prolonged storm. “We are all in this together,” said Owen O’Riordan, Commissioner of Public Works, asking property owners to do the best they can under current conditions to keep sidewalks, corner crossings, catch basins and fire hydrants clear of snow.  “The historic amount of snow that we have received during the past two weeks – over 50 inches now – is trying everyone’s patience. The City’s snow operations have been in effect nearly continuously since January 25. Our primary focus right now is ensuring that emergency vehicles can access major arteries, neighborhood streets and dead ends. The City will continue to clear streets and sidewalks for many days to come, including the nearly 23 miles of sidewalks alongside schools, city buildings, major squares and high volume bus stops.”

Property and Business owner’s participation in clearing sidewalks will help the City return streets and sidewalks to safe, passable conditions as quickly as possible. When it snows or is icy this winter, please think about all the people who might be using your sidewalk and the challenges they may face if snow or ice is not fully cleared. City Ordinance requires that owners remove snow and ice from all sidewalks next to their property. The path on shoveled sidewalks must be wide enough for someone using a wheelchair, walker, or stroller (at least 3 feet, preferably 4 feet wide).  Corner properties must clear sidewalks on all sides surrounding the property and clear ramps at cross-walks. Additionally, 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. In particular, shovel a space wide enough so that vans with lifts can deploy the lift onto the sidewalk.

The historic amounts of snow that have fallen in the past two weeks have created special challenges for the City and the region. Even with plowing and snow removal, streets in Cambridge and the Greater Boston Area are getting narrower. Additionally, the MBTA has experienced numerous weather related failures and delays. Commuters should allow additional travel time, exercise patience during slower traffic patterns, and use extra caution at intersections and crosswalks. Prior to traveling, residents are asked to ensure that snow is cleared from the top of their motor vehicle to create safer conditions for those travelers around you. 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.

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.

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 the time the declared snow emergency is in effect until 2 hours after it is lifted.
  • First Street Garage. Enter on Spring Street. Parking is free if you have a Cambridge resident parking permit from the time the declared snow emergency is in effect until 2 hours after it is lifted.
  • Green Street Garage, Central Square. Parking is free if you have a Cambridge resident parking permit from the time the declared snow emergency is in effect until 2 hours after it is lifted.
  • 52 Oxford Garage. This is a Harvard owned and operated garage. When a Snow Emergency is declared 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. Important — vehicles parked in this garage must exit no later than two hours after the ban 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 from the start of the snow emergency until 2 hours after it has been lifted.
  • One Kendall Square Garage. This is a privately owned garage next to the Kendall Square Cinema. Parking is free during snow emergencies for Cambridge residents with a resident parking permit on their vehicle from the time the City’s declared snow emergency is in effect until two hours after it is lifted. The garage entrance is at 389 Binney Street.

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

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).

February 4, 2014

Snow Emergency Parking Ban – Wednesday, February 5 starting at 7:00am

Filed under: Cambridge — Tags: , — Robert Winters @ 9:10 pm

A Snow Emergency Parking Ban went into effect on Wednesday, February 5th at 7:00am. For more information, please visit the City’s website, http://www.cambridgema.gov or call 617-349-4700 or 4800. Beginning at 7:00am, streets that are signed "No Parking during a Snow Emergency" will be ticketed and towed until the ban is lifted. Please check to ensure that your vehicle is not parked on a restricted street. Any power outages should be reported directly to NSTAR at 800-592-2000.

The ban was lifted at 5:00pm on Feb 5.

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