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In 2023, the City will be painting bus lanes on Broadway from McGrath Highway to Minnesota Ave to reduce bus delay and improve reliability for people taking the 89 and 101 buses. We will also be consolidating and relocating some bus stops between McGrath Highway and Pennsylvania Ave to reduce the number of times the bus must stop along Broadway and provide more accessible bus stops.

In locations where there are two travel lanes on Broadway today, City contractors will paint the lane closer to the sidewalk red and add signage to indicate that it is reserved for buses. In locations where people driving are allowed to enter the bus lane to make right turns the solid white line next to the bus lane will be broken and right turn arrows will be added in the bus lane.  

Bus stops changes include: 

  • Cross Street – The westbound bus stop that serves the route 89 towards Davis and Clarendon Hill and the route 101 towards Malden Center will remain the same. The eastbound location heading toward Sullivan Square will be moved further up Broadway between Autumn Street and Cross Street  
  • Illinois Ave – The current westbound bus stops heading away from Sullivan Square at Indiana Ave and Michigan Ave will be relocated nearby to a new stop at Illinois Ave. 
  • Glen Street – The current eastbound bus stops heading toward Sullivan Square at Franklin Street and the near side of Glen Street will be relocated nearby to a new stop on the far side of Glen St (across from the library). 
  • MacArthur Street and Kensington Avenue bus stops will be removed.  

At the same time, we are working on improving safety for people using crosswalks across and along East Broadway by clearing corners of parked vehicles and increasing visibility for people driving. We are adding “No Parking” signs to mark the area where parking is prohibited on Broadway and on streets that intersect Broadway. We paint white boxes with diagonal white lines to indicate no parking areas and may also implement plastic posts in the space in certain locations as an additional reminder that these are not parking spots. Keeping corners clear of parked cars improves safety and visibility for people using any form of transportation on Broadway. 

Review the full detailed plans of the bus lanes here, check out parking regulation changes in these presentation slides, and learn more about the background of the project and upcoming construction details below. For any questions, reach out to us at   


Why is the City making these changes? 

We are extending the bus lanes further east on Broadway to reduce the amount of time buses get stuck in traffic and make it easier for someone taking the 89 or 101 to rely on the buses schedule. 

The 101 and 89 has some of our highest bus ridership (the second and fourth highest for bus routes within Somerville, respectively). When we painted bus lanes on Broadway in Winter Hill from Main Street to McGrath Highway, we saw an average increase of 30% in the amount of people taking the bus, with more people taking the bus on weekends. The City aims to make short-term and long-term improvements to transit to encourage more people to take sustainable options, reduce the amount of pollution in our City, and make it easier for those who depend on public transit. 

We are clearing the corners at intersections because under state and federal law, parking is prohibited directly ahead of a crosswalk or intersection. Parked vehicles or other obstructions can block the view of other people driving, biking, or waiting to cross. When parking is restricted, people driving are more likely to see approaching vehicles or people crossing the street, which reduces the likelihood of a crash. 


Video Source: MBTA

Graphic depicting traffic in Somerville.

Image Source: City of Boston

Graphic depicting traffic in Somerville.

Both images above have identical backgrounds, except in the first image, there are vehicles parked close to the intersection and in the second image, these vehicles are replaced with white paint and plastic posts. You can see how the cars block the view of pedestrians crossing on both sides of the street as well as another vehicle preparing to continue into the intersection. Moving these parked cars further away from the intersection makes it easier for all users to see and avoid potential conflicts.

Broadway is one of Somerville’s High Crash Corridors, with some of the highest number of crashes in Somerville, so it is the City’s priority to improve safety here. Painting no parking areas and restricting parking is one of the quickest ways to make an immediate safety improvement. Clear corners also make it easier for fire trucks, delivery trucks, buses and other larger vehicles to turn. With clear corners, these bigger vehicles are less likely to scrape other parked cars or get stuck. In addition, clear corners help people driving on side streets see gaps in traffic, making turning onto Broadway easier and less stressful. 

In the City’s comprehensive plan, SomerVision, reducing car trips and improving multimodal transportation is a community goal, and the plan calls for 50% of new trips to be made by transit biking, walking or rolling. Through community advocacy, the City committed to a Vision Zero Action Program to center transportation safety in our work and commit to eliminating traffic fatalities and dramatically reducing serve injuries in crashes. In the City’s Climate Forward Plan, we shared that some of the primary elements of facilitating equitable low-carbon transportation in Somerville are to convert City right-of ways to dedicated bus and bike lanes, and work with the MBTA to improve bus reliability and operational efficiency. The public input that went into these plans, and the subsequent advocacy over years guides the Mobility Division’s transportation planning.  

We’ve heard over the past couple of years from residents about the importance of bus reliability. Buses provide essential mobility service to many Somerville residents who have no other transportation options. Improving bus service for those who rely on it will benefit those in most need, while also making the bus a more desirable option for residents who have a choice of transportation options. 

We’ve also heard from community members about pedestrian safety concerns at intersections along East Broadway where people have described that vehicles roll through crosswalks nearly hitting people walking and rolling, or people driving have shared concerns about being able to see at intersections because of low visibility. Clearing corners is one of the quickest ways to increase visibility at crosswalks and intersections. 


Come join us at one of our upcoming street pop-ups or virtual office hours to ask questions, provide comments, or learn more. See dates and times below. These are subject to change due to inclement weather. We will post rescheduled dates on the website.  

Street pop-ups: 

  • Broadway at Cross Street  
    • March 30, 3pm - 6pm 
  • Cross Street at Everett Avenue 
    • April 11, 2pm – 4:00pm 
  • Broadway at Franklin Street 
    • April 27, 3pm - 6pm 

Virtual office hours: 

You can also reach out to us by email at or call 311 at 617-666-3311). If you need assistance in a language other than English, contact the SomerViva Office of Immigrant Affairs at  


What will construction look like and how do I stay up to date? 

Weather permitting, over the coming weeks City contractors will refresh pavement markings, extend the dedicated bus lane (McGrath Hwy. to Minnesota Ave.), and install safety improvements around crosswalks along Broadway between McGrath Highway and the Somerville/Boston City line. 

Anticipated Work Schedule (subject to change): 

  • Initial layout work to begin as early as the night of 6/1. 
  • Construction crews will return to complete the pavement markings over the coming weeks. 
  • Work hours for street paint and marking installation are weekdays between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. 

Construction Impacts:  

  • On-street parking may be restricted during construction (no parking signs will be posted 48 hours in advance). 
  • Potential periods of elevated noise levels around work zones. 
  • Access to your driveway may be temporarily restricted, but onsite crews will help you get in and out of your driveway if needed. 

We encourage community members to sign up for City Alerts, available via phone, text, or email to get construction and road closure updates. If you have further questions about construction, please email or call at 311 (617-666-3311). 


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